[A guest blog spot by ISS Editor Drew Whitney.]
How do your tenants find storage? As a consumer, my first storage experience was with a small facility in Tempe, Ariz., near the campus of Arizona State University. I was heading back to New England for summer break and needed a place to store my junk for a couple months.
It would be the first of many times Id rely on storage space. It suited my wayward lifestyle. I now had a trusting friend that kept my stuff secure while I traipsed all over the place.
Storage became an even better friend after I settled down. The cute little bungalow that was a perfect fit for a couple became the enemy after our firstborn. Storage was our savior. Thats where we put all our adult toys (bikes and camping gear, hang glider and skis), while baby swings and porta-cribs/playpens squeezed into the premises.
Later, with another bun in the oven, we knew we needed still more room. We built a house, spread our stuff all over the place and stacked boxes in a three-car garage. We filled up the family with still more kids, and the house and garage with more crud. The cars never made it into the garage, especially after we adorned it strollers, bikes, scooters, a river raft and camper.
Within a few years, we needed an addition: a larger kitchen, more bedrooms and definitely more closets! And, once again, we needed self-storage to protect our stuff while the roof and sides of the house were ripped off to hammer on the new space.
A few years go by we decide to move closer to extended family. This time, we tuck boxes and clunky toys/furniture into self-storage to give home shoppers the impression that our dwelling is open, airy and pleasantly roomy. It works.
We sell and move to an old house, really old, one that needs remodeling. We need to finish off the attic to make way for a Red Sox playroom. But now that were storing holiday decorations and raising chickens in the barn, our storage space has been nearly all consumed and we have nowhere to put all these Rubbermaid containers of blocks, trains, dolls and video games. Here we go again.
While reading through the articles submitted for our January issue of Inside Self-Storage, I realized my life story as a consumer of goods and storage is far from original. On the other side of the desk, I'm reminded that self-storage marketing becomes much more understandable once operators are aware they have something to offer people in nearly every stage of life. Tap into their lives, and theyll be tapping into your business, filling units with all the stuff that life is made of.
Need more ideas? Slip into the current ISS issue. Have ideas of your own? Share them with us and other operators by leaving your comment via the link to the right. Unlike the rooms of my house, this website has plenty of space to share!