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November 12, 2018
As all self storage investors know, the more units you rent, the more money you make.
Although most self storage customers live within a few miles of the facility, online rentals let you capture customers outside of your immediate geographical area.
Suppose out-of-state parents want to rent a unit for their college-age child’s belongings during the summer. Alternatively, a family moving to your area may need storage for household goods while looking for a house.
If you rent portable storage units, online rentals are critical for serving your expanded target market.
Most people conduct online research before choosing a self storage facility—almost 70% of your customers visited your website before setting foot in your facility.
If someone is researching storage units and likes what he or she sees on your site, you can immediately capture their business …but only if you offer online rentals. Otherwise, they might click away and end up at your competitor’s site.
By the way, this is also why your website needs SEO—so your facility is at the top of search results.
Online rentals are prevalent in many industries—from the familiar (cars and vacation homes) to the practical (formal wear) to the surprising (chickens).
Online rental sites are plentiful—offering consumers the chance to rent goods of all kinds or participate in peer-to-peer rentals.
The self storage industry, in particular, is ideally suited for online rentals because of the nature of the business. StoragePug’s online rental station allows customers to rent units, sign leases, and pay for insurance all with a few clicks of their mouse.
Today, consumers expect to conduct most of their business online if they choose.
If your facility doesn’t have a modern website with a rental station, it might send the message that your facility is out-of-date and is not keeping up with the times.
Customers want and expect technology in self storage facilities—and this includes a fully optimized and modern website. The days when your website could merely list a phone number, address and types of units are long gone.
Today’s consumers expect to rent units online, and you don’t want to disappoint them.
Most people have hectic schedules, and renting a storage unit during your office hours might not work for them.
Online rentals allow customers to rent a unit when it is convenient for them—whether it is the middle of the night or 4:30 pm on a Sunday afternoon.
Online rentals allow customers to rent units from you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Moreover, if you’re not allowing customers to rent from you on their schedule, chances are your competitors are!
Our society is becoming increasingly paperless—with many important documents stored on our computers, smartphones, and tablets.
From credit card statements to movie tickets, many items that were previously printed on paper are now provided digitally—thereby eliminating unnecessary paperwork.
Online rentals save time, money, and resources by allowing customers to conduct rental transactions themselves. The lease and other relevant information are provided digitally. Online rentals also relieve managers from time-consuming paperwork—allowing them to focus on more critical tasks.
Also, don’t forget that online rentals reduce paper usage too!
Millennials are known for their use and focus on technology. They expect to conduct most (if not all) of their business online using their smartphone or tablet.
To attract their business (especially if your facility is in a college town), you need to offer the digital tools that millennials expect, such as online rentals, online bill payment, and e-sign for leases. After all, many millennials don’t even have a checkbook!
If you have a small facility, you’re competing with the “Big Guys” such as Public Storage or Extra Space Storage. These companies have sophisticated websites that allow customers to rent and reserve units online, pay their bills, and schedule move outs.
Your self storage website must also offer these capabilities to be competitive and keep up with industry trends. StoragePug can build a modern marketing website that offers of all the same features as the larger companies and REITs. We’ll also customize it with your photos, logo, and color scheme.
Online rentals are a great way to offer promotional pricing on excess inventory. If you have units that aren’t renting, consider highlighting special “web only” pricing—making sure customers see how much they are saving by renting these units online. After all, everyone loves a good deal!
You can easily adjust pricing as inventory fills up.
So far, we’ve talked about how online rentals can be done in your customer’s home at their convenience. However, what if customers choose to come to your office to rent a unit on a busy day?
You can still provide them with quick and efficient service by having an Internet-connected iPad or computer in the office for customers to use to rent a unit.
If you’re convinced that your facility needs to start offering online rentals, contact StoragePug and learn how our modern marketing websites can provide you with an online rental station and so much more!
To read more about my favorite StoragePug features, take a look at: