Which Customers Should You Target?
Kendra Bozarth |March 26, 2013
Self storage is utilized for an array of situations, and that means a wide variety of different customers will visit your facility each day. It’s important to consider which groups of people use storage most and which features those prospective tenants look for. Here, we’ve created four profiles for the most common renters in self storage and which particular amenities best service their needs. An evaluation of these profiles can benefit owners in regards to decisions concerning marketing, operations, property development and more.
Personal storage is the main motivation driving customers to lease storage units. Whether a family is moving to a new home or a couple’s apartment is beginning to feel cramped, renters are constantly searching for secure and affordable facilities to store everyday items. This can include everything from linens and dishes to lawn equipment and boats. You want your tenants to feel comfortable leaving valuable and treasured items at your facility, so consider installing security features such as camera surveillance, individual door alarms and climate control. Providing these features, especially climate control, can sway personal storage renters into choosing your property over others. Evaluate the annual climate of your market area and decide how this impacts the expectations of your customers – you want their stored belongings to stay in great condition, or else they won’t come back. Remember, self storage is a seasonal industry, and the individual needs of prospective tenants will change throughout the year. It’s important to offer a wide selection of storage unit sizes, so you can assist all renters with their varying needs.
From the smallest mom-and-pop shops to larger brand corporations, public storage is a crucial aspect to company operations. Business owners will typically rent storage for one of three reasons: office overflow, excess factory supplies and record storage. Size wise, these customers will seek everything from mini units for small boxes and documents to warehouse space for inventory and equipment. When leasing storage space, commercial renters want to be able to retrieve items when they need them (for instance, many prefer 24 hour tenant access), and they also need to feel their confidential and/or expensive items are well taken care of in a secure environment. Additionally, many properties are equipped with business centers and free Wi-Fi, but if that’s a far reach for your location, try services like document shredding or delivery acceptance. The most beneficial amenities you can provide are attentive security, easy access and helpful service. Consider the shopping centers and commercial parks surrounding your facility, so you can market in ways that will guide local businesses to your property.
Relocation is a way of life for military members and their families, and more often than not, orders are given on short notice. Sometimes, that means packing up an entire home for a few months… or even a few years. When it comes to self storage, military renters value convenience above all else, and providing flexible, month-to-month leases is the best way you can attract them to your facility. Also, offering military and pre-payment discounts is an effective way to accommodate military personnel who will not be reimbursed for their moving expenses. For those stationed across the country or overseas, it can be fairly expensive to transport household and recreational vehicles to a new location, but with parking spaces for boat, car and RV storage available at your property, these renters will gravitate toward your capabilities. Out of an array of features, the most helpful amenity you can provide is online and automatic bill pay. Those leaving for deployment want a hassle-free storage experience, where they can leave their belongings behind with peace of mind while away.
What do college students do with all of their “junk” when a semester ends and they’re forced to move out of the dorm temporarily? Mom and Dad sure don’t want them cluttering up the garage, and throwing it all away would be a waste. Fortunately, self storage is a convenient solution that students can utilize during the vacation months. From small town colleges to major universities, student storage is in high demand, and although it’s mainly a seasonal niche, students have the greatest potential to become repeat customers. What you should focus on most is affordability. Undergraduates and graduates alike are often on a tight budget, and if you offer student discounts, they’ll choose your location over others. It’s also a good idea to provide packing supplies and moving services (such as truck rental) on-site, so students without cars can find everything they need in one place. Remember, when it comes to student renters, what these customers will appreciate most is an easy and hassle-free transition.