For most self-storage operators, the facility-marketing to-do list is almost always longer than the ta-done list, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of being too task-focused. Sometimes you need to take a step back and look at the big picture of what you’re trying to accomplish and why vs. what chore needed to be done 10 minutes ago.
It often boils down to needing help—but without the hassle of hiring and managing dedicated marketing staff. That’s why outsourcing makes sense for many storage properties. Learn the benefits of hiring a partner and guidance to help you choose the right one.
Why Get Help?
Most self-storage operators wear multiple hats. In a single day, you might juggle your time between all manner of responsibilities, from sales and marketing to collections to site maintenance and more. The problem is, no matter how talented you and your team are, it can be impossible to do it all.
You’ve heard the phrase “jack of all trades, master of none.” If you’re trying to perform all your marketing from in-house, you need a team of specialists, not a single generalist, to stay competitive. But it’s expensive and time-consuming to hire and train multiple employees. If you outsource, your team gets bigger, but not your payroll! You’ll have access to an entire company of experts in various specialties. This puts time back in your schedule for strategy as well as that mile-long list of tasks you work so hard to complete. These providers have vast resources that can:
- Keep your self-storage website up to date with the latest data and accessibility compliance
- Allocate your digital-advertising budget to campaigns that convert prospects to tenants
- Pull dynamic inventory onto your website and into your advertising copy
A marketing partner does the heavy lifting for you. The tools and technology in this segment of the business are constantly evolving, and your provider will ensure your marketing does, too. It has developers, engineers, user-experience designers and data gurus working on your behalf to build solutions grounded in today’s best practices. You’ll benefit from its innovation without having to hire and manage in-house staff.
Plus, when you and your provider work together like a well-oiled machine, you have the freedom to think about what’s next for your business. Do you now have the bandwidth to expand into new markets or widen your presence in existing ones? If so, your marketing provider can scale with you.
Choosing a Provider
Selecting the right self-storage marketing partner can feel daunting, which makes sense, as there are thousands of companies out there providing everything from email marketing to customer-analytics dashboards. Who has time to wade through these options and find the companies that truly put the “best” in best-in-class? With such an important decision, it’s worthwhile to invest in research upfront. Here are three things to look for when choosing a provider.
Focus on ease of integration. For your self-storage marketing to be predictive, automated and a light lift for your team, data must flow seamlessly between your frontend and backend systems. Pop quiz: When you have to update the same information in several places, it's A) annoying, B) inefficient, C) prone to human error, and D) all the above. The answer, of course, is D! Avoid this by working with a provider that can integrate with your management software, customer relationship management platform (CRM) and other systems.
Understand that the process of getting up to speed with a marketing partner can involve multiple integrations, and they can vary in complexity. Some are straightforward, like downloading a new app, while some are more complicated, like providing access to your customer data. Do yourself a favor by choosing a provider that makes things simple and easy. Ask the following:
- Does this marketing solution integrate with your CRM, facility-management software or other technology?
- Is the company current with the latest data-security regulations and compliance best practices?
- If something isn’t working, how will the company ensure it gets fixed? How will it prioritize finding a solution for your team and property?
- What’s the company’s self-storage experience? Does it already know the appropriate self-storage keywords, or will it learn from the ground up on your dime?
Prioritize a custom fit. Just as tailored clothing that’s made specifically for you fits better than a one-size-fits-most item, a marketing solution that’s customized to your business provides long-term scalability. Additionally, if you outgrow a partner or need to evolve, you have the flexibility to do so. When you outsource to a best-in-class provider, it’ll help you create a marketing process and system that works for you, not against you.
Expect transparency. Once you’ve decided to make the leap and outsource your self-storage marketing, the last thing you want are unexpected surprises, like an integration you thought would be simple but isn’t. To avoid this, choose a partner that makes training resources readily available and shares them early and often with your team. The provider also needs to set clear expectations for how long it’ll take you to learn a new system, including what the process looks like and how it’ll help you adjust along the way.
Outsourcing has the power to transform the way your team works. Instead of juggling tasks like responding to online reviews, updating your website and setting keywords on your digital ads, you’ll be able to focus on your customers and provide five-star, review-worthy experience. Partnering with a marketing provider will take the guesswork out of what is and isn’t working for your self-storage business. It’ll also provide you with clear analytics and current information on what's attracting future renters to your property, so you can replicate this success.
With nearly eight years of experience in the account management and customer success field, Adam Mackie has helped organizations improve their cross-departmental alignment to create a more customer-centric approach across the business. As the vice president of customer success at G5, Adam drives the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the sales and account management organization to ensure that self-storage operators utilize the full potential of the company’s products and services to meet their business objectives. For more information about outsourcing your marketing, call 800.554.1965.