Gabfocus Episode 59 | Elevating Your Marketing Through Curb Appeal

Gabfocus Episode 59 | Elevating Your Marketing Through Curb Appeal

Some of the best marketing you can get is from local customers driving by and seeing that your facility looks well-maintained and taken care of. Because when they are looking for a place to store, you'll be the nice, clean facility that they pass each day on the way to work! Join us as we dig into tips & tricks for turning curb appeal into a lead generator.

Featured Speakers: Jane Sauls
Moderators:  Melissa Huff

Category: Marketing & Operations
Focus: Owners, Operators, & Managers
Aired: April 25, 2024
Duration: 1:13:04


If you don't have time to watch the whole session, here are some of our favorite parts:

  • At 5:50, our expert discusses two different types of curb appeal and why they matter.
  • 8:00, Jane discussed the usefulness of taking pictures of your facility and using them as references for spots that need attention.
  • Starting at 9:50, Jane covered the importance of attracting the right type of lead and how curb appeal can do that.
  • At 12:10, our guest talked about how having a clean and well-maintained facility can encourage your customers to leave reviews.
  • 15:55, our expert started discussing how you can use curb appeal to compete against larger operators.
  • Around 20:10, Jane talks about how curb appeal and marketing tie together.
  • At 22:00, our guest covers the importance of making sure your online curb appeal is reliable, real, and relatable.
  • 22:50, Jane touches on the importance of focusing on the details and not ignoring things that you think people won't notice.
  • 25:25, our guest discusses the importance of proper facility lighting to curb appeal.
  • 28:00, Jane highlights that driving by your facility at night can help you gauge if you have the appropriate lighting or not.
  • At 29:45, our guest talks about the importance of knowing your customers and which amenities matter most to them.
  • Starting at 33:40, Jane discusses what online curb appeal is and why it matters to your customers.
  • Around 38:15, our guest talked about the importance of consistency to online curb appeal, make sure it's updated!
  • 42:45, Jane discussed the importance of having good, real photos and videos and not using stock imagery.
  • 50:55, Jane started discussing online curb appeal features that you should pay attention to.
  • Around 57:20, our guest talked about how focusing on curb appeal is actually investing in and increasing the value of your facility.
  • 1:05:00, Jane answers the question of the week!

Gabfocus Takeaway

If you make sure your facility is clean, well-maintained, and cared for, you can not only attract more customers, but also the customers who are most likely to pay their bills on time and leave glowing, impactful reviews about your business. You have to pay attention to the details around your facility because customers will notice everything, and each sign of care and attention is what improves their overall opinion of your facility. Your online curb appeal should showcase your physical curb appeal in a reliable, real, and relatable way. When customers arrive at your facility, you want them to feel as though they've already been there after looking at your online presence. Marketing and curb appeal go hand in hand, so make sure you have a cared-for product to market to potential customers!

What are Gabfocus Sessions?

Gabfocus Sessions are virtual workshops for self storage owners, managers, and operators. Brought to you by the team behind Gabfest: StoragePug and Lighthouse Storage Solutions.

Each session features hand-picked industry pros who will dive deep into relevant topics surrounding our industry, share best practices, and explore trends in the market. It's our hope that these sessions help you navigate your self storage business better during these uncertain times.

Want to learn more about self storage? Join us on select Thursdays for Gabfocus.

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Questions Answered in this Session

  1. What do we mean when we say "curb appeal"?
  2. Why should you care about your curb appeal?
  3. How can curb appeal help you compete against larger operators in the area?
  4. How much time should you spend on curb appeal vs. other marketing tactics?
  5. How do you achieve that "this property is taken care of" vibe?
  6. How can you give your curb appeal a boost?
  7. Which physical amenities matter most to customers?
  8. If you only have time and budget to focus on 3 parts of your physical curb appeal, which ones would they be?
  9. How does improving your physical curb appeal help you market your facility?
  10. What is online curb appeal, and why does it matter?
  11. Which parts of your online curb appeal deserve time and attention and why?
  12. How can you boost your online curb appeal?
  13. Which features of your online curb appeal are most important?
  14. If you have time and budget to improve 1 part of your online curb appeal, which would it be?
  15. How does improving your digital curb appeal help you market your facility?
  16. What are the 3 best tips and tricks for making the most out of your physical or online curb appeal?

Live Poll Results: What tools are most important to provide to your employees?




Meet Your Speakers

Jane Sauls

Jane Sauls

Sauls Storage Group


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Resources from this session

Awesome Quotes

“Once your operation is in place, you can become more dynamic with your pricing, but that requires data. You need some method of being able to record the data that you need to know whether your price is in the right place - whether you need to move it up or start giving some concessions.” - Warren Lieberman
“I never want to downplay to what someone else is doing. I'm better than they are, then I'm going to be worth a higher price. That's what value is. If you go out to a restaurant and get really good service, would you go back? Yes! What if it was pricier? You'd still go back because you got better service and a better product.” - Jim Mooney
"It's good to be informed on your competition. I don't want to ignore them, but I don't want to respond too strongly to them either." - Warren Lieberman
"We did a survey of 10,000 facilities on their pricing. We found out that two-thirds of those operators didn't change the price of a single unit of the course of a month." - Warren Lieberman
“Rate increases and value pricing are the number one ways to grow your revenue.” - Jim Mooney
"Tenants in more convenient units tend to be less price sensitive." - Warren Lieberman
"The size of the unit is only one aspect of what people are willing to pay for." - Warren Lieberman


Foundational marketing strategies to have in place - whether leasing up or stabilized:

  • Website
  • Set up listings (Yelp, Google My Business, Apple Maps)
  • Social Media
  • Establish Local Partnerships

Lease up marketing strategies:

  • Lead Generating Strategies (like digital ads)
  • Aggregators (Sparefoot, Storagefront, etc.)
  • Awareness Campaigns (like billboards, flyers, and sponsorships)

Your average customer value
Find the average stay length of all tenants. Next take your economic occupancy and divide by how many units you have. That will tell you what the average customer pays.

Multiply the average length of stay by what the average customer pays, and that's the average value of a customer.

For example, if a customer stays for 12 months and pays $100 per month, then their value is $1,200.

Your average lead value

Figure out your closing rate (or conversion rate) i.e. how many leads do you turn into tenants? Multiply that by your average customer lifetime value to figure out what your leads are worth. 

Pro Tip: see which lead sources are converting the best. It may be that certain sources have a higher conversion rate, so those leads are worth more to you than a source that barely converts.

Typical Lease-up timeline

According to our panelists, it's typical to see a 3-4% increase each month, putting your facility at 36% after the first year, and 72% after the second.

Alternately, you can look at your lease up goals through the lens of your units, aiming for 20 units rented per month.

For Nick and StorageMax, they pro forma their economic occupancy at 85% with their sweet spot at 92%.

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