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July 23, 2018
At StoragePug, we make it easy to offer discounts on your self storage facility website.
However, being able to offer a discount is not the same as ensuring that the discount will be effective.
In fact, certain discounts (such as offering the first month for free) can actually be harmful—with renters moving out after the first month or abandoning their stored items.
Before offering a discount, understand how your rates compare to your competition.
Experts agree that correctly pricing your rates is the single biggest factor affecting your bottom line.
After all, you want to be competitive, but you also don’t want to price yourself out of business.
If your rates are higher than your competitors, are there reasons for that? Is your facility newer?
Do you offer amenities that your competitors don’t?
If so, don’t rush to discount your rates.
Instead, clearly tell renters why your rates are higher and make the case that paying a little bit more for your facility is worth it. (For example, if you offer the ability to pay online via your StoragePug website, make sure you let people know about this feature.)
Although there are times when offering generous discounts are acceptable and encouraged (such as the grand opening of a facility that needs to fill units), experts advise limiting discounts to those that have been proven effective or serve a greater purpose.
Before describing such discounts, here are a few rules of thumb to follow.
If you’re offering a 15% discount for new clients, make sure you clearly state when the discount ends rather than offering it in perpetuity.
For example, if you offer a discount for a new referral, specify that the discount comes after the referral actually rents a unit from you.
For example, offer a promo code that is specifically tied to a marketing flyer so you can assess the effectiveness of the flyer.
Using discounts in social media campaigns is another good strategy (and is discussed more below).
The most effective discounts attract and retain long-term renters, bring new customers to your facility, and benefit both you and the customer.
Here are a few of the most effective self storage discounts that meet some or all of these requirements.
Aside from the goodwill generated by offering discounts to military personnel, it is good business as well—especially if you’re near a military base.
Statistics show that military personnel rent 95% of the storage units near U.S. bases.
In addition, the average deployment is 12 months, which means military families will be looking for long-term storage.
By offering discounts to these customers, you’ll be gaining long-term business.
Mention such discounts in your marketing efforts as most people think highly of businesses that support military personnel.
If a company or group needs multiple units, it makes sense to offer a group discount.
After all, you’ll be renting multiple units.
This is also a great marketing opportunity for your facility.
If you can identify groups or companies that might need multiple units, reach out to them directly and mention the discount to sweeten the deal.
For example, pharmaceutical reps might need a place to store their samples, or businesses may be seeking off-site storage for company records.
Another option is to target businesses in an office building or residents in a neighborhood.
However you choose to do it, offering a discount when three or more units are rented at the same time can be an effective way to increase business.
Offering your current customers a discount on their storage unit as a reward for a referral is a win-win scenario.
Not only do you increase customer loyalty, you also gain new business.
You could even offer a discount to the current customer and the customer they refer (e.g., 25% off your next month’s rent and a 25% discount for your friend).
Be sure the discount only applies when the friend actually rents a unit from you.
The consensus among self storage facility experts is that offering discounts for long-term rentals is more effective than “First Month Free” discounts.
You can structure these discounts in a variety of ways, from “Rent for 12 Months and Get your 13th Month Free” to “Rent for 6 Months and Get Your 7th Month Half Off” or some other variation.
You can also offer discounts for customers who pay for long-term rentals upfront.
These types of discounts are win-win scenarios—you get a long-term rental and your customer saves money by having a locked-in rate and/or a discount.
If you have units that are difficult to rent and often sit vacant (e.g., an upstairs unit), attach discounts to these particular units to encourage their rental.
One way to build customer loyalty is to randomly select a current customer to receive a discount on their unit for a month.
Not only do you build goodwill, it is a great promotion to share on social media.
Another way to build business while maximizing your marketing efforts is to partner with other businesses (such as a real estate company, moving company, the local AAA office) to provide their customers with a discount at your facility.
In return, you can help promote their services to your customers.
The better aligned your mutual interests are, the more fruitful such a partnership will be.
Do you have experience with an effective discount used at your self storage facility? If so, please share in the comments.
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About the Author:
Jennifer Pfliegler is a freelance writer for StoragePug. She has been writing and editing for over 15 years.