If you’re a self storage owner with a facility in a college or university town, summer can be a great time to attract students. When summer break begins, they’re looking for a place to stash their stuff so that they don’t have to pack up and move their belongings home. Toward the end of summer, they may be planning for the upcoming school year. Given the tiny dorm rooms and shared housing, you can market self storage to students year-round.
To attract college students to your self storage facility, examine your services and amenities through the lens of what’s important to a college student. What do they need, what do they care about, and what are they willing to spend?
Following are some easy ways to get you started on marketing your facility to college students.
Self Storage Services that College Students Care About
College students are looking for services and amenities that speak to their needs. It’s not hard to gear your services toward student renters.
Student Discounts and Specials
College students don’t generally have large budgets. Tuition, books, meals, and social activities don’t leave much disposable income. If you haven’t already, consider offering student discounts. A reputation for being the low-cost self storage provider will encourage new tenants.
Flexible Lease Options
With summer classes, internships, and study abroad programs, college students are always on the move. The flexibility of month-to-month self storage on their terms will have far more appeal than being stuck in a long-term lease.
Small or Shared Units
College students are not likely to store large furniture or appliances. Their belongings are typically packed away in boxes and take up minimal space. Your smaller, less expensive units are a more suitable option for the college crowd. If you have only larger units, market them as a “shared” space so that several students can “share” one unit for less money.
24/7 Access Hours
College students don’t keep regular schedules. We’re talking about late nights, early classes, midday naps, and any study they can squeeze in between their social schedules. They want to know that they don’t have to keep track of access hours if they want to retrieve something from their units. Extended hours make your facility more appealing to them.
If a college student can’t log on to your website from any device and easily pay their bill, reserve a unit, and manage their account, you’re sending them to a competitor. Another desirable option is a Bluetooth access control system that allows self storage tenants to enter their units with their mobile devices. With their crazy busy schedules, students appreciate these time-saving amenities.
Your Website Should be Student Friendly
A user-friendly, visually appealing website that is optimized for mobile devices, establishes a connection between you and this tech-savvy generation. The following pages will make it easier for students to find your facility when they’re searching for self storage.
Student Storage Page
Having a student-specific page will give your website a higher Google ranking for college storage searches. Optimize your title tag with something like “Budget-Friendly Self Storage Near (local university)”. Include driving directions from the local school to your facility.
Student Discount Page
Even if you have an overview of all of your specials, be sure to showcase student discounts. Students love to know that renting a unit from you is affordable.
Add a Student Section to your FAQ Page
This is another great method to increase your ranking for student storage. By adding information specifically geared towards students, your site will be more likely to appear in student-specific searches.
Student Moving and Packing Supply Page
To college students, packing means throwing their belongings in the nearest trash bag or stuffing them into a broken cardboard box. They’re not focused on sturdy boxes, wrapping, tape and labels. Your moving and packing supply page could include a section for 2 or 3 different sized “student” packing bundles. Students will appreciate being able to purchase bundled supplies without making the effort to actually choose what they need. Their parents (who are footing the bill) will also appreciate you.
Market Your Message in the Right Places
Following are some quick and easy ways to get the word out about your self storage facility.
Attend University Events
Look for your prospects where students gather. Getting involved in campus activities is a simple way to make your self storage facility more visible. Attend campus sporting events and tailgates with flyers and business cards. Buying ad space in sports programs is another excellent way to increase your visibility.
This is a simple, but effective, strategy. Create professional-grade flyers and post them in dorm lounges, university offices and student hangouts. Be sure to get permission from the administration.
Target Facebook Ads
If you have a social media page for your self storage business, consider buying ad space on Facebook. These ads are affordable, and you can easily target your university student audience.
Contact the study abroad department of your local university, and find out how to provide information to students who are planning to leave the country for a semester or even longer. They may be subletting an apartment or giving up a dorm room and need self storage services for a short period of time.
Offer a Small Scholarship
If you can afford it, consider offering a small scholarship for the following semester. Not only would you be helping a student, but this could get your business listed in the scholarship section of the university’s website.
Start promoting your facility as the summer is drawing to a close and market year-round. Make your facility the preferred choice by offering student discounts, flexible lease terms, smaller units, and mobile access. With the right amenities and the right marketing, you may just find that your facility is the go-to storage business for area college students.