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Reaching and Serving Boat/RV-Storage Customers

Ed and Terri Heil Comments
Continued from page 1

Work With Local Businesses

This is a wonderful way to institute great marketing programs you normally couldn’t afford. There’s a business in our town that has a popular coupon book. We wanted to do something similar, but we didn’t have the budget. Instead, we created a “Welcome Package” for new tenants that includes brochures from local businesses, a calendar of town events, a list of local restaurants, etc. We regularly visit businesses in town and ask if they want to advertise in the package. They love our program because we don’t charge them! We simply ask them to provide fliers.

Our cost for the project is minimal, and taking the time to meet with business owners face to face allows us to share what our facility offers. We put a few of our referral cards into a coffee cup with our logo on it. We leave this with the business, and they let everyone in their office participate.

Ask the Golden Question

To know your marketing successes, you need to know how customers found out about you. We have software that aggregates this information, but even if your software doesn’t do this, you can still track your marketing. As part of our new-hire training, we drill into every employee the importance of asking, “How did you hear about us?” They have a log in which they record the responses. This way we know which marketing programs are working for us, even if a person doesn’t choose to rent from us. 

Adjust Your Rates

If you know your competition, you can adjust your rates accordingly. When we first opened, we raised our rate on a space size once that inventory was full, regardless of what was happening in the market. Now, our managers go out every six months and check the competition. Last season, with gas prices soaring, we discovered that a few of our spaces were over priced. We adjusted the rate and stopped losing customers.

There are creative ways to adjust pricing. This season, we’re telling potential tenants that if they pay six months in advance, we’ll lock in their rate. We’re also giving a small discount if they rent more than one space.

Security for boat and RV storage should be top-notch. Boats can cost $100,000 or more, while large RVs can clock in at several hundred thousand dollars. We use high-tech security at our facility. It not only helps protect customers’ goods, it’s a great draw for prospective tenants.

Most boat and RV tenants desire 24/7 access to their vehicles, so while security should be stringent, the facility should also be accessible. At our site, gate entry requires a personal code and a fingerprint using biometric technology. All spaces have door alarms and a fire-sprinkler system. In addition, we provide an emergency phone number tenants can call if they have a problem, and they know we conduct a morning and afternoon security check.

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