Referral and Alliance Programs
Finally, consider using promotional materials. When planning, use materials that will actually drive customers to your door. Free pens and calendars are nice, but are they actually providing you a constant stream of potential tenants? Two proven strategies are referral and alliance programs.
A typical self-storage facility may receive anywhere from 15 percent to 25 percent of new business from referrals. If you don’t have a referral program, you should implement one immediately.
Second, create an alliance program with existing businesses in your area. Working with other local businesses is extremely important. Examples include apartment and office complexes, real estate agents, restaurants, doctor and dental offices, and lawyers. Have a well-planned program and train the facility manager how to sell it to other businesses. In addition, compose a reward program for the businesses that send you rentals.
The most important aspect of any marketing campaign is tracking it for effectiveness. A facility manager should gather all the information he can from potential and current customers. Consider using tracking numbers on your different marketing campaigns. These typically start at about $10 per month, or $100 per month for an unlimited package.
Along with tracking which marketing pieces are driving potential customers, the system will typically record the calls. Recorded calls are often available through an online portal that allows playback and archiving. Tracking numbers can be an invaluable tool for self-storage operators to determine which marketing campaigns are working, and which ones need reconsideration.
Creating a comprehensive marketing campaign for self-storage is not difficult. It does take time, some creativity and hard work, but the results are higher occupancy and bigger revenue.
Matthew Van Horn is vice president of Cutting Edge Self-Storage Management, a full-service management company specializing in management, feasibility studies, consulting and joint ventures within the self-storage industry. Mr. Van Horn is well-known for finding hidden profit centers in self-storage operations. For a complimentary copy of “Hidden Profit Discovery Session,” send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org . For more information, call 866.970.EDGE or visit www.cuttingedgeselfstorage.com . Follow the company on Twitter at Cuttingedgemgt, and on Facebook at Cutting Edge Self-Storage Management.