There are also a number of low- or no-cost marketing approaches you can use on site:
Baked goods and other treats. It may sound silly, but the smell of freshly baked cookies can be an enticement. Tenants love the gesture, and the cost is minimal. Of course, cookies aren’t the primary reason tenants rent with you, but they do make a memorable impression. Also consider having a candy bowl in the front office. You can even have a separate bowl for sugar-free treats.
Make a great impression with Mom and Dad by handing out small gifts to children. Consider coloring books, Frisbees or other low-cost items. Always ask the parents before mentioning the gift.
Cold bottled water. With your facility logo or without, bottled water is a great customer-service piece. You can offer them to prospective tenants, or pass them out to current ones on a hot day. It also gives you a chance to see what tenants are storing without appearing intrusive.
Onsite tools. Some facilities keep a few basic tools in the office to loan to tenants in case of an emergency. A battery charger, screwdriver and other tools are a minimal expense and a great convenience to your tenants. Be sure to write your facility name in bold letters with permanent marker. If you have to frequently replace these items, it can become costly.
Regardless of which marketing programs you implement, the most important factor is to track your results. Always ask prospective tenants, “How did you find out about us?” If you don’t ask, you won’t know which marketing strategies are working—and which are failing. If your management software doesn’t allow you to aggregate this information, record it on a spread sheet. Regularly review what’s working and capitalize on those marketing programs to draw tenants and increase your facility’s revenue.
Terri Heil is the business development manager and Ed Heil is the manager of operations and security at Lake Havasu RV & Boat Storage of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. They belong to the Arizona Self Storage Association and national Self Storage Association. For more information, call 928.764.1961; visit www.lakehavasustorage.com.