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Your follow-up game is incredibly important to your business.
Whether we’re talking about self storage leads, tenants, or past tenants, the world of self storage communications can be more complex than many people think at first. There’s an art to knowing when to follow up with a self storage lead and how to do it. Plus, there are ways to use technology to make it all easier on yourself.
Ready to learn more?
Before we get into the thick of it, we should probably all be on the same page about what we’re talking about. Then we can discuss what to do, why to do it, and how software can improve the process.
When we say “follow-up,” we’re talking about the self storage communications you send a lead, tenant, or former tenant based on specific triggers.
These triggers might be an abandoned cart, a lease being signed, or a move-out, just to list a few examples.
It’s critical that you know when to follow up, the methods for doing so, and what kind of information you should be sending!
Sending information is good, but sending too much information at one time—or at the wrong time—can create more problems than it solves.
Besides, someone isn’t likely to read everything you send them AND retain it if you bombard them.
Fear not: we have some advice to jump-start your self storage lead follow-up.
Leads disappear fast in the self storage world.
In some industries, prospective customers spend months (or even years) shopping for the right fit. They check prices online, track availability, call for information, and so on.
In self storage, this is possible too. More than likely, though, many of your potential tenants are not in your ecosystem for that long.
Many of your self storage tenants will need a storage unit for immediate and sometimes unexpected events, such as a death in the family, a divorce, and so on.
For others, they may know they have a need for months but not become an actual lead until much closer to the time they need a storage unit.
This is all to say that quickly following up with self storage leads is crucial.
There are three main types of leads we’re discussing here:
Let’s look at some of the ways actionable leads—that is to say, leads that you have enough information about to contact—are created.
A hot lead is a lead that is highly interested in your product or service.
When it comes to self storage leads, we’re talking about leads that have called or emailed to ask about prices or other aspects of your self storage business.
These interested parties are likely to contact other facilities. Your follow-up needs to be quick and precise.
The process of following up with these leads can be automated:
Your first text should be a twofold approach: Setting the right customer service tone and providing some additional information on the benefits of storing with you (and how to do so).
Keep the texts short and to the point.
A friendly greeting and a thank you for their call. An offer of some additional information (best delivered as a link they can click if they wish), and then simple instructions on how they can rent a unit.
The text that follows automatically should be similarly friendly and welcoming and not deliver any new information—you don’t want to pester them. Instead, simply use it to remind them you’re there and to confirm if they’re still interested.
Pug Pro Tip: It doesn’t hurt to make this second text a call instead if you have the manpower, as many potential tenants will probably be impressed at the personal touch. In these cases, you can use software to set up reminders for you rather than automate the self storage communications entirely.
How many times have you found a product online, put it in your cart while looking around the website, and then ultimately closed out of the site?
In any of these cases, you became an abandoned cart lead for that business.
It’s a common story. According to the Baymard Institute, the average online order abandonment rate is nearly 70%.
When it comes to self storage leads, many of them first and foremost want to know that their items are in a good place with people that care about them. If they contact three self storage facilities, get partway through the rental process to check prices, and then close out the tabs to discuss with a loved one or to mull it over, all they have to really go off of are the prices and reviews.
What better way to give your self storage facilities an edge than to reach out to them personally?
These days, your website must let you track abandoned cart sessions.
When that lead closes the tab and takes time to discuss or consider which unit they should go with, you want to be the self storage manager or operator that gave them a call to check how they’re doing, ask if they need any help, and explain how you are there for them.
Does your self storage business offer reservations?
The best way to secure a reservation from a potential tenant is to make those reservations free and without obligation.
The danger there, of course, is that the lead finds an alternative before their reserved unit is available or the move-in date comes around.
This is why keeping good communications with your self storage leads—in this case, your leads that have made reservations—is important.
So how do you do that? What should you send, and how?
Once someone has reserved a unit, the immediate follow-up should be a text and an email confirming their reservation. These notifications should provide the basic information about the reservation and links to find more information about what they can expect going forward.
After that, regular self storage communications will help keep you on their mind while offering additional value as part of their relationship with you.
Sending advice, information about your facility, and tenant testimonials will help build up their appreciation for your service while making sure you don’t get pushed out of their mind by a competitor.
Pug Pro Tip: One way to automate these communications with self storage software is to set up a text or email workflow. Set the workflow to automatically send communication every X amount of days—tailored to your business’s needs and your market—with a very short but helpful message and link to your website.
As a self storage manager or operator, one of your primary jobs is to be the face of the business.
More than in many industries, self storage leads want to know they’re finding a business that seems to care about them. They are often storing important items with sentimental or monetary value, after all.
Going the extra mile to follow up with a self storage lead can make all the difference in setting your self storage facility apart from the competition.
And if you’re managing the day-to-day operations of the business, then knowing how to use software to automate your self storage communications will help you up your game while simultaneously making your day easier!
Check out these other awesome posts for more industry knowledge:
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.