Storage Facilities: Take Advantage of the Back to School Season
Sara Heins |September 11, 2013
To most of America, September means boot season, football games and pumpkin spice Frappucinos, but fall offers other types of perks to storage facility owners and operators: the fact that college students move back on campus.
If you're not making the most of this situation for your facility's gain, you're missing a great opportunity. Take action as students head back to school, especially if you're in a designated "college town." If you're unsure of how this phenomenon affects your business, take a few of these considerations into mind as you move forward with your fall marketing plan.
Attend student fairs; get a booth
Students love free t-shirts and pizza, and they will figuratively do anything to get them. Appeal to their thrifty senses by getting a booth at the quad during a fall semester welcome event. Whether you screen-printyour logo on a highlighter frat tank, offer coupons to your facility or splurge on $100 worth of Domino's, you're sure to get some serious attention from new freshmen who will be eager to learn about your facility.
Reach out to local university websites
Linkbuilding is an important part of any SEO strategy. Let's cover the basics quickly in case you're not familiar; in short, by having important websites link to your own website, Google sees that link as a positive vote, or referral, toward your site's credibility. By design, Google highly respects any college or university with an .edu in their top-level domain. These kinds of links can potentially be worth thousands of dollars for your search engine optimization efforts; keeping this in mind, you don't want to burn any bridges or come off too pushy with your pitch. Be sure to approach the schools carefully and position your facility as a company that can really help students out. They need a storage solution, and you're there to help – it's not a hard sell!
Need ideas on who to contact?
Locate local schools' study abroad programs. Several students will reach out to their advisor for help on subleasing their apartment as well as finding a place to store their furniture while they're away. In addition to getting a link on the study abroad webpage, ask to leave brochures in the office near other resources to get your name out there physically as well.
Find the help page that dorms direct students to at the end of the year, and ask if your facility can be listed as a resource for when students move out of the dorms and return home to Mom and Dad's over the summer.
Reach out to the Greek student population. Some sorority houses will cram up to six girls into a single room. Contact sorority or fraternity presidents and offer them help with their space problems, which will make living a little more comfortable in the house rooms. You can always offer bulk discounts to chapters.
Offer discounts to students in dorm rooms
Looking for a sales angle for year-round storage for students? Consider that the average size dorm room is 12'x19', or 228 square feet. Add a roommate, and that’s a mere 114 square feet per person of living space! Unless the 18-year-old was born with an innate knack for organization (let's face it, most adults don't master this skill until their 30's), he or she is probably drowning in clothes, state school memorabilia and high school photographs.
Let out of state students know that they can affordably store winter clothes in the warmer months so their closet isn't filled with coats, gloves and scarves. No longer must they worry about drowning in out of season clothing or checking an extra bag when they fly home for Thanksgiving break.
Bunking beds is terrible. No reasonable person wants to climb up stairs after pulling an all-nighter before an exam. When students use your storage unit as the alternative to this situation, they can “unbunk” and still not feel cramped.
This time of year is exciting for everyone in a college town; these young adults are transitioning into functioning adults and are ready to soak up new experiences. Find your own unique way to be a part of the fun. Does your storage facility do anything special when August and September roll around? Let us know in the comment section below!