by Mark Lusky
Periodically, it's prudent to read the tea leaves of business trends, demands, wants and needs to see if/how you might change your self-storage marketing. Here is some food for thought on three fronts:
1. Residential Repurposing. Downsizing because of divorce, economic downturn, empty nesting and other reasons invariably leads to priority decisions about how to allocate smaller spaces. Someone with collectibles, sports memorabilia and the like may choose self-storage either to house these collections, or decide to showcase them in their home and store other possessions to make room. Even in larger homes, decisions are made to transform basements into theater rooms and the like-necessitating finding a place for stuff previously stored there.
2. Snowbird Storage. An article on our blog.selfstorage.com site addressed, "Why Does Florida's Space Coast Lead the U.S. in Per-Capita Self-Storage Space?" Amid discussion of space industry-related layoffs leading to downsizing and consequent need for self-storage, there's discussion of part-time regular residents, "the snowbirds who flock to Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville...During the winter months, more than 35,000 Northerners flock to Brevard County for roughly one month to six months to soak up the beaches, golf courses and nature preserves. Many of these visitors return year after year and leave their Florida belongings in storage." Marketing to part-time regular residents in your marketplace may help you gather some low-hanging fruit.
3. Going Getaways. People want more space. They also want to get away from their homes for a change of pace and scenery. Self-storage can provide a reasonably-priced way to do this.
Storagekings.com promotes man caves in storage units. Their website suggests, "Many men want a 'man cave'; a room with a TV, couch, foosball table and sports memorabilia where they can hang out with their friends and take the stresses out of everyday life. Often times space is limited inside the home. Storage Kings self storage offers a wide range of secure units that can easily be made into a man cave."
The New York Times identifies another trend, albeit on the pricey side of the equation: "But some, like Mr. Gershon, while they are eager for more room, really don't want that room to be right in the next room. They'd prefer something that's an elevator ride or a few flights of stairs removed from the mother ship. A noncontiguous apartment - typically, a studio or a one-bedroom - whether used as a writing or an art studio, an office, a man-cave or an escape hatch, allows its owners or renters to be so near and yet so far."
For those who don't want to secure a separate residence for these pursuits, self-storage increasingly offers an affordable alternative.