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How and Why Technology Allows Self-Storage Operators to Do More With Less

Though consumers are constantly demanding more, more, more, economic factors are forcing many self-storage operators to do more with less. Can technology help you accomplish your business goals in less time with fewer employees and resources? All indicators point to yes. Read how and why.

Alissa Stoeckel

January 10, 2023

4 Min Read
How and Why Technology Allows Self-Storage Operators to Do More With Less

Regardless of its resilient nature, the self-storage industry is grappling with a sluggish economy, just like every other business sector. As lawmakers and analysts debate whether the nation is in a recession, corporations and everyday Americans have less buying power than they once did. This leaves everyone scrambling to cut costs, including self-storage operators.

The fact is you’re being tasked to do more with less, even as consumers demand more, more, more. What’s the solution? Technology. Today’s storage businesses are thriving by implementing tools that reduce repetitive tasks, track employee productivity and create a better customer experience. Choose right, and all of this can be achieved with less time, staff and resources, which ensures maximum revenue and efficiency.

Automate Repetitive Tasks

Automation is paramount in today’s business world. It brought affordable automobiles to homes across America and continues to be a vital cog in the economic machine. It’s also becoming vital in the self-storage industry, where programmed features help operators efficiently manage a host of tasks. From collecting rent to generating sales leads, today’s tools reduce busywork and organize vital data that can help you strategically flex spending in areas where each dollar has high impact.

Automated payment systems, for example, can help you prevent delinquency by sending regular payment reminders to tenants. They can also talk to your access-control system to overlock a unit if a customer falls into default. You can even offer your renters autopay, so their payment is processed automatically each month with no need for a proactive notification. By automating these kinds of repetitive tasks, you create convenience for customers and less work for your staff, all while preventing those awkward collections calls.

Automation can also fast track your self-storage lead management and provide the data to help you convert prospects to tenants. Now, tracking the source of leads is simple, which empowers you to spend your marketing dollars in the channels that work and re-evaluate those that don’t.

Track Employee Productivity

Technology isn’t just a customer-facing asset in self-storage. Operators can also implement a variety of tools to evaluate employee habits, provide feedback and guide team actions. For example, staff can be coached to improve their sales skills based on real data of what does and doesn’t work with prospects. Successful salespeople can be showcased and awarded, allowing others to follow their example and borrow from their “toolkits.”

Strong employee feedback reduces ambiguity in various roles and helps set standards, so everyone understands what’s being asked of them. In turn, well-trained, confident staff who fully understand their role provide the top-tier customer experience required in today’s marketplace. In the end, technology facilitated training and feedback can channel employee efforts to strategically support customers, ensuring that every dollar and man-hour is used effectively.

Satisfy Your Customers

Recent global events have forever changed the way businesses operate. Some corporations have downsized their workspace, creating a need to store supplies, equipment and furniture. With many employees now working from home, people have had to shift their personal environment to accommodate an office, which often means displacing furniture and other belongings. In both cases, self-storage offers a clean, secure solution.

With these new drivers added to the self-storage market, customer care is more important than ever. Implementing a strong suite of technology products allows operators to expedite the rental process and improve the tenant experience. For example, common questions can quickly be answered through intuitive technology (artificial intelligence), eliminating the time and manpower required to respond to inquiries personally. Satisfied customers who feel their time is valued are great for word-of-mouth marketing and make dependable long-time renters.

Strong technology infrastructure also enables you to engage with customers more effectively. People can now reach you via the communication method of their choosing, whether that’s phone, email, chat or text.

Getting Started

The merits of upgrading self-storage facilities with advanced technology should be obvious to operators of all sizes. Aligning the needs of staff and tenants elevates satisfaction for all parties. Providing online systems, self-serve options and smart-entry tools streamlines the rental process, providing greater value for all users and allowing operators to get more done with less.

Getting started is simple. First, audit your operation. Are there systems or processes that can be automated? Are your managers bogged down in outdated spreadsheets or juggling multiple systems to track customer files and data? If so, technology offers a great return on investment.

New tools also drive customer contentment and provide more ways for employees to reach their goals. Whether it’s ease of access via a mobile app or stronger lead management, cutting-edge technology eliminates guesswork and downtime. Innovation can further ensure the sustainability and profitability of all self-storage businesses.

Alissa Stoeckel is the marketing and communications coordinator for CallPotential, which offers a lead-management and communication software. As a young professional and new member to the self-storage industry, she brings along her experience in copywriting, content creation and campaign management. To contact her, email [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Alissa Stoeckel

Marketing and Communications Coordinator, CallPotential

Alissa Stoeckel is marketing and communications coordinator for CallPotential, provider of a CRM and communication platform that integrates with self-storage property-management software to produce insight, transparency and control into operations. New to the self-storage industry, she has experience as a copywriter, content creator and social media enthusiast. For more information, call 877.552.2557; email [email protected]; visit www.callpotential.com.

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