So, you want to attract more customers to your self-storage facility but don’t have a lot of capital to pour into the operation? No problem.
You assume adding a truck-rental operation will require additional staff you can’t afford? Repeat after me: No problem!
You heard truck rentals will boost your business, but you don’t have the space to park a bunch of big trucks? Again, no problem!
There are so many benefits to adding truck rentals to self-storage. I’ll even let you in on a little secret: It doesn’t have to cost you a thing! All you need is a parking space or two and the staff you already have on the payroll.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of adding truck rentals to your self-storage operation is you make your business a one-stop shop for customers. Just think how many trucks you see on your property every day, hauling tenants’ things in and out. Now imagine how much extra revenue you could bring in if even a few of those people rented their truck from you!
Here’s another way to look at it: Not only are you missing out on revenue that’s easy to capture, you could be losing potential business. Say a prospect is planning to rent a self-storage unit from you but he needs to go elsewhere to rent a truck. If the truck-rental place also has storage units, he’ll likely rent everything there because it’s more convenient. Now you’ve lost a customer.
No Additional Staff Required
I know what you’re thinking: “I don’t have enough staff to handle a truck-rental operation in addition to running my self-storage location.” The good news is you can launch this new profit center with the employees you already have. With some vendors, you can even use your existing computer. On top of that, some companies provide unmanned rentals 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Customers can reserve a truck on their computer or smartphone, and then show up at your location to complete the process and pick up the keys (even when you’re out of the office).
When you bring on truck rentals at your self-storage property, the total amount of training is about two to four hours before you’re up and running. In addition to in-person education, some companies offer videos and online courses.
You Have the Space
One of the biggest concerns I hear from storage operators is they don’t have enough room to park large moving trucks on site. Here’s the thing: You don’t need much space. In fact, if you have an extra parking spot, you can be in the truck-rental business!
You don’t need to rent several vehicles. Many storage sites operate with just one. As to vehicle size, a lot of storage locations simply rent out a cargo van or smaller box truck that fits in a single parking space. Not only is this an efficient use of space, it avoids conflict with zoning regulations that don’t allow for the parking of large trucks.
When you add truck rentals to self-storage, you open yourself to business from customers who are moving in and out, adding convenience for them. Imagine the sense of relief you can provide! Moving is stressful enough, so when you can save tenants a trip to another location to pick up a truck, you’re making their life so much easier. Whether they’re moving into a new home across town or across the country, customers love the convenience of renting a truck from the same location where their things are stored.
Also, having a truck onsite allows you to offer an incentive to prospective customers. You can allow them to use the truck for free to move into a storage unit or offer it to anyone who pre-pays for a certain number of months. However you use the truck, it’s one more solution to set you apart from competition.
A moving truck could also be the thing that catches a potential customer’s eye as he drives by your location or compares your business to others during an online search. When you partner with a well-known brand, your business will be listed on that company’s website. That means your business will show up as a truck-rental service as well as a self-storage location when people search for moving services online.
Adding truck rentals to your self-storage operation creates a synergy between the two businesses, allowing you to offer another service and create a new revenue stream. Your customers benefit because it creates a one-stop shopping experience. It saves them time and the hassle, and that will be viewed as a positive selling point every time.
Tom Kardys is the dealer business-development manager for U-Haul International Inc. He has 30 years of hands-on experience in the truck, trailer and self-storage industries. U-Haul offers self-storage operators the ability to add truck and trailer rentals to existing facilities with no start-up costs. For more information, call 800.528.0361; e-mail [email protected]; visit www.uhaul.com/dealer.