This is the season of giving, and for self-storage owners and managers, it is the season of fostering customer loyalty and repeat business. What better gift for those long-standing tenants than a little holiday discount on their storage rent? While upfront discounting is known to create headaches in competitive pricing, it’s a great way to remind existing tenants why they love doing business with you.
It’s important to get an idea of what you can afford and what potential short-term profit you’re willing to forfeit. If your occupancy rate took a bashing with the advent of the down season, your facility might not be in the best position to decrease rates. Identify the extent of the discount, and to whom it will be applied, by setting restrictions:
- Who do you consider a faithful tenant? How long must a tenant be with your facility to enjoy a seniority discount? Must they occupy a specific size unit or pay for extra features, like climate control or 24-hour access? Consider reliability as well— prompt, consistent rent payments should be rewarded.
- What is your idea of a holiday discount? Will your discount last through the winter, or just a month? What is your threshold for a price drop? Feel free to get creative with your discount once you’ve defined your limits. For example, offer a “Twelve Days of Christmas” promotion in which you take 12% off the faithful tenants’ December rent.
Whatever you do, the effect will be to strengthen your relationship with long-term tenants. While encouraging loyalty is a benefit in itself, it also encourages referrals. Make sure your facility has a referral program in place, and make it known to all tenants. In the end, by offering discounts to a select few, you’ve both encouraged repeat business and potentially attracted new customers.
Clearly, offering discounts can be a potential boon to your facility, but it’s important to know exactly how you’re benefiting from them. Tracking results is an integral part of marketing, and the benefits from discounted rates are slightly more straightforward to monitor than some other marketing ideas we’ve covered. Record which of your tenants are receiving discounts and make financial projections for best-and-worst-case scenarios, and compare them to their real success. Always ask new tenants if they’d been referred to see if they can be tied to your discounting promotions.
We’re certainly not advocating a price war, here. Instead we just suggest you take stock of the tenants who have made your job easy, fun and rewarding. A holiday discount could be the perfect way to let them know you appreciate their business.
Do you have a successful self-storage promotion story? Share with us by commenting below!