How Rice’s Moving Is Handling Florida’s Booming Real Estate Market

As we reached the one-year mark of the pandemic, we also reached the year mark of so many people losing their jobs and livelihoods. It has been such an incredibly difficult year for so many across the world. I had the pleasure of sitting down with a local moving company, Rice’s Moving & Transport, Inc. to talk to them about their experience throughout the pandemic and the more recent housing boom in Florida.

Her Campus (HC): How long has Rice’s Moving & Transport, Inc. been in business?

Gretchen Rice (GR): The business was started in 1997. We incorporated in 1999, so 22 years. It was started with a truck and trailer doing small deliveries. Then it expanded to a box truck and we began doing residential moves. In 1999, we leased a warehouse space and began offering designer services. We now run the trucks and have office and warehouse personnel.

HC: What does your company do and who is it operated by?

GR: We do residential and commercial moves. We also operate a 15,000 square foot warehouse and offer designer services and storage. We offer packing services and storage for remodels as well. We are owned and operated by James Michael and Gretchen Rice.

HC: How has COVID-19 affected your operations?

GR: We were very severely affected financially in 2020 by the pandemic. Thankfully by taking extra precautions and due to being classified as an essential service, we were able to stay open and keep all of our employees. We qualified for and received a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program by former President Trump. By utilizing these funds wisely, we were able to make it through the slow periods during the height of the pandemic. A lot of the credit for this is due to the State of Florida remaining open and allowing us to continue to work and operate. Wise decisions like these are what allowed businesses like ours to survive and now thrive.

HC: What does the boom in the housing market mean for your company?

GR: The recent boom in the housing market in Florida has meant a very sudden and considerable increase in demand for our services. Besides the obvious increase in-home moves, it has increased the remodeling sector which also provides us with a lot more work.

HC: How are you dealing with the market boom?

GR: We have had to put in long, hard hours and increase our staff to keep up with the demand. There is a fine line between being successful and taking on too much. Those companies that over-extend themselves or grow too quickly may have difficulties staying afloat when the boom ends.

HC: What do you think will happen to your company after the real estate boom ends?

GR: We went through a similar, although not as intense “boom” in 2008. It ended with a sudden and very severe drop in business. Since we have the knowledge and experience from that, we plan on not overextending our company while still profiting with our present good fortune. We feel that in our time of need we were truly blessed.

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