Attracting Self-Storage Tenants Via Mobile Devices
Copyright 2014 by Virgo Publishing.
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Posted on: 07/20/2012



 

An article on Mashable, which follows technology trends, recently reported 85 percent of the world’s population now has access to a mobile phone with voice and text capabilities. By 2017, the same number of people will be able to access the Internet from their mobile devices, according to a new report from Ericsson, a provider of telecommunications equipment and services.

We already know there’s been a huge shift in how potential renters look for a self-storage facility. They’re certainly not pouring through the Yellow Pages. And while proximity still plays a vital role in choosing a facility, the majority of today’s customers are using the Web to find and compare self-storage facilities. This comes in many forms, from online searches on a desktop or laptop, to tablets and smartphones. Operators who don’t have a user-friendly website will suffer. In addition, operators who don’t build a mobile-friendly website may also find themselves struggling to compete.

Let’s face it, smartphones and tablets are not simply for updating your Facebook status. With today’s faster Internet connections and more robust features, users are turning to their mobile devices as a quick way to interact, seek information and even be entertained.

Unfortunately, creating a mobile-friendly website cannot be done with a few simple mouse clicks. Much like when you created your facility’s website, you may need to turn to a professional to ensure it’s done right. Mobile users are a finicky lot. If download times are long, or the website isn’t easy to navigate, you can bet they’ll move on. Here are two great articles on the topic from the ISS archives.

Fortunately, there are several companies in the self-storage industry who can help you create a superb mobile website. You can find them in the ISS Buyer’s Guide under Online Marketing Services.  ISS also has dozens of news items on the topic. Simply type “Mobile Website” into the search engine at the top of the page. You’ll find there are already several self-storage operators employing mobile websites.

You can also read what other operators have to say on the topic on this Self-Storage Talk thread.

For years, self-storage operators have relied on location and their Yellow Pages ad to attract new tenants. But times have changed and so should your marketing. If you’re not thinking ahead, you’ll be left behind. Talk to other operators and find out what they’re doing. Talk to some vendors and see what they have to offer. While I understand budgets are still tight, adding a mobile website is truly in your business’s best interest. As one SST member said, “Mobile is happening right now. Every business needs to get up to speed, fast.”