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8 Reasons Your Storage Facility Should Offer Online Rentals

August 11, 2018

If your self storage facility isn’t offering online rentals via your website, here are eight reasons why you need to change that now.
4 min

Last week I was booking airline tickets for StoragePug's trip to Las Vegas for the Self Storage Association's National Fall Conference.

I looked at a couple of websites to compare prices, and then I bought the tickets directly from the airlines' website.

I couldn't imagine purchasing an airline ticket any other way.

The modern internet user has come to expect the ability to purchase through a companies website.

Why would it be any different for self storage? It's not!

Today is August 11, 2018.

Since the beginning of August, nine of our clients have rented at least two units from their website!

Morristown Self Storage has already rented five units on their website at their single location facility. Last month they rented four units online.

If your self storage facility isn’t offering online rentals via your website, here are eight reasons why you need to change that now.

Offering online rentals is the best way to convert web traffic into paying tenants.

Get the most out of your self storage investment or learn how to get started  today with our Free Self Storage Investing Playbook

1. Customers Expect It

With more and more Americans using the Internet, customers expect to conduct their business online.

Also, Millennials expect and prefer to perform most (if not all) of their business online.

With Millennials soon projected to overtake Baby Boomers as American’s largest generation, you’re missing out on this critical demographic if you don’t offer online rentals.

2. Online Rentals Allow You To Convert Website Visitors Into Customers

If you have a website and don’t offer online rentals, you’re missing the opportunity to convert your website visitors into customers. Turning your web traffic into paying customers is a great way to add value to your self storage investment

Most people price shop four storage facilities before they make a decision.

Self storage is a needs-based industry, people don't look for self storage unless they need to use it.

You can assume most of the people that are visiting your website are looking to rent a unit.

Having a modern rental process on your website gives your facility an edge over neighboring facilities.

For an example of how that might translate into revenue, see number 6 below.

3. If You’re Not Doing It, Your Competitors Probably Are.

In today’s technology-driven marketplace, online rentals are no longer optional.

They are a requirement for any self storage facility that wants to remain competitive.

Don't let the REIT's take your business.

4. Online Rentals Are Convenient For Your Customers.

Online rentals allow customers to complete their transaction online without having to make a trip to your facility first.

If you follow that up with online payments and AutoPay, you’ll make dealing with your facility as easy as possible for your customers (and your staff too).

In our time-crunched society, your customers will appreciate the convenience of your online services.

5. Online Rentals Maximize The Impact of Online Marketing Efforts.

If you’re marketing your facility online (either via social media campaigns or pay per click ads), online rentals are the final tool that maximizes the impact of these efforts.

After all, why bring people to your website if you can’t close the sale there?

You want to have a clear call to action leading the visitor to rent a unit.

You can track the number of rentals that came through your website that started with a Facebook or Google ad!

With this knowledge you can calculate your actual ROI from digital marketing.

6. Online Rentals Increase Revenue.

Naturally, online rentals help increase revenue for your facility.

However, let’s take a look at how the numbers can add up.

Let’s start by assuming your website gets ten unique visits a day, which means 70 potential tenants are visiting your site each week.

If you convert only one website visitor into a tenant each week, this translates into 52 units rented per year.

Now let’s suppose your average unit rents for $150/month and your average tenant stays for ten months.

Your facility gains $1,500 in revenue per rental, on average.

Online rentals could generate an extra $78,000 a year in revenue for your facility!

This is a simplified model, but our experience has shown that online rentals do generate revenue.

In fact, some StoragePug clients have had as many as three online rentals in one day.

Those types of numbers begin to add up!

7. Online Rentals Are Accessible from Anywhere

If you have a self storage kiosk on your property, you require people to come onto your property to rent a unit from you.

Online rentals can be accessed anywhere your potential customers happen to be.

This means customers don’t have to be on your property or even in your town to rent from you.

This allows you to capture the business of people who will be needing self storage but aren’t in your geographic area yet—perhaps a family relocating from another town or out-of-state adult children who need to help mom or dad downsize.

Don’t assume that all your potential clients are currently in your geographic area.

8. Online Rentals Provide a Digital Paper Trail

Using your website for online rentals allows you to find out how website visitors found you, including which search terms they used or where they were before coming to your website.

This instantly accessible data is valuable and will allow you to refine your online marketing strategies and target demographics.

Online rentals are a must for your self storage facility.

However, to be effective online rentals need to be on the same domain as your facility’s website.

It can be confusing to your potential customer if you send them to a different domain to complete the purchase.

You risk losing trust with potential customers, or worse they rent from a separate facility.

If you’re ready to take the plunge into online rentals, StoragePug can design a marketing website specifically designed for self storage facilities and their unique needs.

StoragePug is a modern marketing company for self storage. We create intelligent marketing websites that allow you to rent units take payments through your facilities’ website.