You built or bought a self-storage facility run a business and make money, right? And like any business, increased revenue is always welcome. We would like to provide 10 ways you can increase revenue from your self-storage business. Some are well-known, but others may have escaped your attention.
Increase Your Curb Appeal
Drive by your facility and try to see it with objective eyes. Or ask friends and associates to tell you what they think when they see your business. Is it eye-catching in a good way? Or does it blend into the background or possibly even look a little shabby?
First of all, a clean, well-kept facility will always draw the eye and more tenants. If it appears well-kept, that implies it is a friendly and secure business.
• Pick up trash and trim the bushes.
• Paint using a custom color scheme.
• Add new lighting and signage.
• Make the front office spic and span.
For some prospective tenants, your facility will be a home away from home. Make it a comfortable place to be and customers will come running.
Take a look at your Profit-and-Loss statement and identify some areas where you can save money without damaging the business. Some areas could use a second look.
• Check your insurance rates annually to ensure you are getting the best coverage at the best price.
• Shop around for a lower cost energy provider at least once a year.
• Monitor landscaping and snow removal invoices so you don’t get double-billed.
Your total operating expenses should be no more than 25% to 35% of your total revenue.
Raise the Rent
Check your occupancy. If it’s too low, increasing the rent might not make sense. However, if it’s high, like at 90% or more, raising the rent is absolutely OK.
If you have a particular unit size that is always in demand, raising the rent may make a few tenants move out, but you can soon replace them with tenants who will pay more per month.
To keep the rent increases transparent, make it part of your policy to increase rent at the six-month mark of a tenant’s stay and then raise it a certain percentage annually.
Collection calls are no fun, but they must be done if the rent is late. Tacking on a late fee should cover the extra administrative costs of chasing delinquent payments and discourage a few who don’t want to pay extra.
Keep you delinquency rate below %5 as a rule of thumb and best business practice.
Appeal Your Real Estate Taxes
The local tax appraiser isn’t always right. Check your tax records to make sure you are only paying for the property you have. If the economy is down, you can also request a decrease based on the reduced value of your property.
Ask your attorney to help you appeal your real estate taxes after learning the process from the local tax office.
Evaluate Your Marketing Efforts
Take a look at your marketing.
• Could your website use repairs or an update?
• Is it optimized for mobile?
• Have you kept up your social media pages?
• Are you getting an acceptable return on your marketing dollar from each of your ads?
If your website has broken links or outdated information, it will reflect poorly on your business. Just as you need to keep the grass cut, you need to keep your website and social media pages fresh, and your ads should be pulling in more revenue than they cost.
Reduce Credit Card Processing Rates
Did you know you might be able to find a credit card processor that charges a lower rate? If you aren’t accepting credit cards, you could be leaving money on the table.
Credit cards allow you to set up an auto-pay option, which will eliminate delinquencies. You can get a better merchant processor rate than a retailer because you have a ready source of secured debt – your customer’s stuff.
Improve Site Security
Security is typically the number one concern of a prospective tenant. You can increase rentals and charge more with certain security components.
• Provide gated access with control keypads.
• Install surveillance cameras.
• Implement an alarm system for each unit.
You will make your facility appear formidable to tenants and those who are thinking of stealing from them.
Train Your Employees
Customer service has never gone out of style. Having a manager that knows what he or she is doing and can be courteous and pleasant while doing it will not only bring in new tenants, it will help you keep them.
Expand Your Business
Is business so good you don’t have room to add one more tenant? It may be time to think about expanding your business. Find a lender who can help you finance the expansion through purchasing another facility or enlarging your current one.
Are you ready to kick up your revenue a few notches?