In today’s economic setting, what is the self storage manager to do in order to increase their occupancy and income?
1. Give the public what they want.
Nowadays, with the foreclosures and job losses, people who find themselves in this transitional stage need a place to store their belongings until they get back on their feet. This brings your facility in to play. When searching for a mini storage most everyone in the above position, is first and foremost focusing on the cost to house their possessions. Next are convenient location and access hours. And last, but not least, the potential customer is concerned with the safety and cleanliness of the site.
2. Focus on your surrounding area and community.
What is the makeup of the residents? What are the population statistics? What types of businesses operate there? Run move in specials accordingly and team up with businesses that focus on servicing the surrounding area so flyers with your company name and specials will be delivered.
3. Don’t sell your facility short.
One dollar move in specials may seem like a great offer, but even if a person is down economically, they will have a better peace of mind knowing what they paid a fair price for has as much meaning to you as they have to their belongings; thereby they see the value in their rental purchase. In other words, you, as a manager running a facility, aren’t going to rent too just anyone. By charging a fair price, you are letting those walking through your door know your place has worth.
4. Use the internet.
Recently, I received my new yellow pages directory. The volume is an “eco friendly” size, which means the book is a lot smaller. Meanwhile, the World Wide Web is becoming a more used alternative for finding businesses. One Webmaster I know used his tools to find out that there are approximately sixty million searches for mini storages. That figure alone should impress upon the reader the need for internet marketing.
If you have not already done so, start by creating a website. There are numerous free or nearly free internet locations that are user friendly. With a URL address, people from all over the world can find your business. Add photos, coupons, and a free Google map. For convenience, offer online payments. You can also team up with other businesses in the community and place banner ads of all business who wish exchange their ad on your website with your ad on their site.
5. Utilize your assets and resources.
The average storage rental time is three to five months. If you were charging sixty five dollars a month, how much would you be willing to pay out, one time, to make three hundred dollars? Ten dollars? Fifteen? Twenty?
Let’s say a tenant is moving out. They were very happy with the facility, managers, and service and say they’ll definitely be back if they need storage again. That’s great! You’ll have a repeat customer if they need your services again. But, what if you let that person know, whether or not they rent with you, that if they refer someone who rents with you, they’ll receive X amount of money for a referral fee. Or, how about the people who just rented? As you hand them their paperwork, do you mention that if they make reference to your business to their contacts and they rent, that your facility will either pay them the referral fee or credit their account? Referral fees are a great way to generate income from rentals. Paying out a little to get a lot always makes good business sense.