The next time a prospective tenant asks for a tour of your storage facility, think of it as an opportunity. A tour of your storage facility is a chance to show off the results of your hard work by highlighting available amenities, explaining options and communicating valuable information all while demonstrating excellent customer service. If your business is located in a particularly saturated market, giving potential customers a tour of your facility is a way to prove to them that you’re better than the competition.
If someone asks for a tour of your facility, you can safely assume that that individual is a discerning consumer who prefers to make educated decisions. Invest the same amount of care and attention to detail into your tours and you’ll be sure to see results.
Have you ever walked by a store or restaurant and known right away whether or not you would spend money at that business? Despite the years of being told by our mothers to refrain from judging books by their covers, we all make snap decisions.
Self storage tenants are no different. The first step to giving a great tour of your facility is to present a facility that people actually want to consider renting a storage unit at. This means curb appeal. Make sure that your storage facility looks attractive from the side of the road. That means colorful paint, up to date signage and whatever level of landscaping is in your budget. Flowers, rock gardens and trees give customers the sense that you care about your business and will care about their experience on your property. Focus on cleanliness by picking up litter around your facility and by making sure that your office is tidy and well lit. Offer water, coffee or have a complimentary bowl of candy for customers. And don’t forget to check on your restrooms throughout the day to ensure that they’re clean and well stocked.
Yes, role playing feels silly, but it’s a great way to practice giving tours of your storage facility. You should make sure that every member of your staff who will be giving tours to potential customers knows what they’re doing. Role playing is a great way to make sure of that. Each employee should practice giving a tour of the facility at least once. Feel free to take a turn practicing this yourself if you’ve never given a tour before or you’d like some feedback. Have the rest of the team play the role of prospective tenants who have a lot of questions. By role playing a tour (again, this will probably feel a little awkward), you and the rest of your staff will have the opportunity to fine tune your presentation skills and work through your mistakes in a low pressure situation.
Let’s face it. The average person who needs a storage unit isn’t a self storage expert. That’s where you come in. Present yourself as an authority to potential customers—without being condescending or getting into anything overly complex—and they’ll trust you with safeguarding their belongings. Show them different sized units and explain those sizes in a way that's easy to understand. Explain what features like climate control and drive up access are along with why someone might want these options. Fill them in on any specials that you are currently offering along with basic information like your facility’s hours and your current availability of units. You can also briefly touch on topics like self storage insurance and different lease options as well. Some people might feel like their questions and concerns are unimportant, so be sure to let them know that this isn’t the case by periodically asking if they’d like you to further explain anything.
Take a moment to think about what aspect of your storage facility you’re most proud of. Do you offer a wash station for your RV customers? Did you just upgrade your security features? Do you sell a variety of moving supplies? Whatever it is, take the time to highlight it on a tour of your storage facility. People can tell when you’re being genuine, so if you show off something that you’re proud of, they’ll respond. You might think that it’s pointless to mention your state-of-the-art wine storage options to a customer who says they’re just looking for a basic storage unit, but someday down the road that person might become a wine collector who will think of your facility when they’re looking for a place to keep their collection. You never know.
The modern self storage user doesn’t just expect a great storage unit; they expect great customer service. You can offer this by looking at a tour of your storage facility from a different perspective. Instead of seeing your storage facility as a business and the people who you’re showing it to as future customers, think of it as your home and those people as your guests. Offer refreshments and point out the restroom before starting your tour. Be friendly and get to know your guests. Make them feel at home. By taking the time to be personable and gracious, you’ll also be taking the time to get a feel for your prospective tenants’ needs and you’ll be able to make personalized recommendations based on this information. For example, if someone tells you that they’re an avid cyclist, you can recommend a storage unit with features that will be perfect for storing a bicycle along with storage tips on preventing rust. This will show that you’re not just an authority on self storage; you’re someone who cares.