By CJ Steen
Truck rentals are among the most complementary add-on products to the self-storage industry and an excellent source of ancillary income. Nearly everyone who moves into a facility does so by using a truck in some fashion. Although most self-storage operators offer tenants free use of a facility moving truck, there are additional ways to capitalize on this existing service and generate more revenue.
There are several truck-rental programs available, each offering different options and styles to fit a facility's needs. There are two primary programs in the self-storage industry: one-way moves or local moves. One-way moves are offered to customers who are moving a distance. In this case, the vehicle doesn’t need to be returned to the original destination. Operators who offer this type of service receive a commission on each rental.
Local moves can be even be more lucrative since the truck is designated to a facility and allows the operator to brand his business on the vehicle itself. This is a creative marketing tool to rent more units. Local trucks are often rented to the customer for free in lieu of giving away free rent, creating a better net operating income and maximizing facility value.
Regardless of which program you choose, here are several strategies you can use to enhance your truck-rental program and generate more revenue.
The Extra Charges
Offering free use of the facility’s truck doesn’t mean there isn’t any ancillary income to be made. One way to garner profit from a truck rental is by charging for mileage and fuel. For most tenants, this will be nominal and far less than renting from an outside source. Operators can also rent to customers who are not tenants and tenants who are moving out of the facility.
Another way to add more dollars to a sale is by limiting how much time a tenant can use a truck. Free use can easily be determined by the size of the unit rented. For example, a tenant renting a 5-by-10 unit should be limited to two free hours, but a bigger unit might warrant three or four hours. If more time is needed, tenants can be charged by the hour.
A Branding Opportunity
Facilities offering truck rental can also maximize their return on investment through marketing, implementing a loyalty card and soliciting other businesses.