A company fairly new to Long Beach is looking to make moving a little easier for residents.
Bellhops, which has been hiring college students as movers since October 2012, arrived in Long Beach in May following its success in other cities.
The business model works a little like Uber or Lyft, wherein the movers are contractors and get to choose their own jobs, said co-founder Cameron Doody. “We are part of the sharing economy,” he said. “Instead of sharing rides or apartments, we’re sharing the ambitious muscles of our student Bellhops.”
Currently, Bellhops Long Beach has 80 student movers from Cal State Long Beach, said co-founder Matt Patterson.
Everything is coordinated through a web app, Doody said, which relays pictures and biographies of Bellhop movers to customers. It also allows the movers to communicate with the customers before the move.
Like Uber or Lyft, customers don’t get to choose their Bellhops. Instead, jobs appear and are claimed by Bellhops on their smartphones on a first-come first-served basis.
Harvey Higger, director of the Long Beach Bellhops branch, said the business has been successful so far in the city.
“There are so many different types of places to live in Long Beach and the surrounding areas,” he said. “Hiring just any moving company isn’t always the best option. Bellhops is less like a big, impersonal moving company and more like getting your friends to help you out and make your move less stressful.”
Harvey Higger said he believes the model of hiring a private contractor via app is a business model that “takes out the middle man,” making it more successful.
“It’s local, it’s quick and it utilizes the technology that we have available rather than following the obsolete models that have been around for decades,” he said.
When he started the Long Beach branch, Harvey Higger hired his younger brother, Hayden Higger, 21, to become a mover. Hayden said he enjoys the opportunity his job gives him to meet different people and help them.
“I’ve experienced first-hand how stressful moving can be, so my goal is to take as much of that stress out of the whole ordeal as I can for the customer,” he said.
His co-worker Nick Foutris, 20, said he enjoyed the flexibility of his job.
“It lets me work when I want, where I want and with who I want,” Foutris said. “I think it is a great addition to the diverse population of Long Beach, especially since there are many opportunities for small moves that can easily be handled by our capable Bellhops.”
To book a Bellhop, or to express interest in becoming a mover, visit its website.
Top, left: Bellhop Nick Foutris inside of a moving truck, helping to load a shipment of mattresses headed to an apartment complex. Bottom, right: Bellhops Zach Wagoner (left) and Kyle Kakalia (right) carrying boxes up 5 flights of stairs to a storage unit. Photos courtesy of Harvey Higger.
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