3 Big Rental Price Myths

The 3 Biggest Myths About Rental Prices

By Marc Goodin

First I want to show you a chart for the 22 self storages near my Coventry self storage.  As you can see there is a huge difference between the low & high prices and even between the average and the high prices.  The high prices are mine and I can tell you increasing your rates 25% will increase your profits by 50% and more!

Average Coventry Area Rental Rates

ONE

You will get more rentals and make more money if your rates are in the middle of the pack or on the low end of the rental scale.

There is nothing further from the truth, in fact I can find the price leaders in any city and they will be the ones making the most money.  There is no other business where the owners (and managers) lack the basics of a retail business (or just are making to much to care or put in the time.)  This can be observed by the fact that so many facilities are full but have not raised their rents (in years).  Have you ever seen another business that would not raise their rates when there is such demand?  These facilities would make more money with higher rates at 95% full.

By providing the tools and training a manager, the sale manager will surprise and delight clients and provide the “just right feeling” and price will not be a factor.  Once you help clients understand and see you are a premium self storage they will be happy to pay for your services

At Storage Authority We have the best guarantee in the business and we share it with every customer even before they walk in the door!  They know we care about them and their stuff immediately – priceless!

Most owners have let their facility become a commodity by having order takers for managers and not having trained sales managers run their facility.  The difference is not what is between the four walls of a unit but what is on the out side of the walls.  A Commodity is a product or service that no one cared enough about to market and thus has to compete on price.  Marketing and sales managers create value by combining stories, design, care and over the top service.

The problem is it takes experience and work to provide the systems, manuals, guidance and training.  Starting day one I would rather insure managers know how to really explain the price and understand the basic sales and marketing, then literally leave tons of profit on the table every month.  And that is why Storage Authority has developed Dynamic Ease Series for all aspects of self storage.

Our managers are required to email us immediately if someone did not rent because of our (higher) prices and provide their phone number and tell us what they said about price.  After training I rarely get such an email but when I do once or twice a year I love to give them a call and rent to them.

TWO Most renters choose where to rent based upon price.

There is nothing further from the truth, in fact price is often 6 or 7 down on the list. Many managers think price is the major factor in choosing a self storage because this is the first question a prospect often ask.  But customers ask this because they do not know what else to ask.  Competing on price is absolutely the worst feature to use to build a profitable self storage.  During the next 5 site walks to show units have your managers ask prospects what is important to them and price will be down on the second half of the list.

The manager’s simple do not know how to make a sale and in most cases do not even take a prospect for site walk to get to know them or know how to ask for the rental.  People do not window shop for self storage.  Typically, they are going to rent from you or someone else in the next week.

THREE  It is a lot of work to keep up with the competitions prices I don’t really need to do that.

Again a myth.  The competitions prices are simple to get with a few strokes on your key board.  I use www.stortrack.com  I can check the competitions prices when every I want and Stortrack even send me alerts when prices change.  Us our code Price20  and save 20%.  They have a couple of great options to get quick mini reports when you looking at new sites.

They provide the data in a couple of great formats for easy use.  Here is a couple of screen shots of my facilities rates and my competition rates.  As you can see there is a huge difference for form the low, average and highest.  And our Coventry Facility is the price leader by a ton!

I need the competitor prices to insure I am the highest. I even bring my price list to all my competition and let them know how high I am.  Hopefully this get them to raise their prices a bit.  But more importantly when they run out of a size a customer needs they refer them to me. My competition is one of my major sources of leads.  They think customers will come back to them one day because they charge less but it never happens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wow! My Competition just 5 miles away charges over 50% more than the competition.  The good news is I own that self storage too!

 BONUS Quick tips how to over come the price objection

Most people do not rent is because they were never asked if they wanted to rent. So ask 3 times, “lets get that 10 x 10 in your name”

Many people did not rent because you did not overcome their concerns.  There are only seven typical concerns so its time to learn them and their responses.  So again ask if they want to rent and them overcome their concerns.

Potential renters bring up prices in typically one of the two following ways:

  • Potential Renter: That’s high      

      Your response:  Why do you say that? 

 Now you can over come their concern and rent. You will be amazed at the answers.  The only price concern you really have to compete with is, so & so down the street is cheaper by $20 and that’s simple:  I am sure you can agree we are different and we provide exception value. As you shake you head yes ask would you like to get that unit in your name. The key is not saying anything and let them response.  They either rent or come up with the real concern you can overcome.

Never Never match prices.  After the customer understands your value, you are much better off asking are you ready to rent today? And if they say yes, then offer them a $25 off the first month rent and add in free lock, if they want more.  One time discounts are so much better then ongoing monthly discounts.

  • Question: Can you give me a better price?

Your Response:  I understand your concern. You want to get the most value for your money.  From what I shared with you I am sure you can agree we provide exceptional value.  We keep our rates as low as possible and still provide the services all our clients expect. Would you like to get that 10 x 10 in your name today as you put the lease on the counter.

 

Marc Goodin is President of Storage Authority Franchising, the best Franchise for the busy professional.  He owns 3 self storages he designed, built and manages. He has been helping others in the self storage industry for over 25 years.   He can be reached at marc@StorageAuthority.com or directly at 860-830-6764 to answerer your development, marketing, sales and operations questions.

100 + Kmarts for you to Convert To Self Storage for HUGE Profits

100+ Kmarts for You to Convert To Self Storage for HUGE Profits!
by Marc Goodin

Conversions of exiting building into self storage is typically faster then building from scratch. And often these empty grocery stores, Wal marts, sears, Kmarts etc are located in high population and high traffic areas so they are prime self storage locations.  While conversions cost about the same as new construction your the regulatory process is much easier and you can cut your time in half.

kmart

Adding the self storage units cost aprox. $10 to $12 per square foot. And often you can expect to spend another $10/sf foot on soft costs, building improvements, office build out, signage, parking improvements.

You can find these buildings by simply driving around your neighborhood. If you have a KMART or SEARS  in your town you have a 1 in 10 chance it may be an option for a future self storage as sears is closing about 10% of it stores.

Sears announced a second wave of store closures on Wednesday, bringing the total number of closures scheduled for early 2017 to 150.

The company will shut down 108 Kmart stores and 42 Sears stores by April, according to an internal document obtained by Business Insider.
Upcoming Store Closures Announced 1/4/2017

STORE STREET ADDRESS CITY STATE

Kmart 3600 Wilson Road Bakersfield CA
Kmart 25 West Polk Street Coalinga CA
Kmart 333 Sierra Street Kingsburg CA
Kmart 363 S Broadway Denver CO
Kmart 2809 North Ave Grand Junction CO
Kmart 45 Shunpike Road Cromwell CT
Kmart 3200 Macon Road Columbus GA
Kmart 365 Habersham Village Circle Cornelia GA
Kmart 1601 Highway 40 East Kingsland GA
Kmart 2600 Dodge Street Dubuque IA
Kmart 5700 Gordon Drive Sioux City IA
Kmart 3810 University Avenue Waterloo IA
Kmart 2851 Belt Line Parkway Alton IL
Kmart 3655 Nameoki Road Granite City IL
Kmart 750 Indian Boundary Road Chesterton IN
Kmart 1460 West State Road 2 La Porte IN
Kmart 4820 S 4th St Trafficway Leavenworth KS
Kmart 4200 W Kellogg Dr Wichita KS
Kmart 115 South Airline Hwy Gonzales LA
Kmart 1400 S Clearview Parkway New Orleans LA
Kmart 29600 Ford Road Garden City MI
Kmart 3555 O’Neill Drive Jackson MI
Kmart 1396 South Main Street Adrian MI
Kmart 5400 S Cedar Street Lansing MI
Kmart 1501 E Apple Ave Muskegon MI
Kmart 40855 Ann Arbor Road Plymouth MI
Kmart 17580 Frazho Road Roseville MI
Kmart 3541 Highland Road Waterford MI
Kmart 165 Wayne Road Westland MI
Kmart 6455 US 31 N Acme Township MI
Kmart 1305 Highway 10 West Detroit Lakes MN
Kmart 1477 State Highway 248 Branson MO
Kmart 2304 Missouri Blvd Jefferson City MO
Kmart 1003 S Bishop Ave Rolla MO
Kmart 3101 S Glenstone Ave Springfield MO
Kmart 6650 Manchester Ave St Louis MO
Kmart 545 US Hwy 29 North Concord NC
Kmart 1931 Skibo Road Fayetteville NC
Kmart 201 N Berkeley Blvd Goldsboro NC
Kmart 102 New Market Madison NC
Kmart 815 S College Road Wilmington NC
Kmart 1468 Clementon Road Clementon NJ
Kmart 645 Highway 18 East Brunswick NJ
Kmart 800 Black Horse Pike Pleasantville NJ
Kmart Rte 9 & Rte 47 Rio Grande NJ
Kmart 10405 S Eastern Ave Henderson NV
Kmart 1500 Coshocton Ave Mount Vernon OH
Kmart 185 Upper River Road Gallipolis OH
Kmart 1005 East Columbus St Kenton OH
Kmart 225 West Avenue New Boston OH
Kmart 1284 Brice Road Reynoldsburg OH
Kmart I-70 & Mall Road St. Clairsville OH
Kmart 3515 N Maple Avenue Zanesville OH
Kmart 4 East Shawnee St Muskogee OK
Kmart 5820 Shaffer Road Dubois PA
Kmart 1320 E Grandview Blvd Erie PA
Kmart 1890 Fruitville Pike Lancaster PA
Kmart 5600 Carlisle Pike US 11 Mechanicsburg PA
Kmart 120 Mall Blvd Monroeville PA
Kmart 100 Cross Roads Plz Mt. Pleasant PA
Kmart 3801 B Clemson Blvd Anderson SC
Kmart 254 Highway 72 By-Pass Greenwood SC
Kmart 8571 Rivers Avenue North Charleston SC
Kmart 3020 W 12th St Sioux Falls SD
Kmart 305 W Economy Road Morristown TN
Kmart 1120 Mc Rae Blvd El Paso TX
Kmart 9484 Dyer St El Paso TX
Kmart 1101 Fort Hood Street Killeen TX
Kmart 3061 S John Redditt Dr Lufkin TX
Kmart 1153 W Highway 40 Vernal UT
Kmart 2010 N Main St Layton UT
Kmart 1419 Hershberger Road N W Roanoke VA
Kmart 3655 Plank Road Fredericksburg VA
Kmart 6101 N Military Hwy Norfolk VA
Kmart 1355 West Main Street Salem VA
Kmart 1425 E Highway 151 Platteville WI
Kmart 2211 S Green Bay Road Racine WI
Kmart 1840 Dell Range Blvd Cheyenne WY
Sears* Albany Mall Albany GA
Sears 5555 Whittlesey Blvd Columbus GA
Sears 1235 S Reed Road Kokomo IN
Sears 2259 S 9th St Salina KS
Sears* 9001 Cortana Mall Baton Rouge / Cortana LA
Sears* 197 Westbank Expressway Gretna LA
Sears* 3099 28th St SE Grand Rapids MI
Sears* 12737 Riverdale Blvd NW Coon Rapids MN
Sears* 1850 Adams St Mankato MN
Sears* 3600 Country Club Dr Jefferson Cty MO
Sears 3702 Frederick Ave Saint Joseph MO
Sears* 3902 13th Ave South Fargo ND
Sears 1000 S Main St Roswell NM
Sears* 2000 Brittain Road Akron OH
Sears* 1075 N Bridge St Chillicothe OH
Sears* 1701 River Valley Circle S Lancaster OH
Sears* Richmond Mall Richmond Hts OH
Sears 428 SW C Ave Lawton OK
Sears* 1 Susquehanna Valley Mall Dr Selinsgrove PA
Sears* 1500 Mall Run Road Uniontown PA
Sears* 3595 Capital City Mall Camp Hill PA
Sears* 1500 Diamond Hill Road Woonsocket RI
Sears* 2701 David H Mcleod Blvd Florence SC
Sears* 2101 Fort Henry Dr Kingsport TN
Sears* 4101 E 42nd St Odessa TX
Sears* 500 Gate City Hwy Bristol VA

Announced 12/27/2016
STORE  STREET ADDRESS CITY STATE
Kmart 300 Highway 78 E Jasper AL
Kmart 2003 US Hwy 280 Bypass Phenix City AL
Kmart 3001 Iowa Avenue Riverside CA
Kmart 501 N Beneva Road Sarasota FL
Kmart 1801 Northwest Hwy 19 Crystal River FL
Kmart 15271 Mcgregor Blvd Fort Myers FL
Kmart 2111 S Federal Hwy Fort Pierce FL
Kmart 1501 Normandy Village Jacksonville FL
Kmart 2211 W Irlo Bronson Hwy Kissimmee FL
Kmart 19400 Cochran Blvd Port Charlotte FL
Kmart 4955 Golden Gate Parkway Naples FL
Kmart 111 Town & Country Drive Palatka FL
Kmart 33 W Montgomery Cross Road Savannah GA
Kmart 4561 Salt Lake Blvd Halawa / Honolullu HI
Kmart 191 Outer Loop Road Louisville KY
Kmart 2945 Scottsville Road Bowling Green KY
Kmart 14662 N US Highway 25 East Corbin KY
Kmart 1501 Paris Pike Georgetown KY
Kmart 3010 Fort Campbell Blvd Hopkinsville KY
Kmart 1710 West Highway 192 London KY
Kmart 2815 West Parrish Avenue Owensboro KY
Kmart 9 Plaza Way Fairhaven MA
Kmart 1130 Newport Avenue South Attleboro MA
Kmart 222 N Point Blvd Baltimore MD
Kmart 688 Hogan Road Bangor ME
Kmart 4645 Commercial Drive New Hartford NY
Kmart 5132 6th Ave Tacoma WA
Kmart 731 Beverly Pike Elkins WV
Kmart 1050 Division Street Parkersburg WV
Kmart 250 Three Springs Drive Weirton WV
Sears* 301 Cox Creek Pkwy Florence AL
Sears 1901 S Caraway Road Jonesboro AR
Sears 90 Elm St; Enfield Sq Enfield CT
Sears* 301 Eagle Ridge Dr Lake Wales FL
Sears* 5101 Hinkleville Road Paducah KY
Sears* 262 Swansea Mall Drive Swansea MA
Sears* 10 Whitten Road Augusta ME
Sears* 1261 Niagara Falls Blvd Amherst NY
Sears* 2000 Walden Ave Cheektowaga NY
Sears* 1 N Galleria Dr Middletown NY
Sears 9605 Queens Blvd Rego Park NY
Sears 1901 S Yale Ave Tulsa OK
Sears 3245 E State St Hermitage/Sharon PA
Sears* 18600 Alderwood Mall Pkwy Lynnwood WA
Sears 225 Meadowbrook Road Bridgeport WV
Sears* Towne Center Mall Charleston WV
All stores above will close at the end of March except for the following locations:

Kmart, Cromwell, CT – mid-March
Kmart, Mechanicsburg, PA – mid-February
Sears, Florence, SC – mid-February
Sears, Camp Hill, PA – mid-February

 

Marc Goodin is President of Storage Authority Franchising. www.StorageAuthorityFranchise.com   He owns 3 self storages he designed, built and manages. He has been helping others in the self storage industry for over 25 years.   He can be reached at marc@StorageAuthority or directly at 860-830-6764 to answerer your construction and development questions.

 

The Key Chain & The Million Dollar Self Storage Counter

Several months ago my Article The Million Dollar Counter was published by inside self storage.  In case you missed it you can read the entire article here: Inside Self Storage

Today I wanted to reprint a small section to emphasize how even the small things make a big difference.

A Couple Of Things Behind The Counter

1) Assume the sale

It is important to have a lease at hand at the counter so after your show & tell site walk to see the unit you can simple place the lease on the counter and say we just need a little information to get you that 10 x 10 unit today. Ask Can I make a copy of your license.  And say nothing!!!

Here is one more little surprise for your clients.  You offer to cut the lock open (vs. asking if they want to buy a lock) and take one key and put it on a free key chain from behind the counter. You don’t want to have the key chains out with the locks because then they will be just be part of they process and expected vs. being a surprise free gift.

Let them know you just put one key on the ring so if they loose one key they have another one. Another small wow.

If your looking for a place to buy key chains and other logo products check out.  http://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/search.cfm?q=keychain+flashlight

Make sure you pay and extra few cents for a nice key chain.  We like the carabineer, flashlight or bottle opener key chains.  Now we see people everyday all over town with our key chains even long after they have moved out.

 

Order Your key chains today!

Cheers,

Marc

 

How to claim thousands in lost revenue now!

Rent increases are part of life and business.

I raise my rates every January.  I just sent out the rent increase letters at one facility.  Sixty clients got a rent increase letter.  The total increase n rent was $495 a month or just under $6,000 yearly profits. Key word being profits.  For some of you have raised your rents in a awhile you may have even a bigger bonus.

Its easy.  And there is no reason not to.  Its simple.  Raise your street rates once a year and raise existing tenants rents if they have been there at least a year.  I just heard one owner say he has not raised his rents in 10 years.  I know thats crazy but I know many of you did not raise your rents for the last couple of years and are not planning to raise them now.  Shame on you.

If you have a good management program like www.Sysrasoft.com it will print you a street rates vs existing tenant rent deviation report. You are going to be surprised how much money you are loosing.

You got in this business to provide a great product and service.  But you can do neither for long if you don’t raise your rates.  Have your property taxes, groceries, utilities and employees wages gone up over the last couple of years.  Of course they have.

And lets not increase the rents $3 and still have them be $25 below street rates.  Go ahead and raise existing tenants $10 – $20 if they are that far below street rates.

The following is from my book Crush Your Competition.  If you don’t have a copy now is a great time to get one.  For the next 10 people who buy a copy I will send them the audio version free.  Just email me at MarcGoodin@gmail.com.  At some point you have to decide do you want to be like everyone else and have low rates, underpaid staff, average facility and services or higher rates and great customers who want and get that just right feeling when they are at your facility and well paid staff.

Email me for your free audio copy of my book (only 10 left)

Week 18

Raise Your Street Rental Rates

“You can never plan the future by the past.”

Edmund Burke  1729-1797

Unless you are the Wal Mart of self storage it almost never pays to be the lowest guy on the block, in fact it does not pay to be in the middle of the pack either. Be expensive or be free.  High prices have a positive halo effect on every part of your business.  And lower rates are 6 or 7 spaces down on the list of the top ten reasons your clients choose you over another.  Companies with great service aren’t afraid to charge a premium for it.

That is not to say that there are not exceptions.  Ten percent of the people will drive to the next town for a lower rate but ask yourself:  is it your goal to capture the bottom 10% of the market or the 90% willing to pay for the value you provide. Being the price leader can actually be a marketing strategy that works.  Of course you have to work hard to make sure you are the premier facility.

Often, when working with a potential client, your staff will get “stuck on price”.  It is important to teach them, so they in turn teach the public, the value of your services.  You have given them a head start with a cleaner, nicer, more user-friendly setting, now you need to seal the deal.  Remember that it is easier and more effective to explain a higher price once than poor quality or lack of service over and over.  People will remember your outstanding value and outstanding service long after the price has been paid.

Remember the last several times you were with a sales representative and they offered three price choices – Low – Medium – High?  I’m willing to bet that most of the time, you often picked the medium or even the high price, especially if you perceived added quality or benefits associated with the higher price.

If you have been following these principles in order, by now potential clients should notice a difference in your business as soon as they drove in or walked through your door.  Now, before they leave they should know that you are different and you offer a host of benefits not found at the typical self storage facility.

Increased rental rates provide these benefits and also allow you do give the occasional discount without impacting the bottom line.

Here is what you will find in Crush.

You should have pre-determined written list of when to raise individual unit prices.  Generally, every unit should have a regular price when there are less than 85% rented and a higher price when they are more than 85% rented.  For example if you have 62 – 10’ x 10’ your price for 0- 53 rented maybe $109/month and 54- 65 rented could be $119.  I know many owners say they will keep an eye on available units but what I have often found before they get around to raising the price is that they only have 1 or no units left.  Besides making you up to an extra $2500+ in yearly profits on this one unit size, adhering to this pricing strategy encourages your renters to rent other unit sizes that you have in excess.

In some cases you may increase your rental rates prior to meeting the 85% level when you know in advance that you will sell out of a unit size quickly.  One case that comes to mind may be the spring influx of college students, where all the small units rent out in a 3 week period.  You actually rent more units using this method because by pointing out a larger 10’x10’ unit will only cost a few dollars more, you rent more 10’ x 10’ units leaving the smaller units for people who will only rent a smaller unit or nothing.  Another unit with a seasonal increase may be the 10’ x 20’ units in November and December when the units may sell out due to winter car storage.

Personal Story

I have retired from my engineering practice thanks to self storage.  I had a picture on the wall of a bum (an out of work contractor) on a park bench.  Under the picture the saying read “I was always the low bidder”.  It is true for contractors, my engineering business and for self storage you don’t want to have the lowest price.  It’s a dead give away of the value of your services.

You will never win with low prices.

Here is the simple letter I send for rent increase:

 

Re: Rent Increase Unit # 312

Dear Marc,

We appreciate your understanding as we adjust our rates to meet the rising costs of providing top notch service. Effective for your March, 2014 payment your rent will increase $xx (plus tax) to $xxx.

At Mansfield Self Storage we will continue to work hard to keep our fees as low as possible and provide the services and value you expect.

We appreciate your business.

Sincerely,

Mansfield Self Storage, LLC

BreAnn S……

Manager

 

To Your Success!

Marc

ps don’t forget to come join our new linked in  group Marketing Self Storage for great ideas you can use now for more profits.

Winter Car Storage in August for an extra $2800 This Week! – Have tenants when you open phase 2

Christmas in August!  Its simple.   Rent 4 – 10 x 20’s for a 6 month car storage for Nov. 1 – April 30.

No Garage No Problem Rent Ours

All you have to do is:

Advertise:   Winter Car Storage Special – fantastic price – (35-40% off street rates)  – only 4 units available at this great price – call now!

Conditions:   Must pre pay in full now & complete lease.   Only good Nov. 1 – April 30

By limiting it to 4 customers it lets people know this is a  great one time offer that is not going to be around long plus, you want to rent the next four at a higher price.

Of course you must be confident you are going to have open 10 x 20 units over the winter because once rented you must keep the units available.   If not this strategy is not for your facility.  Often this only happens for new construction or when an additional phase is being  built.

We are doing this for the month of August – Oct. with the goal of renting 4 prepaid car storage units each month for  a total of 12 units before we go to full street rents, minus a $50 savings for 6 month prepayment.  This works for us since we just started construction of phase two so by Nov. 1 we will have open units.   Each month the discount will be reduced.  As you get closer to the time of use the more likely someone is ready to pay full price.

Yesterday we started our August prepay winter car storage special by a single post to our Facebook page.  Within 2 hours we had rented 2 spaces.  My review of the two customers leads me to believe these new customers would not have rented from us in november for a couple of reasons, so we did not “lose a full price customers”

By the end of November we will have lots of happy customers using phase 2 units and an extra $25,000 to help pay for phase 2.

Here is Week 46 – Winter Car Storage Special from my Book Crush Your Competition.  You will find over another 100 simple marketing tips and ideas in this book to help you rent more units at higher prices!  Maybe a great Chrsitmas present in August for your employees or yourself.   🙂

Winter car storage in August!

Week 46

Winter Car Storage Special

“War talk by men who have been in a war is always interesting; whereas moon talk by a poet who has not been to the moon is likely to be dull.”

Mark Twain 1835-1910

We offer a six month special – for the next XX customers–prepay for 5 months in advance and get the sixth month free,  or while supplies last.  We let everyone know about the special including:

Facebook promotion

Winter Car Storage banner over our sign

Post cards handed out to the community

Signs inside the office

Phone calls, post cards or emails to all of last years winter car storage clients – if we have ample 10 x 20’s left.

Ads in the local paper

Cross promotions with local auto dealers

Craig’s list

Pinterest

Web site special

Once we sell a predetermined number of units using the promotion we raise the price back to the regular price.

Personal Story

By using this promotion in November and December, I find that I don’t have to save to pay my January property taxes.   We rent nearly all our 10’ x 20’ units for car storage in the months of November & December and pay for our taxes with this car storage bonus money.

With some great marketing you can stop worrying about your property taxes and sell out your 10’ x 20’s every winter.  If you are already sold out of 10’ x 20’s before the car storage season raise your rates and eliminate the free month!

I love winter car storage and you should too.

To Success!

Marc

ps don’t forget to join us on the linkedIn group “Self Storage Marketing In Action”  for lots of free great marketing ideas.

Order your banner now!

 

 

 Please use the COMMENTS area below to share your specific summer marketing ideas and how they made money for you.

Social Marketing – Pinterest

We just started our first Self Storage Pinterest site.  It is already 16 boards and 441 pictures.

Soon I will outline the details of a building a good Pinterest site.

But If you take a look at ours here you will get the basics: http://pinterest.com/caraquetnb/boards/

It is part french & part english for our site here in Caraquet, NB Canada.

You will get a good idea of what you need to do.  Part Self Storage, part story, part informational, part inspirational, part pictures, part words, part local and for part fun.

One thing about most social media such as facebook and Pinterest is it is important to do a good job and be consistent or not do it at all.  Poor or outdated sites are a waste of your time and can hurt your business.

The number one thing thing by far clients want is customer service.  But they also want to reach you via more channels.

Happy Pinning!

Marc

CLE Pinterest

 

 

Now is a great time to get started in the Self Storage Business!

Now is a great time to get started in the self storage business!  Here are just seven reasons why:

1  For the last 4 years new self storage construction has been at a stand still compared to the boom years 2000-2005 where at least 2000 new facilities were added each year with a peak of 3,665 facilities added in 2005.  We saw new construction bottom out at 496 new facilities in 2009.  The significant drop in construction has permitted the demand to slowly outpace the available self storage units available.

Thats me last fall. It is a rewarding day when the concrete is poured. A great feeling! A floating slab for non climate control buildings is the way to go to save money and time.

2  The economy has stabilized and is no longer falling.  While the economy is not improving as rapidly as we would like many fears such as loosing your job have been eased, leading to more unit rentals.  I can personally  attest to this.  At all three of my facilities very high spring rentals were un expected and exceptional compared to the past several years.

3  I have read several self storage finacial articles since January of this year.  They all point out self storage out performed the other real estate business during the past economy down turn  and continue to lead in profits.  And that profits are starting to increase again.   Again I can personally confirm this as I have more renters and have been able to increase my rental rates.

4  While money is always a sticking point for any new business banks are starting to loan money again if you have a solid written business plan and you invest the first 30%.  If you meet these qualifications you may want to contact  Joseph Weiner at  Evolve Bank & Trust.  210-820-2650  or jweiner@getinvolved.com    And the rates are much better than in the past which of course means more profits for you.   Phasing a project is typically a sound requirement for new facilities to reduce the financial start up costs.

5  During the boom days many Towns frowned upon self storage and often required significant design changes requiring a larger investment.  Or even worse denied the application.  While self storage may still not be the preferred development many Towns are happy to see any new development.  I still recommend you are fully prepared with your information and picture guns loaded when you apply.

6  Now you can still get contractors and buildings at reasonable prices.  I built one of my facilities in 2005 and had to pay premiums for everything and everything took much longer to get built.  Check out www.Betcoinc.com for quality self storage building options and a head start on your planning.

Attend a Betco Seminar for great start up info!

7  Now the internet is more prevalent and there are are more social marketing networks to help you rent up your facility before you complete construction.  This takes a lot of work but imagine if you have 50 renters before you open your doors. The average renter pays $100 plus a month at a premium facility and stays for 10 months plus, so thats $50,000 in your pocket!  As you can see this must be an important step in your marketing plan.  If you have any questions on this email me.  MarcGoodin@gmail.com

Now this improved outlook is not a license to build in an area that has to much storage already or in an out of the way location.  It is not a license to do a poor design job, not having a clear marketing plan in action or be underfunded.  First you need to find a suitable location, typically on a main state road with 20,000 cars a day passing by. Then do your own initial feasibility study before you start spending money.  If it is not abundantly clear the location is great  and or if you need/want confirmation you can have a feasibility study  done by an expert.  I recommend Ben Burkhart.  804-598-8742.  www.storagestudy.com

Keep Checking back for more Construction blogs.  In the mean time check out my Getting Started In Self Storage FAQ’s  and come join our new Linkedin group “Self Storage Under Construction”  where you will regularly find great self storage planning, desin and construction tips and can get your questions answered by experts.
The days of “Build it and they will come”  are long gone.  But if you  “Plan it well, Build it well and Market it well, they will come”  Victory will be yours!
Don’t be like most people and  think I missed the boat – we have a raising tide!
To Success!
Marc

 

Market it right and they will come much faster.

 

Drive by impressions can make or break your self storage facility.

Here is week three from “Crush Your Competition“.  Hope you enjoy and come back for more.  In honor of week three I just spread 40 bags of mulch in our 4 gardens here at Caraquet Self Storage.   While I will spend much more money on many other marketing projects our  gardens is our number two marketing item that gives us big results from.   Our most number one profitable marketing item cost us some time but no cash investment is required.  Check in next week to read more.

Week 3

Improve Drive By Impressions.

“How deeply seated in the human heart is the liking for gardens and gardening”

Alexander Smith 1830-1876

Your customer’s first impression of you and your facility are established as they drive by or drive in.  Make your first impression exceptional!  Beautiful landscaping and green, green, green grass will show you really care.  Your landscaping and your sign provide a critical first impression.  You only get one chance to make a good first impression.  People should think, “wow what great looking landscaping” when they drive by, first time and every time and more importantly, when they first drive in.

Make certain that your sign is properly landscaped for all four seasons. A variety of changing sign/site decorations will keep the eyeballs looking in your direction day after day, season after season.  Fall mums, spring bulbs, tall decorative grasses for the summer & winter are some ideas that should be a part of your site signage and landscaping.  Colorful flower gardens do make a difference.  Flags on the sign or swirling flags are great additions to keep everyone checking out your site as they drive by.

Make a list of site improvements to implement and prioritize for the next six months. Examples:

Fertilize the lawn.

Do a spring clean up every year – new mulch and flowers are a must.

Restripe faded parking lot stripes.

Plant 200 tulips along the wall or fence this October.

Put out a flag – buy several different types of flags.

Plant some tall exotic grasses at your sign or along the boarder between you and the neighbor.

Install a raised flower bed designed to bloom spring – summer & fall

Install a lawn ornament.

Install a bench near the front door.

Install a bird feeder.

Plant new bushes or trees.

Pick up litter every morning when you arrive and every day before you leave.

Be absolutely certain that site lighting is working properly.

Have several items that you place along the street and rotate weekly to keep them looking.  Don’t forget balloons once in a while.

A rope light across the top of your fence along the frontage of your property provides an unusual and stunning night look.  Use LED lights on a timer and the cost will be next to nothing.

Most people decide what kind of company you are before they ever enter the front door. You make your first impression long before someone visits.  First impressions are very hard to change.

Personal Story

I know that while many of you agree that a great visual first impression of the site is an asset, most do not realize real how big an impact that can have on increasing your rentals.

One of my self storage facilities is 7 years old. It is a standard one story metal building, not one of these Taj Mahal multi-story buildings.  Initially the landscaping was designed by a local landscape architect and would be considered quite “respectable”.  It consisted of evergreen trees, deciduous trees, a variety of flowering bushes, and a landscaped sign and a lawn.   In addition to regular landscape maintenance (new mulch, fertilization etc.) we added at least one or two new landscape elements each year.

Year two:  an 8’ X 10’ flowering landscape bed, with green center at the entrance.

Year three:  a 5’ X 25’ flowering landscape bed along the driveway surrounding two deciduous trees.

Year four:  50 feet of daylilies with daisies at each end, along a retaining wall near the entrance.

Year five:  200 daffodils planted in the various landscape beds

Year six:  3 very large planters for the front walk, planted yearly with annuals

Year seven:  40 feet of ornamental grasses along the property line.

It’s ok to build year by year on the same marketing idea.  A little every year adds up quickly.

We regularly have people telling us how much they love our landscaping.  I have been in the office on several occasions when individuals have come into the office and told me how upset they were when they first heard a self storage was going to be built in our community and vowed never to use the facility.  Then they proceed to say how they were pleasantly surprised how nice our facility is and rent from us.  People tell us they have checked out other self storages and just had to rent from us, (even though we are $20 more a month than the competition) because of our beautiful landscaping and site.

The best way to insure you regularly improve you landscaping is to actual have a line item in your Marketing Budget:  New Landscaping.  You will be amazed what you can do with $300 or $400 a year for new plants. Three hundred dollars spent on landscaping is going to pay 10 times more than a $300 onetime ad in the paper. If people are not regularly telling you the how much they enjoy and love your landscaping you need to do more.

Make your first impression exceptional.

Every spring I am excited to see the flowers bloom! And so are our friends and customers!

Facebook – 2 , make it remarkable!

In part one I shared some cool facts on why Facebook for on line social marketing. If you did not read part one check it out.  But it is important to realize Facebook marketing is no different than any other marketing.  Specifically I mean if it is not remarkable you are wasting your time and money.  It is simply another  30% discount add no one pays attention to.

Quick side note.  I am working with a few self storage owners and managers on how to make your self storage Remarkable in 2013. If your not going to be remarkable your marketing will not pay dividends.  If you want to be included send me an email at SelfStorageMarc@gmail.com.  Just room for 5 more people.  Now back to a remarkable facebook page.

Check out my facebook page.  Do you notice the Pinterest icon.  How cool is that, that people can go from your facebook page directly to your Pinterest site.

Notice the Pinterest icon on my facebook page

Check out how we have made it easy for all the people on Facebook, (for hours a day), to rent directly from our Facebook page.  First we uploaded a QR code for the cool dudes so they can scan and go directly to our  24 hour on line rental center.  Next we went to the facebook setting and made our facebook site an on line company.  This allowed us to put a web link in our description – that link brings them to our on line 24 hr rental site.

Did you notice the big Shop Icon with the rent now below it.  Just down load the facebook app at www.ecwid.com and you can add a SHOP icon to your facebook site.

If you do not have the ability to rent units from your web page (or don’t even have a web site yet) partner with http://www.24hrStorage.net and start renting on line now!

Rent now!

Now with one click from your facebook page your potential clients can view pictures of your units, learn what the size compares to and what fits in the unit.  And they can even rent when from the comfort of their homes.  Wow.  Being Remarkable means be innovative and catering to the early adaptors.  They will tell the rest of the world about you!

Now everyone can visualize all your unit on facebook

 

large pictures - description and Rent Now option

As always, any questions let me know.

Until next time Be Remarkable For Oversized Profits!

To Success!

 

Marc

 

 

 

 

 

Are you getting referrals from your local bank? Why not it is easy!

I was talking to the manager of my local bank today here in Sarasota FL. He was excited that his mortgage business is up over 40% from last year and how they had to hire new staff because of all the people buying houses. Great new for us in the ss business – assuming you are doing your marketing to capture more than your share of this market.

Some times banks can be intimidating because they have such a formal air – not to mention all the cameras. But just remember they are people too and they need and appreciate new business just like we do. Its a 3 way win – win – win — Your self storage – your clients – your local bank.

Bank referrals are a little different then your typical refer in the fact that you do not need to use the referral incentive card. It built more on mutual clients and relationships. Heres how it works:

Every month I get several clients who come to visit our facility who are just looking because they are thinking of moving – selling their house. Obviously I show them around and let them know we would like to help them out when they are ready. (of course I get their number and ask if I can call in a couple of weeks to see how things are going & give them a white paper on how to sell your house faster.)

Just before they leave I tell them I know Mr banker at My bank has helped a lot of people with their mortgages recently and give them his/her card. On the front of the bankers card I write my first name only and my full name, ss name & phone on the back. I put my first name on the front just to remind them my info is on the back – so they can remember to tell my banker friend who referred them.

So they key is to get to know your banker. So you can call him your friend. Don’t be intimidated. It is easy. Just walk into your local bank, preferable not on monday or friday, early in the morning when it is not crowded about 1/2 hour after it opens and ask to see the manager (or mortgage person if he/she is not available). Do not have any things in your hands – no need to bring any ss stuff. If anyone asks why you want to see the manger – tell them none of their business – haha just kidding, simple say you have some mortgage questions.

Any good banker will invite you into their office and offer you a seat. Then get directly to the point.
” I am from successful self storage just down the street. We get several people coming into our office every month who are about to sell their home and I thought it would be a great idea if I refer them to a friend in the banking business. It would help my clients out and you as well.”

Then simple ask if they are giving out mortgages and how is the mortgage business. If they are looking to make mortgages the rest of the conversation will take care of it self. No need to remind them to send clients your way – they will.

Also ask if they give out car loans the more you know about them the more times you can refer them.

When you leave take a dozen of his cards and ask the best way to make a referral for him. Leave him a half dozen of your cards – no more . Make an appointment for a week or two later when you can drop him off some literature about your self storage. And you will be on your way to getting referrals from your local bank!  Every time you hand out his card send him a short email.

And don’t forget you can use this approach for other professionals in town as well.

 

Banks love referrals too!