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Collecting Online Reviews for Your Self-Storage Business

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By Ken Turley

When making a purchase, many people look at online reviews to see if the product or company has a good reputation. Whether they’re signing up for a subscription service, renting a self-storage unit or just buying a new toothbrush, the fact is reviews can make a huge impact in their buying decision.

A recent infographic by marketing firm Vendasta offered interesting insight to the importance of online reviews:

  • 92 percent of consumers now read online reviews vs. 88 percent in 2014.
  • 40 percent of consumers form an opinion by reading just one to three reviews.
  • Star rating is the No. 1 factor used by consumers to judge a business.
  • 68 percent of consumers say positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
  • 48 percent of customers will visit a company’s website after reading positive reviews.
  • 23 percent will visit the business premises directly after reading positive reviews.
  • 9 percent will phone a business after reading positive reviews.
  • More than half of consumers age 18 to 34 say they trust online reviews more than the opinions of friends and family.
  • 86 percent of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews.
  • 68 percent of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores.
  • 30 percent of consumers assume online reviews are fake if there are no negative reviews.
  • Reviews are especially important for local searches, as they influence up to 10 percent of the ranking.

If these numbers are accurate, you can expect most people searching for storage units to rely on reviews to help them choose a facility. If they’re basing their decision on just a few reviews, it’s critical to get high-quality, positive reviews. You want to ensure your prospects see lots of high ratings to build trust. The more trust they have in your business, the more likely they’ll rent from you.

Simply put: Online reviews are vital to the success of any business, and there’s a fine line to walk when obtaining them. Business owners sometimes don’t know where to get reviews or how to do so properly. Following are some guidelines to simplify the process.

Market Focus

The focus of your marketing strategy should be to build trust with consumers. Marketing is about telling your story building trust with a consumer so he’ll use your services or buy your products. To accomplish this, you build a website, offer promotions, set up competitive pricing, and add high-quality features like security cameras. Then you invest time and money into techniques including pay-per-click campaigns, search engine optimization, social media, etc. You do all these things to get your company’s story in front of your target audience.

For the most part, those are good things to do and vital to the success of a company. However, it’s easy to forget that online reviews are often the first impression a consumer gets of your business.

Try it out yourself. Search your facility name on Google and see what comes up. You should see a Google Business Listing containing key information and your reviews. Now try searching for something like “self-storage Dallas TX” or any other city. You’ll see the Google Map results with review ratings highlighted. If consumers are looking for storage in your area and seeing these reviews, it’s probably a good idea to invest some time into cultivating them. Online reviews are a big factor in telling your story. What do they say about your facility?

Gathering Reviews

So, where and how do you get online reviews? There are so many places for people to leave them that it may be confusing to know where to direct customers. The top three places are your Google business page, your Facebook business page and your Yelp page. Reviews on these pages will have the most effect on your business. All three platforms are good, but aim to get as many as you can on Google, as it has the most effect on your rankings and website traffic.

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