If you aren’t already offering online rentals, your self-storage business is missing out.
Period. End of story.
A desire for end-to-end shopping, selection, and purchase in the virtual world isn’t limited to Millennials and techies. A whopping 58% of all consumers say convenience is driving a preference for completing their purchases in the virtual world, and the self-storage business is no exception.
However, aside from putting a smile on the faces of your customers, offering online rentals could put a smile on yours as well. Online rentals are typically cheaper to acquire and manage than those found in more traditional channels.
Read on for seven ways online bookings can help put money back to your bottom line.
1. Expand your customer acquisition.
Last year, 97% of people searched for local businesses online. Imagine having that many people walk through your front door. Chances are, your storage facility would never get the same amount of foot traffic it has the potential to see in the virtual world.
Adding the option to rent storage units through your website gives you a new channel through which it can capture and convert consumers that you’d likely never touch otherwise.
2. Turn mountains into mole-hills.
From rental agreements to automatic payment forms, the amount of paperwork that must be reviewed and managed with a new self-storage customer is substantial. Those mountains of paperwork can translate into hours of administrative work for your employees.
One of the most significant benefits of online booking is document automation. By establishing a self-service method of collecting and completing forms online, front-line managers and salespeople can scratch this off their daily to-do list and redirect their time to customer service and other, higher-level job functions. All StoragePug websites have the ability for online lease signing!
3. Prevent lost sales online.
Believe it or not, many people prefer doing business online. No driving to a retail office. No parking. No waiting in line for service. Consumers love the immediate gratification that online booking provides; and chances are, if they aren’t able to buy on their schedule, they’re not buying at all. At least not from you.
By allowing customers to do business on their terms, you’re supporting their need to shop, consider, and purchase at their own pace, when and where it’s most convenient. And with a slew of competitors only a few clicks away, if you fail to convert when they’re on your site, it’s likely they’ll purchase elsewhere.
4. Kill-it during after-hours.
Today’s consumers place a premium on convenience. Online rentals allow your business to capture sales outside of regular business hours.
So whether it’s 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday night or 5:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, customers have the opportunity to rent space when it’s most convenient for them, and you have the chance to close a sale, regardless of your office hours.
5. Add-on services for incremental revenue.
One of the easiest ways to bolster account revenue is through the sale of add-on products and services. Add-on opportunities range from providing additional retail products like packing materials and moving equipment to more robust offerings like rental trucks and tenant insurance.
There are also opportunities to promote unit upgrades, such as climate control. Best of all, you can promote and sell these add-ons clearly and correctly in an online environment with absolutely no staff sales training required.
6. Make the most of your inventory.
An online booking option makes it ridiculously easy to promote short-term sales and special discounts to help manage both surplus and limited inventory.
Offer a weekend promotion on slow-moving units or steer customers toward larger space when you’re short on smaller-size inventory. Whatever your immediate need, offering online rentals provides enormous flexibility to roll-out and change offers quickly and efficiently.
7. Expand your audience.
Whether it’s appealing to a younger demographic or reaching people who live in another city, online booking will broaden your potential customer base.
Research suggests that over half of all purchases made by Millennials (born between 1981-1996) are made online. If you’re not already offering online booking, you’re ignoring a large segment of the market.
Additionally, there is an ever-growing number of people living outside your market that have storage needs in your city. Children of aging parents, as well as parents of college-age children, often seek storage solutions to manage both downsizing and temporary moves.
Increasing ROI for your storage facility is reason enough to start offering online booking, but the reality is that doing so is nothing short of a necessity if you want to remain relevant and competitive in today’s market.
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