How much would it cost to buy huge forest of Oak trees?  Likely more than you and I have to spend.  But they all started with an acorn.  An acorn that was free.  To many people are wasting more and more good money trying to find the right “paid for marketing” that will make them oversized Self Storage Profits when they should be planting thousands of free acorns.

Take a look at this email I received from my manager last week.  8 Rentals in one day.  Seven on the phone (notice the P for phone rental) and 1 walk in.  Was this because we have a great manager? No, Kate is great, but this was just her third week on the job.

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Was it because the nearby University of Connecticut is about to get out for the summer and all the students picked us because our prices are the lowest. Heck no, the guys right down the street rent a 5 x 10 for the summer for a total of $195 and we are $399 for the same summer rental.

So, what is the secret?  We plant thousands of acorns every year. Here are just a few that led up to that one day of fun phone rentals.  Which by the way are part of 150 rentals we will do in 45 days.

1  Our new manager of 3 weeks had a detailed manual that included rental scripts that must be followed.

2  Before she was hired Kate reviewed and practiced the scripts with us and agreed to use them word for word.

3  We did the hard work of role playing.

4  Our manual was clear it is our goal to rent over the phone to every caller.  And if we do not, we get their number and call them back in 2 days.

5  On every call we promote our facility, “show them a unit on the phone”, confirm the size is the right size for them, provide the price and say “would you like to get one in your name before they are all gone”. Then we take a full month’s payments – we only rent – no reservations.  FYI – next to none cancel and around 1 in ten transfers to a larger size.

6  Our manger is accountable daily and emails us every day detailing both the walk in and phone rentals and the walk ins and phone calls who did not rent.

 

To rent 8 units that day we had to more than be good at helping our clients finding the right unit for them.  We had to get them to call or stop in, in the first place.

 

7  Month after month we add all move out emails and other town and university emails to our mail chimp site for our newsletter.

8  Two week earlier we sent out a mass email via mail chimp letting the UCONN students know we love them and would provide them a free lock if the prepaid for the summer.

9  Earlier in the spring we were the only self-storage to attended the University student fair.   We handed out hundreds of cards and simply said have your mom or dad give us a call and we will take care of everything with them over the phone and they will just need to stop in and sign the lease.

10   For the last two weeks we had a table at two banks, one on campus and one in Town that highlighted our self-storage.  We bought $200 of candy and other goodies to make sure we attracted everyone in the bank to our table.  When my wife GP asked, did we really need to buy 50 lbs. of candy I reminded her each piece of candy is an acorn planted.  If we rent just one extra unit because of the candy it will pay for all the candy. And many non-students will see our name one more time so when one day when they need storage they will think of us.  And the great part is many students rent from us for 4 years!

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11  We had already completed spring cleaning inside and out so both our employees and our renters are impressed.

12   Every morning we put out our Open banner and our sandwich board for thousands of people to see as they drive by.  This month one side reads Spring is here! and the other “We love UCONN.

13  Not only do we have a huge candy bowl but we also have a premium candy like York Candy right next to it.  Who could resist “Can you stop in this afternoon?  I know you will be very impressed with our facility and I have York Peppermint Paddies with your name on them”

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Have you been planting acorns day after day or just wasting money?

Why be motel 8 when you could be the Ritz?

 

By Marc Goodin

President of Storage Authority

Author of Cush Your Competition,

102 weeks of guerilla marketing for oversized profits for your self-storage.