Don’t Let Technology Come Between You and the Renter
Kendra Bozarth |March 28, 2013
Security plays a significant role in deterring crime at storage facilities, and it’s these advanced technological features that ward off criminals and protect the stored belongings of your customers. From cameras, lighting and alarms to access gates, locks and keypads, it’s not only the functionality of these amenities that reassures rental safety, but the mere installation of them that convinces tenants to choose your facility over the competition.
With the high-tech advancements of facility management software, online reservation capability, kiosk systems and more, the convenience of renting self storage has caught up with the security. While it is evident technology is a thriving aspect of the industry, it’s also important to not let it overrun business operations completely. For instance, Uncle Bob’s – a major corporation within the self storage industry – built a website with online reservation capability, but they found that only 5% of reservations were occurring through the site. The mobile site provided users with facility information, such as specials, features and rates, but definite lead conversion was dependent upon social contact; renters came by or called the facility to speak with an actual employee and make a reservation. A lack of face-to-face interaction can limit your opportunity to make conversions and build personal relationships with both potential and current tenants. Technology should supplement your company’s value, but it shouldn’t replace the manager’s role.
A strong management presence is essential – previous renters will return to a facility if they feel the staff values them and cares about the services they are providing. Whether you are the operator of a single brand or an entire string of properties, an on-site manager can be your most valuable asset. Some business owners choose to take on the responsibility themselves, but if you don’t have the time or the accessibility to do so, make sure you invest in the proper tools for your employees so that your company can be successful. Consider professional training sessions, mystery shoppers, morale-boosting lessons, company outings and more.
While it’s apparent that technology has improved business operations in the self storage industry, predominantly concerning security and convenience, it’s still imperative to instill confident professionalism and knowledgeable skillsets within your facility employees for an optimal level of performance. In doing so, technology won’t interrupt the personal connections and marketing potential that your brand can make with your customers and their community.