Many investors get into the self-storage industry because these facilities are easy to maintain, improve, and upgrade. However, complications can easily arise in any type of business, and it can save you time and your sanity to plan ahead for any potential issues. For example, what happens if someone needs to get into their storage unit after hours? What if a tenant loses their key and can’t access their unit? Instead of dealing with these issues as they pop up, utilizing modern automated services can prevent these problems from ever occurring in the first place.
Today, people are used to self-service and automation. We use automated services every day, whether it’s withdrawing money from an ATM, using a self-checkout lane at the grocery store, or filling out an online application for a job. Millennials in particular have grown accustomed to self-service options, and they have become the target demographic for most storage facility owners.
Adding automation to your self-storage business can lead to several benefits for both you and your tenants, including:
Whether you want to fully automate your self-storage property or just automate a few processes, there are plenty of modern tools and systems to choose from. Just remember the more processes you automate, the less work you’ll have to do yourself, and the less you’ll need to spend on staffing.
Below, we’ve listed a few of the most common ways that self-storage investors upgrade and automate their properties. Check out these suggestions and consider which tools might be right for your business!
An access control system traditionally uses a keypad near the entrance gate, although more recent systems allow users to check in using their mobile devices. When a tenant pulls up to the front of the property, they need to enter their security code or scan their device to gain entry to the facility. It’s recommended to give users unique security codes so you can track who enters the facility and when. Access control software also allows you to create new users, delete old accounts, or grant access to non-tenants, such as maintenance staff.
A gate access system is often used in tandem with an access control system. You can choose from four basic types of gates for your storage property:
Megan is the name of the kiosk at the facility, where people move in, move out, buy a lock, sign a lease including assigning a gate code. SiteLink management software is integrated into the kiosk, so she can basically access the software to run the entire facility. Megan records your fingerprint, your signature, and speaks both English and Spanish. I run SiteLink Web Edition on my office computer, where I can review operations, conduct audits, and make sure she’s doing her job. She’s one of only 3 like her in the state of Iowa, it’s pretty cool.
If you already have management software for your self-storage facility, adding a 24/7 kiosk will further simplify and reduce your daily business tasks. An outdoor kiosk can be seamlessly integrated with your management software and it can be used for:
Some storage facilities are completely automated due to these self-service kiosks since users can simply walk up to them and fill out the required documents by themselves. The system makes it easy for people to follow along with the instructions, and it makes it easy for you to track who enters your facility, what time they enter, and when they leave.
Whether you’re looking to buy your first self-storage facility or upgrading your current properties, the TyMac Group is here to help! Our team consists of seasoned experts who can help you find and select the best investment opportunities for reaching your business goals. To learn more about TyMac or see how you can get started, please complete the brief investor questionnaire. We hope to hear from you soon!