In the self-storage industry, we say goodbye to thousands of customers every month who believe they no longer need storage space and could better use those rental dollars elsewhere. These are often some of the best customers to reach because they have already demonstrated a need for storage and think it’s worth paying for, even if they originally thought their stay was going to be temporary. By using the suggestions outlined below, many tenants intending to leave your facility can be convinced to stay.
1. Suggest to move “down, not out”
Let’s say a customer notifies you he intends to move his items out of his 10-by-10 at the end of the month. Instead of firming details of his move-out, suggest he move to a smaller unit for items he really doesn’t need on a daily basis. The tenant is already accustomed to paying more than $100 per month for storage, so helping him keep his house free from clutter for closer to $50 per month is a pretty good proposition.
2. Convert prepaid rent balance to a smaller space
Not only should you suggest customers “move down” to a smaller space, but make it easier for them by putting what they’ve already prepaid for the larger space toward a smaller unit. Perhaps what they’ve already paid for the larger space will cover a month or more of rent for the smaller unit. While they’re deciding what to do with those last few items, they can basically store rent-free.
3. Consult on their moving decision
Engage tenants in conversation about why they're leaving, where they're going, what’s causing the move, etc. When they know that you care about their situation and are offering help, you may find out their real reason for leaving can be overcome and resolved.
4. Offer a discount
If a customer states he’s moving to a competitor, offer him a discount on his current unit for a couple of months to compel him to stay longer. Most people don’t like the process of moving, and this will give tenants a good reason to stay put.
5. Make it hard to leave
When your facility is super clean and safe, and if tenants have been treated the right way and have a personal relationship with the manager, it makes it more difficult for them to leave. If you can’t convince them to stay based on site amenities and the rapport you’ve built, at the very least ask them to refer a friend who could use their space. Offer them a local gift card or cash card in return for any referred friends who end up renting.
Tenant move-outs are inevitable, but in many cases, convincing them to stay can actually improve their situation. Follow these few tips to keep your move-outs to a bare minimum each month.
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 www.stor-n-lock.com/blog.