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Restoring Your Self-Storage Facility to its Former Glory

Jeffrey Supnick Comments
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I once helped manage a facility that was built in 1977 and beginning to show its age. The office was originally a home that pre-dated self-storage development. The owner renovated with a modern office complete with storefront windows, visible security monitors, attractive retail displays and a customer counter. He also replaced the rusty chain-link gate with a secure gate and updated the parking lot.

Customers entering the new office likely perceived it to be part of a new facility rather than the older first-generation facility it was. Most important, they made their decision to rent without reflecting on the overall state of the facility’s appearance. The hotel industry has long understood this concept, which is why so much attention is paid to the hotel lobby. The adage says you can’t judge a book by its cover, but we often do.


Consider upgrading old black-and-white monitors to color, flat-screen monitors. The cost of these flat-panel screens has come down considerably. When installing monitors, make sure they're visible to customer as they enter the facility.

Adjust the counter orientation and height to enable your manager to see and be seen by customers, and to ensure a clear line of sight from the counter to the gate. Add lighting to eliminate “dark spots,” particularly around the gate and other areas visible from outside the secured perimeter. Rusted chain-link fencing conveys a poor image and should be replaced with a sturdy gate that gives customers a feeling of security. 


A facility's visibility will increase the number of customers. While it’s not possible to change your site's physical location, there are a number of changes that can enhance its visual prominence. Is your landscaping attractive? Does it make the sight more visible, or does it obscure signage or buildings? Repainting buildings is another smart way to refresh your look.

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