Running an Automated Self-Storage Site: Customers Clamor for Self-Service

Robert A. Chiti Comments
Print
Continued from page 1

Adams found the competition in these markets would be easy to beat, but the markets would not support large facilities that could carry the overhead associated with traditional manned storage. With an eye on development and operating costs, he determined he could build a high-quality, smaller facility by focusing on the property and not the office.

“When I surveyed the competition, I saw most did not have paved driveways, which I felt was a must,” he says. “They did not have the 8-foot fencing, cameras or good lighting and, more important, they were closed more than often than they were open. Focusing more on the quality of the facility as a whole and less on the office, we are able to provide customers with the same level of amenities found at a class-A property.”

Adams also points out that development and construction cost less too. A smaller site plan means lower legal fees, easier access to permits and better cash-on-cash return.

As far as marketing, Adams says the game is the same when it comes to attracting customers. “You still have to get the phone to ring, and the kiosk will only rent to people who are standing in front of it. You must be close to your customers, advertise on the Web and in the Yellow Pages as well as on site. Having a facility with class-A amenities is the secret.”

Managing Unmanned Facilities

After fully automating his facilities, Adams has discovered the technological advantages he offers provide customers with benefits that often exceed those available from his competitors, and they allow him to operate his facilities at a lower cost. He can manage several facilities from a central location and provide even greater focus on cleanliness, security and convenience, at a price that keeps his customers happy and coming back.

Jon Mutchner, owner of The Storage Center in Terre Haute, Ind., converted his two traditional facilities into a single, centrally managed operation. Even though his sites are three miles apart, they operate seamlessly and efficiently with the use of inventive technology. He found that within 90 days of implementing an automated approach, his kiosk served 88 customers and brought in $28,000 in new rentals.

Comments
comments powered by Disqus