Running a healthy self-storage business means constantly looking for ways to attract new customers. While marketing to people who need self-storage for personal reasons is an important endeavor, this is not the only target audience you should be looking at.
Another key demographic that should be on your radar if you’re looking to increase revenue is Realtors. Here’s a closer look at why Realtors and self-storage businesses are perfect partners, along with tips for building your business by connecting with real estate agents.
How Realtors Use Self-Storage
Real estate agents don’t just buy and sell houses. Just like you are, they’re also always on the lookout for ways to increase revenue. Self-storage can help with this initiative in several ways.
Self-Storage for Home Staging
One increasingly popular way real estate agents attract customers is through home staging. Before showing a house, they take the time to make it look clean, clutter-free, and appealing. And it works! Well-staged homes not only nab higher sale prices, but they also spend less time on the market.
Self-storage facilities can partner with Realtors’ home-staging efforts by providing storage to tuck away any items that detract from the home’s overall impact and appearance. In fact, many Realtors go by the rule of thumb that up to three-quarters of a home’s possessions should be removed during staging in order to create a sense of spaciousness. Rather than just transferring the problem to a garage or attic, self-storage actually creates more space — a major selling point with homebuyers.
Another best practice in the real estate industry is to remove personal items. This is not only for security reasons, but is also a marketing tool: The goal is to help prospective homebuyers envision themselves living in a home. This is much easier to do if it’s not filled with other people’s photos and other personal belongings.
Furthermore, many real estate units contain extra furniture and other items handy to use in the home-staging process. Self-storage gives them a convenient location to keep these supplies for access when they’re needed.
Not only that, but larger real estate firms may be major clients. Staging professional Debra Grant told Realtor Magazine that she rents as many as 15 self-storage units at any given time because this allows her to store her staging equipment according to specific categories. “I’d use one unit for sofas, one unit for beds, and so forth,” she explains.
Self-Storage for Organization and Storage
In addition to staging, storage units can also be used for organizing and storing other supplies, such as “For Sale” and “Open House” signage and the tools to mount them.
Self-Storage for Real Estate Clients
Of course, homebuyers and home sellers also use self-storage for a variety of reasons, including prepping their homes for sale and for storing items if they’re downsizing or between homes. This is an increasingly common phenomenon in a booming market.
Real estate blogger and sales associate Bill Gassett told Realtor Magazine, “Homes are selling quickly, with buyers wanting to close within 30 to 40 days, forcing sellers to vacate the space before their scheduled move into a new home. Most agents understand that making a ‘double move’ is one of the least desirable aspects of selling a home, but in a hot market, a layover between the sale and the permanent move can’t always be avoided.”
Realtors will want to be able to provide their clients and prospective clients with the name of a trusted and reliable local self-storage business. That name can be yours — if you take steps to meet and build relationships with Realtors.
Tips for Developing Connections With Realtors
Now that we’ve established why Realtors need your products and services, it begs the question: How can you connect with them — and with their clients?
Read on for a roundup of five ways to build relationships with local real estate agents.
The real estate industry is based on relationships. The best way to build relationships? Face-to-face interactions. Make a list of local real estate agencies and request meetings to share how your products and services can help them. Consider offering special pricing to keep your units filled.
Real estate agents have a near-endless supply of potential clients for your self-storage business. Getting your promotional materials in front of them can go a long way to attracting their business.
This can be as simple as asking whether you can place mailers in local real estate offices. Remember: this is a win-win. Their clients need self-storage; your mailers make it easy for them to find it.
Networking may get a bad rap, but it works! Local Chamber of Commerce meetings are great places to meet other business owners and professionals, including real estate agents. Local real estate organizations may also hold meetings of their own.
But why stop at attending? Request to give a presentation at these meetings to share what your self-storage business can do for their real estate businesses.
Social media is another avenue for networking. Follow local real estate agencies and agents on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. In addition to helping you become more familiar with the wants and needs of Realtors and their clients, this will also position you to engage at relevant times.
Use digital marketing
The internet is the first place most people go when they have a problem that needs solving. The same applies to real estate agencies. Will they find your business when they conduct a Google search for “self-storage in [my area]?” If not, you’ve got some work to do. Social media, content marketing, SEO, a compelling website, and pay-per-click ads are all powerful digital marketing channels for driving Realtors to your self-storage business.
An added benefit of taking the time to research real estate agencies and build relationships with agents? You’ll become the first name they think of when they need self-storage. Not only that, but you’ll also position yourself for referrals. Imagine owning this niche and becoming the go-to self-storage unit for Realtors in your area.
One last thing to keep in mind when marketing to Realtors? You don’t just need them; they need you, too. In the intensely competitive real estate market, Realtors are always scouting out new opportunities. Connecting with them through digital marketing and other marketing strategies is the most effective way to turn real estate professionals into partners for your self-storage business. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement in that it answers the question of “how to increase revenue” for both partners.
Unfortunately, failure to market to Realtors can have the opposite effect — especially if your competitors are targeting their business. A comprehensive digital marketing plan can help you make sure this doesn’t happen. To start building your business through connections with real estate agents and other new customers, contact The Light Digital team today.