Let’s look at 8 ways to build & promote your self storage business and get the type of occupancy rate that you need in this competitive space.
Customers both existing and potential, interact with us in a number of ways – online, on the phone and in-person. Each method has pro’s and con’s, but regardless – you have seconds to make a good impression…
- Online, the website needs to look good and load quickly… and that’s after they’ve found you online. If they can’t find your website (because it doesn’t rank well in Google search results), then you’ve got bigger problems to address.
- On the phone, your staff need to speak clearly and speak well – they should be easy to understand & happy to help answer questions. Your on-hold music needs to suit the business & it’s always good to provide some additional benefit to the caller via an occasional message – such as a special offer that they may only get through listening to said on-hold messages.
- In-person, the facility needs to look good and stand out from the crowd. As I said in another post on this topic, if your concrete driveways are covered in dirt and weeds, your walls are spray-painted with graffiti… would you want to store your goods there? More importantly the person who serves your customers is responsible for the “storage relationship”. This embodies the trust that should the self storage customer leave their belongings at the site then this staff member will look after them.
Understanding the impression we make is great, but our customers need to find us first – which is why we advertise… and when it comes to advertising, you have two major types; that which you have direct control over, and that which you don’t. An example of each is as follows; a letterbox drop is something you have control over.
You’d likely be involved in the design process, the layout and the distribution. The experience that someone has with you (or, in other words, the “impression we make in their minds”) is under your control as well. However something you don’t have much control over is what happens after that point in time. If the customer has a negative impression of you after a bad experience, there’s only so much you can do to stop them from “advertising” that fact to their friends and family.
So, in essence, you need to try your best to stop an experience from souring in the first place. Let’s look at some of the things you can do to gather regular feedback from customers, improve the experience they have with you and – most importantly – get them to do your marketing for you!
1. Collect statistics and use these to your advantage
Statistics are great because numbers help you prove points… so why not collect some statistics about your company? Firstly, let’s look at customers… how many customers have you had store with you since you opened? This makes for a great little stat.
If you’ve used Storman since you opened (or thereabouts), you can pop into the Custom Designed Reports area (from the “Reports” menu), jump to the Customers table and you’ll be able to see the total number of records (eg: “X of 15,000 records”) displayed in the title-bar of the window.
How many customers have you had store with you since you opened? This makes for a great little stat you can use in your marketing material…
This number is the total number of customers you’ve likely had store with you since the start of record-keeping in Storman. Throw in the year of incorporation and you’ve got yourself a winning headline: “Serving over 7,500 customers since 1995!”.
You could also look at the total area (in square meters) – or cubic capacity, or space at your facility and use that as a statistic. For example, “Offering over 3,500 cubic meters of space for your possessions!”. I’m sure you can think of others, too! The same thing goes if you have won any awards, support any local community groups and so on… use these statistics and this information on your website, your Google+ business page, your brochure – and in your quote cover letter (more on that in the next section).
2. Add your stand-out reasons to your quote cover-letter
Speaking of advertising your statistics, have you looked at your quote cover-letter (or cover-email) recently? Most first-time users of self storage have no idea that storage can be different. In fact, most will simply compare based purely on price. However, if you know your facility is more expensive (and, by the way, you should also always know where your facility compares with your competition) then you’ll need to come up with some valid reasons as to why yours is worth the extra cost.
Your facility may have better security, it may have regular pest inspections, better facilities (ie. copy & fax services, tea / coffee, free WiFi etc) and so on.
To most, these advantages are worth the additional fee… but if you don’t mention these benefits to the customer, then they’ll likely just ask for the price & you’ll never hear from them again.
So going back to your quote cover-letter (or cover-email), make sure you list 7 – 15 of your “killer features” (as we call them) as bullet-points somewhere near the start of your document.
If you don’t email quotes, then train your staff to weave some of them into their sales calls when they chat to potential clients. That way you get a chance to educate the caller that storage is not the same everywhere and that these are the reasons your company should be their first choice.
3. Keep your brand top-of-mind
Storman gives you the power to automatically contact your customers X days after they have moved in… so why not take advantage of this?
- Send an SMS to their phone 1 day after move in, asking if everything went okay.
- Send them an email a month later reminding them about your refer-a-friend program.
- Email them a few months later with a short survey (see below) to see how everything is going.
It’s all about keeping your brand-in-mind!
If this sounds complicated & time consuming, remember: once it’s setup it runs itself & Storman does the rest for you – automatically!
Want the rest?
I’ve created a handy eBook with 5 more great tips that you can refer to from time to time. Why not challenge yourself to implement a new idea from the list each week?
Download the free eBook & Email Templates
Using these 8 tips means that you will attract more self storage business and remain at full occupancy for longer – but with the added advantage of having a great referral group to select from for testimonials and/or repeat business. I would suggest implementing these ASAP.
I trust this guide has provided some great ideas & tips for you to use in your business and I hope that you’ll implement some of them soon! Thank you for reading.
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