No matter how cold or rainy it is, or how full you and your family are from a hearty Thanksgiving dinner, one thing is for sure: there will still be crowds gathering outside big box stores at the end of the week to snatch up hot Black Friday deals. Cyber Monday and Black Friday are the biggest shopping days of the year, and every year it gets bigger and bigger. All of this consumerism is perfect for self storage owners: renting a storage unit is an ideal solution for shoppers looking for temporary storage around the holidays. Whether or not you expect increased traffic this November, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of offering a big Black Friday discount at your facility to maximize profits during the shopping season.

Black Friday discounts are perfect for new build businesses who are looking to fill their units quickly. If your occupancy is lower than 80%, discounts and promos are the ideal way to get tenants into your facility. You don’t have to give everyone a free turkey sandwich to get them into your units - you can be a little more strategic than that! Parents who buy their kids’ Christmas gifts on Black Friday are often looking for storage space to hide the presents until they can be wrapped. Consider offering a specific discount just for these renters by offering Black Friday promos on spaces like 5’ x 5’ climate controlled units, 5’ x 10’ climate controlled units, or locker-size climate controlled spaces. If you also have wifi and a conference room, you can also advertise the space as an ideal place for renters to wrap Christmas presents without hiding from kids’ prying eyes.

It’s also a great idea to try out email marketing or paid social media marketing to get the word out about your holiday deal, even if you don’t normally do either. Consumers are primed to look for hot deals in their email inbox and on social media around Black Friday, so they’ll be more likely to click your email and browse through your deals than nearly any other time of year.

Pros of running a Black Friday deal:

  • Ideal for new builds or facilities with low occupancy

  • Perfect way to try out email marketing or paid social marketing

  • Great for bringing in renters who want to hide their kids’ Christmas presents

So why shouldn’t you offer a Black Friday discount? You definitely shouldn’t offer a promo just because everyone else is doing it - trying to beat all of your competitors on price is just a race to the bottom. Hopefully you’re adding lots of value for your clients by providing excellent customer service and high-quality amenities, and by doing so you’re able to bring in a steady stream of renters all year long. If you offer a Black Friday discount and you’re planning on closing your office over the holiday weekend, don’t forget that you’ll need to run the deal longer (possibly into early December) and schedule your time appropriately to handle a busy week after Thanksgiving. If you have online move-ins and reservations, a one-day only discount can still work even if your doors are closed - you’ll simply log into your facility management software when you get back to the office and check out your activity feed to see a list of all of the interested renters from the special.

Also, consider the frequency you’ve been offering discounts lately: If you have discounts available every month, or you’ve recently run a big promo, a big Black Friday discount might not be right for your facility. If your storage business has a case of discountitis, it’s a great idea to stop running promos for a while and do something that adds value for tenants (like make landscaping or parking lot improvements, upgrade your HVAC system, or install new security cameras). That way, your tenants feel that they’re still getting a great value and your facility can stop running such heavy discounts on storage units to maximize November profits. You’ll find your marketing dollars actually stretch further when you’re not constantly running a promo - interested renters will pay more attention to your specials and deals when they’re actually special!

Cons of running a Black Friday deal:

  • If you don’t have online move-ins and you’re closed over the holiday, you’ll have to run your Black Friday special for closer to a week in order for tenants to get the deal

  • Too many promos and discounts can lead to lost profits and people glazing over at your marketing campaigns

No matter which route you choose, be sure to continue marketing your facility across all free online sources and update your Google My Business hours so that interested tenants know how to reach you over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. If you’re offering a Black Friday discount, don’t forget to advertise it across Facebook, Yelp, Google, and any aggregators (like SpareFoot) that you’re using to drive rentals. You never know how a tenant will find you online, and you don’t want them to miss your biggest deal of the year!

Thanks for reading! If you liked this post, you may also like: 7 unique discount ideas, 11 things storEDGE is thankful for in 2017, and storEDGE Podcast: Winter is coming - is your website ready?