By Mike Jones, VP of Operations, USstoragesearch.com
Discounts are nearly everywhere in the self storage industry. Everywhere you look you see a month of free for moving in or something like it. With discounts being so prevalent across the entire industry, it would almost seem like it is necessary to have some kind of discount to keep up with the competition. While discounts can be a great promotional tool, are they always necessary? Let’s take a look at discounts and how they can be used.
When looking at strategies for running promotions there are three basic levels. The first is not having any. Is this a good idea? If a facility absolutely knows that it has a leg up on the local competition can get away with not having any type of discounts available. Better facilities, features, and convenience will appeal to potential customers more than a month discount. That being said, the next level is still a great option for facilities in this situation.
Even top-end facilities will go through times where they are not filling storage units at the rate they would like to. This is a great situation for temporary promotional discounts. Offering a particular discount for a month or two to help business pick up during a slow time can be a really powerful tool. This is also a great option for seasonal promotions. Having a time frame on the discount will make people take action since they know the discount isn’t going to be there forever.
The last option would be to run continual promotions. This option is more suited for certain facilities over others. Facilities that have to fight for every customer they get might have to have great discounts such as a month free to win customers over. In this situation the facility wouldn’t have any clear characteristic to separate in from the nearby competitors so incredible discounts become the separating factor.
While the options above are guidelines, every situation is different and every month is different. What might be right at one time won’t be at another. As you make changes, what is working and what is not will start to become more clear and you can start to see what is working and when it is working. It is also important to realize that discounts don’t necessarily have to be free rent. Other great options would be free truck rental for move in or a kit of supplies for preparing the storage unit for storage.
Discounts are an awesome tool for self storage businesses. The great thing about discounts is that they can be used in different ways. Strategically using discounts to boost business can really take business to another level. Before you just start throwing discounts around and making them an expected part of your business, figure out what is best for you and how discounts can be used to enhance your goals.