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Marketing Self-Storage Security

Rich Morahan Comments

You are the security expert. Your fence, gate and cameras are in place. But your job has just begun. You don’t sell technology; you sell security, and that means an active visible manager and a low-tech, high-security barrier at your unit door.

When you formulate your security plan, put yourself in your renter’s shoes. Look at your facility from outside in. Are sight lines through the property open to expose illegal activity to passers-by and the police? Are your gate-access codes assigned or do they at least require letters and numbers to make them difficult to guess? Do you require an access and exit log-in to keep a record of how long each person is on the site?

Jim DelSordo of Automated Security Corp. consults and installs electronic security systems, gates, access control, cameras and door alarms. He points out that the higher the level of security you can demonstrate to prospective tenants, the easier it will be to rent units and attract better-quality customers.

John Fogg of Sentinel Systems Corp. markets a comprehensive access-control and property-management system. He acknowledges that you can make a considerable investment in technology; but when you make that investment, you must broadcast and demonstrate it to your prospects.

When Fogg was a sales rep for a facility, he often “forgot” to disable the door alarm when showing a unit, allowing him to give the potential renter a demonstration when he opened the door. Let them experience your security. A commercial customer or private customer with quality goods to store will pay a premium for security features, and these same features may deter a thief.

But don’t be too dazzled by all the high-tech security bells and whistles. DelSordo sells high-tech, but he points out that it is also critical to have a lock program. High-tech may get a prospect in the gate, but you have to sell him right down to the door, your last line of defense. Don’t neglect the low-tech final step—high-quality, high-security door locks.

Think of security as a chain. Your system is only as strong as its weakest link. In your security program, protect your facility at every entry point and, in your sales presentation, highlight each link, from curb to door.

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