How to Attract the Self Storage Customers You Really Want
In our previous blog post, the self-storage team challenged the 4 D’s of self storage and urged owners/operators to dig deeper to truly understand their customers. While the 4 D’s (Divorce, Death, Dislocation, and Downsizing) provides a convenient framework for understanding your customers, it’s an oversimplification at best.
This week the self-storage team will show you how to identify your ideal self-storage customer, understand why they’re renting; and, finally, how to apply those insights to meet your occupancy goals.
Step 1: Create Customized Target Audiences by Individual Locations
To truly uncover opportunities that go beyond the 4 D’s, your team will have to take an eagle-eyed approach to assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your individual locations. In other words, what’s great about your self storage facilities? How do their features make life easier for your customers? If you only have a few locations, this is going to be a piece of cake. If you have many self storage facilities, you’ve got your work cut out for you. But, we promise this exercise is well worth the effort. We’ll help you get started.
Do your locations offer:
- 24-Hour Access
- Climate/Temperature Controlled Units
- Robust security/surveillance features
- Spacious Unit Sizes and Options
- Car/RV Storage Options
- Attentive staff
- Online Bill Pay
- Other features/benefits?
By auditing each individual location’s unique value to customers, your team will begin to see a clearer picture of your ideal customer. Think to yourself – what type of customer would most appreciate these features? Am I doing enough to communicate these benefits to the people in my geographic location? To learn even more about how to segment your ideal self storage tenant, check out this article from Inside Self Storage.
Step 2: Understand Why Your Customers Rent from Your Self-Storage Facility
Once you’ve documented your facilities’ unique features and have identified your ideal customer, the next step is to discover why that customer is renting from you. There are a variety of ways that your team can learn this information.
In a previous post, our self-storage team recommended sending a survey to existing tenants, or conducting an exit-survey for tenants leaving the facility. This will capture valuable information based on your tenants specific needs. Make sure to leave enough space for tenants to provide their own comments or responses.
As you begin to understand who your customers truly are, you can start segmenting them based on demographic and psychographic data. This helps round out your tenant profile and gives you insight into why they’re storing their belongings to begin with.
Step 3: Analyze Your Competition
After you’ve profiled your ideal customers, and explored their underlying reasons for renting from you; the next step is to turn your efforts outward – to your competition. Since your team has already done its due diligence in identifying the unique amenities that differentiate your facility from your competition, it shouldn’t be too difficult to identify the areas where your competition excels. This is an important step when looking to strategically outmaneuver your competition.
Knowing who your competition markets their facilities to will correlate to the features it chooses to promote (if they’ve applied a similar strategy to the one suggested this week). Even if your competition hasn’t, the competitive analysis your team puts together will shed light on areas your facility could stand to improve, or areas that are already a strength.
We covered a lot of ground in this piece, so if your team has questions, CONTACT US and we’ll do our best to help. Until next week, keep your storage unit strategy on lock!