Teaching Self-Storage Managers to Use and Appreciate Facility-Management Software

Shaina Cossairt Comments
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Avoiding Errors

Unfortunately, even with the best user-access restrictions, new managers (and even seasoned pros) make mistakes. Your software should include built-in error correction and auditing, as well as interactive warning screens that help prevent managers from making mistakes in the first place. Intuitive error correction allows the manager to easily fix mistakes without involving the owner. Auditing controls allow an owner to keep his eye on changes to ensure everything stays on the up and up.

Train your managers on the importance of getting the right information for each tenant. This can be facilitated by using required fields within your software. You determine which fields are necessary for legal purposes, reports, marketing comparisons, etc., and then the manager must gather this information when he performs a move-in or he will not be able to complete the process.

The accuracy of information becomes especially important when your facility accepts credit cards. Most software vendors integrate with credit card processors, which determine the rate based on the info provided from the software, such as matching ZIP code, billing address, etc. Because of this, it’s critical that managers enter as much information as possible and ensure it’s correct.

Speaking of credit cards, train your new manager on how to encourage tenants to use your facility’s online functions. Enabling tenants to review transaction history or make payments online is priceless. Your manager should be educating every customer on how to make payments via the Web. Depending on your software package, prospects may also be able to reserve or rent units directly through your website.

All of these features improve the customer’s perception of your facility, allow your manager to focus on customer service and property upkeep, and facilitate the collection of revenue. Train your manager well on using this exceptional tool and he, in turn, will train your tenants to use it.
 
Gates and Software

During your training sessions with the manager, remember to discuss the gate system. Once the move-in occurs, the gate system is typically the only interaction a tenant has with your facility. The perfect scenario is to have tightly integrated access system and management software. This allows you to have a real-time, two-way integration between systems that display all gate activity directly in the management software.

This means your new manager only has one place to look and is less likely to miss potential problems like tailgating or other issues at the gate. It also allows him to run integrated gate reports directly from the management software. Remember, anything you can do to streamline your operation will pay for itself when it comes time to train and retain new employees.

Demonstrate how the software is meant to make a manager’s life easier. Tasks that once took hours or even days can easily be done in minutes or automatically overnight, freeing the manager to focus on improved customer service and tasks around the property. By convincing the manager that the software directly benefits him as well as the facility, you’ll have greater success with the program.
 
Shaina Cossairt is an account representative at QuikStor Security & Software. Her years of customer service and sales experience have enabled her to better aid customers in the selection and purchase of the software, security and surveillance systems that best fit the needs of their storage facilities. For more information, call 800.321.1987; visit www.quikstor.com

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