By Tiana Bodine
Considering the rising popularity of self-storage auctions, it's hardly surprising that technology is offering new ways of bringing units and bidders together. Online storage auctions are quickly gaining traction due to their convenience, offering benefits to facility operators and sale bidders alike. By understanding how these auctions work and why they can be equally if not more effective than traditional auctions, you can gain insight into the future of the industry.
Until recently, online self-storage auctions were not feasible, for several reasons. First, many state lien laws required auctions to be held at the facility or a reasonably near public place. Additionally, there wasn’t enough virtual infrastructure to truly promote these auctions and secure bidders.
However, all of that has changed. New auction goers are more tech-savvy than ever, and they're already accustomed to spending time online searching for auctions and researching units. By placing real units for sale within their grasp, a storage operator can pique buyer interest and secure more thoughtful bids. This is one reason virtual storage auctions can earn as much as twice that of traditional onsite sales.
Online storage auctions are cost-effective, making them a great choice for bidders. Serious buyers no longer need to waste time and gas traveling to multiple locations in a day. Instead, they can bid from the comfort of home or while attending to their own businesses, which maximizes their efficiency. They also have more time to research units and budget their bids. Overall, serious resellers can benefit tremendously by taking advantage of online auctions.
Self-storage operators can also benefit from these auctions. The presence of large crowds causes logistical nightmares for many facility managers, from problems with parking to the increase in liability risks. By trimming the number of people visiting the storage facility while keeping the earnings from auctions high, virtual storage auctions present an ideal solution.
In regard to lien requirements that auctions must happen “at the storage facility or a reasonably near public place,” storage operators can begin running their auctions concurrently onsite and online. Once the units are listed online, they only need to mention the URL of the auction service they’re using in the legal notice. This encourages bidders to search for it online first and make their initial bids.
When the traditional auction starts, the bids gathered online can be the starting bids offered. As local auction-goers in the area become savvy to this technique, they’ll focus more attention on the Internet, which allows self-storage operators to earn the highest possible bid without an overwhelming crowd at the facility.
Tiana Bodine is a freelance writer with experience in a number of industries. She recently assisted TCL Media Group, a developer of websites focused on self-storage auctions, in launching its newest website and free auction-listing service, VirtualStorageAuction.com. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .