To attract self storage renters anywhere, you need competitive prices, friendly, helpful employees, and a clean, secure facility. Boat storage customers need those things, and a little more. So, whether you run a facility that offers boat storage, or you plan to open one, you will want to have the best service possible to attract boat storage renters.
Before getting into options your facility can provide, it helps to know what the alternatives are. People usually store their boats over the winter months to get their watercraft out of icy water. Without self storage, the options are to bring the boat home or to store it at the local marina.
If boat owners choose to store their boats at home, their neighbors may consider it an eyesore, and it will be subject not only to the elements, but it also won’t be very secure. Those who have big enough garages can store it inside, but this means sacrificing garage storage space. Storing it at the local marina, while practical, can be extremely expensive.
Now, we come to the heart of what boat storage customers are looking for: an affordable storage solution that keeps their boats safe and secure.
There are a variety of ways that self storage facilities allow tenants to store their boats.
Outdoor Lot: The advantages of keeping one’s boat in an outdoor lot at a self storage facility are lower cost than storing at the marina, and security. The boat will be just as vulnerable to the elements as if it were at the customer’s home, although you should encourage your tenants to use boat covers to protect their vessels. You may also invest in ceilings for the outdoor lot, something like an open car garage with spaces large enough for the average boat, which will help protect against the weather, particularly against sun, snow, and rain.
Individual Units: If you have large units with roll-up doors that open to the outside of your buildings, consider making them available for boat storage renters. Alternately, you may already have vehicle storage units that offer plenty of room. These will be the most attractive to the majority of boat storage renters. They’ll have a private space to keep their boat, protected from the worst of the weather. Since boats are made to handle salty sea air and fog, they shouldn’t need climate control.
Warehouse: The indoor and covered storage options listed above cover small to medium-sized boats, and an outdoor lot covers large boats, too. But what if a tenant wants to store a large boat indoors? That’s what on-site warehouses work great for. This would be a big room in which many customers keep their boats and other vehicles. The downside is that none of the vehicles stored within are in a private space. The upside is security and total protection from the elements. The price for this should be less than a private storage locker, per square foot.
Dry-Stack Storage: This type of storage can work great for you and your customers, and is best in an area with a lot of boating enthusiasts. Take a large warehouse, install racks for boats, where the boats will basically be stacked, and you have dry-stack storage. This has the advantage of being indoors, keeping the boat safe from the weather, and each boat will have a compact, designated space. This type of storage is best if you have some of the extra services mentioned in the next section.
Want to really make your services impressive and attract boat customers? Here are some things that other boat storage facilities do.
Boat Transportation: Help your customers by transporting their boats to and from your facility, for a fee. They’ll love the convenience. This also works well with dry-stack storage. You can transport the boat to your site and stack it. When the customer needs it back, you take it from the stack and deliver it.
Boat Maintenance: Some boat storage facilities have maintenance shops on-site as part of the service. Tenants can get their boats serviced at your facility and not have to transport it all over town. You would become their one-stop-boat-shop.
Make sure your potential tenants know all the great services you offer. Create an attractive page on your website explaining what types of boat storage you offer. Make sure to update your listing on the various self storage search websites. Offer reduced rates for the first month of storage, as you would with standard and climate controlled units.
We hope the boat storage portion of your business proves enjoyable and profitable, and that you have the best tenants possible.