We all know the importance of visibility. That’s why we strive to build facilities on highly trafficked streets and highways. Visible signage, beautiful buildings, and inviting offices are best practices when it comes to creating curb appeal and improving your location visibility.
We all know how important it is to recreate this experience online. Today, a lot of our leads come from the internet, so it only makes sense to invest in an online customer experience that is as warm and inviting as it is in any of our facilities. This, in my humble opinion, is what it takes to achieve online visibility.
Location visibility and online visibility are often affected by economies of scale. There are big brand names that seem to be everywhere you look. Brands like Coca Cola and Tide are on the tip of your tongue when people talk about “cola” or “detergent.”
It may seem like creating that kind of brand recognition for your self storage portfolio is impossible without huge budgets or innumerable man hours. During the last few years, I have noticed a pattern in the self storage industry that makes me believe smaller operators can compete with national players for an even better form of visibility.
It’s not new or complex, but few of us think about it and even fewer of us act on it. By simply caring about the communities in which we operate and actively working to better them, our brands can carry more positive recognition in our target markets than Coca Cola or Tide ever could. When done for the right reasons and with the right intentions, this kind of community visibility can make it so your brand is tip-of-the-tongue when people talk about “self storage.”
Beginning to build community visibility is easy and it truly does not matter how many facilities you have. When was the last time your team went to a community event together? Are you represented in civic organizations like the local chamber of commerce? There are tons of opportunities to become involved and improve your community visibility. Below is a short list you can use for inspiration.
- Volunteering at a local blood drive, homeless shelter or food bank as a team
- Designate facilities as drop off points for various donation drives
- Sponsor a local youth sports team and attend a game or two with your team
- Offer free use of your facility grounds for community gatherings like scout meetings
- Loan your moving truck to a worthy cause
No matter how you choose to get started, make sure you’re passionate about what you’re doing. Encourage your team to choose causes that are dear to their hearts. Authenticity is important, because everyone wants to do business with honest, authentic people.
Community visibility may not seem as important as location and online visibility. It may not seem like a direct driver to creating an economically successful self storage facility, but it certainly does not hurt. I have seen time and time again that when a company supports their community, the community usually ends up supporting that company.
There is no guarantee any of these activities will lead to higher occupancy or income, but there is a guarantee that you are helping people and that leaves me feeling more fulfilled than achieving my occupancy and rate goals.