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Best Follow-Up Methods for Self Storage Managers

Tuesday, July 27, 2021 | 4:54 PM

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self storage follow up

Best Follow-Up Methods for Self Storage Managers

5 min

Self storage facilities spend considerable amounts of money to obtain leads. However, knowing follow-up techniques to turn leads into potential renters is a critical piece of the self storage sales cycle. 

In this article, we’ll look at some best practices for self storage sales and follow-up techniques. We’ll then share tips for performing self storage follow-ups for various types of leads, including in-person visitors, telephone calls, e-mails, and website leads.

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Best Practices for Following Up With Self Storage Leads

When following up with self storage leads, experts recommend the following best practices.

    • Follow-up with all leads within 30 minutes or less. Potential renters who are looking for a self storage unit are often ready to make a decision, which means a speedy response is critical. Remember, if you’re not responding quickly, your competitors might.

    • Respond on the platform the potential tenant prefers, which is usually the method they used to contact your facility. So, if they asked for information via social media, you should respond via social media. However, you can use other methods of communication (e.g., phone call, email, text) if you have the necessary contact information.

    • Emphasize the features you offer and how your facility is better than the competition. Don’t try to sell your facility on price alone, especially if there are no significant differences between you and your competitors.

    • Invite leads to rent a storage unit at some point during the follow-up. If they decline this invitation, have a backup ready—such as an invitation to come by for a tour. These “invitations” are calls to action, which is the marketing term for prompting customers to perform a certain action.

    • Have a schedule for follow-ups. Your first follow-up should take place within 30 minutes of a potential tenant reaching out to you. After that, follow-up a few more times at a frequency that is appropriate for the customer’s timeline. The key is to follow up consistently without becoming a nuisance. Ideally, you’ll want to reach out again within 24 hours and then again after 48 hours. After a few days, chances are that your lead is now cold instead of hot, which brings us to the next tip.

    • Classify your leads. All leads are not created equal as they come to you from different places and have different degrees of urgency. As such, your messaging and frequency of follow-ups will vary. A common classification system is to separate leads as Hot, Warm, and Cold. Hot leads require immediate and more frequent follow-up, with frequency and urgency decreasing as you work your way down the temperature scale.
  • Communicate with all staff about any promotions or ongoing marketing efforts. Make sure everyone who interacts with potential renters is informed about any current or ongoing marketing efforts, especially if they include promotional discounts. Leads that result from specific marketing efforts will not appreciate it if the staff member they talk to is unaware of the specifics of a promotional deal.
  • Teach all staff members how to follow up with leads. Your facility will be more effective at converting leads if there is a system in place for recording, responding to, and following up with leads. This might involve providing scripts for telephone calls, templates for emails, or a lead management system for everyone to take notes on which follow-ups have taken place and the result.

  • Use a lead management system. Many facilities use a lead management system or contact relation management system (CRM) to track and record outreach to potential renters. Some storage management software (like SiteLink) even have CRM features integrated into the software. However, even an Excel spreadsheet can get the job done if needed.

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Follow-up Advice for Specific Situations

Leads will come into your facility in different ways, and different follow-up techniques should be used for each type of interaction—from people who stop by the office to online rentals from your website. 

In-Person Interactions

When potential renters walk into your office, you have one chance to make a good first impression. Your goals should be to build rapport, gather information (including contact information), provide a tour (if appropriate), and rent a storage unit. 

When customers walk in the door, greet them warmly, introduce yourself, and ask for their name. Give potential customers your undivided attention. (If you’re with a customer when someone arrives, take a moment to greet them and let them know you’ll be with them shortly.) 

Before launching into a sales pitch, take a moment to listen to their needs. Ask questions about what they are storing, how long they think they will need to rent, and how soon they will need a unit. Then invite them to tour units that may fit their needs. Use the tour as an opportunity to point out amenities and features—such as security cameras, access hours, and so forth. Once you have identified a suitable storage unit, ask for and complete the sale.

People who stop by a storage facility are usually ready to rent so it is up to you to convince them that your facility is the best option. By placing the customer and their needs first, you’ll create a good rapport, which gives you a better chance of closing the sale.

Watch our virtual workshop on growing and succeeding as a self storage manager

Telephone Calls

Potential renters may call your facility to inquire about rates and availability. Don’t simply answer their questions and hang up! Instead, use similar techniques used for in-person interactions: greet them warmly, inquire about their needs, get their contact information, ask open-ended questions, share information about your facility’s features, make recommendations, and then ask if you can reserve a storage unit.

A key part of these telephone conversations is getting the caller’s contact information. You can begin by asking for their name and a phone number so you can call back if you get disconnected. You can also ask for their email address—telling them that you’d like to send them a discount code. 

If they are unwilling to reserve a unit during the call, try to make an appointment for a tour. Use phrases such as “Are you available this afternoon or is the weekend better?” After the call, send a text or email to thank them for their interest and provide any promised information. You’ll then follow up with another phone call within 24 hours if you aren’t able to get the reservation or an appointment for a tour.

Many facilities find it useful to have a basic script to follow, especially if your staff are new or unaccustomed to selling. The script doesn’t need to be recited word for word but should provide staff with enough information and prompts to cover everything described above.

E-Mail

The key to quick and efficient email follow-ups is to have a template that can be easily customized. Make sure the email answers common questions, highlights your facility’s various features and amenities, and explains why your facility is better than the competition. Include a clear call to action, such as “Reserve Now” with a link to your online rental system or “Call to Schedule A Tour.” 

If the email or contact form included a phone number, follow-up with a telephone call using the techniques described above.

Website

If a lead comes to you via your website, follow-up will include an email and phone call as appropriate—or both! Email is great for sharing information about your facility, but a personal phone call is the best opportunity to build rapport and close the sale.

If the customers completed a rental online, follow-up with an email thanking them for their business, confirm the details of their rental, and invite them to stop by the office when they move in. 

If they are simply asking for information, use a modified version of your email template and follow up with a phone call. 

Summary

Learning how to effectively follow up with leads is a critical part of the self storage sales cycle. In this article, we looked at best practices for following up with leads, including responding quickly, classifying leads, using a lead management system, and providing staff with resources and training. We also looked at different follow-up techniques to use for leads that walk in the door, call on the phone, or send an email.

Watch our virtual workshop on growing and succeeding as a self storage manager

To read more about my favorite StoragePug features, take a look at

At StoragePug , we build self storage websites that make it easy for new customers to find you and easy for them to rent from you.

With Insights, our self storage marketing platform, operators get the data and digital tools they need to make the get out of their website and their self storage investment.

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