Sarah and Lynn Fultz are regional managers at AAA Storage in Austin, TX. Approaching from I-35, it looks like a normal self-storage facility. But their customer base is fairly unique among storage facilities, in that their primary source of tenants is the wealth of musicians in the Live Music Capital of the World looking for a place to practice.
While the Fultzes have only been at this location for a little over a year, AAA has been housing musicians in its units since it opened in 1999. Lynn said the original owners were music lovers who recognized local bands needed a place to be, and simply delivered on that need.
Entering a “band unit” is certainly a unique experience. Upon lifting the traditional sliding door, I noticed the walls and ceiling are padded and carpeted. An occupied unit is filled with band equipment (all supplied by the musicians themselves), powered through an electrical outlet. With 24-hour access and designated parking spaces for the bands, Lynn makes sure his facility is a haven for musicians in the bustling Austin music scene.
The facility is also equipped with regular storage units, intermingled amongst the musicians. Lynn said the normal tenants aren’t bothered by the music, which he views as a draw.
“I have tenants [who] come here because of the bands,” he said. A former music major at the University of Western Kentucky, Lynn likes to sit out on the porch and listen to the bands practice with Sarah. “We don’t have to go [downtown], because we have it here,” he added with a smile.
The mutually beneficial relationship they share with their tenants goes further than a nurturing musical atmosphere. While AAA is equipped with plenty of standard security measures, Lynn mentioned that having tenants at the property at all hours gives him an extra sense of security.
“I like the bands being around,” he said. “There are so many of them here, going in and out, it’s kind of like having a little security patrol.”
Furthermore, having musicians rent out their units provides a great source of word-of-mouth. When the musicians bring their friends to band practice, it achieves one of the most challenging goals of self-storage marketing— getting people in the door.
For Lynn, forming a close, friendly relationship with their tenants is key to success. Lynn builds trust with his bands by taking a genuine interest in who they are and what they do. But Sarah and Lynn agreed it’s not just their own efforts that make the environment so welcoming at AAA Storage.
“Our people [who] come in here are very straightforward, they’re very honest, and they’re genuinely happy to be here,” he said.
Do you currently allow bands to practice in your facility’s storage units? Have you ever gotten calls about it? What are your thoughts on this apparently growing trend? Comment below to let us know!