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Befriending your tenants is an easy way to improve the atmosphere at any self storage or apartment complex. I’m not saying invite them to dinner or to your son’s Baptism, but simply get to know their names and say hi to them in the grocery store. There are several reasons why this is a good idea.
Word of mouth is the best form of advertising available, and the cheapest. If your customers feel like you care and that you keep a good property they will probably encourage their friends and relatives to rent from you. Some self storage facilities offer referral bonuses to current tenants who refer a potential customer who ends up renting. What did that cost you? Hardly anything and now you have another self storage renter.
People tend to be more honest and open with you if they do not feel threatened by you. If they are having a difficult time and will not be able to pay their rent by the due date they will be more likely to come to you about it and make arrangements, as opposed to avoiding you and your phone calls. You do not have to give away the shop, just be open to your customer needs and plights and you will save time in the long run with any possible legal matters that might arise.
Customers can be your eyes and ears when you are not around. They can report to you if the gate is broken, or the tenant next to them is acting suspiciously, or if the elevator is making odd noises. Strangers will simply ignore the situation and hope somebody else takes care of the problem. If the customer has some investment in the self storage property then they will do their best to keep the site clean and safe for all that use it.
Most members of a property management team tend to be outgoing. Encouraging them to use their bubbly personality with the customers is a great way of doing business. Good, positive vibes will come back to you as you give them. Treat your customers well and your customers will treat you well.
Knowing a few things about your customers will help your self storage business a little easier to manage. If you know that Mr. Smith likes to pay his bill in person on the 8th of the month, then you know not to call him on the 5th to remind him to pay his self storage bill. If you know that Ms. White likes to go through her self storage unit in the spring and clean out some unwanted items, you will know to have the dumpster on the property emptied. If you know that Mr. Doe likes to rent a boat storage unit every winter along with his regular self storage, then you can keep one aside. Remembering your customer’s names and little habits will help you give your best customer service. Go that extra distance for your customers and they will go the extra distance for you.