Movegreen continues moving forward even in the midst of a pandemic
While some companies are trying their best to simply stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, others are making the most of their situation and even taking some big risks.
Take Movegreen, for example.
The award-winning eco-friendly moving and storage company based in Santa Barbara announced on Thursday that they acquired two storing and moving powerhouses, La Habra Relocations and Watford Moving and Storage.
Located in Orange County and Santa Clarita, respectively, the acquisition of these two locations allows Movegreen to move deeper into the Southern California market.
“This is significant growth for us,” Erik Haney, CEO and founder of Movegreen, told the News-Press.
“Within the moving business, 20 to 30 miles is kind of your maximum radius where you can be serviceable and efficient for customers. So now with our locations we can really provide service to anyone from Solvang to Laguna Beach.”
Mr. Haney began Movegreen in 2007 and had a simple — or difficult depending on how you look at it — goal: to reinvent the moving and storage business in a more “socially responsible way.”
“We wanted to minimize the impact on our environment… that really was the foundation,” Mr. Haney said.
“It started here in Santa Barbara and I like to say it started with one truck and a dream.”
What once started with one truck and dream has since evolved to business that has grown tremendously in just 13 years.
Now, Movegreen has a fleet of 20 vans and service vehicles, serves five counties and owns 22,000 storage units along the South Coast. It has seen a 30% increase in revenue since 2017 and a 40% growth in personnel and in the near future, the company plans to expand into a 33,000 square foot warehouse in Oxnard.
“It feels amazing. It’s a lot of hard work over the years but it’s pretty crazy to imagine,” Mr. Haney said.
“We really put customer service as number one on our list and going above and beyond anytime we possibly can to do right by the customer to exceed their expectations seems to really be paying off and it’s great.”
All of Movegreens trucks have GPS monitors to track their locations. One day, Mr. Haney was looking at those GPS monitors and saw his trucks all across the state of California, from San Francisco to San Diego.
“It was a really proud moment for me for sure. I have had staff with me since the beginning so to see that was a pretty surreal moment, but you know we have plans to keep growing and we’re not done yet,” Mr. Haney said.
Of course, while the company has seen growth over the past 13 years, it has stayed true to its mission of trying to help the environment.
At the company’s inception, it partnered with a company called Trees for the Future. Through the partnership, Movegreen has a “10-tree program,” which means the company will plant 10 trees for every move made.
Through the partnership, Movegreen has helped plant more 100,000 trees.
With the quick advancement of technology as well, Movegreen is very close to having a fully digital inventory system, cutting down on the use of paper.
Movegreen also has five hybrid vehicles and one hybrid diesel truck and hopes to add a few more over the next couple of years.
“We are just constantly trying to adapt and add new things into our repertoire,” Mr. Haney said.
The decision to acquire La Habra Relocations and Watford Moving and Storage seemed easy at the onset, but with COVID-19 in the front of everyone’s mind, there was some hesitation.
Specifically with Watford, the close of escrow on that acquisition was on April 2, just a couple weeks after the announcement of sheltering in place across the United States.
“It was a very trying time to decide whether we were going to forward or back out of the deal just based on all the news and the pandemic that was transpiring as we were closing up the deal,” Mr. Haney said.
Still, Mr. Haney decided to move forward. While the location is only running at about 50% of what they expected, he still believes it was the right decision.
“We believed that it was such a great strategic move for Movegreen moving forward that we decided to move forward with the acquisition,” Mr. Haney said.
And it has paid off, with June marking Movegreen’s most successful month as a company.
A lot of that, Mr. Haney believes, is due to the fact that the housing market in the Central Coast, specifically Santa Barbara, is thriving.
“A lot of people I believe from the Los Angeles and San Francisco area are moving into Santa Barbara, because they learned that they can work remotely,” Mr. Haney said.
Still, Mr. Haney admitted that it feels odd to be doing relatively well in a time where many businesses are struggling.
“It really does feel weird to think about how we have been able to stay on par. It’s something that it’s even hard to even really talk about in the current environment, but we try to help people and stay busy making sure we are helping our customers,” Mr. Haney said.
As Movegreen continues moving forward, hopefully to an even brighter future, Mr. Haney hopes that his company, which has done things the right way, can serve as a small glimmer of hope during these times.
“There’s a lot of negativity out there and, for me, I try to always look on the positive side of things and maybe our story can be some kind of shining light on something that’s going okay,” he said. “I just hope we can all try our best to remain safe and continue moving forward.”