The cadence of the week is all but too familiar: Monday always comes to mind as the somewhat dreaded start of the work week. We then strive towards “hump” day Wednesday, followed by a more anticipatory “TGI” Friday. And finally, there’s the weekend. But with our connected devices, work even continues through the weekend.
The question for the Self-Storage provider, then, is what time of the week do customers start checking for their storage needs? And when do they really evaluate pricing for their storage needs?
Trying to Understand the Consumer
It would be nice if we could have a detailed consumer study to answer those questions. But there are many variables in play. Demographics, for one. Maybe millennials check prices the day of their intended move-in? They are connected, real-time, and maybe last-minute. Instant gratification.
Baby boomers perhaps want more time to study and decide. A few days in advance might be good.
Or, are these just all stereotypes? What about gender, the overall economy and the local market? A simple day of week question quickly becomes complicated.
Another Way Forward
What about simply looking at what your competition is doing? Being responsive to their pricing changes may be all you need to remain competitive.
Dr. Warren Lieberman reviewed price change data for hundreds of Self Storage companies. He analyzed web-based prices of units for which prices were displayed on a company’s website for at least 300 days in 2018. Then he zeroed in on the extent to which price changes were made on certain days of the week and whether there were significant differences between companies.
(See more of Warren’s analysis in his article “Pricing and Revenue Management: Recent Trends in Self Storage”, published in the Florida SSA INPRINT magazine.)
Price Change Frequency by Day of Week
Indeed, Warren found significant variation as highlighted below with two Self Storage operators.
Operator “A” happens to execute a lot of price changes and makes about the same number of changes every day of the week, including weekends. That so many price changes are made on weekends suggests that the company may be relying on an automated method to make those changes–that is, the price changes result from a predetermined algorithm without any staff review and input.
Contrast that with Operator “B”, another company that makes a lot of pricing changes, but more than 65% of its pricing changes are made on only two days of the week, Wednesday and Saturday. Perhaps Operator “B” is using a combination of staff and automation to change prices.
The Opportunity for the Self Storage Operator
More than ever before, it is now possible to better understand the specific pricing tendencies and approaches of your competition so that you can adopt appropriate pricing strategies and tactics that will allow you to be more successful.
There are price optimization systems that incorporate both automation and effective pricing strategies. These systems can automate the competitor price collection process, factor those prices into a decision-making method, and ultimately come out with a more optimized price.
Furthermore, these systems may have “pay as you go” pricing to help alleviate your own financial risk. In fact, an increasing number of self-storage companies are taking advantage of the availability of such systems and data.