Technology is the way of the world, whether we like it or not. In the self-storage industry, it’s been a slow change. When you think about it, it seems like self-storage is pretty basic. On the surface, that’s true, but technology can make a tremendous difference. Let’s look at a few.
Good management software saves self-storage managers hours of time trying to manage things by hand. Using storage management software, they’re able to immediately access client account information, monthly deposits, rent information, unit inventory and many other data points. By taking out the human error factor of account management, self-storage owners and managers can more easily audit their facility and stay on top of payment collections. Taking full advantage of the reporting and marketing modules can also help increase revenue.
Phone calls aren’t quite a thing of the past, but they’re becoming less common. Many prospective self-storage clients are younger. They’re accustomed to communicating electronically. Setting up some form of electronic communication such as Skype, WhatsApp or other options enables potential self-storage renters to reach management and staff easily. In addition, services like Google Hangouts and Slack can be used to coordinate self-storage staff members from multiple facilities.
Project Management Software
The self-storage manager’s job has changed. It used to involve waiting for the phone to ring. Now, part of the job is to make the phone ring. Using project management software such as Basecamp or Teamwork helps self-storage managers track multiple projects across multiple locations. They’re free or inexpensive, depending on the plan and help keep everything organized. If self-storage managers try to track projects in their brain, chances are they wind up losing a lot of sleep. They think of something that needs to be done and jolt awake at 2 am when they can’t actually do anything about it anyway.
Other self-storage technology includes automated storage facilities, customer service kiosks, surveillance and smart locks. Each of these makes self-storage easier, safer and more accessible for both the clients and the self-storage managers.
What technology has most benefited your self-storage facility?