Giving Your Self-Storage Tenants Important Details
A couple of days ago, my son and I went to the orthodontist for a retainer check. We arrived about 10 minutes early to find a locked door. Peering through the window we discovered the office was empty. Strange, since I wasn’t notified they’d moved. It wasn’t even mentioned during an appointment reminder call a few days earlier.
When I called the office number I was told, indeed, the practice had moved. Luckily, it was just down the street, not across town. When we arrived, the office staff was apologetic for not giving me that important piece of information. I graciously replied, “No problem,” but wondered why a simple e-mail, letter, phone call or even a sign on the previous office door wasn’t directing patients to the new office.
Like patients, self-storage customers need every detail of your operation. They need to know your hours of operation, move-out procedures, when the office is open and what they can expect if they miss a payment. Of course, you have signs posted around your facility and cover this stuff when tenants sign the lease, but are you communicating regularly with tenants to reinforce the rules or update them on new facility features?
There are so many ways to communicate—in person, with signage, via e-mail, a mailed newsletter or on your monthly invoicing so there’s really no excuse. Regular communication with your tenants also builds rapport. Unless you have a small facility, you likely don’t know every single tenant—nor do they know you. With regular communication, they will begin to see you as a person, not just “management.” So when there is a problem, you’re more than just the guy or gal behind the counter. They recognize your name. They’ve seen you around the facility. You may have even called them a time or two to let them know about an upcoming event or special.
Let’s not forget the importance of referral programs. Sure, you told them when they moved in. But that was nearly eight months ago. Why not refresh their memories with a short e-mail and remind them of the benefits? You don’t need flashy graphics or a catchy theme. Instead, make it more personal and let them know how they can take advantage of your program. The goal is to give your tenants all the information they need. You don’t want your current tenant—or worse a potential one—standing outside your office wondering where you are.
Learn more about best management practices at the Inside Self-Storage World Expo in Las Vegas, March 14-16. Get the full agenda and register at www.insideselfstorageworldexpo.com.
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