Self storage is a huge industry. If you’re lucky, you run a facility in an area where there isn’t a lot of competition. If so, you probably don’t have much difficulty getting new customers. However, many markets are oversaturated. If you run a facility in an area with many self storage options, you face a lot of competition.
Here are ideas on how to stand out from the rest and attract more customers.
Today, getting the word out about your facility is all about your online presence. That means having an active social media presence, a website, great reviews, and more.
We recommend having a Facebook page for your business. Post to it regularly, ideally once or twice daily. Posts can include links to interesting articles about self storage that you think your customers and the public at large will find helpful. Also, share news about your facility. Did you just add a new service? Write a post about it. Focus on language that’s conversational rather than advertorial.
Something like this would work well: “We’re excited to announce that we’ve just added wine storage. These air-tight, climate controlled units are perfect for protecting your best wine.”
Finally, engage with the public. When someone comments on one of your posts, respond appropriately, with help or thanks.
Your website should serve three main functions. Potential customers should be able to learn about your facility and get a positive impression of it. They should then be able to rent or reserve a unit from the site. Existing tenants should be able to pay their rent and even be able to arrange to move to a larger or smaller unit, depending on their needs.
Monitor your reviews, particularly on Google and Yelp. There’s an art to responding to positive and negative reviews, Above all, stay professional.
Be sure that your website is mobile optimized as many of your potential tenants will be looking for self storage with their smartphones. You may also want to include the ability to purchase moving supplies that customers can then pick-up at the site.
Finally, hire a search engine optimization (SEO) expert to fine-tune your website. The idea here is to get your facility as close to the top of search engine results as possible. Ideally, you want people in your area to look up “storage” and to find your website first.
Security and Services
Two of the most attractive lures for self storage customers are high-level security and services they need. Great security means a tall, gated concrete or stone wall around the property, gated access with individual security codes, an alarm system, good lighting, a monitored camera system, and perhaps one or two security guards. If you want to take it a step further, have each unit individually alarmed.
Offer helpful services or have options that most other facilities lack. This might include the aforementioned wine storage, or free, two-day use of the facility moving truck for new move-ins. It might include things that make your facility feel welcoming, like coffee and soft cookies in the office, loyalty rewards, and thank you cards.
Make sure that tenants, new and old, can take care of all their storage needs right there, at your facility. They shouldn’t have to get old boxes from friends, but should be able to buy strong, affordable boxes, and all their storage supplies, in your facility store.
There’s a reason why Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and the rest of the Disney parks feel a cut above all other theme parks. Well, there are several reasons, but one is cleanliness and upkeep. Walk around Disneyland, and you’ll notice that it’s tough to spot a scrap of garbage anywhere. The buildings all look like they’ve been recently painted.
Nothing quite turns customers away like a grungy environment. So, keep your office, and the inside and outside of your facility grounds clean. Around the office, keep the lawn mowed and the greenery trimmed. Get dented doors and cracks in walls fixed immediately. Clean the outer wall, gate, and building walls. Vacuum and dust in the office. These steps will go a long way toward making customers feel welcome.
Train your employees well, and hire people with previous customer service experience. You want your facility to have friendly faces. That’s a cliche for good reason! Customers may get upset, even angry, but your employees need to exercise patience and do their best to resolve customer issues.
If your employees remember individual customers by name, all the better! It’s important for your tenants to have a sense of a personal relationship with your facility.
In short, make your facility stand out through excellence. Make it easy to find online, offer helpful amenities and perks, and treat your customers well.