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WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THAT SPECIAL?

kromoleonkromoleon NAAutomatit Moderator
Your special should be engineered to win your ideal customer. You are missing out on a huge marketing opportunity if your offer is too similar to the competition.

If everybody is offering a similar special, is it really that special? More so than pricing, the opportunity of a special is to stand out from nearby competition. Consumers seek an offer most fitting to their specific needs. By knowing your ideal customer you can tune your special to what’s important to them.

First Month Free, The Most Common of Specials!  
The average storage customer believes they will only store for a couple of months at the most. A ‘free first month’ is a very enticing offer because of their confidence in a short stay. For the facility owner, this special pays off because customers often go against their original plan and become long term tenants.    
A Word of Caution:
While this is a great special to run, especially if no one else is applying it in your market, this offer has a tendency to attract some “turn and burn” type customers. It’s not a smart option when you have high occupancy.

Kevin Romo-Leon
Marketing Communications Director
"How Storage Customers Think About Things"

Comments

  • ThriftyStorageThriftyStorage NARegistered User ✭✭✭

    To get the first month free you must pay for the 2nd. Then when the customer says' "I am only going to be here  for a month." I might say, " I can't even get a free cab ride ,and I suppose to give you hundreds of dollars of free stuff!" They look real silly!!!!!

  • Chuck_VionChuck_Vion VASiteLink Employee, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified marketplace moderator
    edited July 2017
    Great question @kromoleon! SpareFoot recently presented a webinar with SiteLink covering this topic. If you didn't attend live or haven't watched the recording, you may want to check it out on-demand

    We also posted all of the Webinar's Q&A and results to the Polling Questions.

    Chuck Vion
    FineView Marketing
      |  Chief Marketing Officer
  • kromoleonkromoleon NAAutomatit Moderator
    @Chuck_Vion, Thank you for sharing. YES!...Your presentation was very insightful - I actually shared it with our account managers to guide client conversations - we highly trust the data and knowledge that comes from you and SpareFoot. Again, thank you. 
    Kevin Romo-Leon
    Marketing Communications Director
    "How Storage Customers Think About Things"
  • Chuck_VionChuck_Vion VASiteLink Employee, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified marketplace moderator
    Great to hear @kromoleon and thank you! Powerful insights from SpareFoot regarding the power of 'Stacked' promotions.

    I'd still love to hear from others in the community regarding their personal experience with Promotions and Specials. What's working, what's not? Do you know who your ideal customer is?
    Chuck Vion
    FineView Marketing
      |  Chief Marketing Officer
  • teamcapitolateamcapitola CARegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like ThriftyStorage's approach; we used to run "2nd month free" or do the same "you have to pay the 2nd month first"

    Every time we've tried the "First month free" deal, we always seemed to get the absolute worst storage stereotypes! from the "no money, go straight to Lien after 1st month" or the "we're only going to store for month because we got evicted, and will have a new place by then" and my personal favorites "cool, a free place to dump all this crap and bail" and "FREE BATHROOM SHOWER FOR A WHOLE MONTH"

    That, and the arguments regarding "the RENT is free, you still have to pay the fees, get a lock etc.." 

    We hit a stable 90% occupancy a few years ago, and stopped having to run specials, but the first month free one was the worst.

  • ThriftyStorageThriftyStorage NARegistered User ✭✭✭
    I have only been in this business for three years, and I have learned not to offer 1st month free! I have been burned too many times, so I do not even offer it. I might give out some boxes or a disc lock, but first month free is dead in my book!!!!
  • Johnnie_RamirezJohnnie_Ramirez TXRegistered User, Daily Operations Certified
    We offer 50% off two full months and that seems to work since another facility offers second month for $1. We are actually a better deal.
  • PrimePrime WARegistered User
    @Chuck_Vion When we have 5 or more units for rent we run a 3 mth special that seems to work very well for us. I.E. prorate in at the regular rate then, take the monthly rent times 2 then divide by 3. Then we tell them they do not have to stay for the entire 3 months to get that rate. If only needed for 2 months great pay the special then move out at the end of the month. Run that until your down to 2 units then rent remaining for regular rate. 
  • marcgoodinmarcgoodin NARegistered User
    I have found that we all tend to go overboard with Specials.  I especially dislike the free month.   I know of one facility it was costing them over $60,000 a year.  They cancelled the free month and used some of that money for training and a few drive by improvements.  6 months later they were making $6,000 more a month in profits.    Often the size of the discount is not the most important factor in making the rental decision.  My favorite discount is: I will buy your coffee every morning on your way to work if you rent now.  - a $10 DD card.  Gets em smiling and signed up.

  • skinmanskinman KSRegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't run any specials anymore. We give a 3% discount per month if they pay 6 months up front (New move ins only)... Or any customer 6% off per month if they pay a year in advance... That's it.

    Ran a 50% off special for as many months as you pay up front once... gave great occupancy for a bit, but ultimately most left after their special rate ran out.

    Ultimately, we keep prices competitive... our units and lot are spotless and we deliver great customer service. They keep coming.  
  • i43storagei43storage WIRegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    We have been 99% full for so long that we stopped giving specials a long time ago save one;  that is if you pay for a year in advance, you will get the 13th month free.  We save on credit card costs, bookkeeping time, and bonus of having their prepaid rent.  
    Jean Marie
    I-43 Storage
  • weedpuller1weedpuller1 GARegistered User
    Right now my best attraction has been referrals from other tenants. 
  • teamcapitolateamcapitola CARegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭

    Our facility is pretty much at capacity, so the only special we give is the same 13th month free on 1 year prepay @i43storage offers. 

    Having to explain why we wont give a "special rate" or "free rent" on unavailable unit sizes (that we have a waiting list for) gets old after a while though.


  • Belton4ABelton4A TXRegistered User
    I just got hired on at a storage facility. We are owned by a different company that has never owned a storage facility before and the work they do has nothing to do with the storage community. I have never run a storage facility before I am working on getting units rented out. I am definitely going to try some of the ones mentioned here but if anyone has more ideas I would definitely appreciate it. We are located right off the highway, tons of colleges near by and a lot of businesses. I definitely want to appeal to our consumer market in the area. Thinking of doing a college discount. Has anyone done something similar? Has anyone done a special geared mainly towards a particular unit size? 
  • CVSSSTORAGECVSSSTORAGE CARegistered User, Daily Operations Certified ✭✭✭
    We don't give specials, our area is constantly full so we are almost always full.
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