Over 3,500 self-storage attendees gathered at ISS Las Vegas. Here’s the prevailing consensus: 2018 is shaping up to be a strong year for self-storage but no organization – whether it’s a first-time owner, multi-location facility (1 to 4 locations), or an established REIT – has the luxury of resting on its laurels. Owners and self-storage digital marketers need to be fastidious in their efforts to improve profitability and occupancy, given the increased levels of competition across the industry.
That said, there are many self-storage digital marketing strategies to impact occupancy and profitability, and the odds of making these opportunities work for your facility are better than playing the slots.
Read on to learn:
Kurt Krejny presented in front of a packed house last Wednesday during his educational session on ‘Prioritizing Your Digital Marketing Efforts (and Budget) to Drive Self-Storage Revenue’. In case you missed his dynamic presentation in Concorde A at the Paris Hotel & Resort, here’s what was covered:
Both practicing pros and first-time owners had something to gain from Kurt’s systematic approach to self-storage digital marketing and occupancy. It piqued the interest of attendees, and from the candid conversations Kurt had, observed opportunities, and shares three takeaways for teams looking to make the most 2018 has to offer:
The sessions our team attended included everything from SEO 101, to granular recommendations for marketing pros. Our recommendations take both sides of the self-storage marketing divide into account. The 4 biggest opportunities our team uncovered will help your team, regardless of the number of locations in your organization.
1.) Market During Your off Season – We’re approaching the busy summer season, so keep this recommendation in your back pocket until fall/winter. Seasonality impacts self-storage occupancy levels, and by allocating marketing dollars during your slowest times of year, will carry over into rentals during not only those lagging periods, but also during your peak time of year. Marketing your facility during slow periods can seem counter-intuitive to facilities with limited budgets.
Need proof? Consider Kellogg’s cereal. During the Great Depression, Kellogg’s did the counter-intuitive and marketed its brand aggressively. After the Depression passed, consumers remembered the Kellogg’s brand and messaging, and the strategy paid dividends for the company. They didn’t cry over spilled milk, and neither should your facility during slower periods.
2.) Encourage Referral Traffic – It’s not what you know, but who you know, and this mentality applies to building a robust referral network. People hold their friend or loved one’s recommendations in high regard. If the endorsement doesn’t come from a source close to the consumer, they’re liable to consult unbiased user reviews on Yelp, Google, social media, and other sites.
Referral renters offer the lowest cost per lease available to self-storage marketers and are a clear opportunity to positively affect occupancy levels. Trust isn’t a commodity that can be purchased, which is why referral traffic is so lucrative and cost-effective. But there are ways your team can encourage more referrals, not only from customers, but from local businesses:
3.) Own Your 3-Mile Radius and Focus on the Local Customer – At least 75% of your customers either live or work within a 2-mile radius of your facility. Your local customer is vital to your self-storage facilities occupancy success. Having a strong local presence will help your facility stay top-of-mind in your local area. Implement the following to be a local standout:
4.) Collect as many Favorable Reviews as Possible – Tying into encouraging referrals, reviews will not only help your facility appear within local map results, will also act as a signal of trust for customers unfamiliar with your facility. Intuitively, people choose the business that has the most favorable average star rating and greatest number of reviews. The same intuition applies to self- storage. To earn the coveted 5-star average, do the following:
Did our collective insights match up with what your team discovered at ISS Las Vegas 2018? Our team recognizes the opportunities for self-storage marketers, but wins won’t come easy, given competition from REITs expanding into local markets, and intense competition between facilities in markets where REITs are absent.
We’ll continue reporting self-storage developments as we travel to conferences throughout the year. Your team can find Phil Smith from the Linkmedia 360 self-storage team speaking at SSA Indiana’s annual meeting.
Not attending SSA Indiana? Still have questions for the team? Contact us and we’ll help your facility make the most of 2018.