Artificial Intelligence

Business Context in AI Models: Protecting Your Facility and Tenants

March 27, 2024
6 minutes

The recent Air Canada AI chatbot situation underscores the risks of blindly adopting the latest AI trends for service delivery. As a self-storage operator, you know that tenant trust is essential. One inaccurate response from an AI chatbot can damage your reputation, costing valuable tenants. While large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT are impressive, they aren't designed to handle the nuances of our industry.

LLMs vs. Traditional NLP: Understanding The Differences

Traditional natural language processing (NLP) models, like those that swivl has successfully used for years, rely on structured knowledge graphs. This means your facility's information - unit sizes, prices, policies - is always the source of truth. LLMs, despite their conversational abilities, have a nasty habit of "hallucinating" - generating information that sounds plausible but is wrong.

Protect Your Facility with Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG)

At swivl, we're committed to responsible AI innovation. As detailed in a recent webinar, our swivlcortex uses Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG) technology to blend the conversational strengths of LLMs with the reliability of retrieval systems. This means you get the benefit of engaging, human-like interactions with your AI with the peace of mind that your critical business information is protected.

Why Standalone LLM Solutions Are Limiting For Storage Operators

While the idea of a chatbot that sounds like a real person is appealing, the reality is that generic LLM solutions aren't equipped to handle the complexities of the self-storage business.

Here's a closer look at the major risks posed to storage operators:


LLMs are trained on massive amounts of general text data, not the specifics of your self-storage facility. This means they can easily become confused and provide incorrect details. Imagine the frustration of a potential customer being told there's a special on a unit size you don't even offer, or worse, that a unit is available when it isn't. These errors create confusion, erode trust, and potentially lead to lost revenue.

Lack of Control & Transparency

With standalone LLM solutions, you're essentially handing over the keys to your customer communication to a third-party provider. When the chatbot gets something wrong, you have limited ability to correct the underlying problem. These models are constantly evolving - so the same question might get different answers from day to day, making reliable service impossible.

Missed Opportunities

LLMs aren't connected to your business data. They can't recommend the right unit size based on a tenant’s needs, pull up real-time inventory, or proactively promote your specials. This means you're missing out on valuable opportunities to guide customers toward a rental decision and maximize revenue.

Why Storage Operators Need Specialized AI Solutions

When it comes to unlocking the immense potential of AI, storage operators need solutions vertically integrated and designed with their specific industry in mind. swivl isn't a generic chatbot repurposed for self-storage. We've been building AI solutions for this industry from the ground up. Our platform offers several key advantages for storage operators:

Omnichannel Integration

Meet your tenants where they are - web chat, SMS, Google My Business, even phone calls - with a seamless experience. No more missed leads or frustrated customers because they couldn't reach you on their preferred channel.

Vertical Integration

swivl connects directly to your property management system, CRM, and other data sources, ensuring accurate, up-to-date information in every customer interaction. Say “goodbye” to the worry of a chatbot giving bad information and “hello” to increased tenant trust.

Continuous Improvement

Our AI systems aren't one-and-done. They learn and adapt, just like the employees at your facility, to provide an even better tenant experience over time. This means your swivl investment keeps paying off as your team and the AI grow together.

How Your Storage Facility Can Begin Embracing AI

swivl has produced a blueprint for building an unmanned facility through the use of proptech tools and platforms. This is an all-in-one resource of all the tools accessible to an operator to run their business more efficiently. You can download the PDF today.

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