In a competitive self storage market, it’s tempting to want to give away a few things for free in order to attract new customers and retain loyal tenants. Whether you’re rewarding a first time renter with a free lock or giving RV storage users free bags of ice whenever they roll through your facility, you like to think that these little gestures help your business stand out from the crowd.However, depending on how much you’re giving away at a discount or at no charge at all, you might be costing yourself. According to recent research from the Self Storage Association, there are seven self storage amenities that tenants are willing to pay extra for. Intrigued? Read on to find out what the amenities are as well as how many of the customers surveyed said that they would be willing to pay extra for them.
Given that some of the largest markets for self storage are in hot places, it makes sense that air conditioning is at the forefront of customers’ minds. 33% of those surveyed chose air conditioning as the amenity they’d be willing to pay extra for. Yes, this technically refers to climate control, but the emphasis on keeping storage units cool seems especially important to tenants.
In an increasingly automated world, it makes sense that tenants want electronic gates. 29% of those surveyed said they’d be willing to pay extra for this feature, which is interesting considering that this comes standard at modern storage facilities.
This is another feature that you might not think to charge extra for. After all, shouldn’t a rodent and insect free storage unit be the norm? Not to 28% of customers surveyed, who said that they’d be willing to pay extra for a storage facility with top of the line pest control.
This is a controversial topic among self storage operators. Some argue that in a convenience-obsessed society where individuals are often working non-traditional gig economy jobs with odd hours, 24-hour access makes sense. Others say that 24-hour access is one of those things that self storage tenants think they need but don’t actually need. Whatever your opinion is, consider the fact that 24% of customers are willing to pay extra for it. This might make you want to start offering optional 24-hour access at an additional cost to those who are willing to pay for it.
It’s interesting that this feature is so much further down the list when compared to air conditioning. Climate control means a safe temperature and humidity level, so these two features should really be one in the same. 23% of customers said they’d be willing to pay extra for humidity control, which could mean that the majority think it should come standard.
Coming in last on this list is security monitoring. 18% of those surveyed would be willing to shell out extra cash for this feature. This low figure makes sense given that self storage is intended to be secure by nature. If your security features are on par with those that are found at other storage facilities in your market (gated access, good lighting, surveillance cameras), you can’t justify charging extra for them, but if you’re really going above and beyond (contracting an actually security company to patrol the storage facility, for example) you might be able to justify charging extra for really exceptional security.