A good way to enhance your property is improved lighting. Not only does it improve security, it increases the customer's perception of security. This translates into a greater sense of trust.
Beyond security is the nature of the technology you use every day to market your services, manage your business and control your finances. By now, every self-storage operator surely uses a computer as an integral part of his operation. As we move farther into the 21st century, the question is how much more technology are you incorporating?
For example, is your staff still tethered to a desktop in the office when a customer comes to rent space, or have you equipped him with a tablet, allowing new tenants to see actual units at the site while the manager accompanies them with real-time rental information in their hands? Have you incorporated social media such as Facebook into your marketing efforts, or are you still limiting yourself to the Yellow Pages and waiting for the phone to ring? Have you incorporated smartphones into your daily operations to rent space and take payments?
Many of today's younger customers have grown up with the Internet and look at it as the indispensable tool for everyday living. They live with their smartphones and text rather than talk. They expect every merchant they deal with to be up to date with the same technology. Partly, this is a matter of coolness, but it may also makes sense to your daily operation.
One example is the manner in which you accept payments. Of course, you may accept credit or debit cards. But is the payment collected in the office at the desk or through the growing use of more mobile methods such as swiping a card on a smartphone? In the area of marketing, do you allow unit reservations to be made online? For many, especially people coming from a distance, this is a real convenience.
Actually, technology and coolness go hand in hand with a growing concern that younger customers have regarding the environment and the perceived threat of global warming. Going green is in! It can also reduce your operating expenses. For example, installing LED lighting can enhance your "greenness" and reduce your electric bill at the same time. Flat roofs in sunny climates may be candidates for solar panels. Of course, the cost to install certain technologies may be daunting, but you will reap benefits over the long term.
Your knowledge and that of your staff is an important consideration. Do you thoroughly understand your business? Do you understand your community? Do you have a consistent policy of continuing to educate employees? Do you insist they reach out and talk with local residents and businesses to assess their needs? Customers put their faith in you when storing their possessions. This trust implies they feel you know what you’re doing at all times. Knowing your business and the desires of your customers allows you to offer the best service you can.
Ancillary to knowledge is your ability to make it visible to your customer base and as a part of your local marketing campaign. Use the wisdom you’ve gained to become a local expert on all things regarding storage and related businesses, such as moving, records storage and truck rentals. Experts create trust and attract business.