Welcome to Quick Tips Vol. 1. Every week we send tips to the Storage Authority Owners & Managers, and now we're compiling them into posts on the blog for easy reading and reference.
This is Vol. 1, and is the first of many in the coming year or so- maybe longer! Happy reading, and if you have tips or stories of how you've used the tips we share, leave it in the comments- we'd love to hear from you!
tip 1: Christmas Decorations to make your customer's smile
The last week in November is the time to put up your Christmas decorations. Even just a few items in the office will put a smile on your customer's face. A small tree or wreath with lights in the window are my favorites.
If you have an electrical plug at your sign you can add lights at the sign or plugin a lighted deer or snowman in your front yard.
When I fill in at the self storage facility, I love to hand out candy canes to everyone who comes to the office. Make sure they are individually wrapped.
Check out your decorations today and if you are short give your owner an email or call so you can order what you need today.
Tip 2: Understanding the rent due dates & move out dates for more profits
We have noticed an excessive amount of refunds at some facilities. Often this is because of one or two bad practices or miss understandings that can easily be corrected.
1) People are moving out on what they incorrectly think is their last day when in fact they are a day late. When a lease is signed on say the 10th of the month, the renter must move out by the 9th of the month not to be charged. Too often managers are incorrectly putting the 10th as the rent due date on the lease or info card when it should in fact be the 9th.
It is just like an apartment rent. You can move in on the first but must be out by the 31st otherwise you owe an additional month.
You will notice the rent receipt provides a paid thru date which is the day before the move in date. You should let renters know this is the move out date and rent due date.
2) The same problem can occur if someone moves out without notice and we did not observe they moved out. On the morning and afternoon site walks the manager must confirm every unit has a lock or a tag. If a unit does not have either one the manager should open the unit. If it is empty, they should call and confirm the renters have moved out, note the call and that the unit was empty on the unit file, and then move them out. Typically, an empty unit is a sign they moved out but not always- especially if it was a unit was recently rented.
When a customer rents a unit, you should let them know they are required to put a lock on it at the time of rental. Best practice is to take them to see their unit and confirm they will put a lock on it the same day. Also, when renters move in, remind them they need to provide a moveout form prior to moving out and remove their lock, otherwise they will continue to be charged per the lease.
tip 3: 8 daily marketing tasks that are a part of every managers job
Have you noticed the marketing space on the end of the day email is often left blank? Well never again with these required daily marketing items.
1) Every day you should be asking every renter who calls or stops in to provide you a 5 star google review. And every day you should report how many people you asked and how many you got. This is a major part of your SEO and building community trust for more rentals.
2) Every renter who comes to the office to rent or pay rent should be given another refer a friend card. (yes, even if you gave them one last month.) Let them that as the hometown self storage we rely on referrals as a major part of part business. The only cost 3 cents each – give them 2! and put it in the EOD email.
3) Nearly every day you should be calling prospect backs from Sitelink lead to see if they rented yet and ask, they have and any questions and ask when they will be renting. And Always ask if they would like to rent now over the phone. Again, put progress in EOD email.
4) You don’t need to report you put the sandwich board & flags out on the street. But each week you need to change the sign message and put the new message in the EOD email.
5) You can always take 30 to 90 minutes a couple of times a week and make cold calls to Apartment complex offices, real estate agents, past renters.
6) A quick Facebook post at the end of the day is an easy one. Don’t forget to ALWAYS post Facebook Friday at the end of every Thursday.
7) Your business Google my Business page is the new social & marketing site. You should be updating your page at least 2 times a week with posts, photos, Q & A, responding to google reviews etc. Do a search online to learn more. If you don’t have access check out your page and make a list of immediate improvements and they check with the owner to see if they want, you to make the changes.
8) Of course, weekly and monthly you should be working on new marketing projects of your choice and provide progress updates on your EOD email. Choose a new one today and put it in your EOD email.
So, given the above eight “on going forever required marketing tasks” every manager should be doing at lease 3 marketing items daily and report them in the EOD email to the owner.
tip 4: why did they rent from you?
Do you know why the last two renters rented from you? Do you know why each of the renters rented from you for the last year? If you don’t, your marketing will often be missing the mark. In order for our social marketing and gorilla marketing to be on target, we need to know the top two reasons why renters chose us. It will vary greatly from location to location, and even year to year.
The best way to find out is after the rental- a 100% complete ask. “By the way, why did you choose to rent here?” As a side note, they will often have a very positive reason, so now is the time to also ask for a 5 star google review!
It could be you are always hearing how clean your facility is, or how dirty the competition is. It could be your location, you are new, or because you were so nice and helpful. Whatever the reason, you want to be shouting stories of “the whys” your customers told you. Share it on your social media posts, to prospects on the phone, or in person. You should even share them when you out gorilla marking. Everyone you talk to about your facility should hear "the whys" because it gives them confidence in you and your facility.
Buyers of any service or product love to know that other people have made the same decision. They are more likely to say yes if you let them know what others have stated as the reason why they rented from you!