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A 4-Part Guide to Creating Great Self-Storage Curb Appeal

By Rick Beal Comments

If a potential love interest can be accepted or rejected by swiping right or left on a mobile device, how much latitude do you think the average customer will give your self-storage facility when he sees trash, overgrown trees or weeds on your property? How will he assess your site when your competitor down the street has stunning frontage?

Like it or not, curb appeal is an essential part of your storage business. Here are four guidelines to help your facility be the best-looking in your community.

1. Plan It

How often have you walked in your facility’s front door and passed the exact same weed? You’re busy, preoccupied, plan on doing it later, or simply forget about it until the next day when the cycle starts all over again. I have, and I’ll be the first to admit it!

You need to start with a plan. This forces you to look at what has to be done and schedule a time to do it. Nobody likes to work 10 hours in the hot July sun, so break it into manageable time slots in the early morning. The key is to scheme it out so the front office won’t suffer while you’re unavailable for an extended period. If you’re the only one manning the desk, you’ll spend shorter less time on any given project.

Every one of my employees uses a planner to aid in weekly scheduling. Part of their job is to look over what needs to be done each week and set a time to accomplish each task. This is carried over to monthly and even seasonal to-do lists. Once you commit that time to paper, you’ll find it’s much easier to achieve your goals.

2. Consider a New Set of Eyes

Just like the weed you see every day and fail to pull, there other items at your site that that, left ignored, start to blend into your surroundings. For example, I had no idea my college apartment stank. Four guys living in a confined area with chunky milk on the counter, shoes everywhere and then the bathroom ... Not smelly, right? Utterly wrong! Turns out whenever we brought anyone to our apartment, they thought someone had died there.

A few years ago at the start of summer, a self-storage facility by my house assembled an outdoor display of boxes that read, “We Sell Boxes.” As they sat in the Utah sun, they faded. By the time summer ended, they were white with some barely legible letters. Then the winter hit, and another summer. The operator kept these faded boxes up for almost two years. For more than a year, all you could see was a pile of gray that sort of resembled a stack of boxes. This facility is a big competitor in my market, so I wanted to send them a thank-you card!

Ask someone to visit your facility and do a “curb-appeal audit.” This is good for the outside as well as the interior. Have this person walk the property with a notepad and look for things like trees that need to be trimmed, windows that need to be cleaned, and keypad stands or bollards that need to be painted. Let him do this alone so you don’t have the chance to offer your opinions or excuses. Then give him a gift card to his favorite restaurant for helping.

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