For example, a better analysis of advertising dollars can pinpoint worthwhile channels and bring customers to the store. Owners can even create specials and assign different coupon codes for various online and print ads. Coupon codes entered into the system will bring up the right special, online or at the store, and include rent discounts coupled with waived fees or free merchandise.
Creating and tracking coupon codes not only helps combat the “$1 move-in special,” but takes the guesswork out of marketing effectiveness. Today’s improved reporting, commonly called data mining or carving, shows how specials, customer type, marketing sources and other factors are related.
Pulling It All Together
The future of self-storage software lies in better data analysis and the connection of platforms and users. Operators who want to stay in the loop but aren’t always at the store can view reports online. Because data on Web servers should be in real time and available to any authorized user at any time, central office reporting is easy.
Managers do not need to collect and e-mail reports because the Web system will have already centralized the data from any number of stores. Users can batch-print reports for multiple stores and download data into accounting programs in one step.
Because data, even for multiple stores, resides in a central database on a Web server, dashboards offer a higher level of enterprise-level reporting, including analysis of key indicators, such as move-ins, collection calls and log-in times, by store. Comparing stores and spotting areas for improvement is easy. After using these new reporting tools, self-storage owners will wonder how they ever did without them.
The Next Step
As more users adapt operations to the new environment, management programs will offer the tools to save money and rent more units. The new generation of management programs is a huge step up from older DOS or PC-based Windows programs. Simply put: Web systems create more efficient stores.
Migrating to new Web programs with money-making features will more than pay for the software investment and raise the value of your store. Web systems can bring online payments, ACH and other billing options at no added cost. Switching now is not a moment too soon. Almost by necessity, many owners have embraced newer Web systems to survive in the current climate and found they can grow revenue, even in times like these. Now that’s real progress!
Markus Hecker is the chief operating officer for SMD Software, which offers SiteLink and SiteLink Web Edition for managing self-storage and mobile-storage facilities. For more information, call 919.865.0789; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; visit www.smdsoftware.com.