With over 30 years in the industry and 23,000+ revolving customers yearly, we know a thing or two about what a customer wants when renting a storage unit. We have spent countless hours observing, reading reviews, having focus groups, and just talking to customer at the storage facilities. Based on all of that information, we know the Five Things Storage Customers Want most:
1. Video Surveillance – We all know the purpose of video surveillance (cameras) is to be a deterrent. They don’t’ typically solve crimes (but are a great resources) and they don’t catch everything. There is not a self-storage facility in the world that covers every nook and cranny of their property (that is a challenge). That said, most customers want to see cameras in these places:
Down the drives and halls
Office (not sure why)
The cameras should be motion activated, IR capable, fed into a DVR. In addition to having cameras, customers like to see these displayed in the offices, but BEWARE. We have known of vandals that will come in and take photos of the cameras on display to know where they can easily gain access to your property. We, as a general practice, do not display all cameras in the office because of that. We also place cameras in many more places than customers talk about.
2. 24 Hour Access – There is nothing worse than your little "Jack" or "Jill" needing that “green stuffed frog” for show and tell and you don’t hear about it until 10PM the night before; we've all been there. If that property does not have 24 Hour Access, the chances that you can get that “green stuffed frog” before school starts is slim.
We’ve never quit understood why all properties aren’t 24 Hour Access. You pay your rent for 30 days, not 12-14 hours of each day. In addition, 24 Hour Access doesn’t give a criminal a clear path from 10PM – 6A to clean out storage units. Think about it. If a customer(s) cannot enter a facility for 8 hours in a night, a thief has that entire time, uninterrupted, to pick and choose through storage units. Not good!
3. Resident Managers – Kind of in the same vein as cameras and 24 Hour Access. Having someone that resides on the property gives our customers a certain peace of mind. At least that is what hundreds of Google reviews and move-out surveys tell us (second most cited feature/benefit mentioned). In addition to that, we have found that Resident Managers also tend to keep a property better maintained than a non-resident facility. A Resident Manager treats this like their home; a non-resident just leaves work, which leads us to the next item.
4. Cleanliness/Well Maintained – Nothing says “I want your business” like a clean and well-maintained project. Nothing says “run” like a smelly, dirty, poorly maintained storage office and facility. Clean is almost free! Staying up on the general maintenance of the property is not expensive either. You really need to have a third-party (friend, family, mgmt company, etc) look at your site through their eyes, because you are unable to see the real mess at your location.
5. Lighting – Most rentals happen during the day, but many decisions are made before the customer ever enters your location (if they do). Customers store close to home and work; they just do. When customers see your property after hours, what are they seeing & thinking? Are they seeing a clean and well-lit property? Or are they seeing a dark, scary, bunches of allies where when they go in after-hours they will get mugged, beat up, or worse. Do not underestimate the value of a well-lit facility to your marketing plan. You need to know what your property is “telling customers” when it is dark.
We hope you find this valuable. Any other storage questions can be directed to Brian Byrd at firstname.lastname@example.org
"I don't know everything about this business, but I want to. Help me out and provide me with what you think is right, wrong, or just plain stupid. Let's make each other better!" ~Brian