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Making the Case for Mobile: Why Your Self-Storage Business Needs an App

Article-Making the Case for Mobile: Why Your Self-Storage Business Needs an App

Why Your Self-Storage Business Needs a Mobile App
As consumers, we use mobile apps for almost everything. Our self-storage customers are using them, too! This is why it makes sense to create an app for your business that connects tenants with your facility. An operator shares his insight.

Mobile apps have really had an impact on everyday life. We can use them to order food, book a flight or hotel, shop for basically anything, and even start our car—all from the convenience of our phones!

There’s a reason companies are constantly pouring money into their apps to make them graphically pleasing and easy to use: It makes a business much more accessible and improves the customer experience, which entices consumers to spend more money. Similarly, creating a mobile app for your self-storage operation can greatly enhance the tenant experience. It also adds a layer of automation, which can free up staff time. Following are some more advantages based on our experience at Flying Storage Group.

Mobile Benefits for Tenants

he self-storage industry is quickly shifting to an unattended model, which makes sense from so many angles. The more automating you can do, the happier your customers will be and the more profitable your business can be. An app will get you there.

Our company has had a mobile app since 2018. When the pandemic hit, it was a good selling point for customers who were worried about the keypad being a high touchpoint. Users can view pricing of available units, rent space and make payments, which cuts down on calls to our manager or call center. They can also update their credit card on file or revise the address or phone number on their account, which means we don’t need to have them sign anything to verify the changes.

Customers can also report any property or account issues via the app. They’re able to take a picture of the cause for concern, write a message to management, and report it. These submissions are immediately pulled into our management software, and the manager receives a text to their phone. This has been especially useful for after-hours emergencies.

Some other cool options that are available with mobile-app vendors is customers can unlock their self-storage unit from their phone. They can even open their door if it’s equipped with the right hardware.

Benefits for Operators

Our mobile app also has special functionality for facility managers. For example, our team can use it to open a gate from anywhere. Since we run a few of our facilities remotely, this feature comes in handy if we need to let somebody onto the property when we aren’t on site, like a service technician or potential renter.

Flying Storage Group’s app as it appears in the store    Flying Storage Group’s app as it appears
    in the store

Another thing I love about our app is that when a delinquent tenant enters their code at the gate, they immediately receive a text explaining that their payment is late and providing a link to pay their bill. They’re able to pay quickly through the app and immediately access their unit again.

Our app even assists with vacates. Tenants are able to pick a move-out date and submit notice, which goes straight to our management software.

If you’re interested in offering a mobile app to your self-storage customers, check out all the different vendors and weigh your options before making a decision. Reach out to other operators who use each vendor to see what their experience has been like. It’s the best way to know how a product works in the real world.

Now that you see how much an app can benefit your self-storage operation, what are you waiting for?

Eric Case works for Flying Storage Group, which operates eight self-storage facilities in Georgia. He primarily works in day-to-day operation but is also involved with the company’s accounting and vendor relationships. To reach him, email [email protected].

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