Are you thinking about offering rental trucks at your self-storage facility? Actually, the real question is: Why don’t you have a rental truck yet?
After retail sales, truck rental is one of the top reciprocal businesses for a self-storage facility. Renters generally need a truck to move their stuff into a unit. Why not be the one to provide this service? It not only benefits your customers, it increases your visibility, occupancy, revenue and competitive edge.
For every mile a “wrapped” rental truck drives through the streets, it receives 600 visual impressions. It’s a moving billboard for your self-storage facility! Your business will be branded throughout the community every time renters borrow it. When parked at your location, it also doubles as additional signage. The truck is at eye level, so it’s easier for those who drive by to read and notice.
Public image is paramount to business success. To be considered a community ambassador, it’s essential that your storage facility be involved in local events. A truck is a unique way to provide goodwill. For example, it can be loaned to charities to help them with their fundraisers, such as holiday drives.
A rental truck can also be a huge lead generator. People who may not have otherwise visited your facility might do so simply because they need a truck. Your walk-in traffic will increase along with your phone leads. When I managed a storage facility, I would get calls from my customers’ neighbors asking me about the truck. I would offer a truck rental for free with each move-in, which directly attributed to my occupancy rates.
Trucks can also be your best sales-closing tool. Even your greenest manager can make a deal by offering a free truck rental with a new lease. Your customers will only need to visit you instead of an additional truck-rental location. You can’t put a price on convenience!
A common objection I hear from facility operators is, “I’m in the storage-rental business, not the truck-rental business.” This is true, but you’ll rent more units when you offer a truck rental with move-in. Free use of your facility’s rental truck is a great perk and can be used instead of rental discounts. Your truck can be considered a marketing expense rather than giving away tangible income. This will increase your facility value, since your rent roll will be higher.
A rental truck is an additional profit center. You can expect to bring in more income via mileage charges, fuel charges, charges for damage waivers, and the rental of hand trucks and furniture blankets. The sky’s the limit! With some programs, the entire rental commissions are yours to keep. With one-way programs, you can become a dealer and benefit from commission programs. Whichever route you choose, you’ll see an increase in revenue.
Offering movers with your truck is also a great revenue source. Many people lack the means to move themselves and have a difficult time finding movers they trust. Hiring a few college students or part-time movers to help your customers can add value to your service offerings.
With truck rentals becoming a staple in the self-storage industry, your competitor may already be offering a program. Don’t lose out! Thousands of facilities vie for business daily. Truck rentals can make you more competitive. Not only will you have a moving billboard driving by your competitors’ sites, you’ll have a word-of-mouth advantage while building rapport with tenants.
Solving a problem is one of the things every salesperson strives to accomplish. Truck rentals solve the customer’s need for convenience. Moving is never fun, but free use of your truck gives him a pleasurable experience, and he’ll tell his friends, family and neighbors for years to come. He’ll have trust and confidence in your business. Your place is now a one-stop-shop that saves customers money—home of the free rental truck!
Generally, storage owners tend to be entrepreneurs and may have additional businesses. The truck can be used for these additional ventures to generate more exposure. For example, one self-storage operator added his storage-facility logo to his truck but also used the vehicle for his sundries shop. A truck is also great to have on hand for maintenance and clearing out units.
If you’re considering the addition of a rental truck to your storage business, don’t hesitate to contact a specialist. He can guide you into the right program for your business and tell you which insurance and licenses you may need to obtain.
Truck rentals offer you four strong advantages: visibility, higher occupancy rates, increased revenue and a competitive edge. Trucks are only pennies per visual impression; there aren’t many marketing tools with such a return on investment!
CJ Steen has been with On The Move Inc. officially for seven years as marketing director, but unofficially for 23 years as the founder’s granddaughter. She’s been working in the self-storage industry for 14 years. Her first job was as a facility relief manager. She has a bachelor’s degree from in marketing from Hawaii Pacific University and an MBA from Texas Woman’s University. For more information, call 800.645.9949; e-mail [email protected]; visit www.onthemovetrucks.com.