If there's one place technology has changed forever it’s marketing. If you're using a marketing approach or strategy that's giving you a solid return on investment, no matter what it is, you should continue using it. Numbers speak for themselves, and in marketing, they're everything. A favorite saying from one self-storage owner I know is, “In God we trust; everyone else must bring numbers.” Self-storage facilities are in business to increase revenue, so track everything.
In today’s society, a website is required, including one that displays well on a mobile device. There are plenty of people in our industry who can help you with website design and search engine optimization if you need it.
It's also time to learn and use social media. Start with Facebook, then work your way from there.
Video is also a great tool. You can use it to capture customer testimonials or even to create “welcome” and “thank you” messages for renters. These recordings can be easily uploaded to YouTube and linked to your facility website. There are few marketing approaches that are more convincing than video of current customers telling everyone how much they love your business.
There are so many ways technology is changing our lives, it’s hard to cover them all in a single article. The best thing to do is experiment. Find your problem areas and research the solutions. It might be a device or a piece of software that solves your issue. Also ask other self-storage operators what they’re using at their facilities. Don’t be shy—if you have a question just ask someone. The most important thing is having the confidence to try something new.
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. He’s also president of 3 Mile Domination, a full-service self-storage marketing and strategy firm. For more information, visit www.3miledomination.com, where you can download the company’s free e-book.