By Steve Weinstein
In today’s highly competitive market, it’s important to ensure your business is keeping up to date with the latest technology. Security is one of the most important features at any self-storage facility, and an aging system can speak volumes to a tenant.
Your investment in security makes tenants feel at ease. It gives them the sense that their belongings will be safe and protected. Digital video-surveillance cameras, electronic gate-access control, individual unit alarms, and a real-time site-graphics monitor in the office shows customers you’re paying attention and in control. It provides them with the warm and fuzzy feeling of comfort, which is key to the storage experience. If tenants don’t feel safe, they’ll move.
There are many factors to consider when upgrading an aging security system. From evaluating your facility’s needs to sticking to a budget, here’s some insight to the process of creating a safer, more secure facility.
Evaluate Your Needs, Review Your Market
The first step in any planned upgrade is to evaluate your existing system. Identify what it does well and where it falls short. Identifying shortcomings will allow you to determine if an upgrade is necessary and help point you toward the features and functionality the new system should include.
The next step is to review your market. Take a drive around to other facilities in the area and see what they offer. Are you already the only gated facility in a market of open lots, or is it the other way around? Would adding individual unit alarms give you a selling point that no one in your area offers?
Talk to your tenants. Ask them for feedback on what would provide a better experience. Are there specific security measures and features they would feel more comfortable seeing?
Create a Budget
Once you have an idea of the features your upgraded system needs to include, it’s time to create a budget. Everyone always wants the Ferrari, but is that a realistic solution for your business? How much of an investment are you willing to make at this time? What can the business support? Are you in a crunch where if you don’t update now you’ll lose tenants, or do you have the financial space to entertain a larger investment for the long-term potential of higher return? Knowing the answers to these questions is very important in setting your budget and, therefore, your expectations.