Self-storage serves many roles for many customers. And, assuming that these customers all come from similar positions to need storage, it might be a good marketing plan to work backwards and match the key drivers for demand to ways to reach these distinct groups. So what are the top reasons for storage demand and how can you market to them?
Storing business inventory and records
Many businesses look to self-storage as their warehouse for both products and documents. In this capacity it is far less expensive than archive retrieval services or standard warehousing options. It also gives them month-to-month flexibility as opposed to a long-term lease. Obviously, this means that, from a marketing perspective, you should always target the businesses within a reasonable radius of your storage facility with some form of marketing effort. Even one such customer – assuming a lengthy relationship – is worth the effort.
Storing RVs, boats and cars
One strong user of self-storage are those that have RV’s, boats and cars that they can’t fit at home, or need a more secure home for. Since this makes logical sense, how can you reach these customers? One idea would be to talk to the local RV and boat dealers and offer their customer a special rate to utilize your storage. Another would be to cut similar deals with those that repair boats and RVs
Dislocation from relationship or job reasons
America is in a state of flux and many people are dealing with a great amount of dislocation and instability. This has created an environment in which self-storage is their “go to” safeguard to store their belongings when they are not in a stable environment. This is a hard group to market to as there’s no defined advertising medium to reach this wide a topic, so not can be done to market to these individuals.
Now here’s a group you can market to – people who are in the process of moving out their stuff in order to allow for their home to be fully remodeled. The group to reach out to are home contractors. Cut them deals to promote and educate your storage facility to their customers with special rates. Since many of these home renovations can last for months, it’s well worth the effort to pursue these customers.
Moving to a new home
As separate from the above group, these consumers are tending to downsize and store their furniture and other items for the long-haul because they no longer fit into smaller quarters. With roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring per day in the U.S. and many therefore downsizing, this is a large and important market. This means you should send a promotional piece on your storage facility to every home listing that goes on the market in the proximity to your property. You can also advise local realtors of your desire to pay them a commission for promoting your facility to home sellers (and buyers).
Adding to home storage capability
Americans are huge consumers. We are all mass-buyers of goods. And our homes can’t always hold our horde of purchases – or we choose them not to so that we have room to live. As a result, you should always view all home and apartment dwellers as a hot market for your storage facility. This doesn’t require any marketing other than your sign and internet presence, as it would cost a fortune to directly reach this market using other channels – there’s not targeted niche.
And speaking of the internet…
In all of the above cases, it’s vital that you do everything to be easily found when the customer is searching your out. And, of course, the most important of these is having a strong internet presence. You should immediately come up on any Google search of “self-storage in ____” and then show great customer reviews on social media and a strong website. Just as you can look at your marketing efforts as “outgoing” there is just as much or more activity from “incoming” leads. In addition to the internet – which is clearly the #1 marketing tool – having a good sign and street visibility is also key.
While you can sit and wait for the phone to ring or customer to walk in, smart storage owners put on an equally strong “outreach” program to reach potential customers. This list will get you started on the right foot.