Mobile massage refers to the concept where a massage therapist comes to your home, hotel or office for the session. Mobile massage has become popular because of its on-demand nature where you can get a massage anywhere, anytime, unlike a spa or massage parlour where making an appointment in advance is still the norm
MassageJoy was established with a simple goal in mind – to offer Londoners a convenient, reliable and on-demand platform for their wellness needs. The idea was to provide Londoners with the same on-demand experience they are used to when booking an Uber or ordering food via Deliveroo.
We set-up MassageJoy because of the bad experiences we had had with massage parlours in general. Step into any massage parlour in central London and you can never be sure whether the therapists have the relevant qualifications, are experienced or worse, whether the establishment offers professional massage therapy.
At the time we knew we were launching an on-demand platform for massage but the market has its own terms and lingua. On-demand massage is most commonly known as mobile massage or home massage. The other common term people use is “outcall massage” (as opposed to “in-call massage” in the massage parlour/spa). Other variants of the name include visiting massage, home visit massage etc, but we hope one day MassageJoy alone will signify all these terms.
In this article we will cover all the questions you might have about mobile massage. So stay till the end and you will have all your questions answered.
Londoners love convenience. We have seen the growth of on-demand apps like Uber, Deliveroo, Amazon prime. In a similar vein the mobile massage model is rapidly replacing the traditional massage parlour model. I see this daily in my work as we attract more and more therapists who used to work at massage parlours.
Additionally there is a growing trend among massage therapists to work as “freelancers” and use platform like MassageJoy to get customers. If you like getting massages and have never experienced a mobile massage I guarantee that you will soon, given the growing popularity, convenience and ease of booking a mobile massage.
What is Mobile Massage
Mobile massage also commonly known as home massage refers to the on-demand model where a fully qualified massage therapist comes to your home, hotel or office for the appointment. There are several mobile massage therapists who have chosen to work in a flexible manner and attend to customers as and when needed as opposed to working fixed shifts in spas and massage parlours. Mobile massage is ideal for anyone looking for convenience and reliability and is especially popular among busy working professionals in London.
How does Mobile Massage work
Given the popularity of mobile massage you can find several freelance mobile massage therapists on Facebook or Gumtree. But the simplest way to find a fully qualified and insured massage therapist would be to use a platform like MassageJoy. On the platform you can enter your postcode and select your massage therapist of choice and book in under 60 seconds. Payment is typically done online but can also be done by cash after the appointment.
Once you have made the booking you are ready. The massage therapist will arrive at your door at the specified time and will bring everything needed for the massage session – oils, creams, music, massage table and towels. After a brief health questionnaire the massage session will begin and after the appointment you will have the opportunity to rate your therapist.
What can I expect during a home massage
Once the massage therapist has arrived at your location they will require a few minutes to set-up. Typically mobile massage therapists bring everything needed for the appointment – oils, creams, massage table, music, towels. You can guide the massage therapist to an area in your house where they can set-up for the session.
Once the massage therapist has set-up they will ask you to fill a simple health questionnaire and waiver. Once the waiver has been signed the therapist will give you the space to undress to your comfort level and get ready for the massage session.
If you have booked your mobile massage on MassageJoy you can be sure that the massage therapist is fully qualified and will perform the session as requested, whether it is deep tissue, Swedish, relaxing, thai or any other massage modality. During the session the massage therapist might play soothing music and use oils and creams as per your choice. Once the session is complete the therapist will allow a few minutes for you to rest before packing up. At this point you can tip the massage therapist if you wish and you will be given the opportunity to rate the therapist.
Concerns about having a massage therapist visit your home
One of the biggest barriers people face before booking their first home massage is the logical fear of letting a complete stranger enter their house. This fear is further heightened when it comes to massage because you are trusting your health and well-being into the hands of a stranger. The primary concerns are:
- The mobile massage therapist could be unprofessional or even dangerous
- The mobile massage therapist might steal something from your house without you being aware
- The mobile massage therapist might injure you during the treatment
- You are dealing with a person (the therapist) and if something bad happens the person can just disappear
All these concerns are completely valid. Remember the concerns you had when you took your first Uber ride? Did the idea of getting into a strangers car scare you?
The concept of home massage has come a long way and no longer is your only choice freelance therapists on gumtree or craigslist. With companies like MassageJoy all the above concerns are eliminated. Most mobile massage services only recruit massage therapists who are fully qualified and insured. On occasion massage therapists are even subjected to background checks. Although the concerns are still very valid, the risks are greatly reduced if not completely eliminated if you choose the services of a professional mobile massage company.
Concerns of a mobile massage therapist visiting your home
One of the first questions I get from massage therapists considering moving into mobile massage is whether it is safe. After all they are going into the homes, hotels and offices of strangers for appointments. The key concerns of a mobile massage therapist visiting your home are:
- Will the customer be unprofessional or even dangerous
- Will the customer ignore the professional nature of the therapy and make unprofessional requests
- What will happen in the event of an emergency or when the therapist feels physically threatened
- What if the booking is not genuine and the massage therapist will waste their day travelling to a far off location
- What if the customer cancels at the last minute
Among all these concerns the concern about personal safety tops the list. So next time you book a mobile massage perhaps you can make efforts to make your mobile massage therapist comfortable. Understand that this is a professional massage therapy session. Respond honestly about your health issues during the wellness questionnaire. And if the session met your needs do tip the massage therapists.
How to find Mobile Massage near me
The beauty of mobile massage or home massage is that the mobile massage therapist comes to you. Due to this you don’t have to focus on finding mobile massage therapists in your vicinity. The simplest way to find a mobile massage therapist near you is to use a platform like MassageJoy. Simply enter your postcode and you will be presented with a list of massage therapists who are available to come to your home, hotel or office. You simply need to select the therapist who best suits your needs and complete the booking.
In such a scenario you will be able to see the profile of massage therapists, their experience and even their ratings from other customers. You can choose the therapist who best meets your needs, for e.g. a massage therapist who specializes in sports massage if you are looking to recover from an injury.
Your other options to find a freelance mobile massage therapist is to find them on Facebook, Gumtree or Craigslist. Several mobile massage therapists have specific pages on Facebook for their services. You simply need to search or join local groups to find a therapist who is right for you. Gumtree is another option as well. However the key drawback of these channels is that your massage therapists will not have been vetted by anyone. In this case you can never be sure if the massage therapist has had any formal qualifications in massage therapy or if the massage therapist is a trustworthy individual.
Finally you can find massage therapists who will visit your home at your local gym or leisure centre. The massage therapists working at gyms and leisure centres tend to have specific short shifts and can sometimes accommodate home visits.
To identify the right massage therapist for you always ask to see testimonials and reviews from previous clients. For example if you are after a reflexology session then a highly rated massage therapist who specializes in Deep Tissue massage might not be the right fit for you. Remember that a massage therapist might work various modalities of massage but they might not be an expert in all of them. Especially if you are considering a sensitive treatment like pregnancy massage, you must only select a massage therapist who is fully qualified and certified to perform a pregnancy massage.
Finally, if you are using a platform like MassageJoy to find a mobile massage therapist near you, make sure you read the reviews and testimonials of the company. Also check if the company fully vets their massage therapists. Also you might need to check if the massage therapists in that particular company work with or without a massage table. If you are looking for a professional massage always opt for a massage therapist who works with a table. Without a massage table, if the treatment is being performed on the bed or floor, the effectiveness of the session is greatly reduced.
If you follow the above instructions you should have no trouble finding a massage therapist who will visit your home, hotel or office as per your needs and requirements.
Why should I choose mobile massage over a spa or massage parlour
Apart from the more obvious reason of the on-demand nature of mobile massage there are several other valid reasons why you should choose mobile massage over a traditional spa or massage parlour treatment.
- Supporting the massage therapists
Today many massage therapists across London working at massage parlours barely make minimum wage. When we launched MassageJoy the vision was to tilt the scales in the favour of massage therapists. Our on-demand model and minimal overhead costs allow us to pass 80% of the booking price directly to the massage therapists.
A massage therapist working at a typical central London massage parlour makes anywhere between £12 to £16 per hour and additional earnings per customer served. They have to work strict shifts and often develop strains and damage their wrists from the grind. Contrast this to a MassageJoy mobile massage therapist – they make £50 per hour plus tips.
We make it extremely flexible for the therapists to work when they want and where they want. We believe providing the highest pay in the industry in London and offering unmatched flexibility we are directly affecting the lives of hundreds of massage therapists. By choosing a mobile massage over a traditional spa or massage parlour you are supporting a business model that puts the massage therapists first.
- Large selection of massage therapists and treatments
Given the business model, a mobile massage service typically works with hundreds of mobile massage therapists. In turn this offers the customer unparalleled choice. By using a home massage service you have access to hundreds of massage therapists who have been vetted and rated.
You can choose experts in the massage modality of your choice. Contrast this to the set-up in a spa or massage parlour. You are typically not given the option to choose your massage therapist based on experience or ratings.
Additionally a typical spa or massage parlour will only have a limited group of massage therapists working for them thereby limiting your chances of finding expert massage therapists in the treatment modality of your choice.
- Convenience and flexibility
The most obvious reason for choosing a home massage over a spa or massage parlour is convenience and flexibility. A home massage offers the same convenience you experience when you hail a cab or get food delivered to you at the click of a button. Now you can book a home massage in under 60 seconds and have a massage therapist at your door in under an hour.
Today home massage is fairly popular, however initially when the concept was just being experimented with majority of the customers tended to be folks who could not get an appointment at spa or massage parlour of their choice or were trying out a home massage because spas and massage parlours have fixed hours of working. This type of flexibility of booking in under 60 seconds and having a massage therapist show up at your door for the appointment in under an hour at any time of the day or night is unique to mobile massage.
Due to the on-demand nature of home massage majority of the bookings are made for the same day. However customers are given the option to cancel a booking up to a few hours from the booking time. This is additional flexibility as compared to a spa where typical cancellations need to happen a day in advance.
Overall by choosing a mobile massage over a spa or massage parlour you are directly supporting massage therapists to earn a higher wage and also getting unmatched convenience and flexibility all the while having a spa quality massage delivered to your door.
Becoming a mobile massage therapist
Whether you are an experienced massage therapist or a recent graduate with diplomas and certifications in massage therapy transitioning to become a mobile massage therapist is a big decision. Unlike a massage therapist working in a spa or massage parlour a mobile massage therapist has to be entrepreneurial with a strong desire to learn. The business of mobile massage has a lot to do about attracting and retaining your customers as you continue to grow your practice.
The main advantages of becoming a mobile massage therapist:
- Highly flexible : Work the hours you want to work
- Financially rewarding: With mobile massage you are paid much more per massage (for e.g. at MassageJoy you could be earning £50/hr whereas in a massage parlour the usual rates are between £12 to £16 per hour)
- Entrepreneurial: As a mobile massage therapist your focus is always on growing your client list and expanding your business
However it is also important to consider the disadvantages of working as a mobile massage therapist:
- Lack of predictability: As a new mobile massage therapist a lot of your time could be spent waiting for new customers. You never have a guarantee when you will have the next booking until you are well established
- Physically strenuous: As a mobile massage therapist you are expected to carry all your equipment including massage table to the appointment. This can be physically draining and strenuous as you move around from one location to the other in the city
- Unusual hours: The busiest times tend to be early mornings or late evenings. Massage parlours and spas have set opening and closing times. But if you want to succeed as a mobile massage therapist be prepared to work hours you’d typically not work in a spa or massage parlour
To become a mobile massage therapist for a reputable platform like MassageJoy you will have to have had previous experience working as a massage therapist. There are some basics which you will need to have
- Diplomas or certifications in massage therapy, ideally ITEC level 3
- Liability insurance
- Self employed status
- Previous referenceable experience at a reputable massage parlour or spa
Once you have the basics in place you will need to invest a bit in your gear. Remember a mobile massage therapist carries everything needed for the appointment with them. Apart from massage oils, creams, music, towels you might also need to invest in a massage table and carrier (to help you move the table across locations). In addition to this you should carefully consider how you will travel. In London most of the mobile massage therapists use public transport as parking might not always be readily available at the customer’s location.
If you have the above requirements met you are in a strong position to work for a leading mobile massage platform like MassageJoy or start taking your own customers.
How to get mobile massage customers
Typically when a massage therapist transitions into mobile massage they focus on growing their practice and getting customers locally. The first attempt tends to be massaging family and friends and getting their first customers by word of mouth. This is a great strategy to begin with and get some good reviews under your belt. I have also seen new mobile massage therapists create flyers and distribute it locally. However from my experience the return on investment on this is fairly low. There are several channels new mobile massage therapists can focus on to get customers
- Friends and family: This helps you get initial customers and also generates word of mouth
- Distributing flyers: This is great for spreading the word about your practice locally
- Mobile Massage companies: This is a great way to scale your practice and get access to several customers. Most legitimate on-demand massage platforms have strict interviews, but if you can get through them they will be a great channel to get regular customers
- Facebook page: I have seen several freelance massage therapists find success with their own specific Facebook page about their practice. Customers local to your area will be able to find you if you are also part of local groups and participate in them
- Personal website: This is only for mobile massage therapists who have built up a following and have the resources to invest in and maintain a personal website
- Other social media: Instagram and twitter tend to be other places where mobile massage therapists can get customers but requires a good understanding of brand building
At each stage of your progress you will find specific channels that work best for you. For example when you first begin working as a mobile massage therapist you might find spreading the word through friends and family gets you the most customers. As you grow you might find that being featured on a mobile massage platform might bring you even more customers. Finally as you build up a growing brand you can consider establishing your own personal website and focussing on digital channels like Facebook and Google to get a constant stream of customers.
How to grow my massage practice
The biggest challenge you will face as a new mobile massage therapist will be how to grow your mobile massage practice. You will find that getting your initial customers through friends and family and a bit of local outreach will work great. But soon you will hit a plateau and will be in need of new customers.
When you reach this stage experimentation becomes extremely important. At this stage you will need to think about how you scale your business and have regular customers and bookings scheduled in a regular and predictable manner. Becoming a mobile massage therapist is an entrepreneurial endeavour and at this stage you will need to delve into digital marketing.
People, especially in London, are used to on-demand services. Londoners want convenience and they want it now. Due to this purchases of services and goods are moving online. Today it is not sufficient to hand out flyers and expect your business to grow by word of mouth. You will have to bring your practice online.
The simplest way to capture the online customers is to join a mobile massage company. Companies like MassageJoy will do the hard bit of marketing and getting the customers to your profile. Once your customer base begins to grow you can then delve into marketing on digital channels.
Facebook is a great channel to get new customers and so is running ads on Google. But bear in mind if you do decide to go it alone you will be competing directly with other mobile massage businesses and platforms on these channels
To have a growing sustainable business always focus on customer retention and doing the best job that you can. This way your business will grow slowly but will soon reach a stage where you will have more customers than you can service.
Rising popularity of office massage
Office massage refers to the employee wellness perk of on-site massage offered by forward thinking companies to their employees. The war for talent is intensifying and companies are looking for novel ways to attract and retain their employees. One of the perks which is becoming very popular with employees is an on-site office mobile massage.
The office massage is typically performed on a massage chair as opposed to a massage table. Companies opt to provide their employees with on-site office massages either on a weekly/monthly basis or on special occasions like their birthdays.
In an office massage the mobile massage therapist works in short intervals of 15-20 minutes per employee. The massage is performed on a portable massage chair and the focus of the massage is on the shoulders, back and head. Typically the massage therapist sets up in a secluded space like a meeting room and employees are given 15-20 minute slots for their session.
Companies typically book mobile massage therapists for office massage for 4-5 hour sessions. Multiple mobile massage therapists can be booked at the same time if the company has many employees that need to avail of the mobile massage session.
Hiring and retaining the best employees is a top priority for any forward thinking company. Adding office massage as part of the employee perks gives a company a huge edge over the competitors. Today employees not only expect good salary and work environment but also perks like on-site massage.
Is mobile massage safe
Given the popularity of on-demand services, especially in London, Londoners are used to the concept of interacting with freelancers, whether it is to ride with an Uber driver or have a cleaner from Handy come into their homes. Similarly we find that Londoners are comfortable with the concept of mobile massage and are comfortable booking mobile massage therapists.
However to remain safe it is crucial to only book mobile massage therapists who have been vetted and background checked. If you are after a professional massage only book massage therapists from reputed mobile massage services.
Also to ensure the safety of the massage therapist always provide accurate details while making the booking and answer the health questionnaire honestly and clearly. The questionnaire is meant to ensure that the massage type you have booked is the right massage modality for you.
If both the customer and massage therapists follow the basic precautions then mobile massage is a safe option if you are after a professional massage therapy session.
In this article I have covered most of the questions I have got from our customers and therapists. If you believe we have not answered any question related to mobile massage please leave a message in the comments below. Or if you believe any of the information we have provided needs revision please write below in the comments.
We love it when you get involved. Do tell us about your experiences with mobile massage. Have you ever used a mobile massage service before? If no, would you ever use one? We look forward to speaking to you in the comments.