Facility Automation

Self-Storage Security Solutions: Using Chatbots For Access Codes

January 25, 2024
4 minutes

Self-storage security solutions are reinventing customer experiences and transforming how tenants interact with facility operators. Self-storage security systems enable operators to minimize physical interaction while maximizing security. Technology-led tenant experiences also support scalability and allow operators to pour their attention into needle-moving tasks as automation takes care of everything else.

  • Struggling to balance convenience and security?
  • Fed up with after-hours access headaches?
  • Wary of the rising costs of security personnel?

On the best of days, self-storage operators are pressed for time. If they want to focus on business development activities and explore ways to attract new tenants, they cannot get bogged down with the day-to-day tasks associated with running a facility. This simply isn’t a good use of their time. Fortunately, self-storage security systems can automate tenant experiences.

Why listen to me? I have worked in the conversational AI space for close to a decade, with our previous AI company getting acquired. My day-to-day consists of speaking to operators of all sizes to understand their automation needs and wants, and see how to best help them get there. I am currently in charge of swivl's go-to-market strategy and am a co-host of the Self Storage Lab podcast.

Using Self-Storage Security Systems To Digitize Access Control

Traditionally, self-storage tenants have relied on physical keys or keypads for unit access. However, these methods suffer from several drawbacks. Let’s break down a few of the key hurdles:

Lost or stolen keys

Replacing lost keys is a hassle for renters and costly for facilities. Lost keys also pose a security risk, potentially granting unauthorized access.

Limited access hours

Facilities with keypad access often restrict entry to specific hours. This is inconvenient for renters who may need to access their units either early in the morning or late at night.

Manual code distribution

Manually issuing new codes for each rental is time-consuming and prone to human error. Chatbots can offer a sleek and secure alternative that streamlines the access process while enhancing security.

3 Benefits Of Self-Storage Chatbots For Unit Access Control

If you can successfully integrate a chatbot into your tenant experience that handles unit access control, tenants can potentially gain the following benefits:

One-time code generation

Through the verification of personal details tied to a known user in a facility management software, chatbots can fetch unique access codes valid for entry. You have probably seen a similar type of process when signing in to your Amazon account, a la two-factor authentication. This can eliminate the risk of lost or shared keys and prevent tenants from needing to make direct contact with facility operators.

24/7 access

Chatbots operate around the clock, enabling renters to access their units anytime, day or night. This means that tenants are no longer reliant on the availability of facility operators to deliver a good customer experience. They can expect standardized experiences that do not rely on human input.

Automated code distribution

After verification (for security purposes), chatbots can instantly send access codes via SMS or email, reducing manual workload and eliminating human error.

Automated customer service

Chatbots can answer frequently asked questions and provide basic customer service 24/7, freeing up staff for more complex tasks.

Personalized engagement

Chatbots can collect renter feedback and preferences. This allows for personalized communication and targeted promotions. You can think of a chatbot as the perfect data collection tool for your facility. It will learn how best to interact with prospective and existing tenants over time. 

Data-driven insights

Chatbot interactions generate valuable data on renter behavior and needs. This enables facilities to tailor their services and improve operations.

Building A Secure Chatbot Access System: Key Considerations

When it comes to implementing a chatbot access system, you need to think carefully about how you integrate the chatbot into your existing technology stack, along with how it fits into your existing tenant experience workflows.

Data security

You should identify and choose a chatbot platform with robust data encryption and security protocols to protect renter information. This will not only give you peace of mind as an operator but also give prospective tenants the confidence to interact with your business online.


Depending on the tools you are using to power the chatbot, it makes sense to utilize multi-factor authentication (MFA) to verify renter identity beyond simple chatbot interactions. This could involve ID verification via webcam or an additional code sent to a registered phone number.

How Facility Operators Can Adopt Technology in 2024

We have produced an industry report on how facility operators can stay ahead of the curve and proactively explore ways to integrate technology into their facility operations. You can read the report here.

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24 Self-Storage Marketing Tips For Operators In 2024

Automated Self-Storage: An Operator’s Journey Through 5 Levels Of Automation‍

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