Best self-storage marketing ideas?

10 Replies

Recently acquired a small self storage building, your basic run of the mill self storage. On the lower end, no gate, no climate control, no office on location, just a block construction building with 42 garage doors. Property is not in a big town but gets 30k cars up and down the street each day, 1/4 mile from US19 which gets 50k cars a day. 7249 State Road 52, Hudson, FL 34667 is the address. 

The building sits directly behind a small strip center so it is not visible from the street, but the sign in front of the strip center does show my company name. Looking for thoughts on best/most effective marketing options to get the rest of my units leased up. Plan on doing a combination of: 

-Chamber of Commerce- costs $250 so possibly not.

- create a webpage for my company

-mailers/flyers/door hangers: directly behind my building is a MHP, I have considered hanging flyers on each door of the MHP and offering deals

-offering discounts to existing tenants if they refer new tenanty

-offering cash to businesses located in the strip center in front of my building

-Paying someone to stand on the street with a sign/banner offering deals

- pay per customer self storage advertising- I am looking into the cost of these now

-social media: I don't do much with Facebook/Twitter/other social media so I don't know how effective I could use these. 

Anyone else have any recommendations on what has worked best for them? 

I know exctly where that is i live in new port richey. I looked on google maps it looks like the building might need painting and maybe some new landscaping. You want to make it a well kept, clean and secure place. I would offer some type of referal incentitive or $1 pays for first months rent. If possiable i would get some signs in front by the road advertising your storage place and something that would catch peoples attention like $1first months rent. And also i would try to get your business on google, yellow pages or www.selfstorage.com. I would recomend looking at other self storage websites like www.publicstorage.com and seeing what they offer to their custmers. I think you should make some flyers and door hangers and distribute them and another cost effective solution is direct mail to the local area. GoodLuck!

@Brandon M.  On the social media side, you could quickly promote your business with any promotion you want. Test them for a couple of weeks at $5 a day and see what message works and what doesn't.

Ad Ideas: 

1. Sign up, refer a friend and get X% off of one months storage

2. Sign up and pay a year in full and receive 33% off

3. Incentivize your clients to become long term tenants, stay 2 years get one month free. Or renew your account for 6 months and receive a free restaurant gift card. Pay on time for 12 months straight and get $25 starbucks card. Use the autopay feature (making them pay on time every month) and Instantly get $50 off your first month.

The amounts I used are just examples. They may or may not be effective. Just trying to help you think outside the box.

If you need help with the social media stuff, let me know. I'd be happy to help.

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

I know exctly where that is i live in new port richey. I looked on google maps it looks like the building might need painting and maybe some new landscaping. You want to make it a well kept, clean and secure place. I would offer some type of referal incentitive or $1 pays for first months rent. If possiable i would get some signs in front by the road advertising your storage place and something that would catch peoples attention like $1first months rent. And also i would try to get your business on google, yellow pages or www.selfstorage.com. I would recomend looking at other self storage websites like www.publicstorage.com and seeing what they offer to their custmers. I think you should make some flyers and door hangers and distribute them and another cost effective solution is direct mail to the local area. GoodLuck!

 You are correct about the paint, it could use a refreshing coat of paint. As for the do landscaping, there is a gully/ditch that runs between the back of the property and the MHP directly behind the park. There isn't a fence separating the two so I am okay with the weeds staying high, I don't really want the property to be accessible on foot to anyone from the MHP. 

The referral incentive is definitely something I am considering implementing. I can't really do any signage on 52 because I don't own that property, the owner of the strip center does. I can work with him on that, but I currently have to figure out how to work out with him the fact the previous owners agreed to pay him a certain amount for the big sign on the street and he claims they didn't pay their portion yet. I could just tell him I am not assuming any of their bills but I want him on my side and I need him to help me advertise my property (since his property sits between mine and being visible from the street). 

I have gotten my building on Google Maps, you wouldn't have been able to find it at all until last week, and have contacted some of those other sites. A lot of them want payment up front whether they bring you any traffic or not, I would rather just pay for the ones that do actually bring in business. The flyers/door hangers is one step I am definitely considering as well, especially marketing to the MHP right behind my property because it is so convenient. 

@Robert Musallam  - I know having a Facebook page would likely help, but I really don't ever get on there. I don't even have a profile picture on mine, I just get tagged in all of my wife's photos, and I only go on there once every few months and can't take more than 2 minutes of status updates of who ate what for dinner or who did what workout......

I really should create a page and ask all of my friends (or just have her ask all of her friends) to like my page to get more publicity to my property. 

I needed storage earlier this year and used Google / Google Maps.  I researched the ~six closest self-storage places and appreciated informative websites.

I don't think self-storage is an impulse buy.  People that need storage can probably spend time researching.  Just make sure that you're one of the nearby results for the search engines.  Know your competition and set your pricing to hit the vacancy rate you want.

@Brandon M. , consider a EDDM or Every Door Direct Mail campaign to market your self storage units. Here are a few benefits:

1. Inexpensive way to saturate a localized area and get your marketing messages directly into the hands of consumers

2. Does not require a postage permit

3. You have full control in terms of the drop date

4. No list needed. Records are targeted by geographic region

5. Lots of option in terms of the size of your mailing piece i.e. 6.5×9”, 8.5”x11” and tri-fold 4.25”x14; Larger postcard=more eyeballs/attention

I have already set my address to show up on Google maps if you search 'self storage' and my zip code, so that should help a little. I don't currently have a website, that is my next step. 

I am also looking at the EDDM, looks like I could have the postcards in the hands of 450 customers for about $80 of postage, not counting the cost of the postcards themselves. 

All great ideas, I appreciate the insight everyone has given. 

Hey Brandon,

Welcome to the wonderful corner of Real Estate with huge cashflows, and without the hassles of tenants, toilets, and trash! I have owned several facilities and over 2,500 units through the years.  I have found the best traction I get is by having a site built specifically to allow clients to rent once they visit the site ours here at www.ClermontStorage.com built by the Storage Group.  By the way, it is always best to own the domain in which the city is located: i.e. springfieldSelfStorage.com, DetroitSelfStorage.com...... 

Also, the aggregators are by far our #1 source for paid traffic.  We use and recommend to all our students that they sign up with Sparefoot.com or UsStorageSearch.com.    

Beyond that, we post Craigslist ads, network with realtors, apartment complexes, and at the Chamber of commerce - pay the $250 and go to the meetings. 

I also published a program titled The Ultimate Self Storage Marketing Guide - that includes 101 ways to market your facility and keep it full that you may want to look into.  

I'm not a big fan of post cards, Val pak, etc like the other folks mentioned..... since we are in a needs driven business, remember, the 4 D's:  Divorce, Death, Dislocation, & Disaster.  It's not like receiving a coupon for a haircut.  And as for Facebook, we have those pages as well at our facilities, but typically don't generate leads from it, so hold off on that for awhile as well. 

If you join Uhaul's software program - emoveswebselfstorage - you get the benefit of additional exposure through their storage partners area when people are looking to rent trucks - This is huge for us in several markets. 

By the way, Josh Dorkin, founder of Bigger Pockets, volunteers at several businesses to wear a gorilla suit and hold a sign promoting your business in the weekends - it's just the way he gives back to the Bigger Pockets community.  

That should get you some new rentals in a short amount of time so that you can buy or build more.  By the way, 42 units is tough to manage - can you build more on your parcel or buy more land adjacent to yours?   Economies of scale kicks in around 150 units and/or 20,000 sf.   

Cheers and keep us posted of your success! 

Scott Meyers

@Scott Meyers  Thanks Scott, I am looking forward to the enjoyment of no tenants, toilets, etc. This property is pretty basic, the only expenses are taxes and insurance. There is no power or water on site. 

I have reached out to Sparefoot.com and USStoragesearch already, waiting to hear back. 

The direct mail idea is a good one but it seems pretty costly, I am considering printing some small flyers and having someone walk around the MHP behind my building and putting the flyers on each door handle. I could find some cheap labor for that. 

I also might try marketing to funeral homes and other real estate agents in the area, offering rewards for referrals to them. 

I will definitely be looking forward to reading the guide you wrote, sounds very helpful. 

I would love to have Josh come to my site in his gorilla suit, that would definitely get some publicity (good or bad I am not sure)! 

As for size, unfortunately it is what it is. I basically own the building and a 10 foot strip of pavement all the way around the building. In front of me is a strip center with 10 tenants, behind me is a small (~20 feet wide maybe) gully/overgrown grass separating my property from the MHP. 

It is just a property to add to the portfolio, fortunately I am in it for less than $20/sq ft and with only taxes and insurance to pay, once I get it fully leased up I could cash flow $3000/month. Not going to pay all of my bills from that but definitely a good start! 

And also advertise on cregslist. 

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