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Are you planting enough Acorns for real oversized Self Storage Profits?



Are you planting enough Acorns for real oversized Self Storage Profits?

 

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.

 

Interview with Storage Authority Franchise 0wner, March 2018

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Marc Goodin, President of Storage Authority LLC, 

Ed, you must be excited to have started construction on your self-storage facility?

Ed: Absolutely. We have put substantial time and research into this project and the team is excited to open Storage Authority Houston-Walters Rd.

Marc: First I want to congratulate you and your wife Jenny.  It was not that long ago we met as strangers in a Houston hotel lobby and you shared your goals with GP & I.  Now we are friends and you are well on your way to making your self-storage dreams come true.

Can you provide us a short background on yourself?

Ed: I do remember that meeting with you and GP and it has been a pleasure working with you all on this project. I have been in the transportation industry working in an executive role for many years and I have also been involved in a few technology startups, but I always have had a passion for real estate.

Marc:  I know you are all ready to starting your marketing for your grand Opening.  What is your projected construction time?

Ed: Approximately 6 months

Marc: How helpful was the Storage Authority preferred Houston Area real estate broker Richard Anderson?

Ed: Richard was both a resource and an advisor through the entire process. He has an extensive commercial real estate and development background, so his experience was invaluable.

Marc: How many acres did you buy? And How many square feet of self-storage did you get approved?

Ed: We bought four acres of land and will be building a 60,000 sq ft facility in two phases.

Marc: You and I did some conceptual early on and then once your offer was accepted we worked together with your architect & engineer to come up with the final layout for both the buildings and the individual units.  It’s a tradition civil engineers (like myself) get a little tough on Architects but other that did you feel the Storage authority process helped you understand the options and choose the right layout for you?

Ed: Yes indeed. You were involved in all reviews of the design process and we made many updates to the plans that gave us a much better final layout that I am confident is positioning us for a strong opening.

Marc: You actually had a very smooth design and approval process but what surprised you the most about the design or approval process?

Ed: Although the internal side of the design/approval was manageable, like any real estate deal I believe staying creative and alert to the details of the transaction is critical. We encountered several hurdles finalizing the deal that brought us to the close.

Marc: What advice would you offer a new franchise owner starting the design process?

Ed: Tap into Storage Authority’s experience and knowledge, while being sure to be mindful of local storage development trends. Bounce ideas off of Marc and collaborate to develop the best solution.

Marc: Obviously getting a loan is one of the very important steps of self-storage development.  How does it feel to have your first multimillion-dollar loan?

Ed: Exciting and challenging. I believe the due diligence that we performed, feasibility studies and local research were all keys to forming a solid working partnership with my lender.

Marc: Many people don’t realize there is a lot of work between the site plan design and having the final construction bid & permits the bank requires.  Sometimes inexperienced developers wait until after final site plan approval to start, the building design by the Architect and getting complete bids.  You had your Architect and Contractor on board during the site design process.  Do you agree this was critical for your project?

Ed: It was essential. I believe the site design process is essential to understanding the full scope of a deal’s feasibility. 

Marc:  What did you find the most challenging so far and why.

Ed: Keeping a detailed checklist, timeline and prioritizing all of the items was a challenge as we neared the final stages of the project. Large companies have teams that manage this process, and, in our case, it was me and the Storage Authority team.

Marc: Did Storage Authority meet your expectations? And what can Storage Authority do better to assist the next Storage Authority Owner?

Ed: Storage Authority exceeded my expectations. As for what can be improved, you all are already doing it. From enhancing your web platform to providing new operating guidelines your team is innovating to help me the other Owners be successful. 

Marc:  Thanks for share your experience and thoughts. One last question for now.  Are you excited to start your self-storage marketing and renting up your facility?

Ed: Marc, we are ready to get this one leased up, so we can get back to work with you and the team on our next project.

New Sign SA


Houston Rendering

 

The Storage Authority Marketing & Sales Advantage for Higher Profits!

Why don’t most self storage implement a marketing plans?  Simple it takes a lot of self storage marketing experience, time and money just to develop a marketing and even harder to get your staff to implement.  This is great news for Storage Authority Franchise owners because not only do we know what works, you will have your  sales and marketing plan ready day one but even more important is we have the secret sauce of how to implement a successful marketing plan.

The Storage Authority Marketing & Sales Advantage for Higher Profits!

 We Bring the Ritz Carlton Experience to the Self-Storage Industry!

Simply put Storage Authority Platforms & Systems makes for happy customers and allows Storage Authority Franchise owners to charge premium rates for higher profits.  Storage Authority Franchises are the market price leaders, often renting up much faster at rental rates higher than their competition.

Overview

Sales and Marketing is 50% the environment and 50% people driven. Storage Authority Franchise owners start with the next generation facilities designs and the platforms, systems, tools, training, manuals and a detailed facility-specific marketing plan.  The Storage Authority Manager driven system is backed up by both the franchise owner and Storage Authority experts available 24/7. Storage Authority has replaced the losing one-month free marketing strategy (which costs a facility over $50,000/yr. in profits) with “it just feels right” feeling, sales and marketing.

The Storage Authority over the top sales, marketing and customer service philosophy is shared in detail with every potential franchise to confirm they believe in our marketing strategies and plans and are ready to embrace them before they are approved.

Manager Training & Marketing:

 Managers are hired for their friendly personality, and sales and marketing abilities and are taught the Storage Authority sales and marketing.  Some examples items managers learn starting day one:

  • The Storage Authority standards and systems must be followed. Storage Authority is available to help and will do regular inspections and checks to help each manager and owner succeed.
  • Individual facility Unique Selling Features.
  • What makes us different.
  • With every feature a benefit must be provided and often an action. Never “we have 10 sizes” but rather “we have over 10 sizes so you only pay for the space you need.  Let’s go take a look at a couple of units and find the right size for you.”
  • We are not in the self-storage business but rather in the business of being remarkable, wowing our customers and providing over the top customer service. Storage Authority managers are trained how to be exceptional without giving discounts.
  • Customers are looking to solve a specific need or problem. Storage Authority managers learn how to determine their needs, so we can rent more units.
  • Renting units at a premium price is about building trust.
  • We are the experts: We quickly assess the unit size range a customer needs and show them a unit.
  • People enjoy doing business with people they like and trust. Storage Authority takes every opportunity to provide the “it just feels right” feeling for more premium rentals.
  • Self-storage typically has a three-mile radius customer base. Storage Authority uses state of the art Geo Centric Target Marketing for 3 Mile Domination. (And maximum results for the least amount of time & money).

Storage Authority managers have detailed scripts they must learn and adhere to including the following scripts:

  • Walk in Script: Introduction: shake hands – name – show a unit – confirm a unit -ask for sale (one extra rental per week = $93,600 in profits a year)
  • Overcoming concerns & asking for the rental again script
  • Phone rental script.
  • Completing the rental agreement script.
  • May I have your number (to follow up) script.
  • Follow up script
  • Autopay script – for an easy extra $30,000 a year profits and more time.
  • Insurance script
  • Disc Lock script for a safer facility and more profits
  • Box & product script
  • Thank you, script
  • Rate Script ($15/month average higher rent for 500 units = $90,000 in profits a year.)
  • Before & after hours kiosk & website have their own scripts as well (one extra kiosk/website rental per week = $93,600 in profits a year)

Storage Authority managers have a list of daily, weekly & monthly marketing duties they must adhere to that is completed because they are completed regular they become a habit. Examples:

Daily

  • Walk site twice daily for security and ensure the facility is super clean.
  • Contact at least five customers a day.
  • Call at least one business a day to introduce Storage
  • Follow up daily with past prospects.
  • Walk the site daily – check units & facility super clean.
  • Social network posting.
  • Ask for referrals.
  • Ask for online reviews.
  • Sandwich board & banners out at street side daily.
  • Constantly remind the customer on every contact they are special by providing the little things that count –Example: free soda or bottled water carried out to them at their unit on a hot day.
  • Carry customer products to their car.
  • Visit renters on site.
  • Provide over the top remarkable service.
  • Candy bowl overflowing.
  • Offer free use of our “commercial car wash” vacuum.
  • Surprise their customers.

Weekly

  • Visit local business 2 hours every week (10 businesses a week)
  • Weekly marketing project – often co-marketing projects with local businesses.
  • 101 weekly marketing projects are provided in Storage Authority Founders Marc Goodin best-selling self-storage book CRUSH your Competition
  • Facebook Friday special.

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Monthly

  • Improve drive-by impressions
  • Visit top 40 business monthly
  • Volunteer 4 hours a month on company time.
  • Each month meet, email, mail a different major customer resources such as real estate agents, funeral homes, town hall, police dept., car dealers, universities, attorneys ect. and teach them how and why to refer to Storage Authority self-storage.
  • Monthly Marketing project.
  • Monthly marketing calendar used for month specific marketing for example:
    • Visit, email, and mail in October for winter vehicle storage
    • Pumpkin giveaway in October
    • College Campus marketing in March
    • High School car was in May
    • Free hot dog & Hamburg lunch cookout 3 times a year
    • Plant flowers in spring
    • Holiday marketing

Quarterly

Special Marketing projects and new marketing projects.

Storage Authority New Generation Facilities

  • Minimal lighting replaced with brilliant LED lighting.
  • Keypad entry replaced with cell phone app entry with geo-fence.
  • Multiple ways to rent & pay including high-tech kiosk at every facility.
  • Management program, security, gates & cameras all are cloud-based to detect problems & resolve immediately, even from off-site.
  • Over the top landscaping provided to provide the “just feels right feeling” as a customer drives in.
  • Free use of exterior “commercial Vehicle vacuum for clients.
  • Large professionally design monument & building signs. Rent 24/7 Here kiosk signs.
  • Customer Coffee bar. Free coffee, bottles of water and soda.
  • A Remarkable oversized retail office that provides that “just feels right” feeling.
  • Remarkable landscaping.
  • Free Wi-Fi for our customers.
  • Additional or specialty services such as wine cellar, power for car storage or pharmaceutical reps, extra secure fire rated rooms, handicap rooms.

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Storage Authority New Generation Service:

  • Our motto: shake hands, call them by name 3 times and ask for the rental 3 times.
  • Great customer service replaced with over the top remarkable service.
  • The best guarantee in the business.
  • Clean, replaced with spotless and beautiful.
  • Staff empowered with solutions to solve problems immediately.
  • Staff provided the resources, so they can do a better job and get more done in a day.
  • Staff regularly secrete shopped to confirm Storage Authority Standards are met.
  • The Staff has uniforms and dress codes for a professional appearance every day.
  • The Site is walked two times a day to keep spotless and lock checks. (renters sometimes lock unit open)
  • Every customer is treated like a Million dollars on every touch.
  • Bringing the Ritz Carlton experience to the self-storage industry.
  • We understand customers are looking to rent and we make it easy for them to do so on the first visit or phone call. And if they do not we will call them back in 1-3 days.

Storage Authority provides:

  • Geo centric market.
  • 24/7 Marketing & Sales hotline to assist franchisees.
  • Systems and platforms to be professional starting day one.
  • Marketing materials and sample marketing letters for different groups.
  • Marketing & Sales start-up training and ongoing training.
  • State of the art website and SEO.
  • Operations & marketing manuals.
  • Storage Authority has multiple vendors on board to provide the best customer service including movers, valet service, tenant insurance providers, merchant providers and more.
  • Storage Authority is constantly reviewing options from the self-storage industry, other industries, and our franchisees to provide more options and systems to gain additional renters at premium pricing and to better serve our customers.
  • National brand marketing.

Storage Authority New Generation Marketing

  • Both High Touch & High-Tech Marketing.
  • Social marketing daily on Facebook and other social networks.
  • PPC marketing-lease up accelerated.
  • Online rentals and reservations.
  • Rent here 24/7 Kiosks.
  • Every renter given the opportunity to make $30 and give $30 to a friend with our referral marketing.
  • $17.95 locks on sale for $12.99 means every customer buys a lock.
  • Autopay with 90% penetration.
  • Paperless contracts/receipts for customers who want email copies
  • Phone rental calls automatically recorded to management software for swift follow up.
  • Text marketing & payment collections directly from management software.
  • Employees empowered to help drive business.
  • Employees are educated on networking for profits.
  • Free Rental truck for new renters.
  • Seasonal marketing: festivals, holidays, winter car storage, campgrounds, college students, etc.
  • Special marketing promotions with local realtors since they represent the highest proportion of self-storage tenants, someone moving.
  • Phones answered by on-site manager 1st (most knowledgeable) then rolled over to call center.
  • Manager is the highest common denominator (vs the lowest for the REITs) for the closing the rental. Starts with the on-site manager answering the phone vs an out of town call center.
  • Storage Authority employees are kept active and engaged with a purpose to help them drive better results.
  • Owners are part of the local community and a large part of the sales and marketing team
  • Home-town self-storage creating a value to the community & local businesses
  • Cross marketing and promoting fellow businesses in three-mile radius
  • Storage Authority Value coupon envelope for every customer who takes site tour. Envelope is filled with local businesses discounts to promote community relationships & compound referrals.
  • Welcome cards and emails with referral bonus on move in’s and thank cards and emails with future discounts when our service is needed again on move out’s.

Storage Authority -Target Marketing Partners:

  • Moving Companies, Truck Rentals (that don’t provide self-storage) & Senior Move Managers –

Co-operative marketing and referral partnerships opportunities

  • Real Estate – Realtors / tittle companies / mortgage/ Home Inspectors / Staging / Designers

Great for cross-marketing

  • Apartments / Condo HOA’s –

For their move-in Packages – Self Storage Rack Cards with a coupon for move in packets, helps         leasing consultants overcome an objection of downsizing to an apartment.

  • Senior Communities – 55+ Mobile Homes / Assisted Living & Independent Living

Do they do move in Packages?  Resource Center?

  • Senior Care Providers – like home health care services. Cluttered homes are a safety hazard and they can recommend storage is they don’t want to part with the items.
  • Child Centers – Daycare /After School/ Recreational like ballet, karate, sports: – Families need storage
  • Restoration Companies/Disaster/Construction Companies – Emergency cleanup and store items able to salvage while the home is being restored.
  • Pharmaceutical Reps—They will target climate control units that are central to their distribution location, that will receive packages for them and store their sample drug inventory, marketing materials, and literature.
  • Insurance Companies –

Auto/Boat/RV – (their clients may need a place to store these) Homeowners – Buying/Selling –      they call their insurance provider – may need temp storage or downsizing.

  • Bankers and Attorneys—They are a perfect source for referrals and often need your self-storage services for time-sensitive record keeping complying with their industry regulations.
  • Schools – Public & Private / Elementary – High – Families & Faculty need storage

What marketing opportunities with local school to participate in.

  • Teachers – Teacher Lockers to store supplies during the summer and keep home clutter free.
  • Colleges – Focus April & August – Student Flyer – Students use storage between summer semesters. Lockers during the school year to keep personal items locked up.
  • Funeral Homes/ Crematoriums

Families need quick storage to clear out the house for sale, time to grieve and then go through stuff and decide to keep or give away.

  • Local Businesses / Restaurants / Dr. Offices / Retail / Thrift Stores – store extra inventory, business records, catering supplies
  • Laundromat, pizza places, etc. Look to see if they have community boards, place to put our display – Get lots of traffic.
  • Home-based businesses – HVAC/Sales/Accountants/etc. – We accept package and deliveries, store inventory, equipment, business records.

Self Storage the Art of the Auto-pay

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There is an art and a science to presenting auto-pay to the self-storage customer but there is a tremendous value for both the customer and the self-storage facility.

The presentation of auto-pay is everything, how you say it, how you deliver it and the sub-conscious triggers the customer reads all work as a synergy to optimize your auto-pay program.  With Storage Authority Franchising we have the system in place for you to maximize your revenue and streamline the process.

We love customers on auto pay because they save us time (for marketing) Typically only the few who put themselves on auto pay get on auto pay.  Even if asked if they want to go on auto pay say no because most yes or no questions naturally end up with as a no. This one is a no-brainer.  It just takes learning the script and techniques mandatory and one hour of training and the proper lease. Because people stay 2 extra months if they are on auto pay an extra 10 auto pays a month is worth $30,000 a year.  

When presenting the hard copy lease, Storage Authority may be the only one who has this option on the front page of a lease making it easy to present and get a yes at just the right time.  And no extra paperwork like every other facility.  Of course, we had to pay a self-storage attorney to set it up to make sure we met the law, but well worth the investment.

As self-storage evolves, and we make the paperless transition the very wording on how you start the lease presentation will be critical to your success, ” All I need is your ID and the debit card you would like to keep on file.” As you swipe the debit card (debit cards carry less merchant service fees than credit cards) into the software you remind the customer their card will be debited on whichever date their move-in date every month and we will send an email confirmation.  You automatically put them on auto-pay by just assuming they want the value of the program. Remember they are also reading your late fee schedule that is on your counter (*See Below example) as your working through the lease presentation.  It’s expensive to be late in self-storage there is an immense value to the customer to automate their payment process.

For self-storage owners & operators, auto-pay is, undoubtedly, their best source for obtaining on-time payments. It helps lighten many of the biggest hassles that go along with operating a storage facility—namely delinquent payments, collection calls and lien sales. In addition, too, customers on auto-pay generally don’t think about paying that bill every month or scrutinize the dollar amount they’re paying too closely. Because it becomes just part of their monthly budget many will also stay an additional two months or more as noted earlier.  Adding a rental increase also becomes streamlined and more acceptable for tenants enrolled in an automatic-payment system.

Take advantage of the “no late-fee guarantee” program use your tool on the counter to help educate the customer if there is any hesitation. Tell the customer how convenient it is to enroll. Also, be sure to ease their fears about any risks of keeping the card on file by letting them know your software program meets Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) and compliance. Customers cards are stored on an encrypted level where managers can only see the last four of the card.

Ultimately, the service should reduce your collection calls and lien sales, as customers on auto-pay will always make their payments on time. Plus, it’s another great service and valuable convenience you can offer your tenants.

Auto Pay Program + Late Fee Schedule

These should be outlined on a single laminated sheet and displayed on the counter or positioned in a plexiglass 8×11 frame very visible on the counter for the customer to read.     Many self-storage operators fail to realize how valuable this is. Too often we forget to tell customers about our late fee schedule, or how they are guaranteed no late fees by enrolling in our simple, automatic, debit/credit-card payment plan.

How much of a collections issue would you have if most of your customers were on auto-pay? Quit asking new tenants if they want to sign up for it. Instead, make it part of the lease and sales presentation. For example, you can say, “Our customers love the convenience of our auto-pay program.  All I need is your ID and debit card to get started?” More auto-pay customers mean fewer past-due customers and more streamlined revenue for the facility.

Money in the bank following the Storage Authority Franchising system.

 

SA Auto Pay

Who Should Own Self Storage?

Who Should Own a Storage Authority Franchise?

Entrepreneurs

who want a solid real estate investment for both income & retirement.

Business Owners & Professionals

who want to build a second reliable six figure Income.

Families

who want a retirement they can count on and a generational business.

Couples

who want to have a business where they can work together.

Self Storage Owners

ready to take their business to the next profit level and crush the competition.

 

Why doesn’t everyone take advantage of the Storage Authority opportunity?

Because 99 percent are waiting for the “right time” to start a business.  They are waiting for the perfect business.  Don’t believe me?  Just tell your neighbor you are going to build a self storage and they will tell you how lucky you are and  “I was going to do that but………………..”

So that leaves us with the 1 percent who Declare “now is the time.”  They took the time to research self storage and understand self storage is  a solid business that can provide both a great income and a great retirement income.  And they are ready to work to make it happen for them.

Self Storage development is just hard enough to keep it very profitable.  Typically it takes $400,ooo liquid cash equity to get started.  And takes time and work to get it built and profitable.  Storage Authority Makes Self Storage Easy.

If you are a 1 percenter we would love to talk with you.

To Success!

Marc Goodin

Founder & CEO Storage Authority

860-830-6764 direct

 

Our Founder Marc Goodin Shares his Self Storage Secretes in the April ISS Issue

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Storage Authority President Marc Goodin  Shares Self Storage Secretes 
By Garrett Byrd
Our Founder Marc Goodin continues to share his secretes and knowledge with the self storage Industry.   His latest article entitled Customer-Centric Sales Techniques, Strategies for Creating Value and Trust is in the April 2017 edition of the Inside Self Storage magazine. Here is the link to subscribe now https://goo.gl/EkS1za
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Storage Authority Franchising is about owning your own hometown self storage business. And having the professional systems and knowledge to assist and guide you. We like to say You are in business for yourself but not by yourself.  If you are thinking about self storage you owe it to yourself to contact Garrett Byrd at 941-928-1354 or Garrett@StorageAuthority.com to learn more about the Storage Authority Franchise opportunity.

www.StorageAuthorityFranchise.com

Target Markets for Self Storage

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Target Markets for Self Storage

By Garrett Byrd

 

Below is a list of self storage target markets where you want to consistently cross market with and bring awareness to your services and brand.  Start by setting up your calendar and reaching out to your target market with a visit at least every 90 days, you can call and email as well but the face to face visit is the most impactful.  The key is staying consistent and making it part of your, daily, weekly, and monthly routine.  If you want to be the home town self storage, you must make an impact in your three-mile radius.  When you are helping, your local business grow their business your facility will fill up exponentially with referrals.  With Storage Authority, we have the systems and we will show you how it’s done.

 

Moving Companies, Truck Rentals (that don’t provide self storage) & Senior Move Managers –

Co-operative marketing and referral partnerships opportunities

Real Estate – Realtors / tittle companies / mortgage/ Home Inspectors / Staging / Designers

Great for cross marketing

Apartments / Condo HOA’s –

For their move in Packages – Self Storage Rack Cards with coupon for move in packets, helps leasing consultants  overcome objection of downsizing to apartment.

Senior Communities – 55+ Mobile Homes / Assisted Living & Independent Living

Do they do move in Packages?  Resource Center?

Senior Care Providers – like home health care services.  Cluttered homes are a safety hazard and they can recommend storage is they don’t want to part with the items.

Child Centers – Day care /After School/ Recreational like: ballet, karate, sports: – Families need storage

Restoration Companies/Disaster/Construction Companies – Emergency cleanup and store items able to salvage while home is being restored.

Pharmaceutical Reps—They will target climate control units that is central their distribution location, that will receive packages for them and store their sample drug inventory, marketing materials and literatures

Insurance Companies –

Auto/Boat/RV –  (their clients may need a place to store these)

Homeowners – Buying/Selling – they call their insurance provider – may need temp storage or downsizing

Bankers and Attorneys—They are a perfect source for referrals and often need your self storage services for time sensitive record keeping complying with their industry regulations.

Schools – Public & Private / Elementary – High – Families & Faculty need storage

What marketing opportunities with local school to participate in

Teachers – Teacher Lockers to store supplies during the summer and keep home clutter free

Colleges – Focus April & August – Student Flyer – Students use storage between summer semesters.  Lockers during school year to keep personal items locked up.

Funeral Homes/ Crematoriums

– Families need quick storage to clear out house for sale, time to grieve and then go through stuff and decide keep or give away.

Local Businesses / Restaurants / Dr. Offices / Retail / Thrift Stores – store extra inventory, business records, catering supplies

Laundromat, pizza places, etc.  Look to see if they community boards, place to put our display – Get lots of traffic.

Home based businesses – HVAC/Sales/Accountants/etc. – We accept package and deliveries, store inventory, equipment, business records,

 

target MarketStorageAuthority_Horz_logo

 

Storage Authority Franchising is about owning your own hometown self storage business. And having the professional systems and knowledge to assist and guide you. We like to say You are in business for yourself but not by yourself.  If you are thinking about self storage you owe it to yourself to contact Garrett Byrd at 941-928-1354 or Garrett@StorageAuthority.com to learn more about the Storage Authority Franchise opportunity.

 

www.StorageAuthorityFranchise.com

 

 

Three Must Do’s for Over the Top Success while Pre-Marketing your New Facility.

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Three Must Do’s for Over the Top Success while Pre-Marketing your New Facility.

By: Garrett Byrd

 

1.)       As soon as you have closed on the parcel you will be building your self storage facility make it a point to get your self storage coming soon sign up.  Make sure you get permission and adhere to the city/county rules and regulations with signage. This will be your introduction to the community for the next six to eight months so make sure your hello to the community stands out and is inviting,  remember less is more on a quick drive by sign.  You will want to have your  phone number on the sign where your future customers can  call and receive information  or leave their contact information phone and email to be put in your data base for your facility updates and progress.   It’s a good idea to have your website on the sign as well, even if your website is in the beginning phase it’s nice to have a place where your customers can receive basic information as well as register their interest as your site progresses.  As soon as you have temporary electricity, make sure you have spot lights or even Christmas lights on the sign.  It’s the 15,000-30,000 cars driving by your parcel that well be your future customers you want to be as visible to them as you can. The average facility has 15-20 rentals and reservations, Storage Authority’s goal should is to have 50-60 hard reservations or rentals before you open your doors. If this isn’t your goal you are likely losing out on $60K in income your first year due to poor pre- planning.

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2.)          Join your local chamber and real estate associations.   When you join these types of associations you must be involved and you should network all angles.   You are networking, it’s not net-eating, net-socializing, or net sitting, it’s networking and you have very little time to make connections and utilize each other’s platforms to generate new business.  For your local chamber, you want to attend as many events as you can, let them know your facility will be open soon.  Business card exchanges luncheons, support any grand openings for your fellow chamber members.  It’s important that you let them know you care about their growth just as much as you care about your facility’s growth.  It’s the law reciprocity, people feel a sense of obligation to do something for you when you’ve done something for them. Help your fellow businesses achieve their goals and it will pay dividends to your facility’s growth.  The realtor associations are important as well, self storage is a transition business and  realtors are constantly in front of their clients who are on the move and in need of storage solutions. The realtor associations usually will let you sponsor their training classes for a luncheon or brunch.  They will allow you to set up a table and give a five-minute information pitch about the self storage services you provide.   Be sure to have some branded give a ways (totes, pens, marketing material) for the realtors and let them know you have a realtor resource center at your facility to help promote their business.  Ultimately the realtors want to know if they are referring your self storage facility their clients are going to have a first-class experience.

 

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3.)      Community outreach to your local businesses with in your three-mile radius.  This is critical to do before you open your doors.  You want to prepare yourself with a branded marketing tote and have your marketing material in your totes along with a pre-leasing discount.  Your objective is to visit all businesses in your three-mile radius, let them know your facility is opening soon and leave them a tote.  You also want to take their business card as well and learn as much about their business as you can in your short visit.  The key is to get the local businesses card for your contact list and let them know you hand one of these totes out to every new customer.  You like to help to promote your local businesses so you include a coupon to their business to bring awareness to their brand.  Let your fellow business owner know you are a transition business some of your customers are new to the area or on the move.  There is no fee to promote their business with you all they should do is give you a stack of coupons to stuff in your totes.  You always want to keep a master coupon with their business card, when you run low on their coupon you can give them a call and they will gladly swing by to deliver more coupons for you and thank you for handing them out.

 

Storage Authority Franchising is about owning your own hometown self storage business and having the professional systems and knowledge to assist and guide you. We like to say You are in business for yourself but not by yourself.  If you are thinking about self storage you owe it to yourself to contact  Garrett Byrd at 941-928-1354 or Garrett@StorageAuthority.com to learn more about the Storage Authority Franchise opportunity.

 

www.StorageAuthorityFranchise.com

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$3,000,000 In Your Pocket for Being an Expert!

 

How Much is it Worth to Be Prepared For

Your First Year as a New Self Storage Owner? 

 $3,000,000.00?

By Marc Goodin  

 

If owning self storage is so great, why doesn’t everyone do it. Because It is just hard enough to keep the average person dreaming on the sidelines.  The good news is the barriers to entry continue to make it one of the best real estate investments to make both a great income and build a great nest egg while you have the option to keep your career. Heck most people will not even get to the end of this article, never mind start their own business.

So, the next two questions are:

1) Why is it worth millions to be prepared? As you read the rest of this article you will learn why.

2) Why are most self storage not prepared in their first year and often never reach the premier status they could.  The answer to this second questions is it takes time and knowledge to be prepared and the typical new owners simple do not have the time and experience.  Like most businesses, Self storage is unique and takes time to learn.

It took me 4 years of engineering college and two state tests to become a Professional Civil Engineer.  It took me 10 more years to become an expert in site plan designs.  And then it took me 5 more years to be an expert in civil engineering sales and marketing.  For the first 10 years, I was paid for my time, staring at $50/hr. and ending at $250/hr. But after I was both and expert engineer and expert at (engineering) sales and marketing I was paid for my knowledge and not just for my time. Of course, this provided financial success significantly more than trading dollars for hours.  Believe it or not the same goes for most businesses including self storage.

It took me 6 months to build my first self storage and become a self storage owner.  It took me 10 years to become a self storage expert and then 5 more years to become an expert in self storage sales and marketing (Over 10,000 hours) So when I say new owners do not have the time or experience to be prepared I am really not kidding.

Let’s take a look at those millions typically left on the table by most self storage owners.  For this example, I am going to use a 50,000-sf foot facility with 420 units with the average unit rental rate of $150/month.  For comparison, the average facility in the US is 67,000+_ sf and of course has more units.

I looked at several recent self storage feasibilities studies by the experts and they predicted rent up to 90% between 24 to 42 months. Typically, around 4-5% per month for 20 units a month.  Last week a self storage that just opened 4 months ago shared his first 3 monthly rent up stats with me and he rented 15 units a month.

With the right design, premarketing and team in place on opening day you should aim for 60 plus units rented in your first month.  If you use a conservative 12-month average stay each extra rental in your first month is worth $1,800 a year.

The first 20 extra units: 20 unit’s x 12 months’ x $150 monthly rental = $36,000/yr.

The second extra 20 units (60 units total) the 40 extra rented units’ value is $72,000/yr.

Done right the second month can be a repeat of month one in extra rentals compared to the average.  So why is the typical so low.  Again, because the new owner cannot tell you the 25 design elements or the 50 pre-opening and 50 post opening sales and marketing items required for these over the top results, never mind the secret sauce on how to execute them. Can you name them?

Typically, a new self storage facility opens with a manager who does not know how to sell and rent for over the top results.  At worst, they are order takers, at best they are good customer service agents, neither will get you past the typical results.

Once you are past the first couple of months the number of move outs increase every month.  And the increasing the facility visitors and renters becomes more critical.  Just as important, is these extra rentals can reduce the rent up period by a year or even more!  For a typical 50,000 sf facility of 420 units, 90% rented = .9 x 420 units = 378 units rented.  If you use the average stay of 12 months that means at this 90% full equilibrium point you have 378/12 = 32 move ins and 32 move outs every month. In other words, your job of attracting prospects and converting them to renters never ends.  So why not make sure you and your manager has all the tools before the grand opening.  The simple answer is this information and education is not often available to the manager and owner.

I am sure you would agree: With the 6 months pre-opening sales & marketing training and assistance and 52 weeks of new learning and implementing of new sales and marketing techniques in your first year you could significantly increase your rentals which would also lead to more rentals every year.

Would you believe or consider:

Training must start by collecting the low hanging fruit.  A sales and marketing manual, rental scripts, pre-opening rental program, two dozen rentals must do items, manager training, manager help hot line, along with more sales and self storage basics and you could increase your rentals by 1 a week.

Low Hanging Fruit: 1 extra rental per week for a year =

1 week x 52 weeks x 12 month stay x $150/month rent = $93,600 income/year.

Mid-level sales and marketing task for a second extra rental a week: co marketing with 15 plus local companies, over the top service, off site marketing & visits, social marketing, monthly marketing plan, secret shopping, warm calls, manager training, on site marketing, and much more

Mid-level training and education for a second extra rental per week for the is another $93,000/year.

And if you hire a sales manager to start with and throw in gorilla marketing and more sophisticated sales and marketing concepts for a third extra rental a week, it  would be another extra $93,000 income/year.

Just as important is these “extra rentals” can reduce the rent up period by a year or even more.

Will most managers or owners take the extra steps required for these extra rentals?  No, they will not even know the extra steps. Do you know the extra steps?  Are they possible with the right people, systems and knowledge? Yes!

Garrett Byrd our Storage Authority’s resident expert on manager marketing was working for a multi-unit self storage group as a manager and manager trainer.  When his company was building a new 3 story facility in 2016 he was chosen to manage and get the new facility off to a fast start.  It did not look easy as another 3-story facility was under construction, just down the road.   But he started with pre-opening marketing and continued his marketing every day.  He rented an unbelievable 80 units the first month and 80 units the second month.  At month 6 the facility was 60 % + rented – Wow.  And at the seventh month we hired Garrett!

Will your manager have even close the same results?  I do not know.  Will they visit (and know how to get referrals) the chamber of commerce, local banks, attorneys, funeral homes, realtors …. or have Santa’s visit during the holidays, beach day at their facility; or will they memorize a great rental script; or take the time to have answers to overcome the 10 self storage objections; or will they hand out candy, flowers, water and coffee to their visitors?   Will they even know the critical 25 environmental factors and 100 plus other over the top customer service required to be a premier self storage?  Can you list them?

If you and your manager learn the environmental and over the top customer service, and implement best management practices for sales and marketing not only do you get the extra rentals you also can be the price leader for additional income.

When a feasibility study is prepared, they determine the average rental rates of your competition and assume you will rent at the average rental rates.  And I have found most new owners actually want to charge less than the average.  With our help our franchisees rates will be 10% higher or more than if they set them on their own.  This means our services are free.  But if you understand you are not in the self storage business and learn how to solve customer’s problems and enhance their experience you can even charge more than 10% higher than the average rates.  You can become the premier facility and price leader. Most managers do not know their job is to find out what customer’s problems are, never mind how to solve them in a fashion that builds trust and rent units.  See my article Three Rental Rate Myths for more details, Where you can see first hand examples of charging 20% and more than the competition.

http://www.storageauthorityfranchising.com/news_room/the-3-big-myths-about-rental-rates/

For a typical 50,000 sf facility with 378 units rented every 10% increase in rental rates = $68,000/year.  Here is the math

378 units –  Average rent $150/unit – 10% higher rent

378 units x ($150 x 0.10) x 12 month stay = $68,000

20% higher rental rates = another $68,000/year

30% higher rental rates = another $68,000/year

 Can you answer why a customer would pay 10%, 20% or even 30% more to rent at your facility?  You need this answer before you start your design. Again, it is a combination of environment, over the top customer service, sales and marketing.  It’s about providing the “just right feeling”.   The typical renter calls or visits 4- 6 facilities, what makes your facility superior?  Your quality, your vault units, your additional unit sizes, your doors are 1 foot wider or higher, your landscaping, you, your manager, your security, your sale office, your sales and marketing, did you notice the customer car or his Boston Red Sox’s shirt, did your manager call a new prospect by name 3 times, did you …………. the list is endless?

I have heard many managers say I want to lower my rates to match the rental rates of the REITS down the street.  But do they want to explain to their customers and friends the $19/month rental rate increase in 5 months and $19 rental rate increase in 9 months that the REITS impose?  It is much easier and more fun to shine bright, surprise and delight your customers!

If you ask most managers what should be done to rent more units, they are going to tell you reduce the rates.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The price is typically 4 to 6 down on the list why renters choose a specific location.  So, you need to know how to promote the items ahead of price and overcome price objections.

“Marc, I understand your concern about price and that you want to get the best value for your money.  I am sure you can agree with me that Storage Authority has many benefits and services our competition does not have, including the best guarantee in the business and me.   If I gave some of my customers a discount I could not provide the services, they expect and deserve.  Would you like to get that 10 x 10 in your name? I promise to earn your business everyday” There are several other steps and a couple of hours of training to perfect overcoming the price concern.  But in most cases overcoming the price concern is not even needed to rent.

The number one excuse is I do not need it today and this is the simplest one to overcome.   Last week I was checking out a possible new facility location and I called a nearby existing facility to see how full they were and their prices.  I simple asked if they had a 10’ x 10’ I could rent next week.   They had one but could not promise it would be available next week.  I said I could always rent a 10” x 15’ and asked if they had any.  He said he had two available today.  He never asked if I wanted to rent today.  For sure this facility is losing well over a hundred thousand dollars a year because their prices are too low and like most facilities they do not have any idea how to rent over the phone. And typically, of many facilities they do not ask for the rental each and every time!

Did you know you will rent more units priced at $149/month than at $143/month?  People have been trained that prices have been cut back when the price ends in 9.  Did you know you will rent more units at $149 plus tax than the same price of $159 tax included?  Did you know you will rent more units at $149 than at $149.00?  Did you know you will sell more $12.99 locks if the sign says $17.99 Locks on Sale $12.99?  I have been to hundreds of self storages and never seen a lock on sale.

Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending how you look at it) self storage marketing and sales is years behind the hotel industry and the retail industry in general.

If you understand you are in a retail business and not the self storage business you will make more money.  If you understand you are in the people business and the sales and marketing business you will make even more money.  People do not rent self storage because they want self storage. But they will choose you because you understood them, took the time to discover their problem and desires and helped them resolve them and feel better.  As soon as you understand it is not what is between the 4 walls of a storage unit but what is outside the 4 walls you will be on your way to having happy customers willing to pay more for your services.

I recommend you visit 5 self storages and see how many managers show you a unit (half or less I bet.).  Call you by name (none).  Ask the manger the last time they called back a prospect and asked them if they wanted to rent; the last time they visited the competition to make sure they sent prospects their way when they were full; the last time the competition referred clients to them; the last time they visited the local business in the 5 mile radius; the last time they raised their renters rates, the last time they carried free water out to their renters; how many people are on their newsletter list or how often they send out newsletter?, what is their guarantee?, What percentage of renter buy insurance and go on auto pay?, why they sell the cheap unsafe shank locks? or, how many boxes does it take to move a house? …………the list goes on.  Then you will start to have a better understanding of the concepts here. Send us an email and we will send you a check list that will help you understand what you are looking for on your visits.

Call a couple of facilities and let them know you are just getting prices and see if they even try to rent you a unit over the phone.

If these self storages, in businesses for many years, have not figured out how to be premier facilities how is your manager going to figure it out?  It takes an experienced team.

A well set up retail office with the right training will provide you an extra $50,000 a year in what I call manager sales.

You have 32 people moving in every month, so the opportunity for add on value keeps repeating itself month after month!  At most self storage, most add on sales are close to zero.  In fact, most managers are willing to give free stuff like a free lock or dropping the $20 one-time admiration fee or reducing the price at the drop of a hat.

If you consider items locks, boxes & tape, insurance, admin fee a person in the know can add a couple of thousand dollars a month in profits or an extra $25,000 a year and if you stop the unnecessary discounts you have another $25,000 a year

I love customers on auto pay because they save us time (for marketing) Typically only the few who put themselves on auto pay get on auto pay.  Even if asked if they want to go on auto pay say no because most yes or no questions naturally end up with as a no. This one is a no brainer.  It just takes learning the script and techniques mandatory and one hour of training and the proper lease. Because people stay 2 extra months if they are on auto pay an extra 10 auto pays a month is worth $30,000 a year.  As far as I know we are the only one who has this option on the front page of a lease making it easy to present and get a yes at just the right time.  And no extra paper work like every other facility.  Of course, I had to pay a self storage attorney to set it up to make sure we met the law.

One of my all-time favorites is eliminating the crazy “free month” deal.   For our example of 32 new rentals each month at $150 it would be a whopping $4,800 a month or $57,600 giveaway each year.  The REITS have to do this because they have $9/hr. managers and this is the only rental tool they have.

A couple of years ago, I was hired for 2 days to visit a self storage to simple confirm they were not doing anything wrong.  They were making a great income and they were not looking to make any changes that would create more work for them, like better training the staff or sprucing up the office.  In the end to get them to items I knew would make them a ton, I offered to give back my $5,000 fee if they made two changes and if they did not make triple my fee in profits.  The first was to eliminate the first month free offer and the second item was to eliminate the big sign out front “units starting at $9/month and change the price of these small unit to a still great below market price of $39/month.  In six months, the owner called me back and they were making $8,000 more a month because of the 2 changes.

We have reviewed a lot of first year extra income items, but in the end most if not all are important every year, year after year.  If you add them all up they equal several hundred thousand dollars, so of course, it is not very likely that they will all be extra profits. But at least you can understand that they can make you a larger first year income and the ability of renting up twice as fast. And enjoy your business with more profits year after year by building a great team with self storage expertise along with a sales and marketing background.

If you are not ready to do the some of the work yourself and be part of an experienced team, I would not recommend you go it alone.  That leaves you one other choice and that is to give your facility over to one of the REITs to manage your facility.  I believe strongly once you pay for their fees and add on expenses (and often lower rental rates) you will make less money.  If you want to be totally 100% hands off this is a route to consider.

So how do we get to that that 3 million by being prepared.  It simple, let’s cut all those additional incomes back to just an extra $100,000 a year income.  If we assume you own your business for ten years you have the first Million Dollars.  As you may know self storage sell based upon cash flow after expenses.  If you have and extra $100,000 in profits and a 5 cap rate your sales value would increase by $100,000/0.05 = $2,000,000.

If your like me and thinking why not aim for $200,000 or $300,000 of extra income give me a call, we think alike!

Storage Authority Franchising is about owning your own hometown self storage business. And having the professional systems and knowledge to assist and guide you. We like to say You are in business for yourself but not by yourself.  If you are thinking about self storage you owe it to yourself to contact Garrett at 941-928-1354 or Garrett@StorageAuthority.com to learn more about the Storage Authority Franchise opportunity.

www.StorageAuthorityFranchise.com

Marc Goodin is President of Storage Authority Franchising.  He owns 3 self storages he designed, built and manages. He has been helping others in the self storage industry for over 25 years.   He can be reached at marc@StorageAuthority.com or directly at 860-830-6764 to answerer your development, marketing, sales and operations questions.  His bestselling self storage books are available at Amazon.

You should not base any investment decisions on these examples and ideas.  It is strictly for discussions. Many factors will vary significantly based upon any given facility, location, competition, your efforts, experience and time.

This information is not intended as an offer to sell a franchise or the solicitation of an offer to buy a franchise. Certain states regulate the offer and sale of franchises.  If you are a resident of one of these states we will not offer or sell you a franchise unless and until we have complied with the applicable presale filing, registration, and disclosure requirements in your state.

In NY, an offering can only be made by a prospectus filed first with the Department of Law of the State of New York.  Such filing does not constitute approval by the NY Department of Law.  Minnesota Franchise Registration #F7944.   If you have any questions, please let us Know

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Franchise Business Radio – Interview with Marc Goodin, President of Storage Authority Franchising

Name and Title of Person Interviewed:

Marc Goodin, PresidentIMG_3170

Guest BIO:

Marc Goodin is President of Storage Authority Franchising. As a professional civil engineer he has designed commercial developments and self storage facilities for over 25 years. His self storage expertise has been fine tuned by designing, building and managing 3 self storage facility he presently owns. Marcs experience from the trenches and his expertise is apparent in his two best selling marketing and planning self storage books available on Amazon.. Marc is uniquely positioned to provide simple, straightforward and effective guidance in achieving industry-leading service and profits in the self-storage Industry.

 

 

Click Here to Listen to Interview with Marc Goodin, President of Storage Authority Franchising

 

  • Topics/Questions:

  • Why Self Storage for the Busy Professional
  • How to get started in self storage
  • How to double your profits in self Storage
  • Storage Authority

Web Site and/or Social Media Links:

www.StorageAuthorityFranchise.com

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