Collections Manager Tool Helps Self-Storage Operators Recover Past-Due Rent

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Self-storage services provider Storage Network Advantage LLC (SNA) and SMD Software Inc., provider of SiteLink self-storage management software, have partnered to develop the SNA Collections Manager, a tool to help self-storage operators reduce bad debt and increase cash flow. The tool combines hardware and software technology to send phone and SMS text messages to past-due tenants.

Collections Manager can integrate with various Web-based management programs, including SiteLink. The integration sends tenant names, balances and phone numbers from the management software to the call system and posts real-time stamped notes in the software following each call.

Collections Manager makes automated collection calls and sends text messages from 8 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. daily. Self-storage customers can pay their bill immediately via phone to clear their past-due balance.

“We tested the service for 13 months at our Westport Properties Inc. stores with impressive results,” said Drew Hoeven, principle at SNA and Westport, which operates more than 40 self-storage facilities under the name US Storage Centers. “All self-storage operators can instantly launch our technology to contact tenants outside of normal office hours at virtually no additional expense. SNA’s collection system dramatically reduces bad debt at a fraction of the cost of traditional collection methods.”

SNA and SMD have plans to expand the technology in the second quarter of the year to send non-collections messages such as marketing, thank-you, reservation notification or birthday wishes.

“SNA’s automated feature reduces the number of units going to auction without added payroll cost,” said Markus Hecker, SiteLink’s chief operating officer.

SNA will hold a free webinar about Collections Manager on Feb. 7. Event registration can be completed online at StorageNetworkAdvantage or by phone at 800.561.9912.

Hoeven launched SNA in September 2010 to leverage buying power for small and mid-size self-storage operations. The network comprises more than 800 members and 20-plus vendors. The company's services include Internet marketing, search-engine optimization, insurance, back-office administration, accounting, and volume discounts on merchandise and office supplies.

Hoeven is also a founding partner and president of WPI, which was launched in 1985. He has more than 30 years of real estate experience, with an emphasis on self-storage development.

SMD was established in 1996. With more than 5,000 installations worldwide, SiteLink Web Edition integrates with platforms such as smartphones, websites, listing services, INSOMNIAC self-storage kiosks, Lead Tracking Solutions and central mail providers. Features include revenue management and integrated customer-relationship management.

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