We Are Not in The Storage Rental Business

Although the word “Storage” is used in our company name, we never hesitate to let prospects know that we do not own or operate any type of storage facility. There are a two basic reasons for this, including 1) there’s already a large presence of such facilities operating, within the state, and 2) the high cost of land in SoCal, even in less than desirable locations, makes it an iffy venture, relative to establishing a profitable and reliable revenue stream.

Facts to Consider Before Renting a Storage Unit

After letting a prospect know we do not rent storage units we will make inquiries about their specific needs. We do this because we see it as our job to help the consumer better understand the finer points of renting a storage unit before they sign a contract. For us at BPM, communicating in such a manner is integral to who we are as an established Household Goods Carrier.

Why do costs fluctuate so much among storage facilities? At BPM, we regularly provide consumers with valuable tips on what to look for when shopping for a storage facility (S.F.). Never make the mistake of contracting with the first S.F you walk into. For example, clients who rent a storage unit in a coastal city will pay more monthly than someone renting the very same-sized unit from a facility a couple of miles, further, inland. The price paid for a given storage unit is always going to be based on the value of the land the facility sits on - something the proprietor of a coastal S.F. is not likely to share with you.

How do storage facilities differ from one another? We urge consumers to take time and read a given S.F.’s reviews (e.g., any search engine), checking decision criteria, to include, area crime statistics, structural integrity, unit cleanliness, vermin infestation, ease of access, management responsiveness, also, make note of a unit’s dimensions, including its height, which could save you additional fees and finally, hours of operation (Note: stay away from a S.F. that closes before 9 p.m. For example, It, in no way benefits the client if your mover is trying to pick-up/drop-off goods, at a facility that closes, at 5 p.m.).

What size unit should you rent? This is a question, which doesn’t have a simple answer. There’s a myriad of different sized units and even types, to consider, given the client’s specific needs. Many S.F.s, for example, offer units specific to residential or commercial apps, as well as auto, and climate-controlled units. Typically, larger households are best served using an “outside storage” unit, which provides larger storage space and “ready” access that will easily accommodate 24-26 ft. long box trucks, as used by most moving companies. Here are a couple of key things to consider before making that all important decision. First, try to be as exacting as possible on where you want to rent, and what specific item types will go into storage. To do otherwise, could end-up increasing your monthly costs if you end-up having to rent a 2nd or even 3rd unit. For example, let’s assume you’ve finished discussing your needs with the S.F.’s on-site manager (i.e., highly recommended) and enter into a binding agreement on a specific unit. Afterwards, you learn that you’ll also need to store a large amount of recently packed boxes that you had not previously included, when you made that earlier rental decision (e.g., what if you forgot to factor in that beautiful dining room set and hutch your aunt promised you months ago). Typically, the larger the family and home size, the larger the box count will be. A packed box count of 200, for a family of 4-5 moving from a 3500 sq. ft. home, for example, is not unusual but often this is not correctly factored, into a homeowner’s planning when renting a storage unit. 200 boxes would require a fair amount of space in any storage unit. As we’ve seen many times in the past, a hasty decision made, either, by the consumer or the result of undue pressure imposed upon the client by the S.F. manager, could result in having to rent additional storage unit(s), unnecessarily.

What Is the dollar special and how does it affect my rental? Many storage facilities entice prospects with their special offers, including the “unheralded” dollar special, which is increasingly offered on many S.F.’s web pages. The reason I use the word “unheralded’ is the simple reason that unless the customer brings it to the rep’s attention over the phone or while standing at the store’s counter, it will likely not be mentioned, at all. This is not necessarily true, globally, store for store, but when we’ve put it to the test, suggesting that the client wait and see if the rep mentions it as a great company perk, I am now convinced, based on feedback I’ve received, the rep will not voluntarily mention the dollar deal until it’s brought up by the client.

The dollar special guarantees the first 30 days of a rental will only cost the client $1ºº (i.e., referred to in the industry as a loss leader - a marketing strategy where one product is sold at a loss to stimulate sales of more profitable products). Remember, no matter, whether the client opts to contract for a short or long-term rental, costs for the first 30 days remains at one lowly dollar. Clearly, the dollar special works as a perfect profit-making tool for anyone who plans to keep their goods in storage, for an extended time-period. A short-term rental, on the other hand, could be trickier to accomplish. Follow these steps to avoid being denied and securing the desired results: 1) At the S. F. counter when asked how long you plan to store your goods tell the rep that it could be somewhere between 45-90 days, that you can’t be sure due to an on-going family matter, 2) verify the specific unit size you need is available, and 3) after confirming availability, tell the rep that you want to take advantage of the dollar special, as described on their web page, adding it to agreement, you agree to sign. Warning: We’ve had clients tell us that when they mentioned the dollar special to the S.F. rep, adding they only needed the unit for less than 30 days, the client would be told there were no available units in the requested size. By precisely following the 3-steps noted above, you should be able to execute an agreement, for the size unit you require, and as published in the S.F.’s terms and conditions, cancel said agreement, within 30 days, if you chose to do so, and only pay 1 dollar total, for your rental. Again, storage facilities, uniformly, allow clients to cancel their month-to-month agreement, at any time during any given month.

Need help moving in or out of storage? BPM continues to assist clients looking to move select items or an entire household or office of furnishings and or equipment, into a storage unit. Because of our long-established history as a licensed and insured Household Goods Carrier, we come prepared to organize your goods safely and efficiently, in support of your long or short-term storage requirements. There is nothing ad hoc about how we go about satisfying these requirements. First, we make it a point to use our knowledge of the process, to solicit input from the client, which will help us determine precisely how to best arrange goods, within the selected storage unit. Following, are some of key questions we’ll seek answers to, before starting the process of moving goods, into the client’s unit.

  • Which item(s) will the client likely not need access to, during the time these goods remain in storage?
  • Is there any furniture, sporting equipment or other items the client may decide to sell and, thus, require access to?
  • Are there boxes, totes, suitcases, or any other personal affects the client would want ready access to, on short notice?
  • Would the client like to have one or more aisles created, within the available storage space (i.e., could reduce avail. space)?

Experience has taught us that making the effort to clearly understand, from the start, what the client’s expectations are, and then proceeding to develop a mutually agreed plan on how to best stage a client’s stored goods, works best when both BPM’s staff and the client work together.