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March 2nd, 2015

Memo From Frank & Dave

A recent study shows that the #1 item found in self-storage units is furniture. What does this mean? It means that the uncertainty in the housing market, coupled with folks downsizing and needing to store their larger items from homes that will no longer fit them, is fueling the enormous increases in occupancy at self-storage units nationwide. If you look at the statistics from years ago, the number one items were documents, papers and seasonal items. So how did the table replace the Christmas tree ornaments? It’s a function of the economic recession that began in 2007. So, effectively, what we’re saying is that self-storage benefits from the same factors that kill off the rest of the U.S. economy. Considering the fact that the decline in the U.S. economy appears to have no end, the self-storage industry is extremely well positioned going forward.

The Theory Behind Successful Outdoor Signage

Public Storage Sign

You cannot replace the marketing muscle of successful signage. When you have great signage, every single car that drives by your property is exposed to a giant salesman that screams your ad message out to them. But if you use faulty design for your signage, then your giant salesman has his voice taken away, and your sales suffer as a result. So how do you make great self-storage signage? It’s easy.

Colors you don’t see in nature

Many people think that red signs are effective. They are. But it’s not because they are red. What makes for an effective sign color is defining the colors that you don’t normally see in nature. Color studies have proven that the human mind seeks out the color opposite to what it sees as the background. The color opposite on the color wheel to green is red. So against a sea of trees, red stands out. Yellow is the color opposite of blue. That’s why so many large chains (McDonalds, Wendy’s, etc.) have red and yellow signs – those stand out against nature’s green and blue. Notice the color of Public Storage – the largest owner in the U.S. It’s an orange sign. The key is to be the reverse of nature.

High contrast

Successful signage must also include contrast of dark and light. You either need light lettering on a dark background or vise-versa. You can never have a successful sign that has a dark color on a dark color or a light color on a light color. Contrast is the key. A color study has shown that the top contrasting colors are white or yellow on black, red, green or blue, or those same colors on a white or yellow background.

Large letters

Before you ever pay to have a sign made, mock it up to scientifically support your guess. You will be amazed at how large the letters have to be in order to be read from the street. Most signs are a failure if the letters are smaller than 18” or so. In the world of lettering, bigger is always better. Again, look at Public Storage’s signs for direction on this.

Few words

When letters are large, that means that words must be few. Simple concept. Don’t put the encyclopedia on your signage. Put “self-storage” on there, but not that you sell tape and boxes, too. When you’re driving down the road, you can’t store that much information. Keep it simple.


Want to increase your occupancy? Then put some thought into your signage. Great signage pays huge dividends, and it costs no more than poor signage. It’s your choice.

Kick Start Your Social Media With These 5 Tips!

Recent studies report 70% of American Adults use some form of social media. As the general population is becoming more Internet centric, it only makes since for self storage owners to follow suit especially when it comes to marketing. The best part of using Social Media is it’s free and is easy to get started. Use the tips below to get a jump-start on your competition.

1: Use Trusted Platforms

Focus on the platforms with the largest user base, search engines place more trust in them. Don’t waste your time with smaller sites; focus your energy on sites such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Yelp.

2: Use Engaging Topics

The distribution of information over social media platforms provides unique opportunities to increase your users and amplify your brand. Say you post a video of a different way to pack your home and that gets 10 “likes” those “likes” in turn share to those 10 peoples network, creating a ripple effect. Your videos reach is increased and your organic impression will grow with every interaction.

3: Track Your Search Presence

Every social media page, article you post, and the amount of people who view those posts will affect your odds of claiming more valuable real estate on the search results. The more links you have to your storage branded page will increase the likelihood of searchers clicking on your page over your competition. Also by tracking your internet presence you can help control your ratings, having negative rating and resolving them is better than letting them fester!

4: Engage!

This is the first step in generating demand. Using branded content on social media with your URL will produce social signals that indicate to search engines you content is both relevant and helpful. Generate content that captivates searchers and you will captivate the search engine!

5: Post Often!

One post will help get your brand out there but to successfully market you need more! It doesn’t have to be everyday, 3 times a week would be just fine. Once you start don’t give up either, it doesn’t look good to see a Facebook page that hasn’t been updated since 2010!

The Internet has become a great tool and resource for storage facilities looking to grow without an expensive ad campaign. Every tweet, post and like can increase your storages brand recognition, simple enough. Get out there and get going!

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