How to Bring Authenticity to the Online Space?
Properties have historically relied on in-person interactions to bring brand authenticity to their property and to the leasing experience. But, we know six feet apart is here for a little longer. Plus, it’s not necessarily about getting back to where we were, but instead figuring out the best way to move forward. Here are the top three takeaways from the first chapter in our MarTech Series.
1. Virtual Velocity
Things moved FAST this past year. It seems that on a certain Friday in March (the thirteenth!), our collective world turned upside down faster than you could say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. According to McKenzie, in the United States this meant jumping three years forward in technology adoption. Technology adoption is a one-way street and new tech tools powered our work-from-home, school-from-home, and birthday parties (and all sorts of other life events) from home.
With renters spending more of their time on devices, and buying more things online, their digital expectations increased across the board.
This isn’t necessarily a new trend — consumers were shopping online more than in-person, but The Virus That Must Not Be Named accelerated the trend. Customers and customer behavior changed, and this movement to mostly online buying patterns is expected to stick post-pandemic.
Bottom line, if you’ve been dragging your feet about online leasing, to “wait until COVID is over,” stop. These aren’t temporary Band-Aid solutions, they’re digital experiences that consumers have come to expect.
2. Fast and Frictionless
Online leasing is fast, effective, and can turn customers researching self storage properties into renters — before they go elsewhere. As a result, it can increase occupancy. You’ve probably turned to an online channel to order takeout from your favorite restaurant, pick up groceries curbside, or download a library audiobook from your local branch. As you know, not every online customer experience is frictionless. Some are frustrating, requiring passwords that you’re unlikely to remember, or security questions where you clearly misspelled the original answer and are now locked out forever. Yikes!
Make frictionless customer experiences a norm for your company. Like Amazon, your streamlined approach to your customer experience becomes a brand standard. When building a customer-first company, online leasing is a tactical way to authentically extend your company values to the online space.
3. Get Social
Social media is an engaging way to connect with your renters and future renters. Focus on messages that align with the core tenets of your brand, provide value to your customers, and make it fun. It’s a great way to encourage dialog with your renters and provide helpful content or ideas.
You could consider setting up recurring themes on certain days, to take the pressure and guesswork out of posting. These constraints will help you focus your messaging and help your renters. Here is an example of a weekly schedule that is broad enough to be repeated.
- Move-in Mondays: Move-in tips and tricks.
- Team-up Tuesdays: Introduce your team members with a quick 3-5 question interview format.
- Wellness Wednesdays: Moving is stressful. Share mindfulness and wellness activities to help relieve stress.
- Throwback Thursday: How to store valuable family heirlooms.
- Fun-Haver Friday: Share something light and fun, like polls through Instagram stories. Encourage your renters to vote on current events, memes, gifs, storage solutions, and even their favorite landscape photos.
Relate to your Renters
Ready to learn more tips and tricks to take your marketing to the next level and authentically connect with decision-ready renters? Download the first report of our monthly MarTech Series focused on The Self Storage Online Experience.