Every year in the self-storage industry we talk about getting our facilities ready for winter and cold weather. Is the snowplow company contracted? Do we have enough snowmelt? Are the water lines turned off? Perhaps the most important question we should ask ourselves, however, is “Are we ready to market the facility during the winter months?” Is your facility prepared the handle the influx of move-outs in the fall of tenants who only store during the summer months? Or the tenants who are now moving into their new home before winter and moving out of their storage unit?
Seasonal drop-offs during the wintertime are an issue that almost every storage operator faces. To get your year off to a strong start, here are a few ideas to help you drum up new business this winter.
Target Niche Businesses
There are likely a lot of small, locally-owned businesses near your facility that could use a little extra space during the winter. For example, landscapers need to store their lawnmowers and equipment until late spring, others may need a place to keep summer inventory, or may need extra storage for Christmas inventory. Businesses such as locally-owned restaurants or franchises likely need space to store their patio furniture while it’s not being used.
When it comes to targeting local businesses, the closer the proximity the better. The more convenient it is for businesses to store at your facility, the more likely they are to become your tenant.
Reach out to Apartment Residents
The winter months can feel especially cramped for apartment residents, which is why they’re a great market to target during this season. In the cold and inclement weather, they can no longer store their bikes, outdoor equipment or grills on the deck. They may need extra space with new Christmas gifts recently purchased/acquired, holiday decoration storage, etc. If you have any large apartment complexes near your facility, they’re a great place to start. Consider working with the apartment management to distribute fliers, posters in public areas or offer a complex-wide special for new tenants.
If your facility is somewhere that experiences cold winters, it’s likely there’s a demographic of potential tenants who are snowbirds. These are residents who leave town for warmer climates until summer comes around again. They’re usually middle- to senior-aged, so keep in mind that more traditional marketing tactics—newspapers, mailers, etc.—may be the best way to reach them.
Become a Holiday-Storage Headquarters
With the holidays now behind us, many people are looking for room to store their Christmas and holiday decorations that they just don’t have space for any longer with all their new presents, toys, clothes, etc. With your social media posts, website banners and other advertising, make it clear your facility is the local holiday off-season storage location of choice!
The tenant drop-off in the winter months is inevitable, but following these few tips will ensure your facility maintains a higher occupancy level than in seasons past.
Matt Casady is the marketing manager at Stor-N-Lock Self Storage, which operates more than 22 locations in four states. The company’s slogan has always been, "Storage Made Easy!" For more helpful storage tips and resources, visit https://www.stor-n-lock.com/blog.