Both self-storage and technology are booming industries. Hence, it’s no surprise how technology is now shifting how we access and store our valuable belongings.
The Role of Tech in Improving Access to Self-Storage Facilities
As of today, the demand for storage spaces is flying high. Homeowners and individuals living in hostels now prefer to keep their possessions in storage units instead of accumulating everything inside an abandoned lot.
Another reason why the storage industry is experiencing ground-breaking growth is that it is now more technologically apt. The significance of technology has increased even further due to the current coronavirus pandemic.
With the oblivious orders to self-quarantine and social distance, every industry, including self-storage, has had to adapt. That is when technology came into the picture.
For self-storage, technology improves the level of access we have to our items and guarantees safety and peace of mind. As a result, tech-savvy storage operators and owners have made their facilities accessible to consumers 27/7 and tend to reach more significant audiences.
If the information above isn’t enough, below are some examples of how technology evolves in the self-storage industry.
1. Self-Storage Kiosks
Consumers prefer storage facilities that don’t give them the “run around.” Instead of hiring new employees or staff members for the night shift, storing facilities are now filling their units up with kiosks – an automatic self-storage software.
These machines keep track of customer activity, helping managers keep an accurate check-in balance of everything. On average, a self storage kiosk cost will range between $2,000-$20,000.
Renters can seek help from them to access the facility, make payments, and address queries. Likewise, new consumers can get all the payment terms and rental details from kiosks.
In addition to maximizing efficiency and reducing workload, kiosks can take care of stock exchanges, eliminating the need for face-to-face interactions.
2. Self-Storage Management Software
Facility operators have been using management software for years and years. However, cloud-based technology is now introducing a new and improved route for customer experience.
Cloud-based software offers managers and owners updated information on every aspect of the business while saving time and money. Some management software, even dispatch maintenance requires, providing insight on financial and customer trends.
It also makes accounting easier by merging all necessary information from a variety of resources. The management software acts as the control panel, integrating the other technologies for an automatic business model.
3. Streamline Communication
Instant and quick communication is now the mode of life. Between text messaging, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, Slack, and Skype, the options to connect with your self-storage facility, customers, and co-workers are infinite.
Text messaging and instant messaging offer the easiest learning curve and enable you to touch your storage facility constantly. Google Hangouts, FaceTime, and Skype allow you to have video conferences with your employees or co-workers.
These are ideal for group or one-on-one training. Slack gives you quick messaging capabilities across numerous platforms and also allows you to set up encrypted chatrooms.
One of the essential aspects of any business is the unimpeded and consistent flow of information. If there is a problem, a manager can reach out to the supervisor or owner to suggest a solution(s).
4. Automated Rental Rules
“All at once” rental increases can cause customer churn. The alternative is to instill your self-storage management software with a set of criteria.
It will automatically increase the rent based on various sets of “case by case” aspects – such as the length of the rental space and so on.
Rent increase rules run automatically within the self-storage facility every day, searching for candidates looking for a similar service standard. The system will automatically implement the increase; send an email or letter in advance.
We consider this one of the most fantastic technological additions in the self-storage industry as it timesaving and increases efficiency.
5. Bidding Farewell to Custom Systems & Legacy Software
Due to their functionality and usage are hard to adapt, plus industry requirements are constantly changing. In addition, every alteration and every new application comes with high developmental costs.
In contrast, high-end and modern solutions are easily adaptable and flexible. They are designed solely for storage and mix seamlessly with other applications, such as customer support solutions.
Intuitive interfaces, both on the back-end and the front-end, make the application quick to learn and use for consumers and staff alike.
Also, they are cloud-based, meaning any facility can rum them without supervision – all you need is a tablet or any mobile device with a stable internet connection.
6. Payment Options
Before the advent of technology, the only form of payment accepted at storage facilities was through a check, credit card, and cash. Nowadays, you can submit your payments online; this method accommodates people with varying schedules.
In addition, customers receive promotions and keep track of their storage through management software. Moreover, having a 24/7 window open for payments can be helpful to the people whose schedules reside outside of the regular working hours.
7. Automation & Safety
As we’re already aware, the 2020 pandemic has, in many ways, influenced the ways of business. Remote-operated, automated facilities have the upper hand. Soon, the automation of self-storage will turn into an industry standard.
Automation allows companies to save on operational costs, footprint, and overhead, making operations even more efficient.
Potential renters often search, find and monitor their storage solutions digitally. Over two-thirds of searches already come from web sources. Online booking and virtual tours are now gaining popularity.
While it might come off as counter-intuitive, automated self-storage facilities are secure due to the increased presence of sensors and security cameras, and smart-lock doors.
Facilities with adaptable and flexible IT systems make it easier for consumers to rent units and store their stuff away!
Technology adds a unique kind of “wow factor” into the storage industry. It is enhancing communication, ensuring security, and offering greater control.
Likewise, consumers can also install mobile applications to access their units quickly. More importantly, technology is giving consumers the upper hand, meaning they can remotely do anything.
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