Do I really need Self Storage Management Software?
Self Storage is a customer focused business. Delivering good service to your hard won Self Storage customers is the cornerstone of continuing a good relationship them. Self Storage customers are either renting with you or moving out. Once they move out, that’s not the end of your facilities relationship. Many renters come back when they need Self Storage as their life circumstances change.
Whether you need Self Storage management software depends on your specific circumstances and the scale of your Self Storage business. Here are some factors to consider when deciding if Self Storage management software is necessary for your facility.
Factors to consider in your decision:
Size and Complexity of Your Facility
If you operate a small Self Storage facility with only a few units and minimal administrative tasks, you may be able to manage things manually or with basic software tools like spreadsheets. However, the multitude of daily tasks are not really any different if you have 20 or 2,000 spaces; it’s the time it takes to complete them. As your facility grows in size and complexity, managing the myriad of tasks daily without specialised software becomes increasingly challenging. For smaller sites, owners may not have the time to devote to long chain tasks that can be automated.
Efficiency and Time Management
Do you put a value on your time? Self Storage management software can significantly improve the efficiency of your operation. It automates many tasks such as unit reservations, rental agreements, billing, and customer communication, saving you a considerable amount of time and reducing the risk of errors.
One of the biggest disadvantages of manual management is the potential for missing billing. Errors creep in and sometimes these are not picked up for months. Self Storage is full of edge cases too, with complex transactions needing calculation. When units are changed, discounts are counted back and pro-rata periods need to be calculated. Doing these calculations without the use of Self Storage Management software can be inaccurate, especially when every month does not have the same amount of days. The math is complex!
This is also why you can’t get away with using standard billing and accounting software for Self Storage!
Modern Self Storage software often includes online reservation and payment options, which enhance the customer experience. With more than 70% of potential storers wanting to use online tools to select and reserve space, offering these tools can attract more customers and make your facility more competitive. Many rural sites still use manual rental methods in a market where high-speed internet and distance mean customers want convenience. Self Storage software can integrate with online tools like RapidStor, which can provide online rentals on your Self Storage Website.
Security and Access Control
Most Self Storage management softwares provide integrations with well known access control products, which link to security gates, granting and denying access based on set parameters. Electric gate access is now commonplace and access via phone applications like the self storage mobile app StorApp, is possible, delivering more convenience to customers. The old saying “my customers are not that sophisticated” might have been true 15 years ago before the widespread adoption of smartphones, but those days are gone and you now need to use technology to be competitive.
Billing and Accounting
Self Storage software typically includes features for automated billing and accounting. Self Storage Management software typically can be set for anniversary or first of month billing. Daily tasks include sending out invoices by email or SMS, late letters, rent increases and other CRM notices, streamlining financial management and reducing the likelihood of billing errors. As your facility grows these tasks take far too long with manual systems. Equally important is follow up when Storers don’t pay. Offering SMS reminders and email reminders with online payment options reduces debtors.
Reporting and Analytics
Advanced Self Storage software solutions offer reporting and analytics tools that can help you track key performance indicators, assess occupancy rates, and make data-driven decisions to improve your business. Tax reporting and debtor control key aspects of reporting. Equally important is rate management, and these software tools automatically control rates to optimise your income.
If you have multiple Self Storage facilities, Self Storage management software can help you manage all of them from a centralised platform, simplifying operations and improving consistency. Updating documentation across many sites is made easy with Corporate Self Storage Management.
Legal and Compliance Requirements
Self Storage businesses are subject to various legal and compliance requirements, such as tenant privacy regulations. Self Storage Software can help you stay compliant by automating some of these processes along with the use of standard storage agreements provided by local Self Storage Associations. Credit card security is of prime importance and PCI DSS compliance should be considered mandatory.
In a competitive market, having modern Self Storage management software can give you a competitive edge, providing better customer service, optimised pricing, and improve your overall operational efficiency. If you offer better service and more streamlined rental management, customers will remember and recommend your site.
There is a misguided perception that in rural areas customers don’t need these services; in reality, they are no different from any other customer. Good service is universal!
If you have plans to expand your Self Storage business in the future, using management software from the start can make the transition to a larger facility or multiple locations much smoother. Rental reports can help you identify what spaces rent better than others and provide guidance on how to expand with your preferred builder.
In conclusion, while Self Storage management software may not be an absolute necessity for all Self Storage businesses, it offers numerous benefits in terms of efficiency, customer experience, security, and scalability. If you’re running a small operation, you may be able to manage without it, but as your business grows, it’s likely to become a valuable tool for streamlining operations and staying competitive in the market.
Once you have converted from cards or manual systems to a great Self Storage management sofware, you can go back to playing golf again!