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Providing Tenant Privacy and Security While Protecting Your Self-Storage Business


By Krista Diamond

They say a self-storage facility is only as good as its tenants. OK, so maybe that’s not a popular expression quite yet, but it should be. An ideal tenant is respectful, tidy and financially responsible. As a facility manager, you work hard to get the business of those quality individuals. You meet them, learn their needs, check their photo IDs, verify their addresses, and maybe even run a credit or background check.

While it’s important to protect your business, it’s also vital to look after your customers. You want to respect their privacy while keeping your facility safe, clean and desirable to future customers. So where’s the line? How do you meet your own goals while honoring tenant privacy and delivering a much-needed sense of security? Consider these your rules to live by, and you’ll tackle safeguarding like a pro.

Give Them Security They Can See

Privacy and security go hand-in-hand. Your tenants want to keep their stuff safe and feel comfortable coming to your facility. Nothing scares off a prospect faster than unsavory characters lurking around on either side of the fence.

This should be a no-brainer, but respecting tenants’ privacy starts with giving them physical security. Alarms, cameras and code access gates will start you in the right direction. Oh, and make sure customers actually know how to use any security measures you’ve put in place. This will cut back on those frustrated phone calls from tenants who aren’t sure whether to push the pound key or asterisk on the gate keypad.

Keep the property well-lit, especially if you’re allowing 24-hour access. Speaking of which, by restricting round-the-clock access to those who actually need it—and are willing to pay a fee for the privilege—you’ll do a lot to increase safety.

If you provide locks, go for disc locks rather than padlocks. If you don’t provide locks, encourage tenants to choose this style. They’re designed with self-storage facilities in mind and are pretty much impossible to cut or pick; plus they hold up to the elements.

Another thing you can provide or suggest to renters is quality tenant insurance. They might not realize your property insurance doesn’t actually cover their stuff, too. Let them know tenant insurance is typically cheaper than most renter’s insurance. They should also photograph or inventory anything they put in their unit to make filing a claim super easy, just in case the worst happens. However, with your awesome attention to safety details, it probably won’t!

Protect Their Personal Info

Besides trusting you with their possessions, tenants trust you with their personal information. When you see news stories about companies being hacked, it’s hard not to wonder if the next data breach might affect you.

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