As we head into a new year, it’s always important to reflect on last year & see what worked well for your self storage facility, find out what could have been done better – and try a few new things for the year ahead. Let’s kick off with five easy ways to grow your self storage customer base & save you some valuable time.
1. Switch to Electronic Storage Agreements
Most self storage associations publish electronic versions of their legal agreements, so why not set these up in your self storage management software?
- According to the SSAA, agreements will now be reviewed on an annual basis. Stop wasting printed unused ‘agreement pads’ whenever this happens and switch to electronic agreements instead.
- Using electronic agreements means that you can access your agreements from anywhere – not just when you’re near the filing cabinet
- Agreements, and the data contained within, are far more secure in an encrypted database than in a filing cabinet
- Human errors are greatly reduced, as agreements are electronically generated & printed (no more struggling to read a storers handwriting)
- Good self storage management software, such as Storman, lets you add fantastic website bolt-ons such as Online Move-Ins & Online Reservations – which will automatically create an electronic self storage legal agreement for you (continue reading on to #4 below). Let your storers commit while the buying intent is high!
2. Use SMS to Engage Storers During the Customer Lifecycle
With over 90% of people reading a text message within the first three minutes of receiving it*, it’s clear that SMS is an excellent tool for engaging with your customers. While SMS is an obvious choice for ensuring your invoice reminders & overdue notices don’t get ignored by storers, you can also use it to confirm reservations, welcome storers, send branded how-to videos a week before move-in and so much more.
3. Evaluate Your Business Through Feedback
Asking storers for their honest feedback does two things;
- Lets you find problems with your business or its processes and work towards improving them
- If you’ve done well, it validates your hard work and gives you access to a base of promoters from which to get some fantastic testimonials & referrals
I recently wrote about the importance of collecting & actioning customer feedback, so feel free to click through if you’d like to learn more.
4. Ensure Your Website Works for You 24/7
The office at your storage facility likely opens some time after 8am, and closes sometime around 4pm – but potential storers will generally research ways to fix their storage problem either on their commute to/from work, after dinner or on the weekend. In fact, looking at Google search trend data for the last few months, we can see that the majority of searches for self storage are performed outside of business hours.
If your website can’t help a potential storer with their query – be it find your pricing or reserve a unit online outside of your office hours, then how much business are you losing? Adding these modules to your website is easy and allows your self storage facility to generate business & earn back marketing spend – even when there’s no one in the office. Good self storage management software will give you this website functionality.
5. Take Control of Your Payments
Receipting manual payments, chasing late-paying storers, reconciling accounts… it all takes up valuable time that is better spent selling to new storers. Good management software will include options for integrated payments to help you get paid on time. One such provider is Ezidebit – their integrated, PCI-compliant bank account & credit card direct debit solutions are perfect for recurring self storage payments;
Bonus: How to Find out What Worked Best Last Year
Part of planning the year ahead involves analysing what worked well in years gone by. If you’re tracking marketing data in your self storage management software, it’s as easy as running a report. You’ll find out how people are finding your self storage facility, why they using your business, why they’re leaving, what postcodes they’re in and what type of business they’re in.
All of these statistics can be used to refine your marketing spend and target the right people for self storage; be it through Facebook / Google Ads, a letterbox drop – or by getting in touch with other relevant businesses (removalists, real estate agents, etc) in that area.