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Rates on website...yay or nay

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  • #16
    Originally posted by T_Champeau View Post
    I think, as always it varies on your competition and market. We advertise prices on our website, which helps show transparency to customers. Honestly, it's a bit of a red flag in our area when someone doesn't list the price on their website. But that's our area which has lots of options. Also, even if people come in person how do you stop them taking whatever fits their budget better and not their stuff?

    On the other hand, even if they've been on our website they also want verbal confirmation when coming in. If they seem like a good fit I might knock off some of the security deposit, but that's at my digression. If they seem like a bad fit I up the sec. deposit because we don't talk about that on the website so I have flexibility. Plus, there's the my bad we just sold the last unit of that size, so sorry route.

    That being said, raising prices across all platforms takes me maybe 20 minutes tops? I manage our website so all I have to do is update it myself (along with FB & google). However, if it's a lengthy process for you then yeah, it would def. be a pain in the butt and could even lose you guys money. I guess it comes not so much if you should post prices but rather how the website will be run, managed and how quickly it can be updated. If it can't keep up with how you do business then yeah, makes sense not to post.

    The compromise you could offer is to give a range instead of a hard price? A lot of the times websites will advertise "Starting At" $$ which can give you the flexibility you want.
    It's about a 50/50 split between prices on website vs not. I also am thinking about the "starting at" as a possible compromise but I haven't heard anything definite yet about when/if this will even happen.
    Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

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    • #17
      ugh I hate that type of waiting game. Best of luck and know that you got the skills to handle it no matter which way it goes!

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      • #18
        Of course you post your prices. Did you ever see Macy's have a sale and say "call for prices on our sleepwear"? If they think your prices are too high, they were never going to rent from you anyways.

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        • #19
          I am not yet a self storage investor, however I can share from a "user" point of view. I prefer that the prices be listed on the website so that I can compare pricing. In fact, the more professional looking the website, the higher the chances are that I will visit the facility before renting.
          Seasoned Investor and lender
          Supplier of short-term bridge debt to experienced operators
          Direct source of capital for acquisition and improvements
          [email protected]

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          • #20
            Our prices are listed on the website. seeing I'm the one who changes rates, I like being able to pull up my 4 competitors as a comparison on where I need the rates to be. Whenever I change rates, it updates our website within the hour. We are not the lowest nor the most expensive, but we are the newest and have more amenities to offer. Having prices on the website helps cut down on the calls from customers asking for the prices on all available sizes.... ugh... But we do not allow online move ins.... (Thank goodness, as there's nothing worse than chasing down a new tenant to get proper id, signatures or whatever...and overlocking them until they comply - not fun way to start off manager/tenant relationship lol) ...we also want to know who our tenants are and make sure we have everything required to complete the move in (explain unit alarms, + tenant perks etc.). If your competitors want your rates bad enough, they will just shop you in person and waste your time on a fake potential tenant.

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            • #21
              Today's consumer normally does some research before they find a unit. We have value pricing too, and our website is current. If I get what we call a "Uhaul" tenant there's a different price. Why? That unit you looked at online was reserved and the system didn't refresh.

              Veritech is a good system to do value pricing with your website.

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              • #22
                As a consumer, any company that doesn't list prices/rates on their website is a major turnoff for me and I will likely look elsewhere unless they're the only option. That doesn't mean I only care about the price - it just means I want to know the whole story without having to call somebody or fill out a form to get the rest (because now your info is out there and you can be potentially hounded by followup calls/emails/texts). You can have the best facility in the world, but if your rate is not in my budget, I won't be renting from you no matter how much I'd like to.
                Last edited by RMRSS; 7 June 2022, 08:42 PM.

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                • #23
                  I had a lady call me last Friday. She immediately asked me why my rates aren't on my website. I explained to her that I felt it important to talk to the customer to determine if they would be a good fit at my facility, as we have some policies that ensure the safety of all who rent here, that we offer what I believe to be the best value of any of my competitors and that I'd like the opportunity to present those differences to someone over the phone or email. I also want to help them confirm they're shopping the right size for their needs. I proceeded to start explaining the value I believe I offer, and she cut me off and said, 'just tell me the price of a 5x5 and 5x10'. So, I gave her a few prices and explained the differences between them. I also told her there were no additional fees, that I guarantee the rate for at least 12 months, I'm the owner and manager have lived onsite for 35 years, we have state of the art security systems with 21 video cameras and individual alarms, etc....

                  She said my rates were too high and that's why I didn't post them. She was rude about it. I told her that this is why I like to speak with people, because clearly she would not be someone that would be happy here. I told her to be aware of the bait and switch at other facilities and be prepared for the rates on their website to only be the starting point, the final cost will be much more after bogus 'insurance' costs and fees, and they'll raise your rates as often as every 90 days, and likely not offer any sort of rate guarantee. I wished her good luck, and thought to myself that I'm glad she just didn't show up with my website rates on her phone and demand a unit.

                  She hung up rather abruptly.

                  Yesterday, she called me again. I recognized the caller ID and the thick accent. She was VERY nice on the phone. She asked if I had one of those 5x10 units I had mentioned. I told her I did, and then asked her if she had a chance to visit or speak with other facilities over the weekend, and if she did, did she now realize what I meant by value? She didn't really answer me (I think she thought I wouldn't remember her), but asked if she could come and take a look at the unit. She arrived, I met her, showed it to her and she wanted to rent it.

                  Before completing the paperwork, I couldn't resist saying "so now you know why I have 80 5 star Yelp reviews and stay at over 95% occupancy year round. I offer the best value for your dollar. You were shopping rates online, as if that's the only metric you care about. Clearly that's not the case, because here you are, renting from me after telling me my rates are too high". She was a good sport (but a little nervous) about it and laughed it off.

                  I completely understand your position RMRSS , I do the same as you do in many instances, but mainly only when I'm comparing items, not services. Easy to move on to the next widget seller when they don't list a price, a widget is a widget, but if I'm looking at hotels, restaurants, plumbers, painters, I'm looking for value. If you were only basing your decision on prices for services like that, you'd ALWAYS stay at a sketchy Motel 6, eat the Taco Bell dollar menu every night and likely have leaky faucets.

                  I can think of dozens of professional services that don't list their rates and prices online, I believe storage facilities can be as different as a good/bad plumber, attorney, accountant, electrician, dentist, photographer, landscaper, etc. You won't find any of them listing rates online, and we all know firsthand that many of the storage rates you find online are bogus anyway.

                  As I've already said on this thread, each market is different, and one size does not fit all. No rates works for me where I am, it very well may not where you are.

                  Also, should your last line have been this...?--- "You can have the best facility in the world, but if your rate is not online, I won't be renting from you no matter how much I'd like to."

                  Last edited by Storman; 8 June 2022, 12:57 AM.
                  In no way affiliated with Storman software.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Storman View Post
                    I completely understand your position RMRSS , I do the same as you do in many instances, but mainly only when I'm comparing items, not services. Easy to move on to the next widget seller when they don't list a price, a widget is a widget, but if I'm looking at hotels, restaurants, plumbers, painters, I'm looking for value. If you were only basing your decision on prices for services like that, you'd ALWAYS stay at a sketchy Motel 6, eat the Taco Bell dollar menu every night and likely have leaky faucets.
                    ...
                    I can think of dozens of professional services that don't list their rates and prices online, I believe storage facilities can be as different as a good/bad plumber, attorney, accountant, electrician, dentist, photographer, landscaper, etc. You won't find any of them listing rates online, and we all know firsthand that many of the storage rates you find online are bogus anyway.
                    ...
                    Also, should your last line have been this...?--- "You can have the best facility in the world, but if your rate is not online, I won't be renting from you no matter how much I'd like to."
                    I'm pretty sure the vast majority of places that offer rental properties or services list their rates online, though (hotels, apartment complexes, car/truck rental services, etc.). You can't really compare that to an electrician, for instance, because they normally have to come out to see the specific situation before they can give an accurate quote. A storage unit or other rental is the rate it is, period. Also, you can use a well-designed website to build value as well, which is precisely what most of these companies do. For instance, they'll have a prominent "Why choose [company name]?" section on their homepage.

                    I'm not sure what you mean by bogus online rates. As far as I know, that would be illegal.

                    As for my "last line", my point was even if I came into your office and you convinced me you were the best facility in town, if your rate is not within my budget, it won't matter. When I say "budget", I don't mean what I'd like to spend, but rather what I can spend.

                    I'm glad your strategy works for you. I honestly don't have many shady people store here. We still talk to every tenant in person before they actually complete the rental, so if they start acting suspiciously, we can catch it before they get access to the facility. We don't do online rentals - only reservations.

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                    • #25
                      I got into the storage business as a means to generate passive income, post retirement. I manage my facility remotely which allows me lots of free time for travel, family, golf, fishing, etc.

                      My rates are posted online and so far its worked out great. No phone calls from tire kickers and other facility owners shopping rates. The last thing I want to do is field calls on the golf course or my boat from someone spittling hairs over the cost of a storage unit.

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