Gary Halbert, the guru of marketing and copywriting, taught me many lessons over the years. In this article, I’m going to teach you the most profitable one, and show how it increases profit and occupancy immediately. It only works if you follow the steps.
Imagine for a moment that you and a friend both decide to open a new self-storage facility. And being the competitive friends that you are, you bet on who can first achieve 90 percent physical occupancy.
As you’re planning your new site, you really get into this bet and want to knock the socks off your friend. You begin by making a list of items that will surely win you the crown. What goes on it?
When I present self-storage operators with this imaginary scenario, I usually hear the following answers:
- Good property location with high traffic counts
- State-of-the-art construction and design
- Top-notch security features
- Attractive office features such as granite countertops, computers, snack stations, 24-hour kiosks, etc.
- A nice, fully functional website
- Experienced and trustworthy managers
All are good responses, but a major item is missing that will make or break any self-storage business. Curious? The one thing you should strive most for is …
A Starving Crowd
In other words, you need people hungry to keep their home or office organized, who are starving for cleanliness or extra space in their lives and are willing to pay a fair price for it.
Yes, I know this principle is disarmingly simple. In fact, you’re probably disappointed I just revealed something so boring and obvious. The truth is, though, while most operators consider this knowledge common sense, very few actually use the starving-crowd principle in their marketing efforts. The basics of the principle are:
- Identify starving crowds.
- Find access to them.
- Communicate your message in such a way that they’d feel foolish to use anybody but you to meet their needs/wants.