Facility Automation

Self-Storage Management Tools (Why Leverage Automation?)

June 26, 2023
6 minutes

Straight off the bat, self-storage management solutions can offer the following benefits:

  • Streamline operations and reduce the burden on operators and key staff.
  • Improve customer service and provide enhanced renter experiences.
  • Elevate facility security and reduce the risk of human error.

As more self-storage operators begin to embrace the potential of automation, renters expect higher levels of customer service. With this in mind, we want to break down how you can embrace automation to take your self-storage service to new heights. Utilizing self-storage management tools can offer no shortage of benefits to facility operators.

Self-Storage Management (Why Embrace Automation?)

Without the support of digital automation tools, self-storage management is time-consuming and labor-intensive, especially for operators running facilities with a large number of units. If you can start to embrace automation, this could help streamline operations and reduce manual work, allowing team members to focus on more strategic tasks that improve renter experiences.

1 - Streamline Operations

From facility access and billing to inventory tracking and customer retention, you can leverage automation solutions to complete a full range of tasks. With air-tight processes, you can create standardized renter experiences that consistently deliver. While automation provides renters with seamless experiences, team members can pour their time into high-value tasks.

2 - Improve Customer Service

Automating pivotal processes can lead to quicker response times and a more efficient customer service experience. For instance, automated access control systems can grant renters instant access to their units without requiring staff intervention. Also, online booking and payment systems can make it easier for customers to reserve and pay for storage unit rentals.

3 - Enhance Security

Automated security systems, such as surveillance cameras and access control systems, can monitor self-storage facilities around the clock. The level of assurance offered by these solutions can enable self-storage facility operators to focus on other aspects of running the facility, rather than having to worry about the security of the storage units.

Want to learn more? Listen to the Self Storage Lab
Episode 09: Self Storage Management Styles & Tools

Self-Storage Management Tools (Potential Benefits)

Adding a range of self-storage management tools to your technology stack can bring numerous benefits to facility owners and operators. Here are just a handful of potential benefits:

1 - Centralized Data Management

Effective self-storage management tools can help centralize data and information related to renters, units, and billing. This can eliminate the need for endless spreadsheets and manual record-keeping, ensuring all information is always up-to-date and easily accessible on the cloud.

2 - Reporting and Analytics

Many self-storage management tools can often include built-in reporting and analytics features. These can enable facility operators to collect valuable data and gain unique insights into their operations. From identifying trends to evaluating the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, facility operators can leverage this information to make data-driven decisions.

3 - Seamless Technology Stack Integration

The best self-storage management tools can easily slot into your existing technology stack and provide immediate benefits. While there is no shortage of solutions on the market for you to try, it’s usually best to keep your technology stack small and nimble. The last thing you want is dozens of automation tools creating disjointed workflows at your facility. Less is more.

Self-Storage Facility Management Tools (Key Areas)

When evaluating self-storage management tools, it is essential to look for key areas that can help improve your facility operations. Here are just a few areas to consider:

1 - Unit Management

A robust unit management system will enable self-storage operators to track and manage unit inventory, set pricing, and view occupancy rates on the fly. This can help ensure that units are efficiently utilized and priced competitively at any given time.

2 - Customer Management

Effective customer management tools can help facility operators store and manage customer information, communicate with renters, and automate a full range of interactions. When your operation is like a well-oiled machine, it can lead to improved satisfaction and renter retention.

3 - Billing & Payments

An integrated billing and payment system can streamline the invoicing process and make it easy for prospective renters to pay for their storage units online via your website. Customers are looking for hassle-free experiences - and automation tools can help you deliver these.

4 - Access Control & Security

An all-encompassing management platform should include access control and security features, allowing facility managers to monitor and control access to the premises and individual storage units. This can help maintain a secure environment for customers and all of their belongings.

5 - Marketing & Sales

From chatbot-led conversations with prospective renters to tracking leads in a CRM, automation tools have an important role to play in the marketing and sales strategies of any self-storage facility. With the right set of automation tools in your corner, you can accelerate the sales process and effectively scale customer acquisition without the need for more agents.

6 - Maintenance Management

You can use automation tools to schedule and track maintenance activities across your storage facilities. When it comes to ensuring that all units are in optimal condition and ready for use, you should consider leveraging a self-storage management platform. These can provide operators with a complete view of vacant and occupied units, enabling them to plan accordingly.

Self-Storage Management Solutions (Getting Started)

With no shortage of self-storage management solutions on the market, operators are spoiled for choice. We recommend taking a few facility management software solutions for a test drive before settling on a single platform. As you will discover, many of these solutions come with their own unique benefits. Here are five options for you to consider:

When it comes to assembling your technology stack, you should take a look at our Operator’s BluePrint to “Building an Unmanned Facility” — the all-in-one resource of all the tools accessible to an operator to run their self-storage business more effectively.

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