Online comparison shoppers tend to be savvy bargain hunters who want to get the best deal. Special offers are a great way to get these discerning customers excited about choosing your facility. When creating specials, it is important to keep in mind that they should be clear and complete so that customers know what to expect. After all, one of the most common reasons customers don’t end up moving in is not understanding how much they’re expected to pay on their move-in day.
Here’s how SpareFoot defines different types of special offers:
Discounts: A discount is a dollar amount or percentage off a unit's monthly rent that is honored on an ongoing basis. For example, you might offer customers 10 percent off the regular rental rate for the length of their tenancy. SpareFoot requires that all discounts be honored for our customers for at least six months. For manual accounts, special rates that are going to be offered for less than 6 months or have conditions (such as minimum length of stay or pre-payment) should be entered as promotions in MySpareFoot.
Promotions: Unlike discounts, promos are temporary special offers that end after a certain length of time. Examples include “first month free” or “sixth months at half price”. You can offer a dollar amount or percentage off as a promo, but you’ll want to be sure to specify time limitations.
Here are some best practices to consider when creating special offers on your SpareFoot listing:
- If a promotion is only going to be offered for a certain number of months, that information should be included in the promo. For example: 50% off for the first 2 months. Without information about how long the promotion will be offered for, a customer may assume that the discount will continue indefinitely.
- If both a discount and promotion are being used at the same time, make sure the final price is clear to customers. For example: A unit that is priced at $50 has a "50% off the First Month" promo and also a discount of 10% off. It is unclear if the first month at 50% off is based on the original price or the discounted price. The customer may not know whether the rent is $25 or $22.50 for the first month.
- Don’t use a discount and promotion at the same time to indicate the same thing. Customers will likely assume that the discount will apply twice. For example: if you are offering 20% off for the first 6 months, enter that information as either a promotion or a discount only. Although the special could be entered as either one in this case, using both at the same time can cause customers to assume that they will get 20% off twice.
If your account is manual/non-integrated, learn more about how to add discounts and promotions to your SpareFoot listing here.
Integrated accounts with promotion syncing
If your account is integrated, SpareFoot is able to sync promotions from your management software in most cases. Here are a few tips to create effective promotions in your software and increase the likelihood that a customer will move in:
- Don't Shout. We’ve found that move-in rate is at least 20% better for reservations made when the entire promotion associated is not capitalized.
- Grammar is important. Promotions that use correct spelling and punctuation lead to a higher move-in rate than those which do not.
- Don’t use vague language such as “Additional terms apply”, “Move-in special” or “on select units” with no additional details. Customers won’t know what to expect and may be hesitant to place a reservation or less likely to move in if they get to the facility and are surprised.
- Avoid using month or season specific promotions i.e. “10% off October special” unless it’s going to be updated regularly since it will quickly become outdated.