Marketing is expensive. You can spend thousands on print and digital marketing to get the exposure you need. SEO is an ever-changing target and maintaining a place at the top of the SERPs requires massive investments in both time and money. When self storage operators try to go it alone, they will find that they must part with substantial sums of money before they ever see any results. It may take months of testing and adjustments to your marketing strategy before you start to see it driving customers to you. In the meantime, you are dealing with a large expense and lower revenue. An independent self storage operator may find many marketing avenues cost prohibitive. What’s an independent operator to do?
Today, there are aggregators for almost every industry. You hear about them for hotels, flights, restaurants and more. Kayak, Expedia, Hotels.com, Trivago, Zomato and others have revolutionized their industries. Self storage aggregators can provide the same sort of visibility to independent self storage operators throughout the country. In nearly every market, you will find that aggregators hold the top search engine result spots. This is because they check off most of the boxes when it comes to what search engines want to show their readers. When you get on board with an aggregator, you get to enjoy the benefits, too.
What are the benefits of a self storage aggregator?
Self storage aggregators can benefit independent operators in many ways. These benefits can include:
- Exposure in the local market. No hoping that someone sees your ad right when they need self storage. When you are listed in the aggregator, you come up when they start searching for places to store their belongings.
- Nationwide exposure. Many people seek out storage when they are moving. But, will someone in Poughkeepsie see your ad in the local Des Moines newspaper? Chances are they will not. By advertising through an aggregator, you can get exposure nationwide.
- Easy search engine optimization. Why compete against every other self storage listing? Self storage aggregators usually index well. You get the benefit without having to go through the struggle of climbing up the SERPs.
- Success for multiple keywords. You don’t have to worry about optimizing for every relevant keyword or missing people who search for a term you don’t think of. The aggregator handles all of this to you.
- Your listing is linked to mapping. This means that people who are looking for self storage that is close and convenient for them will be able to see right away when you are the right one for them.
- Site management integration. Depending on the operator, you may have this aspect of your business handled for you, as well.
- Advertising on your behalf. Self storage aggregators advertise in the markets where you are trying to get exposure. Why risk wasting money on click after useless click, let the experts at the aggregator do it for you.
- Special promotion. You don’t have to handle the promotion of your specials. Whether you are offering a percentage discount, a free first month or something else, the aggregator can get the word out for you.
- No long term contracts. When you partner with an aggregator, the length of the relationship is on your terms. You can decide whether it is working for you and whether you want to continue to the relationship.
The top benefit of using a self storage aggregator instead of going it alone is that all of the hard work of marketing is handled for you. Someone with experience and expertise can handle your online marketing efficiently and effectively, leaving you to concentrate on the day to day needs of your self storage facility.
Keep more of your hard-earned money.
With self storage, your income is limited to how many units you have. The best way to increase your earnings is to lower your spending. When you opt for a self storage aggregator, you keep more of your money and dramatically improve your bottom line. Less is wasted on promotional efforts that may or may not work. Instead, you are working with professionals who have proven success in this arena. They handle all the heavy lifting when it comes to paid ads, SEO and other marketing efforts. You enjoy the results.
How do you pay for a self storage aggregator?
There are a number of payment models for self storage aggregators. Which will work best for you depends on your budget, your risk tolerance and other factors that are unique to your business. Common models include:
- A monthly subscription. Under this model, you pay a flat fee each month, making it easy to manage your budget as your costs are predictable every month.
- Pay for reservation. With this model, you pay a set amount each time someone reserves a unit through the aggregator. However, the visit is not a guarantee of move in. You will still have to close the deal and win that individual’s business.
- Pay for rental. Typically more pricey than the other models, it can cost up to 150% of one month’s rent. The good news is, you have the benefit of the newly acquired customer, which may be worth it for you depending on your break even point. Some aggregators will even allow you to bid for placement, often a higher percentage per rental.
As a small business owner, you have many decisions to make when it comes to promoting your business. There are many options available, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Do your research and choose the self storage aggregator whose payment model fits into your budget. You can delegate all your online marketing to someone who has the skill and visibility to get you in front of the people looking for what you have to offer. When the customers come to you, all you have to worry about is finalizing the move-in and making sure the customer is happy. When signing up with a self storage aggregator, you can enjoy a better return on your online marketing investment, a better use of your time and a big improvement to your operation’s bottom line.