Maximizing Profits In A Difficult Storage Market!

Times are getting tough among self-storage businesses in America right now! We have noticed that standard rates have dropped as well as occupancy. So, how do we effectively manage self-storage assets during an economic downturn?

The best storage operators weather recession fatigue more easily, but why is that? It is because they assess the rates and availability, and adjust rates and specials accordingly. Nonetheless, it may be a rough ride for operators in an oversaturated self-storage market, especially if their marketing and sales teams are not sharpening their sales and service skills.

The Importance of Auditing Your Facility

During an economic downturn assessing your staff, operations, pricing, marketing/advertising, and training is important. As a self-storage auditor, it is common to see a storage property that is highly occupied (90% or above), yet, the economic occupancy (based on the income banked after discounts) is substantially lower.

For example, if your unit occupancy is 90%, but the store income (commonly called Effective Rate After Concessions) is depositing money as if it is 70% occupied, then you have a problem! Start by looking at your long-term discounts. These are the customers who aren’t paying the standard rate. Increasing current customers’ rates may not be easy or fun, but it is necessary.

How to Effectively Raise Rent

An effective way to increase rates is when you update your storage facility.  If you get a new gate, paint the property, get new roofs, etc. it is a perfect opportunity to raise rates for current customers. Customers commonly move out or complain when the rental rates go up, but the storage property doesn’t ever improve. 

Recently, we heard a call from a customer threatening to move out because the gate keypad was not consistently working, the storage doors were chalky from the sun, and the tenant could rarely get a hold of the office manager.  Depending on the situation, this type of customer will be more apt to move out at any sign of a rent increase.   

Be a Proactive Self Storage Operator

Owners, be proactive and fix problems at the property. Care about the customer’s storage experience. If you cannot spend the time and effort working with the staff and making necessary improvements to the property, get a storage management company like SkilCheck Services that will.

Managers take diligent care of customers from that first phone call to the end of their tenancy. Care about your job, the property, and the customer experience while a tenant stores with your company. If you can demonstrate to the customer that you care about the property and their storage journey, you will be a leader in your market!

Good luck and happy renting!