Do you want your self storage facility to be just another local business, or do you want it to have a positive reputation in your local community? With community involvement, you can make your facility stand out, bringing in more customers, and making your work life more enjoyable.
First, consider how you can help others in need in your community. Doing just this will make you a good corporate citizen. Some ideas to help kids include becoming a Toys for Tots drop-off point, sponsoring a Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts meet up, or allowing schools to take field trips to your facility to learn more about the self storage business. You can help the homeless by donating money to local shelters, holding a canned food drive and donating to food banks, and by offering discounts on storage space to the homeless, making it easier for them to at least keep many of their possessions while living in a shelter and looking for a permanent place to live. Help families by sponsoring local children’s and teen’s sports teams, music programs, and museums.
A great program to participate in is Charity Storage. You can designate several of your empty units as storage for useful household and other items that people drop off. Later, those units go on auction, and the money from the sale then goes to a variety of charities.
Match Your Neighborhood
Many neighborhoods have a certain look which may be unique to that area. One problem with many self storage facilities is that visually, they don’t fit in. With their blocky buildings, high fences, and bright colors, they sometimes stand out in a less than desirable way. Why not do your best to match your facility to the community? This could mean having murals on your large walls or simply matching the neighborhood color palate. Or, it might mean adding local trees and bushes around the perimeter. People will notice the change and this should engender positive feelings from the locals.
Encourage Local Shopping
Does your area have a merchant’s association? If so, check it out and consider joining it. You can create a local business community that supports the area by encouraging customers to shop locally. You might recommend the nearby hardware store to people looking to make home improvements, and the hardware store might recommend your facility for those who have extra possessions to store. This keeps money, including tax dollars, in the local community. The businesses make more and can hire more workers, and that helps everyone involved.
While some areas have recycling everywhere, others simply don’t get how important it is. You can help influence your community and do something good for the environment by becoming a recycling drop-off point. Sure, you might not be able to take in as much as recycling companies, but you can help. Consider working with a local recycler and hosting several large bins outside your gate, near the office. You may have one for cans, one for papers and cardboard, and one for plastic. Keep the area clean. When people see that you’re environmentally aware, this can increase their goodwill toward your facility.
Offer free or heavily discounted storage units to local non-profit businesses. You don’t have to offer them huge units. A non-profit would probably be happy with a 5x5 or 5x10 unit. In turn, that company will likely mention you to others looking for a self storage unit.
Your community is your facility’s home. If you’re a resident manager, it may literally be your home as well! So fit in, become involved, and let your community spirit shine.