Over the past two years, our industry has seen historical high numbers in both occupancies and income. Not only did we survive through COVID, but we thrived! All of those small units and tucked away, awkward-sized units that were extremely difficult to rent in years past are now rented, and many facilities have waiting lists or are turning away customers. When one unit vacates, there is someone waiting to rent it the same day. That is demand, folks, and it’s certainly been enjoyable! Managers have enjoyed the fact that they can keep their facilities rented up without having to go into their communities marketing as they might have had to do in the past. It didn’t make sense to market a product you don’t have, right? Wrong. Marketing should never stop to some degree. It should always be important to keep your name out there in front of potential tenants. I’m sure many scaled back, and that’s OK, but now may be the time to get things going again.
With inflation, rising gas prices, and increased interest rates, are you starting to see a difference in your occupancies? Are we going to see downsizing, vacates, or will customers begin to “shop” again to see what the better deal is instead of taking the last unit you have out of desperation because no one has any vacancies? Are we going to see more delinquencies and ultimately auctioned units? Or will we see a status quo? I certainly wish we all had a crystal ball to know how things will play out.
It’s time to ask those hard questions. It’s time to get that positive, can-do attitude out of the box and start to plan your approach to any and all challenges that may come your way. We hope that no one sees all of the issues stated above, but planning and being proactive is certainly a much better approach than being reactive. Keeping your momentum going is an important key to your success.
Most operators have their digital marketing down; those strategies are ongoing and don’t require a lot of your time to stay relevant. Most operators either hire professional companies to do their SEO or have staff on board that does this internally. What have you continued to do in regard to marketing over the past few years? As times change, so should your strategies. What worked a few years ago may not currently work. The last few years would have been a great time to try new strategies, but it’s not too late!
It’s always good to go back to the basics and realize that you are part of the reason that people rent from your facility. Know what sets your site apart from others and let your unique selling points shine.
It is a proven point that people will spend a bit more to get the service they demand or that they feel was the best.
The storage industry is pretty resilient, and that has been well documented and written about. The key to your businesses success is thinking ahead, planning ahead, and making sure you are prepared to ride the next wave!