Site Graphics
Copyright 2014 by Virgo Publishing.
By: Owen Runnals
Posted on: 05/01/2005



 
Are you doing everything you can to secure your self-storage facility and market your security efforts to prospective tenants? Site security has become the pinnacle concern for many customers. They want to know their property will be safe, so you must do everything possible to create an atmosphere of safety and comfort at your site.

Using the industry’s basic security products—access-control gates, entry keypads, individual door alarms and digital surveillance—is always a great first step. But with industry competition increasing and most facilities offering the same security features, how do you stay at the head of the pack? One solution is site graphics.

What Is It?

Site graphics is a software program designed to display a graphical, color-coded representation of your facility. While most programs offer a two-dimensional overhead view of a property, some providers have released a 3-D version. Site graphics integrates with your management software, displaying all facility information directly from the source. For example, if you enter a new rental, site graphics updates immediately. Use it as an at-a-glance tool to know the overall status of your site.

With site graphics, every unit in your facility is displayed by number and location and color-coded according to its status, i.e., delinquent, reserved, occupied, vacant, etc. Colors can also be used to demonstrate particular activity such as if a tenant is on site or an alarm has been triggered. Using bright colors for units that require attention will not only serve as a reminder to managers, it will show tenants how closely you keep tabs on your business. Occupied units might be identified by a more muted color, as they will comprise the majority of your map and provide a “quieter” background.

Some site-graphics programs integrate with hardware like keypads, intercoms and door alarms. They can also be used to indicate the status of the office, restrooms and elevators or any other special locations on your site. Many programs allow you to customize the display to your facility, adding landscaping (trees, shrubs), terrain (hill, stream or pond) and other graphical goodies to create a more realistic presentation. Some programs even change their look with the seasons.

Can It Increase Sales?

Site graphics can be essential in marketing your facility to prospects. The key lies in presenting the feature to customers. Don’t hide your graphics on an obscure monitor in the corner. Flat-panel LCD displays and plasma monitors are now more affordable, and they look great mounted behind your office counter. Display your site graphics prominently next to your video-surveillance monitors to create the ultimate impression of site security and awareness.

When a prospective tenant walks into your office and sees a large display of the facility in full color with an aerial rotation, he’ll not only be impressed with your high-tech approach, he’ll know his belongings are safe with you—even without understanding the color-coding involved. Displaying site graphics will not only make tenants feel more comfortable at your site, it will astonish them to the point of telling other people about your facility. And word-of-mouth is some of the most effective (and least expensive) advertising out there.

Site graphics is quickly becoming a popular tool to maximize sales at self-storage facilities. Owners are always looking for a leg up on the competition. Site graphics is one extra feature that can set you apart from the rest. Use them to have at-a-glance knowledge of your site, heighten security efforts and make your facility more marketable.

Owen Runnals is an account representative with QuikStor Security & Software, a California-based company specializing in access control, management software, digital video surveillance, kiosk and corporate products for the self-storage industry. For more information, call 800.321.1987; e-mail orunnals@quikstor.com; visit www.quikstor.com.

MORE GREAT MARKETING

Site graphics are a great asset when it comes to marketing your self-storage site. To complete the fantastic first impression you make on prospects, consider these other strategies:

  • Make sure your office and entire site is clean. Cleanliness implies organization, which, in the self-storage industry, also implies security.
  • Prominently display your surveillance equipment in your management office. Wall-mounted, flat-panel monitors are best, but a custom-built security console with two monitors—one to show site graphics the other with views from surveillance cameras—works just as well.
  • Make sure your facility signage, both outside and in the office, is well-lit and easy to read.
  • Use extensive lighting throughout the site to enhance an atmosphere of security.
  • Convenience is an increasing attraction for all businesses. Consider installing automated attendants, or self-service kiosks, that allow tenants to rent units and manage their accounts at any time.