A common question asked by self-storage operators these days is, “How do I keep visitors on my website longer and turn them into customers?” To begin, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest online tools and technology. There are some fantastic facilities out there that offer superb customer service, top-notch security and competitive prices, but with websites that look like they haven’t been updated in a decade!
If you don’t have a website that’s eye-catching and mobile-friendly, with a design that works for self-storage customers, this article is for you! Below are four critical steps to ensure your website retains and converts customers.
Step 1: Be Mobile-Friendly
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re losing customers in a matter of seconds. When you visit a website from your mobile device and it isn’t mobile-friendly, aren’t you more likely to leave? Not only will your site design affect your retention rate, it’ll impact referrals as well. Fifty-seven percent of Internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile website, according to media website socPub.
We’re living in a time when the most popular way of researching anything is via mobile device. In fact, mobile is projected to comprise 79 percent of global Internet use by the end of 2018, reports marketing firm Sweor. So, if your website isn’t modern, the time to act is now. The days of walk-in customers are quickly fading. The key is to build a state-of-the-art, mobile-friendly website that’ll lead to long-lasting tenants.
Step 2: Provide an Online Lease Agreement
Your online rental process should cover all the basics, including the lease signing, and a customer should have easy access to his self-storage contract at all times. Online leases mean less paper, making it easier for you to sort and find documents and for customers to store them on their devices.
Create your own streamlined, online lease sign-up. Simply take your hard-copy lease and fill in the data from the online move-in process. By integrating with your self-storage management software, you can pull in the lease you’re already using, so there’s less work!
Step 3: Offer Online Payment Options
Your customers are trying to pay you, so don’t make it difficult for them! A tenant should easily be able to find the login button on your website and make a payment without hassle. Once he’s logged in, the account page should be extremely user-friendly, so he knows exactly where to go and what to do. Dedicate a link so he can see when his next payment is due.
Storage managers shouldn’t have to spend time tracking down delinquent payments. Make their job easier by creating more options to collect rent.
Step 4: Build Trust
According to software-development firm HubSpot, up to 85 percent of consumers won’t continue browsing a website if it isn’t secure. That's a lot of people who could be interested in your storage facility! When potential renters visit your website, they want to know their information is safe. Here are two important tips:
Maintain the same Web address throughout the entirety of the customer’s visit. When someone visits a site to make a payment and is transferred out to another website, it can deter them. New-tab popups can also make them uneasy because they don’t know who they’re paying.
Another essential safety feature is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). When a website is SSL-certified, the customer sees https:// at the beginning of the URL instead of http://. SSL is vital in keeping the data transfer between your browser and a website’s host secure and protected. It’s important for any website that handles sensitive information, such as personal data or credit card information. Talk to your Web provider to ensure you have SSL encryption turned on for your website.
Let Customers Know
Now that you’ve completed steps one through four, it’s time to spread the word! Send your customers an e-mail to let them know about your latest website features. This provides an easy opportunity for them to refer you to friends and family. Word-of-mouth is huge, and people will trust a recommendation from someone they know.
More self-storage operators are recognizing the importance of user-friendly websites. A properly updated site with mobile capabilities as well as online lease and payment features can lower delinquencies and increase your rental-conversion rates.
Zac Sharp is a product specialist for StoragePug, a software company helping self-storage facilities rent units through their website. Powered by modern marketing, StoragePug has built an e-commerce platform that connects customers to self-storage through online rentals, billpay and lease eSign. For more information, call 833.786.7784; visit https://storagepug.com.