Lessons That Can Be Learned from Smart Phone Apps

Posted on Feb 27 2014 - 10:21pm by Winnie Hsiu

Have you ever seen a gas ‘war’ going on? A gas station on one side of the street slightly lowers their price of gas to attract customers. The station on other side of the street lowers their price so it is lower than the other station’s price. Back and forth it goes. Customers love this. They get a low price on gasoline.

It’s always good to know what your competition is doing in the self storage business. When you know what other self storage facilities in the area are doing, it is easier for you to respond so that you can attract customers to your place of business.

There are two apps for smart phones that people in the self storage industry need to be aware of. One is called Cubbyhole. The idea behind this app is that people who have a bit of space are willing to let people rent that space for a few hours or a day or two. These are people with spare space in their home or garage.

People looking for space use the app to find a nearby space and to pay for the space. Then, they take their small bundle of possessions and store them with the renter. For right now, this app works only in Boston.

The other app is BuddyTruk. This app connects people who need help with moving their possessions with people who own a truck and can help them move it. The app helps people hire trucks and truck drivers. The company will launch this mobile app in just a few days. It will initially rollout in a few Los Angeles neighborhoods focused around Pepperdine University and UCLA.

Here are a couple of take aways for owners and managers in the self storage industry. First, evaluate the area that your business is in. Consider your customers and potential customers. Is there a demand for storage for exceedingly short times — say for a couple of hours or possibly just a day or two? If so, you might want to consider converting one of your units into space that could be rented out for these short periods of time.

Here’s another thing to consider. Chances are you have a large moving truck that customers can use for free or rent. But, do you have a regular-sized pickup? You might want to consider having one around that could be rented out for people who have just a couple of boxes and who want rent a place to keep those boxes for just a couple of days.

If you add these types of services to those you already offer, you will be more prepared to battle the competition from these mobile apps – and possibly gain a different demographic of customers.

Sources Used:

“’Cubbyhole’ App Lets Users Ditch Their Luggage for the Day.” Boston Magazine; 23 January 2014.

“Cubbyhole: A Storage App for other Sharing Economy.” The SpareFoot Blog; 20 February 2014.

“New buddyTruk App Connects People With Moving Helpers.” The SpareFoot Blog; 19 February 2014.