You Should Market Your Basic Self Storage Features

February 6, 2024

social media-style photos of self storage amenities
4 min

Do you have free locks? Do you perform pest control at your facility?

Maybe there are fire sprinklers and other fire suppression features in place?

Many facilities have all of these and more, and yet a customer would never know it by looking at their website or talking to the manager.

Why not? These amenities can seem so basic that managers and operators don't think to brag about it - but these are important things to highlight in your self storage marketing!

This article covers why you should be marketing your free locks and other basic amenities.


Why Your Storage Facility Should Market The Basics

You might be thinking, “But basically every facility offers these things.”

Well, you might be right (but just between us, fewer people have these things than you think!). I know it seems weird to brag about these seemingly basic features.

But let’s take a look at it from another perspective.

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Imagine you have a peanut allergy, and you’re at the grocery store. You’re looking for applesauce. One jar claims proudly, “peanut allergen free!” and the other does not.

Now, you may assume that all applesauce is free of peanut allergens. But here you are faced with one jar that confirms it and one that doesn’t. You don’t personally care what brand of applesauce you buy, and they’re roughly the same price.

Which one are you buying?

The same can be said for self storage. Customers don’t generally care about what brand they’re renting from. They care about how convenient it is, how much it costs, and how much they can trust the facility.

So while these things might seem basic to you, make sure you’re marketing them to your customers. Your customers don’t know as much about storage as you do!

What Are Some Basic Self Storage Features to Market?

Let’s take a look at some of the things that you should consider including.

This won’t be an exhaustive list. There are things we may not cover here, but you should take the same kind of idea into consideration when looking at everything your facility offers!

First, here’s the list to reference later:

  1. Pest control
  2. Fire suppression
  3. Free locks
  4. Drive-up access
  5. Online rentals

Now it’s time to look at each one in detail!

Pest Control

You Should Market Your Basic Self Storage Features2

Do you perform regular pest control at your storage facility?

Many operators do, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at their website. In fact, we talk to operators on a daily basis, and they won’t even include it in the list of what they do unless we specifically ask them.

That’s how basic this is. To some operators, it’s like asking, “Do you pay the power bill?”

The thing is, customers can’t be sure. And just like with the applesauce, if they see two storage units equally close and at similar rates, seeing one advertise their pest-free facility might be the tipping point.

In fact, pest control was even one of the top amenities that customers wanted, according to the most recent SSA demand study. 72% of customers called it important, and 41% said they would pay more for it.

Let that last part sink in: 4 out of 10 customers would see two websites, one advertising pest control and one not, and would choose the one with pest control even if it was more expensive.

No one wants bugs and rodents in their storage unit, and everyone would love to see it spelled out that pest control is performed regularly.

Fire Suppression

This is one of those things that people are nervous to talk about.

Some people seem to act like just mentioning they have fire sprinklers means they’re suggesting a fire might happen.

What do storage customers care about the most? Download our Top 9 Amenities to  find out.

Well, the reality is that it can happen, and your customers know it’s a possibility. Just like they wouldn’t want to rent an apartment with no smoke detectors, they are more likely to rent a storage unit from you when you tell them about your fire suppression.

This is another important feature customers listed on the SSA demand study.

Free Locks

So, choosing locks can be a bit complicated even for the owner of a self storage facility.

For this reason, you should probably be the one to choose the locks your customers use. In this case, that means providing them for free or making it a mandatory charge when they rent their unit.

If you decide to provide these locks for free? You definitely need to let customers know this!

This is a huge selling point. It will not only let customers know they’re getting something for free, which is always nice, but it’s also taking a burden off their shoulders and answering a question before it’s even asked.

Drive-Up Access

You Should Market Your Basic Self Storage Features3

Drive-up storage units are kind of seen as the traditional way storage is done.

Because of this, you might think it’s not worth advertising you have it. But these days, many facilities don’t offer drive-up units.

Because of the added convenience offered by drive-up storage units, they shouldn’t be seen as a “standard” or “less attractive” storage unit compared to, say, climate-controlled units.

Instead, market these units the same way you would climate-controlled units: by focusing on the benefits they offer.

Advertise your units as offering convenient access for moving items in and out, especially larger and heavier items. You might also choose to market them to contractors that store equipment for their business.

Marketing Should Be Customer-Focused

When you’re writing copy for your website or planning a billboard or digital ad, it’s tempting to focus on the cool features you think make your storage facility unique.

Sometimes this is good. Smart units are cool and may offer better security and more convenient access, for example.

But sometimes, operators fall into the trap of forgetting their customers’ perspectives.

Before you market the fancy features you’ve added, make sure you’re taking advantage of marketing the things we already know customers want!

And when you do market the other things, make sure to do it in a way that makes sense to customers.

Want more advice for getting started with your new facility? Here are some other great posts to help!

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.

What do your customers really want?

Check out our list of the top 9 amenities storage customers want!

Top 9 Self Storage Amenities - Cover