A Self-Storage Operator's Targeted Marketing Efforts Fill Boat/RV Facility
In June of 2009, I was able to rent-to-own a 5-acre piece of property in Surrey, B.C., Canada. The property had existing commercial buildings when I assumed it, and 3 acres of useable flat land that was empty. Immediately I saw the potential to turn the 2 acres into RV storage and the remaining acre into truck parking.
We began with five RV tenants. Then we launched a marketing program with very little money. Here’s how we did it.
First, I read Purple Cow by marketer Seth Godin. The idea was if you drove down the road and saw a purple cow in a field would you notice it? So I created my own “purple cow” by making four massive 4-by-8 signs that read: RV/Truck Parking Storage with the phone number printed prominently. The signs were put out on four major highways.
Then we contacted every storage facility within 80 miles and sent them a flyer, offering their tenants who needed RV, boat or truck storage the first month if they signed a six-month rental. We also contacted every RV dealer, park and repair center within 80,000 miles to let them know about us.
An RV client told me about a database in which I could market to all truck companies in our area. We e-mailed that database with our offer for truck parking.
By December 2010, we had 100 RV tenants and filled the entire acre with parked trucks. We have not yet developed a website, don’t have printed business cards. Instead, we’ve focused on targeted marketing and word of mouth.
In the area where we’re located we have a high density of aging baby boomers, and a shortage of RV storage. Our initial success has encouraged us to expand this year.
Trent Richardson is owner of Surrey Storage in British Columbia, Canada. Richardson purchased his first rental property at 21, before he owned a principal residence. Over the past 17 years, he has been involved in more than 30 transactions, buying and selling his own real estate since 1991. He entered the self-storage industry in June 2009.