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Providing discounts is a great way to bring in customers and even make current tenants happier. Throughout my time writing SEO content for many of our pro and enterprise clients, there are certain types of discounts I can almost count on seeing once their new websites are live.
Lifestyle discounts. Students, military personnel, and senior citizens can usually find some sort of deal on self storage.
Promotional discounts. A good example of this is “$1 for first month’s rent (when second month is paid in full)”.
Promotional coupons. Many storage facilities change up their coupon offers periodically with deals like 50% off rent.
Long-term renter discounts. When a renter pays the cost of a long-term storage unit upfront, facilities often take a percentage off the total.
Free resources. While these don’t save on the renter’s monthly payment, resources like moving trucks and locks save him some money.
Referral discounts. One way that facilities can get more tenants in the door is by providing discounts to current customers for referrals.
As you ponder on the possibility of starting or changing your offers, remember that discounts aren’t always beneficial to your bottom line. Think about the following questions to decide if now is the right time to dish out discounts.
How does your occupancy look? Discounts are ideal for filling up empty units when you have a low occupancy rate. If your storage facility’s services are already in high demand and money is coming in for most of your units, offering discounts can hurt your profits. If you do choose to start offering discounts, take a look at how much you can afford to lose on each unit and decide if it’s worth it.
What’s the average time span for rentals at your facility? Life can be hectic, so it’s no surprise that many customers utilize their storage units for longer periods than they anticipate. The 2013 Self Storage Demand Study illustrates that the most popular length of time that tenants rent self storage is between one and two years. What does this mean for the discounts you offer? It’s also important to consider your target audience. A college student’s ideal discount will likely look different than that of a large family.
What’s the condition of your facility? This question may seem unrelated, but it’s often overlooked by too many properties when they have a serious case of discountitis. You want your brand to be recognized as affordable, but you also need to maintain the image of a clean, secure, and professional facility. If your grounds could use some work in a number of different areas, it may be wise to consider how you can use money (that you would lose by offering further discounts) to give the property some TLC.
I’ve compiled some ideas for creative discounts you can offer at your facility. I’ve been mindful not to tell you how much of a discount to provide, because that’s really a calculation that you’ll have to determine after answering the questions above.
Additional ideas for your storage facility: A 4-Step Guide to Attracting the College Student Market and Want Your Leads to Say 'Yes' to Your Business? Focus on Convenience.
Feel free to change these ideas however you please. Think of them as a starting point for triggering your discount creativity.
Check out the other small businesses in town and see if one is interested in a partnership. Offer a discount on rent for those who shop with your partnered business, while your partner provides discounts on its product to your renters. With the right strategy, this can benefit everyone!
Try offering “storage scholarships” to college students in the area. Vary your approach! For example, award a storage discount to the student who creates the best new marketing product, social media campaign, or art piece for your brand.
A fun and simple way to get your current tenants excited is to randomly select one each month as the recipient of a major discount on rent. You can even feature the win on your social media accounts.
Try offering various discounts through sites like Facebook and Twitter. Use the business account you already have and earn yourself some more “likes” and “follows” along the way. For instance, try offering your current tenants a discount for inviting their friends to like your page!
Depending on the size of your town, try being a hospitable greeter to new families who move into the area. Send them a welcome package, complete with discounts and coupons for renting a unit at your facility.
Get back to the good ol’ days by sending out personal cards and letters to people in the area (bonus points for handwriting them!) Include recent happenings and photos laced with a helpful discount on storage. The great thing about this approach is it can be completely customized. Depending on how small your town is, you can get pretty detailed by, say, congratulating recent high school graduates or wishing “get well” wishes for a neighbor who’s recovering from an injury. Of course, there are always holidays and birthdays, too!
Events provide a wonderful outlet for building a sense of community while getting meaningful discounts out there. You can always do the standard auctions and facility-wide garage sales, but feel free to get creative. Try teaming up with businesses in town to host a scavenger hunt, talent show, or charity event. Along the way, consider your target audience and how you can reach out to their interests. Hold a raffle, drawing, or even various competitions so that the winners score great deals on a storage unit at your facility.
As you weigh the pros and cons of offering more discounts at your facility, give yourself the freedom to experiment with slightly less conventional ideas. If you really want an expert opinion, you can even ask your customers what discounts they would like to see!
If you liked this article, you may also like: 3 Brilliant Advertising Campaigns and What You Can Learn from Them, 5 of the Most Unique Cultures in Self Storage, and 3 Buzzwords that Help You Win Customers.
Credit for this post's images go to storEDGE Web Designer Abby Madison.