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Getting Nontraditional With Self-Storage Profit Centers: 3 Inventive Ideas

When self-storage owners and managers contemplate add-on profit centers for their facilities, they often think about the basics like moving and packing supplies, truck rentals, maybe vehicle storage. In fact, there are many more options that could appeal to customers. Get fresh ideas from these fellow operators!

Many self-storage operators are familiar with and offer conventional add-on profit centers such as moving and packing supplies, truck rentals, vehicle storage, even wine storage. But there are out-of-the-ordinary options that can really make your facility pop in its market and draw in new business! Check out some ideas from fellow facility operators.

Package-Delivery Lockers

Chester Heights Self Storage in Glenn Mills, Pa., has installed a set of Amazon lockers where people can pick up and return orders. “It’s been great for the store. It brings traffic and is heavily used,” says Melissa Stiles, director of marketing for Storage Asset Management, which oversees the facility. “Also, it has the benefit that some people may need packing supplies, so we have been able to sell boxes, etc., to the Amazon locker customers from time to time.”

Chester-Heights-Amazon-Locker.jpgPatterson Plus Self Storage, one of two Santa Barbara, Calif., facilities owned and managed by real estate development firm The Carey Group Inc., has installed a smart, electronic locker system from Parcel Pending Inc. The self-serve system allows customers to have packages delivered directly to their locker at the storage facility. It’ll accept packages from any courier service. Once a package is delivered, the customer receives a text or e-mail notification. Packages can be picked up 24 hours per day.

“It is our understanding we are the first in our area to install Parcel Pending lockers," says facility owner Trudi Carey. “This is a great addition to our neighborhood, particularly with holiday package theft on the rise.” Customers can drive right up to the locker system, which is well-lit and equipped with digital cameras, Carey adds.

Excalibur-Metal-Shelving.jpgUnit Shelving

Renting shelving to your self-storage customers helps them better organize their space and keep it tidy. Plus, the monthly fee creates new profit for the facility.

“Our shelving only costs pennies a day and helps our customers to better utilize their space. It offers a vision of organization. The return on investment is good,” says Foy Cooley, CEO and owner of Access Self Storage, which operates 21 facilities in New Jersey and New York. The heavy-duty shelves are set up by facility staff upon request.

Pharmaceutical Storage

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that drug samples be stored under very specific conditions, so pharmaceutical salespeople can’t keep their inventory just anywhere. They need a space that temperature-regulated with adequate ventilation.

“A few of our facilities offer these parameters, and we’ve been able to gain pharmaceutical representatives as customers precisely because they know they need a place that’s not only secure, but has the conditions necessary to maintain their samples’ stability, integrity and effectiveness,” says Derek Hines, an Internet marketing specialist for West Coast Self-Storage (WCSS), a management, acquisitions and development company.

WCSS facilities also accept package deliveries on behalf of their customers. “Our pharmaceutical-rep clients are able to have samples delivered directly to our storage facility, where our staff will sign for them and place them in the customer’s climate-controlled storage unit,” Hines says.

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