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Attracting Self-Storage Tenants by Connecting With Community

Linnea Appleby Comments
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Get to Know Your Customers

To turn visitors into tenants, you need to collect data. Ask event attendees to sign in, register or provide contact information. This will help you develop a database for a mailing list, auction bidders, etc. Having a drawing for door prizes is a fun way to collect that information. Be prepared with brochures, coupons or other materials about the facility.

You don’t need to host a community event at your facility to get involved, either. If your facility doesn’t have room for a large number of guests at one time, consider other opportunities, such as sponsoring a local sports league. Often the team will add your facility’s logo to team shirts or banners. Or offer to buy the team pizzas and sodas after a game.

Gene Wise, manager at Shepherd Self Storage, recently manned a table at an Air Force base open house, which had more than 36,000 attendees. Wise had plenty of coupons and facility brochures on hand.

How about sponsoring breakfast or refreshments for a networking club, a realtor meeting, rotary club or other community organization? Few will refuse your coupons and brochures when a box of Krispy Kreme donuts is in the balance.

Where can you participate in community events set up by someone else? Do you have a truck with your logo and website that can be used to deliver or pick up items for an event, or deliver food to the homeless during the holidays? These types of special events are still “BIP,” you just won’t be able to quantify it as well.

Becoming an integral and evident part of your local community is a great way to enhance business and BIP within your local target market area. When putting your marketing plan together this year, look for opportunities to get involved in your community.

Making quality relationships with your business neighbors, family neighbors and other community members goes a long way toward establishing your self-storage business as a key player in the community. And those relationships will last as long as your facility does.

Linnea Appleby is president of PDQ Management Solutions Inc. in Sarasota, Fla. The company provides full-service storage facility management, consulting, new facility startup services, auditing, management training and more. For more information, call 941.377.3151; visit

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