Renovation is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as the act of restoration to life, vigor or activity. This definition is particularly relevant as it applies to the current state of the self-storage industry. Operators of older facilities must ask themselves: How can we compete with newer sites? The fact is an older facility can benefit greatly from a makeover of its appearance and operational procedures.
Unlike in the early days of self-storage, customers today have more choices. As first-generation facilities—those built in the ’70s and ’80s—begin to show wear and modern feature-laden facilities come online to compete, an increasingly large number of owners are considering renovation. While older facilities function well, they are not maximizing their potential to effectively compete for market share.
What factors should you consider when deciding on improvements for your site? Which renovations have the most potential to better your bottom line? To answer these questions, start with the customer in mind.
The Customer’s Choice
Customers need to know that you intend to give them quality service, and their decision to store with you will be the right one. Your goal should be to enhance the perceived value of your facility through changes your customer will clearly see and relate to positively.
The key to consumer choice and satisfaction is perception as to levels of security and convenience at a self-storage location. In addition, storage owners have long known about the importance of visibility and curb appeal as means to attract customers. Curb appeal is critical to creating a good first impression. Our mind associates businesses that appear well cared for with an expectation that we also will be well cared for. The opposite also stands true: a poorly maintained business sends a bad impression.
The self-storage customer is often in a state of transition or just downright tired from the strain of moving. A soothing, comfortable office environment will help him feel more at ease, enabling him to make the decision to store at your facility. The office should be inviting, clean and professional. Some of the most cost-effective means to create the right ambiance are as simple as a new coat of paint, improved lighting or a fresh welcome mat.
In this renovation, two single-story buildings were surrounded with new insulated walls and roof to create a climate-controlled building.