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Enjoying the Balance Between Face-Time and Virtual-Time

Jun 29, 2012

By Bradford Harrison, TSSA Staff

You might be asking yourself after you read the title of this piece, “How can I enjoy a balance between face-time and virtual-time in my day-to-day operations; what do you even mean by “balance”?” Attendee reactions from TSSA’s 2012 Executive Retreat served as a powerful example for illustrating the need for balance and how we can even come to enjoy it. 

The TSSA Executive Retreat at Horseshoe Bay in Austin this week featured many informative and energizing presentations. The featured speaker was Dr. Mark G. Dotzour, the Chief Economist and Director of Research for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.  His presentation covered many topics including job growth and commercial real estate, all formatted in a way that cut through just numbers and data to give a true picture of what is trending in commercial real estate that made sense to owners.

On a daily basis, we have to cut through more than just numbers with potential tenants as well. Price, size of a unit, and gate hours are, of course, essential information to explain, but something as simple as talking up how friendly your staff is, upcoming events you may be involved with in the local community, or ensuring that all staff (not just a few!) can answer all questions about leases or policies can be just as strong of a face-to-face selling point as prices, sizes, and hours. It’s an essential part of any sale.

The 2012 Executive Retreat also featured a panel comprised of owners and their successful experiences developing and implementing internet marketing strategies. In an age of self-storage where yellow pages and huge signage have been replaced by Google searches and social media, at least some time would be wisely spent in the virtual realm.  Your specific market and situation will obviously dictate the time and effort you put into the online world, but with many potential tenants simply typing in a search query to find your facility, looking at Google reviews, or perusing your Facebook page for photos of your facility, your online presence can be as key as that first handshake when someone walks in the front door. 

Ultimately, a one-on-one conversation will always be key to closing a sale over any information one could find in cyberspace, but from a potential tenant’s first look at your facility online to their first visit to see your place in person, attention must be paid to both areas. It may take some time to discover the right balance between face-time and virtual-time, but paying careful attention to both will ensure higher occupancy and a better customer experience for your tenants. Who wouldn’t enjoy that? 

In closing, remember the next opportunity for some face-time is TSSA’s Annual Convention and Trade Show taking place on October 14-16 in San Antonio. 



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