Web-based systems share tenant data as well as facility pricing, specials, availability and other information with any number of users at any time. When a facility registers with a call center, Web systems share up-to-date information with phone operators who accept payments, reserve units and move in tenants. Managers see reservations from the call center and follow up to convert prospective customers to paying renters.
Like call centers and facility websites, kiosks offer convenience, cut operating expenses and bring in rentals. A kiosk can accept payments, reservations and move-ins, and even sell locks. Most important, it solves the dilemma of renting to a person online without proof of proper credentials.
For example, a customer can reserve a unit on a facility’s website, entering all necessary contact and unit details. The Web-based software can then exchange that data between the website and kiosk in real time. When the customer visits his unit for the first time, he first stops at the kiosk, where he views his reservation, scans his fingerprint or driver’s license, and gets his lock.
“The integration between the kiosk and management software has reached a much-awaited milestone,” says Robert Chiti, CEO of Opentech Alliance Inc., developer of the INSOMNIAC line of self-storage kiosks. “Now, tenants can reserve units online and complete move-ins at the kiosk with the same security measures as in-store rentals.”
The robust, modern databases underlying Web-based management software allow owners to maximize services from partner vendors such as kiosks, call centers and listing services. Web systems’ powerful APIs enable payments, reservations and even exit surveys. Facilities can automatically send electronic reports to insurance companies.
Most Web systems do not charge for integrating with these and other vendors. More important, companies may launch new services that help owners to rent and save.
In the years to come, Web-based management software systems will offer more value to owners. Integration with other platforms will lead to increased rentals and lower operating costs, improving profit for self-storage operators. Now that’s reason to be excited about the future and technology.
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.