Tomorrow’s Self-Storage Store
Someday, the self-storage store as we know it will be but a mere memory and a photograph in a museum. While there are some clever “themed” self-storage stores designed and decorated in retro fashion to attract attention, there will be even more stores constructed with glass storefronts; sliding-glass doors commonly found at most retailers; DIY rental and payment kiosks; touch-screen monitors for updating addresses and communicating customer comments and requirements; and a host of other conveniences that will continue to move our industry forward. Biometrics, retinal scanners, bar-coding and digitizing our business will become commonplace.
I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with developers of computer-controlled cranes, robots and software for automated self-storage, where technology is expected, not an afterthought. These stores, made available through an increasing number of developers, will have unique features that make operations more efficient and provide a “wow” factor for tenants. The cost of these mechanisms will be reduced as they become more commonplace and as developers find efficiencies in design and construction techniques.
The inconvenience of elevators and long hallways to access climate-controlled space will be replaced by drive-up climate-controlled storage. This business model will be easily integrated into mobile storage, and markets limited by small, convenient geographic areas will be expanded into citywide, even countywide, tenant-acquisition opportunities. Advertising and marketing efficiencies will be gained as prospective customers are located farther and farther away from our locations.
Are you ready for the future?
RK Kliebenstein is owner of Coast-to-Coast Storage and the co-author of several books including How to Invest in Self-Storage and How to Make Money in Self-Storage. A sought-after speaker and educator, he welcomes your comments and ideas. To reach him, call 561.963.4004, ext. 81; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.