A self storage operator’s job is so much more than offering customers extra space. The self storage industry is about convenience, customer service and expertise. Oftentimes, it’s about providing unexpected—but much appreciated—services to tenants. If you’ve ever talked to a new self storage customer about a feature like on-site moving truck rental, covered loading docks or automated storage, you know how good it feels to hear the words, “Wow, that makes things easier!”
One way you can make things easier for tenants is by positioning yourself as an authority on self storage and moving. Here are 10 moving tips to pass along to tenants. You might consider including some of them in a flyer, on a handout or on your storage facility’s website or social media pages.
1. The Importance of Quality Moving Supplies
Do you see tenants carrying their belongings in garbage bags and used produce boxes from the local grocery store? Pass on some advice about what a difference the right boxes can make. Quality moving supplies are sturdier and can be fitted to fragile items like a flat screen TV. If your storage facility sells moving supplies, be sure to let customers know.
2. Avoid Packing Boxes Too Heavy
Show your tenants that you care about their safety by providing carts for them to haul items to and from their storage units. Additionally, you might consider posting information about proper lifting methods along with a warning to avoid packing boxes too heavy. Packing boxes lighter not only is easier on the body, it prevents breakage.
3. The Availability of Moving Truck Rentals
Many people assume that renting a moving truck is expensive or not worth it. If your storage facility rents moving trucks or you can refer your customers to a moving truck rental service that you trust, provide them with a little information about rates and availability.
4. Resources for Donating and Recycling
This piece of advice will help your customers and you. It’ll help your customers out by offering them options for their unwanted clutter, and it’ll help you out by giving them a reason to not leave items behind or in your storage facility’s dumpster. Have a printed list available of places that accept donations and recyclables along with what they accept and how to contact them. You may even want to partner with a charity and accept donations on site.
5. Tips for Moving During Extreme Heat and Cold
Moving during the summer months is expensive (and hot) and moving during the winter can be just plain bleak, so make things easier for your tenants by offering advice on how to move during these unpleasant times. Offer information about heat exhaustion and let customers know that your office is stocked with water bottles to keep them hydrated. During the winter, give them information about your facility's plans for snow removal and offer hot beverages like coffee, tea or cocoa in your office.
6. How to Keep an Inventory
Self storage can play an integral role in making moving easier. Your tenants likely know this, but they might not know that they can make things even easier on themselves by creating an inventory of what’s in storage. You can offer information on how to do this and you can even offer templates to make it easier.
7. Creating Aisles in a Storage Unit
A lot of tenants will come to your storage facility, rent a unit and dump their extra stuff inside with no rhyme or reason. This technique sure makes things easier when it comes to moving in, but it makes life a lot harder when it’s time to retrieve an item or move out. Mention how helpful it can be to create aisles in a storage unit and your tenants will appreciate the advice.
8. Self Storage and Moving Insurance
Perhaps your storage facility requires tenants to get storage insurance. Maybe you don’t require it, but you offer it. Customers can be skeptical of insurance options offered by storage facilities and moving companies. Without sounding like a salesman, offer straightforward information about what these types of insurance cover, how much they cost and how to figure out if they’re necessary.
9. How to Store Important Items
We’re not suggesting you ask your tenants specific details about what they’re storing (that would be creepy), but you should be prepared to give them advice about storing specific items if they ask. Those newlyweds might be grateful for tips on storing wedding stuff and your college renters might appreciate advice on storing items that don't fit in a dorm. Think about the type of renters that your storage facility attracts, what they might be storing and how you can help them store it correctly.
10. How Self Storage Makes Moving Easier
Let your tenants know of the many, many ways that your storage facility can make their move a painless one. Do you offer extended hours on certain days or even 24-hour access? Do you rent moving trucks? Sell moving supplies? Do you offer portable storage? Even the little things, like a month-to-month lease, can make someone with who is in the process of selling a home or buying a new one feel better about their move and as a result, feel better about giving you their business.