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  • Facebook Marketing

    Hi Everyone, I am fairly new to this forum and I really enjoy reading all the great information you all post - thank you!

    I have been the manager of a mini storage for a couple years now and we have been lucky enough to stay about 75% occupied. I say we have been lucky because we really haven't done any advertising at all, we don't even have a sign out front! I think our tenants have rented from us just because of our great location but I would really like to get us to at least 95% occupancy asap.

    One of the ways I plan on expanding our online presence is Facebook. We have had a few burning man tenants post photos and stories to our page but that is all we have so far. I finally got control of the page (a former employee had all the login information and did not want to give it up) but it has nothing really on it yet, and sadly, no 'likes' (the burning man posts were just check-ins). I did an internship on Facebook marketing years ago and I learned a lot, but it has changed a lot since then! I know there are probably at least a million websites to help but I thought it might save me some time to ask here. If you have any tips to share, it would be greatly appreciated. ☼

    Thank you in advance!

    ☺Michelle

  • #2
    What's the page?
    I will like it. I sure others will also.
    please like us too. dak self storage
    Joe Krezdorn
    DAK Self Storage
    Leesport, PA 19533
    www.dakselfstorage.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I put a sign on the exit gate to follow us on Facebook for our monthly giveaways and we have had zero people follow us! We are in a rural area and I think our clients are just not on it due to them being older.

      I follow Synergy Storage in TN on Facebook and they do it right IMO. I learned about them on a Storage Pug podcast.

      Comment


      • #4
        We currently don't have a FB page, but am considering asking boss lady if we can start one. Maybe go with the sign idea, as well or even marketing to realtors, college campus (if there's one near by), apartment complexes, reputable moving companies that you could possibly return the favor to, and I'm sure others can give some more great examples. Repeat and referral are the best types of advertising, but you probably already knew that As dakselfstorage said, if you're comfortable with telling us your FB page, we can go "Like" it to help!

        Comment


        • #5
          @M
          What is your town and facility name? I can do a market analysis and see if anything stands out. We operate in 4 locations for our older facilities. We run 95 to 98% full. We are currently at 70% full since we added 6 buildings at these locations and are in the rent up phase.
          market
          competition
          pricing
          product mix
          advertising

          You can check us out at Clarkstoragellc.

          Comment


          • #6
            MichelleInNorCal What other online areas can your business be found at this time? Do you guys have a web site? Is it a decent web site? Do you have online Rentals?, Payments?, or Reservations? What have you done with your Google Local listings? How is your web sites SEO?

            It is good to make sure the avenues that are your bread and butter taken care of before you spend a ton of time on Facebook. If those other items aren't addressed I am not sure how effective facebook alone will be for you.

            This is not to say that facebook can't help you get tenants, it is just that there are much more effective places to spend your time and effort if they haven't happened yet

            Comment


            • #7
              @M, on your background it says the unit is in Reno, NV.
              Looked out on Sparefoot, without knowing your Locations name, here is the info I see. It is better for you to check with Boots on the ground:

              a. Great market almost everyone is full. By looking at their listing of sizes, they should have a lot more sizes available, thus they have them turned off, since they are full. If I was there, I would build more units.
              b. 10x10 (15 of 22 available); ($105 to $198 price range) Avg $140
              c. 10 x 15 (9 of 22 available) ($126 to $274) Avg $170
              d. 10 x 20 (14 of 22 available) ($169 to $380) Avg $190
              e. A lot of competition, does not use Sparefoot. Only 22 out of 82 listed, use Sparefoot.

              Recommendations:
              1. Put up a road sign. This is the cheapest and most effective advertising. Everyone that sees it is a potential customer since they are in your neighborhood. It imprints on their mind. Keep it simple. Name and phone number. I know your buildings are storage and customers should know its storage, but you have to tell them it is storage.
              2. RandyL; look at his "all encompassing" comments. Most people are using their cell phones to find a storage location and then to price comparison. I have a small town of 5,000 people and our location is on the main road. Buildings say storage and the sign says storage. Most customers still reach me through the internet and don't call my direct number on the sign.
              3. Work on your website and other presence, but your fastest (next day) impact will be using Sparefoot. You will have immediate presence. Some people don't like Sparefoot, but they aren't missing out on the extra income or paying the bank. You can always turn them off.


              Why do anything? Lets run some numbers. Change according to your actuals:
              Since your location has a manager, I will assume 300 units.
              Above you say 75% full consistently on average.
              Will use the avg unit 10 x 15 with an avg price of $170.

              Units available 300 x 25%= 75 units available
              Avg price= $170
              Potential extra income = $12,750 x 12 months= $153,000 extra

              Actions:
              With $153,000 extra income to work with, here are my recommendations.
              a. Install a road sign $20,000
              b. Don't mess around learning about internet marketing, your potential rental income is to big. Hire an SEO firm for $1,500 per month ($18,000 annual) that just does Storage. Possibly change your management software. To @ Randy L points, if you can automate Rentals/reservations/payment your google ranking will go up, due to customer ease. Some software's have their own SEO products which may be cheaper than hiring a standalone SEO. Only downfall is some of your competition might also be using them. Have a conversation with your SEO around: Google Ads, Facebook, Google map ranking, website, blogging, youtube, internet pictures,
              c. Don't leave work today without joining Sparefoot. Cost 1.5 months rent for each new customer. Cost, assume a 12 month rental. 1.5 x $170 x 75 units= $19,000 Sparefoot fee for 12 months of rentals. You will be immediately ahead of 60 out of 82 of your competition.
              d. When you reach about 95% or about 3 units of each size available, turn Sparefoot off. Turn back on when your occupancy starts to drop. Towards the end of the Fall season, turn Sparefoot on, until all of your units are filled. An empty unit over the winter doesn't earn any money. Drop your price seasonally in the Fall. You can keep your Street price higher and your Sparefoot price lower.
              e. Product mix, even if you are out of a size (except your largest) keep advertising and renting them. Example: out of 10 x 10 still advertise, but give them a 10 x 15 for the same price; out of 10 x 15 still advertise, but give them a 10 x 20. Stop this practice when you get near 90 to 95% full. Your Vortex of prior and existing customers will keep you at that level in the future.

              Good luck. Your only one week away from taking the actions needed to get to 90/95% full and an additional $153,000 profit per year.

              Comment


              • #8
                If you do go with Sparefoot give me a shout out. They have 4 different sort methods: Recommended, Reviews, Distance, price.

                We can get you to the top 4 in each category within two months. Obviously Distance would be just for your locale, since you can't change that ranking.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wow, thank you for all the great advice! I apologize for my late response, I took a 3-day weekend so we could take the kids camping. ☼

                  The mini storage is called Linden Mini Storage and the Facebook page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/LindenMiniStorageOfReno/

                  Our website is: www.MiniStorageReno.com and I think it is pretty decent, although I created it and I am not a professional.

                  Other than the FB page and website, we get a lot of business from Google maps and just word of mouth but we don't have much of an online presence. Before my time with the company, we got a few bad reviews so I am sure that does not help but other than responding, I am unsure of what I can do to improve that, other than get as many positive and more recent reviews as possible, which is my goal.

                  I have reached out to many funeral homes and I have not received much response. It would sure be easier if I were in the Reno area so I could go to the businesses and speak to them in person but I am working with what I can.

                  I will definitely talk to the owner about Sparefoot. I attended the ISS World Expo in 2019 and I learned a lot about them at that time and I ran it by her but it didn't get much traction, maybe it will now.

                  Thanks again, everyone! I really appreciate you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    MichelleInNorCal you don't need any special classes for FB marketing. Just look it up on YouTube. Pick any recent videos with high number of upvotes (where the YouTuber is not trying to peddle some paid courses. You'll be able to tell a genuine one.) There's plenty of information there to get you started. Then if you have any sort of a mailing list with emails of your customers, use it on FB to create your first audience. Make sure it's within the geographic radius of your facility. You may also want to limit the ages for the audience. (Get the stats from your accounting software for that.) And that's it. Initially set some low daily $$ limit for the ad and watch the results. Oh, and for the ad itself always pick some attractive picture of your facility. Something that will draw attention. Then, the next month change something (for instance, the picture for the ad, or the audience, increase/decrease the spending budget, etc.) and see if it makes it better. Then rinse-and-repeat until you find the "golden ratio". So this is pretty much your FB marketing in one paragraph.

                    Otherwise, I would also highly recommend to create a business page on Google, so that people using Google Maps can find you. Make multiple pictures of your facility (pick some bright sunny day for that) and post some general site info. Link to your ministoragereno-dot-com page or wherever people can do a reservation or look up your contact info. Then also make sure to follow up on people's reviews. If someone posts something negative, don't act all bitter about it. Try to learn and do better next time.

                    In our case, Google Maps was a great marketing tool. And best of all, it's free. Good luck!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      MichelleInNorCal
                      Additional info helps.

                      a. Older but great facility. Roads are in great shape. Canopy parking. Very secure situation. Old Cement block and metal can be washed or painted.
                      b. The frontage is blocked by the houses with only a glimpse of the storage facility. All of the impact of drive by advertising is lost. Need a front road sign. This is your cheapest and most effective advertising dollars.
                      c. Bing- Fix "Permanently Closed"; okay on Google
                      d. This would impact you but recommend you revise your hours. 9 to 5. Develop a self service model with phone calls anytime. Check the following out for an example. Depends on your gate system. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnJxNzkn5Ug
                      e. The product mix needs to be adjusted. 5x10; 10x10; 10 x18; Change to 10x10; 10x15; 10x20. See below.
                      - My troublesome accounts are usually in the 5 x 10, convert these to 10 x 10 or 10 x 15.
                      - You need some 10 x 15's; Market them at the same price as your 10 x 18's; just give them an 18. Your asking the customer to Think between a 10 x 15 and a 10 x 18; make it easy for them, call it a 10 x 15. Your prices are low enough to where they are competitive at your 10 x 18 price.
                      - No 10 x 20's. Get rid of some if not all of the Parking spots. Parking spots don't make money relative to storage. Two approaches: 1. If you rent a parking spot you have to rent a 10 x 10 or greater storage unit. If you don't then Double the price for non storage unit renters.; 2. Don't tear the covered storage down. Buy some collapsible 10 x 20 units and put them under the canopy.
                      f. You have some larger competition, but all of you are buried in Neighborhoods with lots of people. No large REITS are near you per Sparefoot. Your prices need to go up to match your competition.

                      Summary:
                      - Your prices are way below competition. Realize your facility is a little older, but still very clean looking.
                      - Your in a great neighborhood with very little competition relative to the population. All of the big REITS are building away from you and almost double your price.
                      - No reason for you not to be at 95% or higher. Need to tweak your signage, hours (self service after 5 and weekends), and marketing (Sparefoot). Only one of your competition "Galloway storage" is on Spare foot.
                      - You can increase profit by changing your storage unit and parking mix; along with increased occupancy.

                      Recommendation:

                      DON'T do any of the above suggestions I've made.

                      Unless this property just got sold, it was listed on Loopnet earlier this year. Recommend you make them an offer and if it fits your life style, live in one of the houses; or not. Offer them $1.5mm (develop a price, this is an example; since I don't know how much the two houses are worth). Do a Construction loan with a traditional bank, to do some more fix ups to the property or buy the collapsible storage units. Then convert to an SBA loan on a 20 year amortization with a 12 year payback. With a 10% down payment $150,000. Still keeping your job.

                      Realize you just wanted to know about Facebook. Good luck either way.
                      Disregard my SEO suggestion, there aren't enough units to cover the cost.

                      Again, like the facilities.




                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just liked your Facebook page.

                        " They " say that having a social media presence is important so I post on Facebook, Craiglist, Yelp, Twitter and Google My Business. Again. " They " say that Google is most important. Luckily I am a small facility and have the time to look stuff up and post. I do alot of scheduling too. I have to get on that since the last few weeks I have been lax in doing it.

                        We have been told that sharing local posts from the city or police department or a community event is a good idea. Stay away from religion & politics with your shares and likes. Use the @thenameofthecompany in a short post because they will get a notification that you shared their post. If you are a member of the Chamber of Commerce that is helpful and I am an Ambassador with mine and go to alot of ribbon cuttings and events. Well, not now with the current Covid. There is a phone app called Pages Manager that you can put on your phone and check in when you go to an event so the business knows that you have been there and checked in. Maybe they will like you and share your posts.

                        Posting pictures of your business on FB & Google help too.

                        Get involved in as many local and community events as you can. Sometimes you can be a sponsor for a couple hundred dollars. They will use social media to promote their event resulting in your name getting out there. Backpack give a ways. Back to school things. Coat drives in the winter. IDK how your area is with the Covid crisis and if they are cancelling events or some are still going on.

                        dakselfstorage I liked you too. We are https://www.facebook.com/UStoreSelfStorageDaytonaBeach/ and would like likes too.

                        I am in no way an expert in Facebook or any other social media. Just a few things that have helped us. We don't get alot of people coming in from the posts or offers however our name gets out there and when they are in need of storage they will think of us. When I ask how they heard about us the #1 is I saw your tent at the concert across the street or you were giving out promotional items at the ___ and #2 is I saw you on Facebook / social media and I didn't need storage then but I do now #3 is Community Day or Free hot dog day (which is gone now)
                        Last edited by Iamkathleenj; 7 August 2020, 12:38 PM.
                        The future depends on what you do in the present.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A lot of great ideas. I will give you my thoughts and opinions but each faciltity is unique and each location presents its own positives and negatives.

                          If you have no advertising budget or very little, I would start with the following.

                          Do the market research for your zip code for your unit pricing. If you are high, lower it some. If you are inline - why are you not at a higher occupancy. If you are lower - why are you not at a higher occupancy!!!

                          What days do you work and what days does the relief work? If you are the full time manager - do you work the weekends and end/first of month? I noticed that you are closed on Saturday. Is that recent or has it been like this for awhile? Would you be willing to be open a 1/2 day on Saturday? When I was an assistant, I worked Tuesday and Wednesday or Wednesday and Thursday. When I became the manager with my wife, we work almost every weekend (closed on Sundays), we take days off in the middle of the month when it is slower. We always work the end/beginning of a month. When I became the GM for the company, I noticed the successful managers (max bonus, high revenue) work the weekends (Friday and Saturday). If not, you are most likely missing out on potential rentals. If you have almost zero advertising and your relief (I assume, works alone) is showing a unit on one of your busiest days and a driveby gets to the door to see a hanging sign 'Manager On Property' how likely is that person to stay? Does the relief get some kind of bonus for each move-in? Are they good at sales/rentals? A relief can provide about 25%-33% of your move-ins, get a great relief and treat them well.

                          Take an honest assessment of your facility, especially the front entry area and office. How do you present from the street; is the facility dated (can there be something added or changed?), is landscaping neat and tidy, is there trash, is the paint fresh, is signage bold and clear, is it lighted at night (do the lights work?). If you were a customer would you rent there?

                          Next, you want to take a look at the office and the interior. Is it bright and welcoming, is the setup functional, do you have an area so customers can complete paperwork at a small desk rather than at the counter due to the virus (do you offer remote move-in, would you take paperwork back and forth to a vehicle?). Is the carpet or tile clean, could you upgrade? How long does a move-in take?

                          If you use a golf cart to take customers out to units, how does it look? Is it the duel customer/maintenance golf cart, that looks more maintenance? Could you spent about $200 to spruce it up? Freshen paint, seat covers, etc.

                          How do the facility grounds look? Is there one or two things that can be fixed right away? If you have interior units, do all the doors open easily? All lights working inside? Do you have a lot sweeping service? How is the asphalt/black top? Could parking lines/stripes be freshened?

                          In our area, storage has changed dramatically. We used to have long term rentals, 6+ months constantly, now we have a large number of tenants that rent for 2 or 3 months then vacate. I noticed that you do not offer any pre-payment special. Would the owner be willing to offer that type of special? We offer a very generous, pay 12 months and get the 13th and 14th months of rent free. Most in our area, pay 12 get 1 or pay 6 get 1/2.

                          Google and word-of-mouth (referral) business is what you might be looking for. Always be fair and honest with your customers and tenants and you will get good reviews and referrals. We give tenants a $25 gift card or $25 rent credit if they referral somebody that pays at least one full month. I see you charge a $30 admin fee and require a $50 deposit. Could you charge the admin fee but turn it into an account credit if the new move-in does a Google review (good or bad, give them an account credit)? Is the admin fee inline with what is charged around you? Do the facilities nearby collect a deposit?

                          Have you every secret shopped your competition? One of our old GM's used to do it all the time. She said you would be amazed at what you find. Do you have polo's with the company logo, even if the company is small, present large.

                          How often do your walk-in's or calls turn into rentals? What goal have you set? 70% 80% 90%?

                          As the manager, have you negotiated with the owner any performace bonuses based on your goals before you start this project? If you plan to try and reach 95% (plus additonal revenue and delinquency goals) you should share in the added revenue.

                          This is a marathon, not a sprint, so create an action plan with goals, be flexible, and start working towards those goals. It may take some time, do not get discouraged, before you know it you will be at 80%, then 85%, then 90% and eventually your goal.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So there's a LOT of info in this post already and apologies if i'm repeating something someone already mentioned that I might of missed. But from my quick check of your area the signage they all mention is definitely something that should be put in place, even if it's just a big banner across the buildings up front to say what you are.

                            I know you said you did the website yourself, kudos to you for taking that on but I would suggest a redo of it. Take a look at most major storage operator websites, you wont come across many with a "Dark" theme of colors for the site. Give it some pop, make it attention grabbing and update the site image used. Unless you're using a rain puddle to go for a unique reflection effect of something I would never suggest using a photo taken during/after rain. Get a nice sunny day which i'm sure you have plenty of in Reno and take new pictures of the facility to use. Make sure there are no obvious eyesores in the area you're snapping. Something I was taught when I was with Westport is when taking pictures is if you're snapping an aisle/hallway kneel down and get to one of the sides to take the picture at an angle to make your aisles look wider/longer. As they say, pictures speak a 1000 words, you want those words to be all good, not bad.

                            We've tried facebook marketing for a site which was literally hidden down an alley behind a medical complex that had been there for decades yet even people at the chamber of commerce events didn't know existed in the town. It got us nothing and cost us $$ to try. Unless I missed them I did a check on craigslist for Reno and did not come across a single ad for your location. Craigslist is free, and at most companies i've been with is usually one of the top 5 lead generators for a site. I'd suggest doing 5 posts a day to the parking/storage category, make sure it's a detailed ad, with lots of pics of the facility. Here's one of ours as an example https://stockton.craigslist.org/prk/...172513801.html - For that hidden alley site which had been up for sale for awhile before us, we took it from 70% to 94% occupied in 6 months during the slow season which got it sold a few months after we handed it off to the replacement we trained. Nothing fancy, just quality customer service that customers appreciated and spread around the area as it was a smaler community, about $600 in 4x8 banners we displayed at the front of the alley ways and on the fences of the complex with permission from the owners and marketing to the area as well as a market survey showing the owners who hadn't changed their prices in over 2 years that things have changed in the area and the prices they were expecting just weren't feasible with all the competitors being easier to find, nicer/newer facilities and cheaper.

                            Something else I noticed when doing a street view of your facility, you have a radio station right across the street. It looks like a very spanish influenced area as most signage I saw around was in spanish so i'm assuming that's your clientele. Have you reached out to them to see about any marketing opportunities? Perhaps they need a storage if they don't have one already and you can work out a deal.

                            Make sure you are providing a clean, kept up facility with outstanding service, a good referral program and your customers will do most of the marketing for you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thank you all so much!

                              I am so glad Orkocean noticed that terrible photo I accidentally used on our units and prices page - thank you!! I did some changes recently and probably got interrupted and used the wrong photo. I know I need to get better photos but I am in a unique situation where I am also the property manager for industrial warehouse units in the Sacramento area (we have 80 units total and those are at 96.75% capacity ☺) so I am extremely busy with those, too. This is in addition to running the Linden Mini Storage. Because of this, I know we are very lucky we have so many long term customers because we do not have another employee to do what I do, we only have a maintenance manager who repairs the units when needed and takes care of the property. Prior to Covid we did have a part time employee but we have never been open on weekends.

                              @lamkathleenj - I liked your page, too! It will show as BianchiEstates (the company I actually work for) though. I have not figured out how to 'like' pages as LindenMiniStorage yet.

                              Comment

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