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Why Your Self Storage Facility Needs More Than Stock Photos

September 6, 2022

Camera on green background - Self Storage Stock Photos
5 min

Stock photos are great - sometimes.

But they don’t really work for showcasing your self storage units on your site. Your self storage website will be the first impression your customer gets, and if you come across as fake or misleading, you'll lose business.

Stock photos can look amazing. They’re often taken by professional photographers in professional studios with professionally attractive people and backgrounds, so self storage operators can feel like their own photos are a little lackluster in comparison. 

And what’s it going to hurt, anyway? So the tenant thinks your facility is always sunny and spotless, so what? They’re not going to move out because the photo doesn’t quite match the reality - which is true, most tenants won’t!

However, if a tenant expects your facility to be one thing, then discovers they’ve been misled afterward, that creates a negative customer experience and can damage your business.


Stock Photos and Customer Experience

Why does it matter whether your customers see real pictures of your facility or stock photos?

It’s all part of making a good first impression. Creating a good customer experience will generate more business in the future in ways that are hard to measure:

  • Customers become more likely to rent again
  • Word of mouth generates new tenants
  • Better reviews increase your business’s appeal
  • Happy customers are less likely to leave when rates increase

Most of these can be hard to measure because they mostly happen inside your customer’s brains (Google will get the analytics on that soon, I’m sure). However, we do know that a good customer experience will lead to more business.

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And we know that good photography and videography make tenants more likely to rent with you. Attractive photos and a good website shows potential customers that your business is run well - which they’ll extrapolate to how their experience renting from you will be. Think of it like having a clean, well-maintained front office: good photos show that the owner is paying attention.

On the other hand, if the nice-looking photos don’t match the reality when your tenant visits, they may feel as if you’ve misled them. No one expects your facility to look the same on a bright summer day and on a rainy evening in fall, but if your photos don’t accurately portray your facility, you could run into trouble.

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What To Photograph

Your website has limited useful space. Of course, this is the internet - you could put up ten thousand pictures of your facility if you wanted to. But your prospective tenants aren’t going to scroll through your website to look at them all.

So, you need to pick the right photos. This means, of course, choosing good photos that showcase your facility in the best light. It also means showing the photos that will be most useful in helping your prospective tenants make up their minds.

Choose good photographs of:

  • Your facility from the road - we don’t want people driving past
  • Storage units right after you’ve cleaned them
  • High-tech features that set you apart from the competition
  • Rental truck or moving supplies
  • Gated entrance
  • Large vehicle parking spaces

Not all of these will apply to every facility. Compare your photos to the features you’ve highlighted on the webpage. If you advertise your fantastic security, include photos of the gate and make sure security cameras are in the pictures of the self storage units

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This is another way in which stock photos can be less effective than accurate photos. Tenants can often tell when a photo isn’t representing the product. Think about ordering food from a menu - if the photo is too perfect, you know your burger isn’t going to look like that.

On the other hand, a well-taken, authentic photo can make reassure your prospective customers and encourage them to rent with you.

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Should I Get Drone Footage of My Self Storage Facility?

Many StoragePug clients utilize drone footage to really show off their facility. These soaring, cinematic videos can really make an impression on people who visit your site and help you stand out from the other options they’re considering.

You can also pair drone footage with a map of your facility! This helps your tenants see exactly where their unit is going to be in relation to the rest of the facility. If you’re considering implementing self storage value pricing, a good drone video can help you make the case for a priority spot.

However, self storage facility drone footage is more of a luxury. Potential tenants won’t be expecting you to have something this elaborate, so they won’t be disappointed if you opt out. Drone footage can also be more expensive than hiring a photographer, so you may choose to spend your marketing budget on something more relevant to your business.

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Putting Images on Your Self Storage Website

Putting high-quality photos and video on your website can be very valuable, but there are a few guidelines you have to follow to ensure you’re not accidentally hurting your website.

If the total size of your uploaded media is too large, you might hurt your site’s SEO (search engine optimization). This is because search engines prioritize sites that will load quickly - a feature that searchers value highly. If your site takes a long time to load, because of unwieldy media or for any other reason, the major search engines will stop displaying it to searchers.

Download The Magic of Photography and Videography eBook Guide

The specific format your images should be in will depend on the program you’re using to host your website. The key is to find a resolution that both looks good and isn’t unnecessarily large. Be sure to test your images on both a desktop computer and a smartphone to ensure the image looks right.

More searches are done on mobile devices than on desktop computers!

If this all sounds like a bit of a headache, StoragePug can handle your image sizing on top of all the other SEO specifics that can put your website at the top of the search results!

Check out these other informative articles:

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.

Want to take great photos of your business?

Learn from StoragePug's experts with our Photography and Videography E-Book!

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