Today, independent owners are forced to compete with larger, better capitalized and more sophisticated self storage operators. How can an independent self storage operator take on the giant corporations and large third-party management companies and not only survive but increase profits? The following are three strategies that you can employ to compete and thrive in your local market.
- Spend Smarter: While you cannot possibly spend the money on marketing that the large operators do, you can market where they do not market and be smarter about the marketing dollars you spend, specifically in your neighborhood. The big operators will not be as effective as you because their decision makers are not privy to the same local information that you have. Your local knowledge, direct contact with your customer base and the quality of your site manager will give you an advantage!
- Refresh Your Look: Change up your street awareness and get a fresh look. Most large operators want all of their stores to look the same, but you have the ability to come up with a NEW workable design and make the change in the matter of days, not weeks or months. The advantage you have as an independent operator is that you can change the look of your store and make street awareness an important part of your marketing campaign.
- Manage Your Rental Rates: Many of the large operators actively adjust pricing on units daily and weekly. While you may not have the resources to be as effective as they are in doing this, take the time to identify your 3-5 main competitors and get in the habit of checking their rental rates often and adjust your rates accordingly. We have found that operators who are proactively adjusting rental rates to be competitive and, if necessary, meaningfully lower than the market, can operate at a very high occupancy and drive revenue higher from the in-place tenant base.
These tips can help any operator, large or small, stay competitive in an increasingly tight market. Being proactive, rather than reactive, will help your facility achieve greater revenue and ultimately a higher valuation.