Self storage companies and their owners have been asking a lot of questions lately. How will the threat of recession affect the storing industry? Will rising gas and food costs mean people cut out the extra cost of their store room unit? And now a new question has posed itself. What about those mobile storing guys, are they going to take away business?
Depending on who you ask and where their experience is in the storing industry, you will hear different answers. Some will say that a housing slump means people will stay in their homes collecting clutter and needing a place to store it. Others may say that a lull in the housing market is bad for the storing industry because people are not moving.
No doubt about it, rising gas and food means families have less money on discretionary funds. Just how that filters down to local storing facilities remains to be seen.
The truth of the matter is that self storage companies have not seen as great a moving season as it has in past years. The typical busier months are not over yet, and it could make a comeback, but if the past few months are indicative of the coming months, this year will be less than the growth the industry has seen in the past, with 10-20 percent less rental volume than last year.
So what about the newest face of moving? Mobile storing pods advertise to be a quick, easy answer for families who are relocating. While they romanticize the idea of moving or relocating, they do not disclose the ugly side of the business. It is often hard to get the units delivered to your doorstep the same day or even the next day, especially if you live in a densely populated city. Mobile storing companies usually deliver 2 units and the cost of bringing you more than that begins to add to your bill. Additionally, there is a high cost to deliver the unit upfront. Moreover, there are more costs to redeliver your box to a new location or back to your existing home. Add to that, the monthly rental cost, per pod, per month. In some cases, there are extra costs for accessing your box in the warehouse where it is kept and it usually takes 45 minutes or longer for the company to get it down and ready for you.
No matter what the dark side of mobile storing is, customers do draw to the convenience that these companies advertise. If a customer phones the mobile storing company to inquire about prices and the sales associate is any good at all at his job, then self storage companies have just lost a tenant.
So what can self storage companies do to battle the new kids on the block? Well, if your facility is in a rural area, you are not likely to be affected, by these mobile companies, yet. No matter how your local business is feeling the affect of mobile storing, there are things you can do to attract renters and impress them once they call or stop by your facility.
For starters, you should make sure the store front appearance is neat and fresh. Peeling paint or missing siding only indicates to a prospective tenant that you do not maintain the facility well.
Also, when customers call your self storage companies , they should be impressed with the friendly service and even more impressed with the informative and helpfulness of it. The managers of your self storage companies should guide the customer to the best unit size, based on their needs. The manager should offer the caller choices and get agreement from them. Selling the amenities and security features is also important in helping your facility stand out from all the other self storage companies and mobile options. And most importantly, your managers should be great at closing the sale and reserving a unit on the phone.
The idea of mobile storing is hard to combat, but perhaps the self storing industry has lucked out a little bit with a lull in economy. If moving families already have less money to spend because of gas and food and rising interest rates, then paying expensive delivery, redelivery, monthly and hidden fees may be out of their price range.
But make no mistake, mobile units are not going anywhere in the long run. So, as they say, if you can not beat them, join them. Exploring the cost and profitability of adding a mobile service to your self service facility may be worth a look.
Kansas City Storage
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