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How These Caring Transitions Franchisees Are Helping Clients Move Mountains

The husband-and-wife team of Ted and Suzanne Austin signed on with the senior-focused relocation franchise to not only start a strong business, but also to provide a meaningful service to their community.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 9:09AM 02/28/23

Caring Transitions, the relocation franchise that provides compassionate assistance with downsizing, decluttering, relocation management and estate sales for full and partial liquidations, continues to grow across the country with 255 locations nationwide. This is thanks to the passionate and caring franchisees behind each and every location. 

Ted and Suzanne Austin, for example, are the local owners of Caring Transitions Twin Cities Central. Ted Austin has more than 15 years of experience in the medical field with a focus on working with senior clientele. Suzanne Austin, a Twin Cities native, has an MBA from Saint Mary’s University and has spent the last 13 years working in finance and administration with start-up businesses. 

“We’ve worked for people our whole lives, but we were really looking for community and support,” said Suzanne Austin. “We daydreamed about taking a leap and starting our own business, but we never did it. We knew we didn’t want to venture out completely on our own. The risk was a little beyond my comfort, so the franchise world provided that infrastructure.”

In 2021, fueled by this desire to start their own community-focused business, the Austins discovered Caring Transitions and loved what they saw. Both have aging parents, so they immediately connected with the challenges that come with clearing out the home of a loved one who has passed.

“Caring Transitions was not only a profitable business model, but it also would allow us to help people, which was our main goal,” said Ted Austin. “That is really why we signed on.”

As the nation’s only total-solutions provider for families needing compassionate care during life’s challenging transitions, the Caring Transitions business model is about making a real difference for seniors and families. The company helps seniors relocate by spending time at their homes, helping them pack and organize their belongings, then moving those belongings to the new home and setting them up in a way that feels comfortable and familiar. Then, the team returns to the original location to arrange and host an in-person or online estate sale through its proprietary platform, CTBIDS

Now, as the owners of Caring Transitions Twin Cities North, Ted and Suzanne aim to provide a one-stop-shop for moving, downsizing and estate sales support. 

“You are moving mountains for people when they can't see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Suzanne Austin. “We had one client recently who was in a challenging situation — she herself had just lost her job, her brother had been diagnosed with cancer, her mother had passed away and her father had to relocate to a memory care facility. She called us and we provided her with a great solution, cleaning out her space and utilizing some of her belongings to offset all those costs. She mentioned that there were some things she couldn’t find around the house, including her mother’s wedding ring. One of our team members calls us and says: ‘You are not gonna believe it, but I just found a wedding ring.’ It was found in the shed, next to the garage, in a case in a toolbox. The client immediately burst into tears. That day was the one year anniversary of her mother’s death and to find such a treasure like that really helped her. That story still gives us chills.” 

In addition to helping clients, Suzanne and Ted say their business has also allowed them to impact the lives of their employees. “When you are working for others, you don’t get to pick and choose who you work with,” said Suzanne Austin. “Having your own business allows us to create this culture and we truly are a family. It feels so good to give the team the autonomy to do what they do, watch them executive and see their proud moments. There is no better feeling.”

Caring Transitions Vice President of Franchise Development James Stapleton says the team is thrilled to have Ted and Suzanne in the family and has enjoyed watching them provide a much-needed service to the Twin Cities area. 

“There is such a profound need for our services, but people don’t even realize it because they think their only option is a traditional moving company,” Stapleton said. “When they stumble upon us, they are so happy and most people who buy a franchise from us have that same exact story. They needed Caring Transitions for a loved one themselves, and that made them realize they could really make a difference for other people by investing in this one-of-a-kind franchise in the senior services space.”

Start-up costs range from $58,912–$82,712, and franchisees have the opportunity to earn back their $44,900 franchise fee through its Winner’s Circle program by hitting a variety of key benchmarks. For more information, visit: