There has been a lot of conversation, some positive, and some negative about the use of aggregators in the self storage industry. An aggregator is essentially a portal that gathers like related search content into one single platform. Expedia, Kayak, and Priceline and all aggregators! With the amount of time I have been in the industry, and the volume of business we have done over the years, I am often asked if we use aggregators........and why. Well.....here you go!
First off, we track everything! Whether we are running an blitz on a postcard, on Google My Business, Facebook, or placing a phone number on a truck, on the Internet, etc, we have the ability to track our leads from the beginning contact all the way through the sales funnel, to move in! If you, or your management company aren’t doing this.....it needs to happen. You need to fully understand the effectiveness of your marketing spend.
Many of the marketing approaches we deploy have a (up front) hard cost that does not guarantee us a move in. For example, we pay money for Search Engine Optimization (SEO); we pay to boost ads (Social Media); to advertise with Pay-Per-Click campaigns; and to deploy print advertising. All of these approaches have an upfront cost, with no guarantee of a move in. This is why we LOVE aggregators in the mix!
The thing we like most about the aggregators, is that you only pay for the services if you get a verified move-in. The aggregator (we use Sparefoot), will spend all of their money buying keywords and advertising, but if a customer doesn't channel their way through the aggregator, secure the reservation, and physically move-in to our properties, we pay nothing. That is the #1 reason why we like having this tool in our arsenal. We love performance based anything.
There are not many products/businesses/companies that work for you that ask that they only get paid if they bring you a guaranteed customer. Think about it, what if you didn’t have to pay for your locks and boxes until a customer actually buys them. Again, we love to pay for performance....having an aggregator allows us to do just this.
If you have any questions, give me a shout!