How To Use Texting to Improve Self Storage Businesses

February 15, 2023

a cartoon cellphone inside a yellow circle with a text bubble on the screen and a green rising line chart below it
6 min

Do you text your self storage customers?

Texting is an effective way to communicate with customers. They’re more likely to see it, they’re more likely to see it promptly, and they’re less likely to ignore it. Customers trust it more and respond to it better than they do emails, which are often lost in spam filters or immediately deleted or archived out of safety.

With the right application, self storage SMS strategies can help you grow your business, improve your customer service, and more!

In this post, we’ll look at a few simple steps you can take to take better advantage of texting self storage customers.


Should I Text Self Storage Customers?

Let’s say it again because it’s important: texting—also known as SMS—is one of the most effective methods of getting in touch with your customers.

These days, even phone calls have become less reliable for communication due to calls from unknown numbers being ignored and full voicemail inboxes.

That’s a problem. The ability to communicate effectively with customers is key.

Thankfully, texting circumvents some of the problems of other common forms of communication. Phone calls and emails are still effective when used in the right way. But if you want to make sure a customer sees something, proper use of SMS is the way to go.

Texting has higher open rates than other forms of communication.

Texting is more widely available.

You’re less likely to find someone with a “spam phone number” than you will a “spam email” where they direct businesses they don’t actually want to hear from.

In short? If properly used—and if SMS guidelines and regulations are followed—texting self storage customers is a great way to deliver important information.

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How to Text Self Storage Customers

It’s easy to get started with texting your customers.

There are many services available that help you manage SMS communications. Even your property management software might have some capability when it comes to texting.

Want to up your game with the latest software? Learn more about software with  our Self Storage Software Playbook.

These software platforms or services often help you remain compliant with regulations, too.

You can even opt for a more manual and low-tech solution if that’s what is right for your self storage facility. This just involves having a company line that you use to manually send text messages as needed.

Once you’ve figured out how you plan to send these text messages, let’s talk about how you can use text messages to improve your self storage business.

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How to Get More Reviews from Self Storage Customers (Using Texting)

Step 1: Determine where you need reviews the most. We recommend getting reviews on your Google Business Profile listing.

Step 2: Generate a link to the review form you choose.

Step 3: Craft your text message. Make sure to introduce your business in the message and include a friendly request for a review.

a text message from 865-000-0000 showing an example of a review request

Step 4: Determine when to send the review request. Here at StoragePug, we recommend sending a request as soon as a rental has been completed. You might choose to manually and personally request reviews later in a customer’s journey if you build a relationship with a specific customer.

Step 5: Set up automation rules if your software of choice automates the SMS process. Otherwise, train your managers (and yourself!) on when and how to send these texts.

Bonus Step: This doesn’t involve text messaging. It’s still important. Make sure to respond to every review! Even the bad ones.

A negative Google review with a positive response from the owner

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How to Improve Self Storage Customer Service with SMS

There are a few ways you can use texting your self storage customers as a way to improve your customer service.

The great news? These methods will also make your business run smoother and eliminate some potential misunderstandings or complaints!

Step 1: Determine pain points where customers are confused or missing information.

Step 2: Decide which of these pain points can be solved with a text and which ones require direct interaction. Also, remember that some customers will have pain points that are caused by their own misunderstandings and aren’t worth the investment to fix.

Step 3: Craft your text message. Make sure to introduce your company in the text, as always. If the information is concise, share it in the text! If it’s lengthy, include a link to a page with details.

A text message from 865-000-0000 showing an example of a move-in text

Step 4: Plan when the right time is to send these texts. Information that is important during their move-in should be sent on or before their move-in day, for example.

Step 5: Set up automation rules if your software of choice automates the SMS process. Otherwise, train your managers (and yourself!) on when and how to send these texts.

Here are some ideas of what kind of information you could include in these kinds of messages:

  1. Directions to your facility if it’s hard to find.
  2. Gate and storage unit access instructions.
  3. Required documents if they have more paperwork to complete.
  4. Reminders about signing up for autopay.
  5. Instructions for move-outs ahead of a scheduled move-out.

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Best Practices for Texting Self Storage Customers

1. Test your SMS system

Test your text messages and all links inside of the messages before ever sending a text to a customer.

Maybe you got a setting wrong. Maybe you forgot to include something. It’s even possible a link you included leads to the wrong place.

Before you send messages to actual customers, make sure you test them internally first!

2. Don’t Spam Your Customers

No one likes spam.

Even if spamming your customer doesn’t lead to automatic spam filters catching you, it’s still possible for them to flag your messages manually if you get annoying.

Only send the information you need to, and only do it when it makes sense and is helpful for the customer.

3. Train Your Managers

Any member of your team that might interact with a customer needs to know what text messages your self storage facility sends out. They also should know roughly when these messages are sent.

This training helps your managers know what information customers are already receiving. It also means they can respond to complaints or questions.

They can also prepare new customers for the texts to come in the case of an in-person rental. This helps increase the chance your customer sees it even more!

5 ways ebook

4. Stay Personable but Professional

Just because you’re sending a text message doesn’t mean you should forget about staying professional.

These are still customers of your storage facility, not friends!

Use professional language instead of slang. If you wouldn’t say it to their face in your office, you probably don’t want to say it via SMS.

5. Include a Method for Customers to Get Help

Have you ever received a text from a business that included a line like “Text HELP for more information”?

If your SMS service of choice allows it, include a way for customers to text back to receive some form of assistance in case they have questions.

If your SMS service doesn’t accept replies, you can also include a phone number, email address, or webpage link in the initial message.

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Grow Your Self Storage Facility With Texting

Don’t think of texting as a way to send payment reminders and nothing else.

While texting might be more commonly seen as a person-to-person form of communication, it has grown more popular than ever in the marketing and business-to-consumer communications realms.

It’s not just a preference for businesses, either: Consumers generally trust SMS thanks to the effective guidelines and regulations that work to keep businesses honest when it comes to text messaging consumers.

If you follow those same guidelines and always operate with integrity and clarity in mind, you can use texting as a way to improve many parts of your self storage business!

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How are some more of our favorite posts for running your self storage business!

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.

SMS, Email, and More

See what other software is out there and how you can use it!

Self Storage Software Playbook - Shadow Cover