By Bishesh Shrestha
Facility occupancy depends on many factors including location, security, management and amenities. Renters have plenty of options to meet their storage needs; no one wants to pay to keep their belongings at a run-down facility.
There is no better time to start exploring how to upgrade your storage business than now. While rebuilding or expanding are options, there are more minor improvements you can make that will drive business this year.
Here are our top-five recommendations to increase the value of your RV and Boat Storage facility.
- Curb-appeal rents units
Ungroomed landscaping, chipped paint and rusted fencing are all factors that can influence possible tenants. Enhance the exterior of your facility by installing new fencing, which will give your customers a sense of security.
Do your walls and doors have noticeable defects? Adding a fresh coat of paint and replacing old metal siding will show potential renters that you care about your facility and their belongings. Finally, don’t forget to repaint the stripes in your parking lot. Believe it or not, this is one of the first things potential renters see. These small renovations will improve the appearance of your facility and amplify curb appeal.
- Security upgrades increase customer satisfaction
New cameras, gates and keypads are excellent options to make sure your customers feel safe and will enhance the value of your storage facility. Take security to the next level by adding live-video streaming cameras to monitor your business from anywhere. These improvements will add to the appeal of your facility, attracting and retaining tenants.
- Replace old roofs and doors
A typical storage facility has highly functional metal roofs. However, older facilities may start to have roof issues such as leaks and fastener deterioration, especially if it’s a screw-down roof. Roofs are critical to your storage business because leaks can cause damage, resulting in unsatisfied customers and potential reputation issues.
Replace old, unattractive and poorly functioning doors. These are not only an eyesore but also hard for people to open. Some customers may need help opening older roll-up doors. If creaky, sticky roll-up doors impede them from getting into their unit , they may decide to take their business elsewhere.
- Re-skinning requires minimal construction
These non-structural changes to buildings allow you to update the outside of your facility without inconveniencing tenants. You can also give your office a much-needed facelift. Refresh the area with new paint, carpet and furniture that will convey a level of professionalism that will impress tenants and make them feel welcome.
- Hire the right manager
Your newly hired manager should have storage experience, but it’s more important for them to have sales, customer service, management skills and a “can-do” attitude. Hiring the right manager will ultimately increase your sales and allow you to raise the rent as you fill the facility with tenants.
It is also a good idea to hire a part-time manager in the event the manager is out of the office. Your manager is often the first interaction potential customers will have with your business. Therefore, you want to ensure they are trained to answer any questions they may encounter in a positive manner.
Updating your facility doesn’t need to break the bank. A few small changes and inexpensive embellishments can help your business attract more customers and increase your revenue stream.
Bishesh Shrestha was born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal. After attending grade school in India, he was accepted to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he earned a degree in foreign affairs. Bishesh later completed his master’s degree at Elon University earning an MBA. He joined Live Oak Bank in 2013. Bishesh started in the Business Advisory Group and was quickly promoted to an underwriter, then moving to an underwriter team lead for the healthcare vertical. As a loan officer, he is responsible for evaluating, structuring and packaging SBA loans for the industry. In his free time, Bishesh enjoys going to the beach with his wife and kids and cooking. To learn more and connect with a Live Oak Bank loan officer, visit www.liveoakbank.com/self-storage.