By Jeanne Dotson
Prospective renters are more likely to research possible storage facilities on the go. Many potential renters want to not only research prices and locations online but also complete the rental transaction from their mobile phone, laptop or tablet. In fact, according to data compiled by Global Web Index, the most popular devices used to search the Internet are: PCs/Laptops (91%), Smartphones (80%) and Tablets (47%). Your storage facility website must meet these changing consumer needs in order to compete. That’s why having an online rental tool on your responsive website is quickly becoming a necessity in the self storage industry.
Is Your Website Responsive?
First, it is important to make sure your website is responsive. Having a responsive website means the look and functionality are the same no matter what device your website is viewed on. In the past, it was common to have your website and then a mobile version of your website. The mobile version usually only contained some of the content, features and functionality as your regular website. Now consumers expect to get the same information regardless of the device they are using to view your website.
Can Customers Rent Online?
In the past, consumers mostly used the Internet as a research tool. They researched products they wanted but then went into a brick and mortar stores to make the purchase. Now consumers want to research as well as purchase online. That means self storage websites need to have the ability to reserve or rent storage units online to remain competitive. Make sure your website has an online rental tool that can easily integrate with your Property Management System in order to show storage unit rates and availability in real-time. Also, make sure the online rental tool is customizable to meet your facility’s needs with features like: ID verification, the ability to offer insurance as well as pre-pay and auto pay capabilities.
Is Customer Information Secure?
It is important to make sure the information your customers provide during the reservation/rental process is secure. That will give your customers peace of mind while dealing with your facility. Your online rental tool needs to be secure and encrypt all payment information. That online security will not only protect your customers but the facility as well from devious hackers.
The way customers are finding storage facilities and renting units is changing. But having the ability to reserve or rent units online means your facility can now get new rentals 24/7, regardless of staff or office hours. Make sure you follow these tips so potential customers in your area can not only easily find your facility but can also rent units anytime day or night.
Jeanne Dotson is the Director of Internet Marketing Strategy at The Storage Group. The Storage Group has over 40 years of combined self storage industry experience and a team of Internet marketing professionals who specialize in website design, online marketing and website management services. The Storage Group was the first in the self storage industry to create an online rental tool known as ClickandStor™. – http://www.storageinternetmarketing.com/