Have you heard the recent buzz on community yard sales at self-storage facilities? If not, listen up. Community yard sales are a twist on your typical yard sale. They are held at self-storage facilities and all tenants are able to sell items. Typically held only a couple times a year, a community yard sale is a great way to create a tighter community at your self-storage facility and bring in new foot traffic to drum up some prospective new tenants.
Here is some advice passed down by Jeanette Miller, Manager of Main Road Self Storage in Summerville, South Carolina. Jeanette has been holding community yard sales for the past year now and with great success.
Question: How did you start the community yard sale tradition?
Jeanette: One of the storage tenants was stating that she needed to clean out her unit and that she was going to have a yard sale. I said what would you think if we had a big yard sale here so you wouldn’t have to drag all your stuff home. She thought that was great. I got permission from the owner and Dorchester County and put a sign up in the storage area stating that we were planning a yard sale and asked anyone who was interested to see Jeanette.
Question: How often do you hold the yard sales?
Jeanette: One in the Spring and One in the Fall.
Question: Who can participate in the yard sales? How do you advertise for them?
Jeanette: Anyone that has a storage unit with us. I put the Yard Sale date and time on the LED sign and I put a notice on Craig’s List. We also have a sign that states Yard Sale This Saturday @ 8:00 AM, I put it out the Monday before the Saturday Yard Sale. I also add a line to the bottom of my monthly invoice that I send to tenants.
Question: How did you decide the rules and guidelines for the community yard sales?
Jeanette: Good question. I just decided. We ask for a $10.00 participation fee. Everyone gets about a 10 x 10 space. Depending on the number that are participating, if we have the room they can have a bigger space if they need it. They need to provide their own tables. I do have some tables of my own that I share and I have a couple of Canopy’s that I also bring.
Question: How many people typically show up to your facility? Do you get any new renters from these events?
Jeanette: The first one we had 12 people take part and the second one 8 people. I have ten signed up so far for this next one. We are on a major highway so we have lots of traffic. I don’t think I have gotten a new renter, but I have had people ask for pricing and availability.
Question: Did you have to check with local government about any permits for the yard sales? Did you need to apply for any permits or permissions to be able to hold these events?
Jeanette: I called Dorchester County and asked (if I needed a permit) and he said that if I just had one or two a year that a permit was not needed. If we did them weekly that would be a different story.
Question: What is your favorite aspect of holding the yard sales at your facility?
Jeanette: It helps out our renters and the other renters get to know each other. They laugh, have fun, share stuff and even swap some of the things they are trying to sell. One of my ladies brought donuts and coffee and shared with everyone. I think I will probably do that this time.
4 Tips for Holding Your Own Community Yard Sale
1) Get permission. Check with your local government that you do not need any sort of permit.
2) Advertise, advertise, advertise. Make sure all of your tenants are aware that you are holding a yard sale and create a list with participants. Don’t forget free advertising channels like social media.
3) Bring marketing materials with you. Make sure you have brochures and pamphlets to hand out when people ask about your room sizes and rates.
4) Consider donating an admission/participation fee to a charity of your choice.
Happen to find yourself in South Carolina area? Stop by Main Road Self Storage’s next Community Yard Sale on September 27, 2014, at8 am. Have any of your own questions for Jeanette on how to hold a yard sale at your facility? Post them below!