Today, one of the biggest elephants in the advertising room is print advertising. Cutting this expense can save you thousands, but how you reinvest these dollars is even more important. Take your website, for example. You have to ask yourself three questions when evaluating your Web presence:
- Can I be found on the first page of Google results by typing in “self storage _____ (your city)," and where do I rank?
- Does my website look up-to-date, and how does it compare to my competitors' websites?
- How much am I spending on my website each month?
These questions must be answered every month because your online marketing strategy should be constantly evolving. Although it may seem expensive upfront, having a competent and creative marketing team that specializes in this area will keep you on track. Your return on marketing dollars will be incredibly higher than using traditional methods, and your cost per move-in will be dramatically less. Stay on top of your online marketing and the phone will ring. This will not only translate to increased occupancy and revenue but a reduction in your advertising expenses.
Another item that can easily be reduced is merchant fees to credit card processors, which can be incredibly costly. One of the easiest ways to cut this expense is to "shop” your account. All a competing merchant servicer needs is a copy of your P&L, which it will review. You'll typically get a one-page evaluation showing your “true savings” if you were to switch processors. This can easily add up to hundreds of dollars in savings each month and cost you nothing to do.
Here are some additional expense-cutting tips:
- Workers' compensation insurance: When was the last time you had your policy reviewed and evaluated by another insurance company?
- Facility hours: Some facilities are ghost towns on certain days like Sundays. Cut hours and offer tenants the ability to pay online, or install a kiosk so people can pay and rent units without the assistance of a manager.
- Yellow Pages: Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut.
- Property insurance: Have your policy reviewed by another insurance company.
- Electric bill: Replace all your exterior lighting with LED lights, and replace interior lighting with energy-efficient bulbs.
- Office equipment: Replace ink-jet printers with a high efficiently and cost-cutting laser printer. Get rid of postage meters and machines.
- Telephone: Switch your standard phone to a cost-saving VOIP phone.
Many self-storage owners overpay on their property taxes. When a property sells, it will typically be re-assessed by the county and the new owner will pay the new tax, but you can save thousands each year by protesting your property value today.