From Whence Comes the Self-Storage Love?

Amy Campbell, Senior Editor

February 5, 2010

3 Min Read
From Whence Comes the Self-Storage Love?

I just received an e-mail promotion for a five-pound gummy bear. That's right ... a ginormous piece of gummy candy. "Over one thousand times larger than a regular gummy bear," the ad reads. "The world's largest gummy bear! Bigger than a football!" A great Valentine's Gift, the e-mail claims. The sugary monstrosity tops out at a whopping 12,600 calories and measures 9 inches tall. And if that's just too darn much for your sweetheart to handle, you can opt for the smaller Giant Gummy Bear on a Stick, which is a mere half-pound of gummy goodness.

Of course, the Valentine's Day marketing craze is on. Businesses want you to put your money where your love is. But from whence comes self-storage love? Your customers, of course. And do you know what attracts them to you?

Tron Jordheim, director of Phonesmart, has a better idea after conducting a poll of more than 500 LinkedIn members who use storage. Yesterday a press release from his company revealed the poll results. The verdict? Customers won't love you more because you're cheap. The most tantalizing quality you offer is actually your location, members of the professional networking site said. Other attributes that are equally important in a customer's decision of where to rent are a site's features and amenities, cleanliness, and recommendations by acquaintances.

If you operate an existing facility, there's nothing to be done about your location—except make the best of it. But you can always work to improve other critical factors. Curb appeal, products and service can be upgraded to attract more customer love, often with minimal effort by the facility manager. How? Here are a few resources to point you in the right direction:

Do operators agree that price is not king? Members on Self-Storage Talk offer a diverse range of feedback on the subject. Read "How important is price to the customer?" to see what managers from different markets have to say about pricing challenges.

I also want to emphasize Tron's use of LinkedIn to gather this simple data. If you're not yet embracing social networking to learn more about your customers and promote your business, you are missing a highly valuable (and inexpensive) opportunity. You can use tools like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as a barometer of your market. They will help you understand what customers want—in short, how to win their love.

Speaking of love, we'd love to see you at the Inside Self-Storage World Expo, taking place in Las Vegas in just a few short weeks (March 1-3). I can't promise you a giant gummy bear for attending, but I promise you'll get top-quality information about marketing, social networking, facility maintenance and upgrades, and much more. It's not too late to register; do so by Feb. 26 and save money with pre-registration discounts. It will be a hugely rewarding experience; much better than those less gratifying on-a-stick tradeshows!

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Senior Editor, Inside Self Storage

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