Don’t become a headline: “Self-Storage Computer Data Hacked.” Invest in a good management-software package with computer-security features.
Protections in Your Rental Agreement
Discuss with your attorney how to set liability limits for renters in your lease, and then ask tenants to sign an acknowledgement that they’ve selected or refused insurance. You can also restrict the type and value of property to be stored, or require a waiver of liability. Again, consult with your attorney for the exact wording and legalities of doing this.
A Relationship With Law Enforcement
Enlist someone from local law enforcement to review your security plan, recommends Jim Chiswell, president of Chiswell & Associates LLC, which provides self-storage consulting services. That review and approval could have an impact on an uncooperative planning board if you’re developing a new site. A publicized relationship with local law enforcement will please your honest tenants and make the dishonest ones uncomfortable. Periodic drug and bomb training exercises, clearly posted as exercises, can have a positive marketing impact as well.
The End Result
A strong security plan benefits you more than your renters because it can be a powerful marketing tool. Don’t forget that you risk more from poor security than your renters, so select your manager carefully, invest in quality security components and software, and consult with your attorney and local law enforcement to provide a liability firewall between you and your tenants.
Rich Morahan writes frequently about marketing and security for the self-storage, information-management and propane industries. You can contact him at 617.240.0372; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; visit www.rmorahan.com or www.laigroup.com .