Self Storage Websites 101
5 Keys to Launching a Kick-ass Self Storage Website
Are you building your first self storage website or looking to expand your digital web presence? Building or upgrading your website is step one of your digital marketing journey, and in this article you will learn a few of the basics of creating an effective self storage website.
It takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website. That first impression determines whether they like your site or not and whether they’ll stay or leave. However, first impressions aren’t everything. The ultimate goal is to generate rentals with your website, and these four tips will help you do just that.
1. Keep it simple and organized
Don’t put so much emphasis flashy design that you forget about the importance of content and ease of navigation. Potential customers want to digest information quickly. An example on how to keep it organized would be to use a simple navigation bar that will navigate your customers to find the answers to their most frequently asked questions. i.e. location, prices, gate hours, photos, etc. Consider a “contact us” tab that has all of the following: a number customers can call, an actively monitored email address as well as a contact form, and a number they can text. Some self storage operators are wary about including pricing on their website, but today’s self storage renter wants to use your website to find pricing and availability quickly and easily. If you fail to include pricing information on your website, you could be missing out on sales.
2. Open the lines of communication with your customers
There are a few different ways to increase communication with your customers. One is to use forms. If you have a website, you must have an inquiry form. An example of this is a ‘contact us’ form, which is where customers inquire about your product or service. However, forms shouldn’t require too much information. Only ask for what you really need in order to reach back out. Their SSN and blood type aren’t needed to send a follow-up email. First name, last name and email address will do. Also, by asking for only their email, they know not to expect a phone call, but an email instead and vice versa.
Although forms are a great option, a chat option is also becoming more desirable by customers. However, make sure you have the systems in place to monitor messages that come in. 42% of consumers say that they prefer live chat functions because they don't have to wait on hold. Many call centers offer chat support as well to aid in adding this feature. If you are able to handle it in-house, it would reduce the number of calls you receive and that will save you money.
3. Add Videos
Creating website videos can feel like a daunting task, but don’t worry: you don’t need to be Stephen Spielberg to have an impact. Simple, short videos (videos under 90 seconds have the best engagement rates) that highlight your facilities offerings, technology, and location can go a long way with potential renters—plus, they can help you distinguish your facilities website from your competitors that aren’t using videos on their website. Tenant testimonial videos also make a great addition to any website. Here’s an example of each type of video:
"Welcome to Keylock"--Keylock Storage, Reno, NV
"What Our Tenants Are Saying"--National Self Storage, Dove Mtn., AZ
4. Make the website mobile friendly
85% of adults believe that a company’s mobile website should be just as good, if not better than their desktop website. When editing, there are two options: mobile view and desktop view, so make sure you are considering both when choosing layouts, fonts, photos, icons, etc. Mobile apps are playing an increasingly important role in helping self storage operators better meet the needs of their customers. For more info about the importance of a mobile friendly site and rental conversion, read on to #5!
5. Automate your rentals
We saved the best (or at least most important piece of a great self storage website) for last!
By having a website that is mobile friendly, you can offer your customers a simple, easy way to not just reserve, but actually rent a unit from the palm of their hands. Let's face it, reservations are great, but rentals are what we're all really after. Giving your customers the ability to both reserve a space or rent online helps you convert more leads into actual paying customers.
Bonus tip: offer insurance or tenant property protection in your online rental process!
A mobile friendly site allows tenants to rent units, pay and check out of a unit completely online either by desktop or cellphone. Automating your self storage rental process by offering mobile friendly, online rentals is a no-brainer for most storage owner operators. For those of you that may need a little more convincing, consider this:
Currently, about 77% of Americans own a smartphone. That’s 77% that are holding a kiosk in their hands. That means more rentals with fewer touch points. Your website likely isn't your best salesperson, but it should be.
Tenants use their phones to interact with businesses and make purchases everyday. Capitalize on that behavior by leveraging your mobile friendly website to generate more rentals with less overhead.
Bonus: there are some exciting advances in self storage smart entry technology that allow you to fully automate the online rental process--all the way to tenants using their mobile device to open the gate, acces their unit, and move in to their space without ever talking to a manager.
You now have the basic guide to creating a self storage website: step one of your digital marketing journey is complete!
For more information about automating operations and using technology to improve the self storage rental process, click the image below to watch an all-new video case study featuring Green Storage.