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5 Things That Will Help Self-Storage Operators Attract Millennial Consumers

By Krista Diamond Comments

Doesn’t it seem like every business is trying to figure out the magic formula to attract Millennials (people born between 1981 and 2000)? These consumers comprise 27 percent of the population, according to advertising trade publication “Adweek.” From retail to real estate, it’s hard to find a commercial venture that isn’t swept up in the madness.

The self-storage industry is no exception. As the number of facilities and occupancy rates increase, so does competition. In this climate, earning the business of Millennials can be crucial to growing your business. But because these customers are tech-minded and wary of traditional marketing practices, your normally tried-and-true methods of attracting tenants may not work on them. Here are five things that will help you bring them through your door. 

1. Affordability

According to “Forbes” business magazine, 59 percent of Millennials would rather rent a house than buy one. This generation is also more likely to settle down later in life than previous ones. That’s good news for the self-storage industry, as those who rent and move frequently often rely on self-storage. You can capitalize on this trend by making Millennial customers aware of your flexible lease terms and other facility features, such as moving-truck rentals or an onsite retail shop that offers moving supplies.

Most important, perhaps, is this: 61 percent of Millennials say they rent because they can’t afford to buy a home. In fact, many even live with their parents because they’re crippled by student loans and a slow job market. It’s your job to show them how affordable self-storage can be by making them aware of lower priced units, discounts, promotions and anything that makes your facility the most budget-friendly option around town.

2. Authenticity

Millennials are skeptical of ads that seem like ads, so if you want to reach them, you have to practice non-advertising. Confused yet? Don’t worry, it’s actually quite simple. Exhibit authenticity by creating content for your website and social media pages that feels casual and even humorous. Show your personality by putting staff members in company videos rather than professional actors. When giving a Millennial consumer a facility tour, avoid traditional sales pitches in favor of an honest conversation.

Millennials expect good customer service in industries that weren’t previously classified as service-oriented. That’s why there are now apps that let you rate your driver, food-delivery guy and even the person who walks your dog. In the self-storage industry, that translates to authenticity. In other words, the old “be yourself” advice you got in grade school is finally spot on.

3. Online Presence

Nearly 20 percent of younger adults get their entertainment from the Internet instead of television, according to “The New York Times.” This is why it’s so important for your self-storage facility to have an online presence. This means having several active social media channels on which you post at least a few times a week and a website that’s modern and user-friendly.

Millennials tend to trust the advice of their peers over that of advertisers, so they look for storage facilities that are reviewed on Google, Yelp and Facebook. You can get good reviews by encouraging your existing customers to rate your business on Yelp or by running a social media promotion in which you offer a discount in exchange for liking your facility’s Facebook page.

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