Choosing Management Software for a Portable-Storage Operation: 5 Must-Have Features

By Markus Hecker Comments
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Free Website Integrations to Build Your Online Storefront

Most storage prospects decide to choose your facility based on your website’s ease of navigation, account-management features and overall design. Industry software should match customer expectations throughout the entire rental experience by seamlessly integrating with your website for free. Give customers control with online payment options, and capture leads with reservations and move-ins from your website.

Consumers rely heavily on mobile searches when they look for storage, so make sure your software provider can offer you an online-reservation and account-management portal that is smartphone compatible at no additional charge. Following an online reservation or move-in, websites can follow-up with customers by automatically sending e-mail confirmations and scheduled follow-ups for facility managers.

Again, portable-storage operators should be able to update online pricing from their management software rather than manually inputting information into multiple locations. Built-in revenue-management parameters can be set to override any offered specials to appear online as occupancy reaches higher levels.

Selecting Your Software

Management software for any portable-storage operation can and should include the features discussed above. These businesses include more to oversee than their conventional self-storage counterparts, so owners and operators demand results and performance from their software as well as integration with other platforms. Those that opt out of one or many of the items above undercut their store’s ability to provide prospects, tenants and staff and more of the features they have come to expect.

Differences in portable-storage management software lie in speed, reliability and cost. Online-inquiry and account-management tools bring in added revenue, providing convenience for tenants and allowing you to capture every Web lead. Portable-storage operators who opt for these features in their software often gain advantages over those who don't.

Markus Hecker is the chief operating officer of SMD Software Inc. (SiteLink), which provides property-management software for self-storage and portable-storage operations. Mr. Hecker has been with SMD since the company's inception in 1996 and is instrumental in product development and sales. He is intimately familiar with storage operations, having established lasting relationships with owners and managers of single- and multi-store operations. SiteLink now has more than 10,000 users worldwide. For more information, e-mail markus@smdsoftware.com; visit www.smdsoftware.com .

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