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On the Spot - November/December

Dec 18, 2014

Do you experience a slow-down in rentals later in the year?
If so, what do you do to overcome this challenge?

Three TSSA members share their experience, insights and industry expertise.

End of the year slow-downs are inevitable with the holidays and winter weather. People just aren’t moving and storing as much. There are many things we do to overcome this challenge in our Texarkana locations. First of all, we make sure we answer the phone every time it rings. Our managers are trained to log every inquiry into our management software system, and follow up on those inquiries when the time is right. We also make use of manager’s specials. Currently at one location, we have a $1 move in special on all sizes. We utilize colorful fence signs and banners to advertise our specials. Our managers go out into the community with gifts and business cards to make that connection with potential customers. We keep our Facebook pages up-to-date with current articles of interest. Our managers also use this down time to make sure we have the cleanest facilities in town, so when the customer comes through our doors, they become our next rental. We always keep our eyes on the prize, and that prize is our next rental!
Ann Westerman, Area Supervisor
Tri-State Mini Storage (Texarkana)

Like most properties, my facility experiences a slow-down in rental activity during the last quarter of the year. I try to mitigate the effects of this slow-down by staying active in my rate management of the property. Unit prices might fluctuate anywhere from 10-30 percent during the slow season to keep my rental activity steady. I also offer different move in specials and discounts based on unit occupancy to entice customers into renting the less popular unit sizes. This slower season also gives me more time to spend with each potential customer than I might otherwise during the busier seasons. During this season, I know that each customer that walks in the door, or calls, might be the only customer we get that day looking for storage. I need to do everything I can to earn their business while I have their attention. By managing our rates effectively, using move-in specials strategically, and giving each customer the time and attention they deserve, we are able to minimize—and sometimes completely eliminate—our occupancy losses during the slow season.
Katie Cowen, Senior Manager
Move It Management (San Antonio)

We do experience a slow-down in the last few months of the year. During the slower days, we schedule time to go out and market in person to different businesses in the area…which includes apartments, home builders, and even competitors. We also offer specials that cater to different customers, for example: an apartment renter might get a free truck for the day; an educator might get 10 percent off their monthly rent; a new home owner might get one month free. It really just depends on the situation and our vacancies. But during the slower months, we are more willing to offer incentives.
Casi Hinojosa, Manager
New Braunfels Storage (New Braunfels)