MySparefoot Help Center

We hope that you, your family, and coworkers are staying safe during the pandemic.
To help you navigate these uncertain times, we've created a COVID-19 best practices resource detailing how SpareFoot can help solve the unique problems presented in these uncertain times.

COVID-19 Best Practices

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With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) recently declared a global pandemic, we’re experiencing a monumental shift in our day-to-day lives. First and foremost, we’re thinking of you and your families, and we hope you’re staying healthy and safe. We know you’re dealing with a lot of uncertainty in your business, which makes this experience even more difficult.

We also know this will pass, and our nation and economy will recover. In the meantime, we’re here to help you navigate this situation by providing practical ways to create a safe, seamless customer experience and sustain your business.

We’ve created this page as a resource for operators using SpareFoot to learn how they can utilize its capabilities to solve unique problems presented by COVID-19. As the impacts of the outbreak develop, we’ll continue to update this page with guidance. 


Is your question not represented here? We’d love to hear from you using this form.

 

Table of Contents

 


How can I help my customers through these uncertain times?

With federal social distancing guidelines recently extended, and more cities issuing shelter in place orders each day, we’re all wondering when things will get back to normal. One result of this uncertainty is that many people are delaying purchasing decisions until they have a better understanding of the impact this will have on their personal finances. You can utilize the following SpareFoot features to provide flexibility and show customers that you are there to help during this crisis.

Reservation Window

One of the things you can do to help people during these uncertain times is to give them additional flexibility by adjusting the number of days in advance that you allow them to reserve units at your facility via the SpareFoot Marketplace. This is called your “Reservation Window” and SpareFoot allows you to customize it to match your business processes and rules. You can read more about setting your reservation window in our Help Center whether you are using an integrated management software or you are a non-integrated user.


Discounts and Promotions

SpareFoot allows you to easily add discounts, promotions, and free items to your listings. All of these are easy ways to show your customers that you care and can be useful in setting your facility apart from the competition. If you are going to offer some kind of special, it is important to be clear about the terms so that your customers know exactly what to expect. Read more about discount and promotion best practices, and how to add them to your units on our help site.

 


How does SpareFoot help me provide a contactless move-in experience?

One of the most effective ways to prevent the spreading of illness is to practice social distancing. In case you’re not familiar, social distancing is the act of deliberately increasing the physical space between people. The CDC recommends we increase that physical space to 6 feet to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Self-storage isn’t a high volume business in terms of foot traffic, however, you should still focus on enforcing social distancing to keep both your employees and tenants safe. Some operators have even been able to create an entirely contactless move-in experience. See the list below to learn more about how the capabilities in SpareFoot can help you provide a safe and seamless move-in experience.


Tenant Connect

Tenant Connect is SpareFoot’s way of keeping you informed of any reservations that are made on the SpareFoot network. You can choose to be notified via call and/or text message anytime someone reserves a unit at your facility so that you can follow up with them as soon as it is convenient for you to do so. Following up with SpareFoot reservations is not only a nice customer service touch, it also allows you to explain the ways that your facility offers a contactless move-in experience to keep your tenants safe. You can read an overview of our Tenant Connect feature for more information, and learn how to configure, activate, and disable the feature on our help site.


Email Communication 

When a customer uses SpareFoot to make a reservation at your facility, we contact them via email to provide them with a reservation confirmation number, as well as your facility’s contact information. If their reservation is made more than a day in advance, we will also send them reminders about their upcoming reservation to keep them engaged and increase the likelihood that they will follow through on their reservation by moving into your facility on their chosen day. Learn more about SpareFoot’s email correspondence with your customers on our help site.

Customer Portal 

In the event that your soon-to-be tenant needs to change their reservation or update their contact information, they don’t need to call you to do so. SpareFoot’s Customer Portal allows them to make these changes on their own and will send email updates to you anytime information about their reservation is changed. Links to the Customer Portal are included in all our email correspondence with your customer. You can learn more about how the Customer Portal works on our help site.


Call Center 

The SpareFoot call center is staffed by customer service experts whose only job is to help people find the storage unit best suited to their individual needs. Our agents handle calls and answer questions about your facility, based on the most current information available on your listing, with the goal of helping people decide to reserve a unit at your facility. Now, more than ever, they’re also focused on helping guide customers through potential closures and instructions for contactless move-ins to help represent your business properly. You can learn more about the SpareFoot call center on our help site.

 

Contactless Move-In Badge

SpareFoot offers a Contactless Move-in badge to promote facilities that provide a move-in process consistent with social distancing recommendations and local guidelines. SpareFoot customers are online shoppers who are inherently likely to want to complete their reservation and move-in process remotely. Adding the badge to your listing is a great opportunity to attract these customers who are seeking a contactless experience now more than ever due to the pandemic. Learn more about how to activate your badge on our help site.

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SpareFoot Online Move-Ins

SpareFoot has introduced an exclusive capability for SiteLink and storEDGE software customers that injects their existing online move-in experience directly into the SpareFoot reservation flow so storage shoppers can complete the move-in process through SpareFoot.

After a consumer makes a reservation on SpareFoot.com they are redirected to a reservation confirmation page, and will then be prompted to proceed to an online move-in. If they click the call-to-action, they’ll get a notification informing them they’re leaving SpareFoot, and they’ll be taken to their Rental Center or Web Template experience, where they will complete their move-in. This capability empowers operators to more easily acquire new tenants and reduce operational burden on their management, all while keeping their staff and customers safe. To learn more about SpareFoot Online Move-Ins, watch the short videos below, or read more about it on our help center.

Enable Online Move-Ins in MySpareFoot

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Customer experience when placing a reservation

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How can I keep the public up to date on my business status? 

With many businesses temporarily, and in some cases permanently, shutting their doors, people are unsure of which businesses are able to help them during this crisis. Recently, the Department of Homeland Security identified the self-storage industry as “critical infrastructure” and recommended that storage facilities be allowed to remain open amidst the lockdown orders that are being issued in various states. This designation as critical infrastructure unfortunately does not guarantee that all self-storage operations will remain open across the country, and now more than ever, it is important that you keep consumers informed of your business status. SpareFoot can help you do this in a number of different ways.

Custom Closures

If your business has been affected at all by COVID-19, SpareFoot’s Custom Closures feature is the best way to let your customers know about it. Rather than hiding your listing entirely, which could negatively impact your ranking position in search results, Custom Closures can be used anytime your facility will be closed during your normal business hours and will prevent SpareFoot customers from scheduling move-ins on days you're unavailable. You can learn more about how Custom Closures can help keep your customers informed on our help site.


Facility Listing Information


With the COVID-19 crisis creating unpredictable demand spikes throughout the country, it’s important to keep your inventory and facility information as up to date as possible. If it’s not, you risk adding reservations to units that tenants will not be able to move into, which will hurt your move-in rate, and in turn, hurt your position in the SpareFoot Marketplace search results. Also, you can imagine the frustrating experience this might create for your potential tenant. Managing your pricing and inventory can be done whether or not your SpareFoot listing is integrated with management software, though it is much easier to manage if you are integrated. Learn more about how to keep your inventory up to date on our help site.


Email Communication

When a customer uses SpareFoot to make a reservation at your facility, we contact them via email to provide them with a reservation confirmation number, as well as your facility’s contact information. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we have also added an alert to our reservation confirmation page, and to our reservation confirmation emails, asking tenants to call their facility directly to make sure they have not been affected by any recent regulations. If their reservation is made more than a day in advance, we will also send them reminders about their upcoming reservation to keep them engaged and increase the likelihood that they will follow through on their reservation and move into your facility on their chosen day. Learn more about SpareFoot’s email correspondence with your customers on our help site.

SpareFoot Call Center

The SpareFoot call center is staffed by customer service experts whose only job is to help people find the storage unit best suited to their individual needs. Our agents handle calls and answer questions about your facility, based on the most current information available on your listing, with the goal of helping people decide to reserve a unit at your facility. Now, more than ever, they’re also focused on helping guide customers through potential closures and instructions for contactless move-ins to help represent your business properly.  You can learn more about the SpareFoot call center on our help site.

 


How can I stay up-to-date on legislative policies and mandates?

With the industry changing as fast as it is, it’s critical that you ensure you’re accounting for all relevant legislative updates. Both the national Self Storage Assocation (SSA) and state associations are great resources for these types of updates. We recommend that you check back with them on a recurring basis, as the landscape is changing rapidly. If you can’t find an answer to your question through those organizations, you should consult your legal counsel. 

 


How can I continue to get new leads?

The fear and uncertainty that COVID-19 has caused is shared by business owners and non business owners alike. As a business owner, you’re probably wondering how to ensure that your business stays healthy in the midst of this crisis, and specifically, how to ensure that the leads keep coming so you can maintain target occupancy levels. Thankfully, there are capabilities with SpareFoot that can help. Below, we’ve outlined some of the ways that SpareFoot helps deliver a steady stream of reservations to your facility.

Search Results Ranking

Your ranking in SpareFoot’s search results is powered by a unique algorithm that considers four main factors: Your facility’s move-in rate, reservation rate, availability and location. By maintaining healthy move-in and reservation rates, keeping availability current, and being near where someone is searching for storage, you can drastically improve your ranking in search results. An easy way to improve your move-in rate and ensure your availability is always up-to-date, is to integrate your SpareFoot listing with your management software. Because number one ranked facilities tend to get four times more reservations than a facility that is ranked seventh, this is the best way to set yourself up for a healthy supply of leads from SpareFoot. You can learn more about our ranking algorithm and how to improve your ranking on our Help Center.

Bidding

In addition to the four main factors that our ranking algorithm considers, there is another way to influence your rank, called bidding. Your bid rate determines the price you pay for a move-in from the SpareFoot marketplace and in general, the higher your bid rate, the higher you will rank in search results. It is important to keep in mind though that when the four factors discussed previously are lower quality or less relevant than local competition, it will be more expensive to bid to a high rank. This means that the best way to improve your search ranking is to utilize a higher bid rate in addition to maintaining healthy move-in and reservation rates, keeping availability current, and being near where someone is searching for storage.

Custom Closures

If your business has been affected at all by COVID-19, SpareFoot’s Custom Closures feature is the best way to let your customers know about it. Rather than hiding your listing entirely, which could negatively impact your ranking position in search results, Custom Closures can be used anytime your facility will be closed during your normal business hours and will prevent SpareFoot customers from scheduling move-ins on days you're unavailable. You can learn more about how Custom Closures can help keep your customers informed on our help site.

 


How can I support my community in a time of need?

These are financially tough times for everybody - operators and tenants alike. The unemployment rate was recently predicted to be around 13% and climbing. For folks that are fortunate enough to still be employed, the timeline for shelter-in-place mandates and returning to the office is uncertain. In the interim, we need to all exhibit patience and be good partners to one another. Below, we’ve included some examples of how SpareFoot enables you to help folks in your community during these uncertain times.

 

Discounts and Promotions

SpareFoot allows you to easily add discounts, promotions, and free items to your listings. All of these are easy ways to show your community that you care, and can be useful in setting your facility apart from the competition. If you are going to offer some kind of special, it is important to be clear about the terms so that your customers know exactly what to expect. Read more about discount and promotion best practices, and how to add them to your units on our help site.


Facility Listing Information

With the COVID-19 crisis creating confusion around which businesses are open and able to help them, it’s important to keep your inventory and facility information as up to date as possible. If it’s not, you risk further confusing and frustrating the members of your community who are already dealing with a lot of uncertainty. Keeping information about your facility up to date is an easy way for you to provide some stability and make your leads feel confident that they are working with the right facility. Managing your pricing and inventory can be done whether or not your SpareFoot listing is integrated with management software, though it is much easier to manage if you are integrated. Learn more about how to keep your inventory up to date on our help site.

Tenant Connect

This capability is SpareFoot’s way of keeping you informed of any reservations that are made on the SpareFoot network. You can choose to be notified via call and/or text message anytime someone reserves a unit at your facility so that you can follow up with them as soon as it is convenient for you to do so. Following up with SpareFoot reservations is not only a nice customer service touch, it also allows you to explain the ways that your facility is adapting to the COVID-19 landscape. For example, you could use this as an opportunity to explain how you’re creating a contactless move-in experience in an effort to keep both your customers and employees safe. This will help build trust with your leads that they’ve selected the correct facility for them. You can read an overview of our Tenant Connect feature for more information, and learn how to configure, activate, and disable the feature on our help site.

Be Flexible

Some portion of your tenants are likely to miss payments resulting from the financial fallout of COVID-19. This is a great opportunity to help your community by being flexible during these times and working with those folks to come up with a solution that benefits both parties. For example, we’ve seen some operators either delaying payments or negotiating discounted rates for a temporary period of time. Helping these folks during their time of need can help create customers and referrals for life as a result.

 

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