How Do Tenants Find Your Self Storage Facility?

May 2, 2023

How Do Tenants Find You
4 min

Marketing can sometimes feel like you’re shouting into the void. You pay a bunch of money for Google ads or a flyer campaign, and you get… a similar number of renters as before.

If you want your marketing to work well, you need to know where your customers are coming from. In this blog, we’ll cover the ways tenants find their self storage facility - and how you can meet them there!

In the recent Self Storage Association Demand Study, they asked thousands of self storage tenants how they found out about the facility they’re renting with.

The answers differed based on the generation of the respondent - which should be no surprise. Younger renters (Millennials and Gen Z) found their facility online, while Gen X, Boomers, and older were more likely to find the facility other ways.


How Do Tenants Find Your Facility Online?

The most common way new tenants find their facility is online. This encompasses a huge set of pathways, including different search engines and different search mechanisms. That means you need a web presence of some sort or you’re going to miss out on half of your potential customers.

That said, not all online pathways are the same. Some people use Google, some use Bing, and others are navigating directly to your website. A smaller percentage find you through social media, review sites, and aggregators. We’ll go a bit deeper into each pathway here.

The Ultimate Guide to Self Storage SEO

Search Engines

Most people who find your business online will find it through a search engine - this makes your Self Storage SEO an incomparable marketing pillar. If people can’t find your business online, you’re missing out on a huge percentage of potential customers!

Google is by far the industry leader. According to HubSpot, 80% of total searchers use Google, while almost 95% of mobile searches come through Google! This is particularly important because mobile users are often looking for a local solution to a problem - self storage is a local solution to a problem.

If you’re not showing up on Google, you’re going to struggle to generate demand. Now, you don’t have to be the top organic search result! The Local Pack is much better for click-through rate anyways. But if you’re not in the ballpark, you’re in trouble.

Bing and Yahoo (powered by the same engine) have between 15-20% of the total search market. This may seem like small potatoes compared to Google, but the total search market is huge! If you can do well with 15% of the people in your area looking for storage, that’s a good bit of business. 

Consider also that these lower-priority search engines may not have as much competition as Google would. Ranking highly on Bing or Yahoo could be more valuable than being lost in the weeds on Google.

That being said, all the major search engines prioritize the same results: those they think will help the search the most. If you’re following SEO best practices, you should be able to rank on all the major search engines in the same way.

Directly to Your Website

When a customer goes straight to your website, it means they already know and are intersted in your business - no SEO required. Any tenants that come directly to your website should be credited to your other marketing efforts.

Community engagement, social media, and signage are great ways to increase your brand penetration. Word of mouth and happy customers will bring other tenants to your website without you having to lift a finger.


Aggregators - websites that offer a catalog of businesses in an area - can be beneficial to your business, but the total percentage of tenants that will find you via an aggregator is quite small.

Being listed on aggregators won’t send you a lot of tenants, but it can improve your SEO by providing backlinks to your website and confirmation of your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) to search engines. 

Be sure you’re listed on the free aggregators, but don’t expect this to be a huge source of rentals.

Finding Your Facility Offline

Even in our age of AI and social media and hyper-tech advancements, offline customer pathways are still incredibly valuable. Especially for Boomers and the Greatest Generation, analog marketing does better than digital marketing.

Unfortunately, the best forms of attracting analog customers to your facility are mostly out of your control.

Turn your web presence into unit rentals with the Ultimate Guide to Self  Storage SEO!

Driving Past

By far the most common offline way of finding a self storage facility was by driving past it. If your facility doesn’t have much traffic moving by, that means you’ll be performing poorly with these folks.

You can increase the likelihood of your local drivers knowing where you are, but increasing the number of local drivers is going to be really tricky. Focus on presenting an attractive facility. Keep your lot clean, your building painted, and your signage bright.

If you’re located out of the way, where few people see you, you may have to invest more heavily in other marketing efforts to make up for it.

Other Offline Avenues

Brochures, mailers, and phone book listings don’t contribute a huge amount - we’re talking less than five percent each. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them, only that they’re not going to bring you huge numbers of rentals, so you have to carefully balance the cost of these pursuits.

“Other,” the category that contains all manner of marketing outside of the listed ones, also made up only a couple of percentage points. This is further evidence, if you needed any, that expensive broadband advertising isn’t worth the money.


When you understand where your customers are coming from, you can redirect your marketing budget to meet them there!  Clearly, search engines are a great way to generate business, especially with the younger, growing generations, but offline marketing is still necessary.

The problem with offline marketing is that the biggest aspect is your location, which you can’t change. 

Instead, you can spend your marketing dollars where they’ll make a difference and bring you new tenants! That means a quality website, community outreach, and satisfied customers - these are the sort of permanent marketing investments that will pay for themselves over time.

For more information on fixing up your SEO, check out our Ultimate Guide!

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Interested in learning more about self storage SEO? Check out some of these great resources!

Looking to climb up the search results page?

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Self Storage SEO!

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