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The Value of Web-Based Management Software in a Challenging and Changing Self-Storage Market

Markus Hecker Comments
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Expand With Confidence

Just as you expect software to always integrate reliably with various other platforms, you can also expect to off-load costly, time-consuming tasks such as sending First Class and Certified Mail. Newer management programs can outsource mail and eliminate postage meters, wear and tear on your printer, ink and paper, labor to fold and stuff envelopes, and visits to the post office.

Because newer systems can share data, such as letters, reliably with other providers, you not only save by outsourcing mail, but ensure you reach more tenants. “Except for First Class letters and Certified Mail, we compare every address with the National Change of Address directory,” says Charles Crutchfield, president and CEO of Accountable Documents Solutions, a Web-based mailing provider. “Before, it took days for the stores to receive a notice of Change of Address and make appropriate changes. Now, owners don’t lose precious days and are able to maintain their past dues, invoicing and lien procedures.” 

Eliminate Problems

New, better-designed tools allow today’s software to lower your cost of ownership. Smart software design eliminates the need for backups, and even lowers your credit card rates every time your software exchanges information about a credit card holder. You might be able to eliminate credit card fees altogether when ACH (bank draft) draws rent right from a tenant’s checking account. When you offer ACH to your tenants as the reliable tool it is, you also eliminate credit card fraud and prevent late payments.

Web software systems giving full access to data, reports and electronic billing eliminate trips to the office and reduce labor. Live updates (common with Windows operating systems, Adobe and other programs) reduce costly problems such as time-consuming upgrades via CDs or manual downloads and version conflicts. Restoring your management software when your system crashes becomes instant with Web systems and removes the time and cost of laboriously re-loading system disks and backups—preventing your from losing potential customers who walk out and rent elsewhere.

More owners focus on operation and growing rentals in a challenging market. Newer software programs offer the tools to get the most out of your website and generate leads, reservations and even move-ins.

Using Web systems, self-storage facilities can share powerful information, previously limited to managers behind counters, with websites, call centers, kiosks, and off-site users such as accountants and investors. More storage operators are discovering these and other methods to maintain growth in a changing market. Now is the time to discuss the next step as companies large and small upgrade their software systems. 

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; visit

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