January 1, 2003

3 Min Read
Rewarding Your Tenants

YOU ALREADY OFFER GREAT STORAGE AT COMPETITIVE PRICES. SO WHY IS YOUR NET REVENUE SO LOW? In prior columns, I have detailed several capital expenses that increase your closing ratios. In this issue, I talk about giveaways--memorable "tech" gadgets that convert your tenants into facility advertisers.

When it comes to using a giveaway to increase occupancy, rental discounts remain the industry standard. The most popular discounts are the $1 move-in and the sixth month free. Both of these treat the giveaway month as an advertising expense. If your average monthly rental rate is $60, giving away a free month represents a very real loss of $60. This is a significant and unnecessary impact on your bottom line. Alternatively, giving each renter a premium gift can be more valuable, cost far less, and demonstrate how much you value his business. Best of all, your tenants will appreciate, and proudly display, your advertising material.

I shopped dozens of companies that offer promotional products self-storage owners can use as fun giveaways. To make the final cut, each item had to be:

  • Useful and unusual.

  • Printed with a company logo and contact information.

  • Cost under $19 per unit (including all imprinting fees).

  • Be deliverable within four weeks.

This one really impressed me. It is a compact radio that does a surprisingly good job of receiving distant stations. Raise one flipper to turn the radio on and adjust the volume. Move the other flipper to select an AM or FM station. Add your personalized company logo, and still spend less than $16 per radio.

I remember seeing these binoculars at a tradeshow a few years ago. I thought the distributing company had spent about $40 a piece for them. These binoculars have an adjustable armored roof prism and include a respectable 8x21 lens system. I found two promotion companies offering personalized versions of these treasures for less than $17.

An upscale self-storage site might prefer a stylish silver or gold tin box filled with six plain pretzels and six fancy pretzel rods. I found this item for $19 including the personalized lid.

Here is a fantastic, 48-piece tool set that features assorted socket nuts and screwdriver bits. The kit includes a socket adapter, magnetic bit adapter, electric driver and even batteries. The plastic case feels sturdy, and I found several sources offering the entire set, including a label with your company information, for less than $18. Hand this to every tenant that prepays a six-month lease and you will see an immediate return on your investment.

I found this stylish, multifunction gadget at five different promotion houses. It's a best-seller--and for good reason. This compact unit is an LCD clock, digital alarm, accurate room thermometer and a bright-blue glowing display. The batteries, custom logo, instructions and a gift box were all included for the reasonable price of $18.

These five items represent only a small sampling of the thousands of creative products you can give to new tenants. Due to their low cost, each giveaway represents only 5 percent of a typical six-month lease. This is far less than giving away a free month's rent. A customized giveaway will dramatically increase your advertising presence and customer good will. It's truly a great way to reward your tenants.

An upcoming TechTalk will suggest products and gadgets that can improve manager efficiency and tenant convenience. Please e-mail me if you use an item you would like included in that column.

Doug Carner is on the Western-region board of directors for the Self Storage Association. He is also the vice president of QuikStor Security & Software, a California-based company specializing in access control, management software, digital video surveillance and corporate products for the self-storage industry. For more information, call 800.321.1987; e-mail [email protected]; visit www.quikstor.com.

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