It feels like storage auctions are being talked about everywhere now. Well, we know they’ve always been around, but public awareness of the 10,000+ self-storage auctions taking place at facilities around the U.S. each year has exploded with the popularity of shows like Storage Wars, Auction Hunters, and most recently, Storage Hunters (yep, there’s another one).
While TV executives continue figuring out how many different combinations of words can equate to “people living off their storage auction wins,” we’ve got some advice to help you promote upcoming auctions and earn back lost rent quickly.
We mentioned last week that the primary goal of lien sale promotion is to reach out to the delinquent tenant. Additionally, generating a large crowd for your auction promotes awareness of your storage facility, and treating attendees to a professional and enjoyable auction experience could draw them back to you when they need storage.
If you frequent this self-storage blog, you probably either have a decent online presence or are interested in building one. The Internet is the first place you should promote your storage auction. Build up the hype! Tweet about your upcoming auction and mention current and former customers who might be interested. Create a Facebook event and invite everyone to join in the fun. People will be more likely to attend if they feel directly involved, and social networking is a fast and easy way to convey that You, the storage facility, would love Me, the average guy, to come hang out and experience the thrill of a self-storage auction.
Don’t forget to list your auction on online classifieds like Craigslist and Backpage. This is where you’ll reach new and inexperienced auction hunters, who are more likely to drive up the bidding.
Many state lien laws require a storage auction to be advertised in one or more local newspaper for a couple of weeks before the auction date. This is required so the missing tenant has every opportunity to become aware of their unit’s upcoming sale. Consult your state laws to determine the required content, frequency and placement of such ads. In general, a cursory description of the unit, auction date and time, and facility location are the details you should include.
Whatever medium through which you choose to advertise, the message should remain the same: Your facility is inviting everyone to spend their Saturday afternoon at your storage auction. Make sure you convey the exciting nature of the event. People love the intrigue of a storage unit packed with potential hidden treasures. Clearly state your rules— if there is a registration fee, for example, mention the amount up front.
Finally, take advantage by listing your facility with a service like SpareFoot Auctions. It’s a free, search-able auction site that gives your event considerable online visibility. Free advertising is always the best kind! More suggestions? Sound off in the comment box below.