Bright Lights Big Insights – Linkmedia 360 Post-SSA’s Fall Conference Wrap-Up – Las Vegas 2017

A week has come and gone since SSA’s Fall Conference lit up the Vegas skyline. And what a whirlwind those three days were. The Self Storage team at Linkmedia 360 certainly had a lot going on. Between networking on the trade show floor, leading cooperative roundtables and attending educational sessions, the team walked away with a deeper understanding of the current self storage landscape.

In this week’s blog post, we unbox our top takeaways from this year’s SSA conference.

SSA 2017 – Networking Recap with Phil Smith from the Tradeshow Floor

Phil Smith, Director of Solution Development on the Self Sstorage team, was the guy on the ground during the conference, and likely one of the Self Storage team members you met while in attendance. Phil spoke with current Linkmedia 360 clients and greeted new faces to the space on the tradeshow floor. SSA always leads a packed trade show, and this year was no different.

SSA 2017 – Educational Roundtable Recap

Kurt Krejny, Vice President of Marketing at Linkmedia 360, led a packed house during his roundtable presentation. Kurt discussed how storage facilities can prioritize effort and marketing dollars to produce a favorable ROI and increase occupancy. He advocated an integrated approach that creates harmony between the countless marketing opportunities available to owners/operators. Kurt also provided roundtable attendees a comprehensive checklist to work from. Whether a facility was just starting to build a foundation or was already engaged in advanced marketing tactics, Kurt made sure to provide enough strategic insight for every level on the marketing maturity curve.

SSA 2017 – Insights and Learnings to Fuel Your Occupancy

While Phil was busy meeting with potential client partners and Kurt was presenting and sharing seasoned expertise, the remainder of the Self Storage team was attending educational sessions. We’ll take a deeper dive into our learnings in future weeks – today we are simply going to break down the most immediate takeaways impacting the self storage industry.

  1. Speed Matters, Especially in Mobile Search – This insight ties directly to the fact that mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic. Create AMP pages to provide the fastest mobile-friendly experience. Mobile customers are more action-oriented in search than their desktop counterparts, who tend to gather research. Mobile users are also more impulsive, so be sure to have visible, above-the-fold CTA’s to convert users.
    Linkmedia 360 ProTip: Be sure to display unit pricing, availability, online bill pay and the option to book online reservations for a well-rounded mobile user experience.
  2. Baby Boomers Today, Millennials Tomorrow – Though Millennials have officially eclipsed baby boomers in sheer number as the largest generation, they aren’t the most profitable demographic to owner/operators yet. Baby boomers currently lease larger units for a longer rental period. But by 2030, that’s set to change when Millennials make up 50% of the market. Differences in buyer behavior, unit leasing sizes and customer service expectations play a role in segmenting these generations apart from one another.
    Linkmedia 360 ProTip: Millennials tend to view storage units as “an extra closet” and rent smaller units (5×5); whereas baby boomers are more likely to rent larger units (10×10 and above). Expect a shift in leasing behavior as Millennials begin moving out of urban areas to suburbs to focus on starting families. This will also create demand for larger units more akin to the type currently leased by baby boomers or other consumer segments.
  3. An Uncertain Present Creates an Uncertain Future in Self Storage: The market reached a sub-five-percent unemployment rate in 2016; which acts as a precursor to a period of economic recession. A combination of factors stemming from legislative, economic and investment uncertainties indicates a potential downturn in 2018. This may ultimately lead to a depression in certain markets and sub markets.
    Linkmedia 360 ProTip:
    Wait out the storm until more pro-growth legislation is enacted and investors begin feeling confident in the market again. We have just experienced a two-year period of heavy investments and construction that deserves patience and consideration. Owners/operators should stay nimble and agile with acquisitions, while investing in proven areas of growth (unit mix, revenue management systems to improve profitability and managing inventory efficiencies).

SSA 2017 – What’s Next For Your Facility After Vegas?

We know we unboxed a lot within this wrap-up of SSA. Was there something the self storage team didn’t cover? For those concerns and more, CONTACT US. We’ll do our best to help your facility reach its occupancy goals.

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