Why Online Rentals Are Important
By Alyssa Browning
To know why online rentals are important it is necessary to understand exactly what online rentals are and what they entail. An online rental is characterized by completing a rental process from start to finish via an online website. This does not necessarily mean that the customer just goes online and clicks “rent unit” and everything is done. The online rental process should include rental of the unit, updates to your inventory, signing the lease agreement, and payment.
When someone goes to your website to rent a unit (online rentals) a few things should be able to happen. First things first, your management software should keep track of your “inventory” and be able to display-accurately- on your website how many units are available and what size the available units are. Furthermore, your rates should be able to accurately show with the unit that is selected so your prospect knows what they will be paying. Once the tenant has decided to rent a unit they should be able to complete the process online including the ability to sign the lease agreement electronically. It is also imperative for your storage unit software to be able to take credit card payments so that the unit can be paid for when it is rented. You wouldn’t be allowed to use your electric services without paying and a tenant should not be able to use your unit without paying for services. This process should be easy for the tenant and get you all of the information you need. Online rentals are made to help your business be effective and efficient.
Now that you know what online rentals are, and what they entail it’s time to decipher why they are important to your self-storage business. For starters, 40% of people purchase products and services online several times per month (Duncan, E., n.d). In addition to that 40 percent, according to “The Storage Industry Report” by Go Local Interactive more than 5 million searches for self-storage occur online annually ( Interactive, G. L., 2017). Essentially, your potential customer will do a search for storage on Google (or another search platform), and then when they find your website you will be able to retain that lead and turn it into a sale. To recap, online rentals will help your business grow exponentially because you are now capturing an audience that you may not have been capturing before.
In addition to capturing more leads- and sales- you’ll be able to improve your customer experience. Customer experience is an important factor when people are making purchasing decisions. In fact, 73 percent of buyers say that customer experience is an extremely important factor for them when determining what to buy and when (35 Customer Experience Statistics to Know for 2019, 2019). Therefore, by offering a convenient online rental, you are improving your customer experience. This, in turn, is capturing an additional audience that you may have been missing.
Finally, it is extremely easy in most cases to enable online rentals. For example, with Easy Storage Solutions, your management software comes with a website and online rental capabilities. In addition to being easy to set up, online rentals will make your day to day operations smoother. For example, when your rental process automatically updates your inventory you will always know how many units you have available, what size those units are, and how many units you have rented and what size those units are. So, instead of searching paper records or pulling special reports to find your inventory levels, you will know at the touch of a button.
In conclusion, online rentals are of vital importance if you want to have an effective and efficient self-storage business. Not only does it provide your customers with convenience, it also helps you gain and retain more leads, and makes your day to day processes much more simple.