Sponsored By

Marketing for High Occupancy: How to Switch Up Your Strategy When Your Self-Storage Facility Is Full

Facility occupancy and rates are at all-time highs for many self-storage operators today. If that’s true for you, you may be tempted to scale back on your marketing; but that would be a mistake. This article explains why as well as how you should rework your strategy maintain momentum in this booming market.

Lisa Ash

February 25, 2022

5 Min Read
How to Switch Up Your Marketing Strategy When Your Self-Storage Facility Is Full

Reprinted with permission from G5.

The current self-storage market is phenomenal. In many areas, facility occupancies are high, rents are increasing, and business is good. If you’re one of the operators enjoying this kind of success, you may be wondering if now is a good time to scale back on your marketing. Do you really need to worry about it anymore?

The short answer is yes, but you maybe want to switch gears and do some things differently. Let’s look at how you can change up your marketing strategy to leverage this hot market, spend wisely and keep the momentum going throughout 2022.

Address Staff Shortages

Chances are, if you haven’t yet faced a staff shortage in your self-storage operation, you’ve at least experienced how disruptive it can be at your favorite neighborhood restaurant, boutique shop or service destination. But like most business sectors, our industry has experienced challenges in finding new employees.

If your business is performing well but you’re having trouble keeping staff, now’s a good time to flex some marketing muscle and increase your visibility with potential hires. It begins by building a brand presence that’s attractive to prospective employees, and I’ll expand on that below.

Something else you can do is promote any automation solutions you offer that help tenants rent units without the need to interact with staff. If your operation uses online leasing, make that clear in your marketing. Let prospects know you’ve streamlined the rental process and made it possible for them to rent a unit directly from your website or mobile app. The right technology can ease the burden for you and your customer, so it’s a win-win.

Build Your Brand

When times are tough, self-storage operators need to do everything possible to scrounge up leads, defend their marketing budget and ensure their brand feels authentic from the inside out. The opposite is true when the market and business are flourishing. If occupancy is high and leads are rolling in, it’s a good time to reconsider your branding.

For example, we know that as customers and employees, Millennials and Generation Z care about a company’s stance on social issues. They want to feel good about the places where they invest their time and money. What do you do to demonstrate that yours is a brand that cares? Brag a bit about those things and make them more prominent in your marketing.

Does your company have any kind of charitable-giving program? If not, can you start one? This serves a dual purpose: as a tax write-off and a way to show brand value through action. As an added bonus, it can help with those staffing shortages we discussed earlier. Brands that are willing to take a stance are more apt to attract and retain employees who are aligned with their company values.

If a full rebrand feels like more than you need right now, think about areas of your self-storage business that could be better leveraged. Well-built brands are consistent across all platforms and channels. Make yours shine by examining your presence everywhere to ensure it’s constant in look, feel, tone, voice, messaging and experience.

In particular, play close attention to your social media. Don’t skimp here. Your posts should be meaningful, not afterthoughts. Consider them an expression of who you are as a company. Also, make sure you’re reading and responding to online reviews. How you answer comment says a lot about your brand.

Adjust Your Digital Spend

When business is good, it can be tempting to stop spending on digital advertising, but savvy marketers resist that urge. It’s much like the lesson learned in Aesop’s tale of the tortoise and the hare: Slow and steady wins the race. A smaller but consistent digital-advertising budget can keep your self-storage brand in prospects’ minds and help your company remain relevant in the Google universe. The benefit is you won’t suddenly need two to three months to ramp up when you have vacant units to fill.

The trick is to spend in the right places. Don’t throw your self-storage marketing dollars around like a flower girl throwing rose petals down the wedding aisle. Consider backing up your digital-marketing budget with automation. Why? It’s better if your allocations are decided daily by a machine then monthly by a human strategist. When business is booming, you finally have the bandwidth to research and test new strategies. Now’s the time to optimize your marketing with artificial intelligence. If your company isn’t confident in this area, there are marketing-technology providers who can help.

Take Some Tactical Steps

If your self-storage operation is performing strongly right now, you likely aren’t experiencing any marketing emergencies, which means it’s a great time to get tactical. Try some new things or simply level up. Here are a few items to address:

Update your web presence. When’s the last time you really looked at your website, digital ads and Google My Business listing? Go check them out. Chances are, you have opportunities to include more photos and other creative assets. If you’ve been using the same graphics and copy for a long time, they need updating. Perhaps it’s time for new images or videos, maybe even some drone footage of your property. Budget and plan for this in 2022.

Raise rates. Revenue management should always be an important consideration. If now’s the right time to up the ante, use your marketing to attract new tenants at higher rates.

Prepare for the worst. Natural disasters have been occurring with more frequency. If one hits your area, it’ll impact your self-storage business and tenants. Predict the kinds of crises you might encounter this year, and create a response plan. When an incident occurs, you’ll need the right communication tools in place.

The self-storage industry is hot right now, and many operators are enjoying high occupancies and rates. If this is true for you, it’s a great time to reset your marketing and plan for the future. Take stock of what’s working well and what needs to change. Adjust your strategy now, while you have a window of comfort in which to try new things.

Lisa Ash is manager of customer success at G5, a provider of digital-marketing solutions to the self-storage industry. With more than 11 years of experience in account management and customer success, she’s worked with clients nationwide and across professional levels to positively impact their marketing efforts and keep them on track toward their goals. To reach her, call 800.554.1965 or email [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Lisa Ash

Manager of Customer Sucess, G5

Lisa Ash is manager of customer success at G5, a provider of digital-marketing solutions to the self-storage industry. With more than 11 years of experience in account management and customer success, she’s worked with a multitude of clients nationwide and across professional levels to positively impact their marketing efforts and keep them on track toward their goals. To reach her, call 800.554.1965 or email [email protected].

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter
ISS is the most comprehensive source for self-storage news, feature stories, videos and more.

You May Also Like