Move-in rate is a tremendously important metric for the self-storage industry, measuring the number of leads at a given facility that turn into rent-paying tenants.

On SpareFoot, the average move-in rate is at least 46 percent for any given month of the year. But, there are a lot of things that can impact how often your customers are converted from leads to rentals, and some companies are more efficient at this process than others.

We sat down with Lauren Gronna, Revenue Analyst at Trojan Storage to help break down why Trojan’s move-in rates are so good, and what makes their process unique.

What happens from start to finish with a lead?

“One thing we hone into with our site staff/managers right away, is that following up is the most crucial thing you can do—especially with SpareFoot tenants. We know that if someone is booking online, they’re most likely calling a bunch of facilities and we want to be the first one to call them back.

Do you have processes in place to check on this?

“Our supervisors listen to calls to make sure people are following up. We also have monthly training meetings with our managers and assistant managers, where we consistently discuss how our facilities are unique, and why customers should rent with us. These meetings will alternate (i.e. one month with managers, the next with assistant managers), and everyone will either come into the office or join via video. Regional offices will also get together for these meetings in their own regions, which really helps build rapport and accountability.”

What happens if there is an issue with a promotion or a unit?

“We almost always honor the lower rate (except for returning customers) in order to be fair to the customer. We’re definitely not going to deny them. Chances are, we have enough inventory to supply the customer with another unit, even if it’s at one of our other nearby facilities. If that doesn’t work, we put them a on a waiting list. But, the most important thing is that we work to find a solution for the customer.”

How quickly do you follow up on leads?

“We don’t have a set amount of time, but we do make following up a priority. As soon as our managers see a lead come in, that should be their first priority unless they’re doing something else. Immediately after that other task is complete, they contact the customer.”

Your move-in rates are really great, which means more rentals at the end of the day. Do you worry about overspending against your allotted budget?

“First and foremost, we’d rather work on our move-in rate than throw extra money at a problem by bidding more. We don’t want to bid to push a facility higher if it is not converting well in the first place. That said, we will bid when necessary–but move-in rate is our main focus.

We are also not afraid to spend money to get rentals as long as the numbers make economical sense. With SpareFoot, we may get 30+ rentals at one site in a given month and the total bill might feel high up front, but we know how profitable those customers are in the long run based on their length of stay. So, we’re actually happy to accept as many customers as they can send us!”

Walt Kresa