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August 2nd, 2013

Memo From Frank & Dave

We recently completed some conduit loans re-financings, and it’s amazing how productive you can be when you are trying to get a big deal closed and racing the clock to do so. You get an intensity level that is similar to someone in combat – a life or death feeling sets in that makes you perform at the highest level, whether it’s negotiating some deal point or producing the necessary reports. It’s a shame that we can’t all bottle up that intensity and use it every day of the week. J. Paul Getty, the billionaire industrialist, once said that the best thing that can happen to a business is to have a major, terrifying problem, to help remind people how to work hard and stay focused. Let’s hope that this lesson won’t be lost on the U.S. government during this recession.

Marketing Your Facility Online

It’s time to face the facts: Businesses are moving to the Web, not just for marketing but also for the day-to-day operations. With consumers using search engines more than ever having an online presence can push your business to the top.

The days where you could reach 90% occupancy with a full page ad in Yellow Pages is nearly gone. While self-storage is not a very high tech business, the world is turning away from paper and to the internet. People want to get instant answer to their questions and paper ads aren’t cutting it any more. You can start simple, just getting your facility listed on Google Places and Yelp, with a correct phone number can help bring in tenants. Take control of your business’s online presence, knowing the owner has taken the time to update the page can make all the difference.

Consider having a simple website, where people can access important information like pricing and size of containers. Have an option to reserve a unit online, and integrate features like online billing. Consumers like content, be sure to have some writing whether it is a blog or an article section on your website. Utilize a designer and make sure your website works on mobile devices and tablets, as well. Take advantage of the free social media, nearly every person has at least one profile. You can also link your website page to each of your profile pages. Get creative; your profile page doesn’t have to be boring just because it’s a business. Post helpful tips, funny office musings, have great giveaways, and of course keep everyone up to date. Keep it short; your posts don’t need to be half a page long. Remember to keep it “real”, you want to come off as a person not a robot. Be proactive with your website and social media it’s not going to work unless you do.

Internet marketing makes price shopping easier for the customer. The ease of price shopping can benefit you by making it that much easier to compete. Continue to make your facility appealing, show tenants why they should choose you.

Today’s approach to marketing infused with social media leans heavily on the 4 C’s of marketing. Content+Context+Connection+Community= Social Media Marketing. The internet has leveled the playing field between large and small businesses. While you may not have a 50 person marketing team, being human and relatable through social media, as well as having easy to use website can bring in as many tenants as the big guys. Start out simple and continue to actively participate in your marketing plan.

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