The Holiday Conundrum: Open or Close My Self-Storage Facility?
While many businesses have the luxury of simply closing their doors on designated holidays, self-storage operators may not find that so easy. While it’s unlikely there will be a rush for storage move-ins on a major holiday, operators still need to be cognizant of meeting their tenants’ needs.
Some of your tenants may not celebrate the upcoming holidays, and will treat them as just another day. Others may simply assume your facility is open. After all, many other businesses, including restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, and even movie theaters are open 365 days a year. Why not self-storage?
The subject of being open and manager availability on holidays or weekends comes up frequently on Self-Storage Talk, the industry’s biggest and best online forum. And not just around major holidays. Just before the Labor Day holiday weekend, SST member JamesTownStorage#8 relayed a story about a panicked tenant who wanted to make a payment so he can have access to the facility and his stored boat. The office had closed a few hours earlier, as it did every Saturday, and wouldn’t reopen until the day after Labor Day. Needless to say, the dedicated manager helped the guy out.
This is where communicating with your tenants becomes a key. You’ll see “Holiday Hours” posted just about everywhere nowadays. Consider adding your own holiday hours sign in your facility window and in your lobby. If you send a holiday e-card to your tenants (a great and inexpensive marketing strategy, by the way), add a note at the bottom with your holiday hours. Be sure to tell tenants in the office and around the property when the facility’s office will be open. While you’ll still have many tenants who simply won’t pay attention—like the guy above—most will.
Will your facility have restricted hours this holiday season? How do you relay that message to your tenants? Have you had problems come up during previous holidays? Share your thoughts by posting a comment below or on this Self-Storage Talk thread.