Adding a truck or two to your self storage business can help in numerous ways. First, think of it like you would about selling storage materials like boxes and bubble wrap. Having those makes using your facility more convenient for tenants, and having a truck they can use to bring their things to storage does the same. Going to another business to rent a truck after acquiring a unit can feel like a huge chore, and by renting trucks directly to your new tenants, you can make their lives much easier.
How do you add truck rental to your self storage business? First, let’s look at the advantages.
Advantages of Truck Rental
As mentioned, adding truck rentals to your self storage business is something your tenants will appreciate, because it will make renting from you much more convenient.
It can also add to your revenue. First, there’s the flat rental fee. Anyone who drives under a certain number of miles, usually around 50 or 100, and returns the vehicle on time, with a full tank, clean, and with no new exterior damage, will pay that fee only.
You can charge a flat amount per mile after the mile limit, per hour after the due time, charge a fueling charge if the tank isn’t full on return, and a cleaning fee if the interior is dirty.
On top of that, while tenants are using the truck to move into or out of a unit, they’re advertising your facility all over town. The sides of your truck should have a great company logo, your company name, and contact information. This can generate hundreds or thousands of impressions per day.
Adding Truck Rental
Adding this new aspect to your storage business isn’t as tough as you might think. You need just a few things.
A Truck: Get a good moving truck. Depending on the your parking lot space, you may want to get two, or start with one, and expand. That way, more than one customer at a time can move in using one of your trucks.
Rental Insurance: Acquire insurance on the truck that allows you to rent it to customers. Find out if you’ll need to charge them for added insurance as well, though often their car insurance will cover car and truck rentals as well.
A Fantastic Logo: If you don’t already have a compelling logo for your facility, hire a graphic designer to create one. A great logo doesn’t have to be fancy. Often simple and bold is best. Create a top-notch advertisement, using your company logo, for the sides and back of your truck.
Acquire Rental Forms: The rental forms you use for your moving truck will be specific to your state. This might also include state-specific vehicle rental software.
Alternately, you may want to partner with an existing truck rental company. You’ll have one or two of their trucks on your lot, and will receive a commission from the company for each rental. This could be a good way to start. Later, if you wish, you can end that contract and get your own truck.
Finally, you’ll need to train your employees on how to rent out the trucks. This will include understanding the forms, checking the mileage and fuel level, checking the truck for dings and scrapes before the customer drives off, and so on.
Renting to Non-Tenants
Will you rent your truck to non-tenants? This brings up an interesting question. Is your business primarily self storage, or truck rental? I think we know the answer. You may be tempted to rent out to non-tenants, but that will only disappoint people actually renting units from you, in other words, your best customers. We recommend making it a rule that truck rentals are for tenants—whether moving in or out—only.
Adding truck rentals to your facility will create an adjustment period, but the advantages are usually worth it.