Leveraging Technology to Enhance Virtual Management
Self-storage isn’t as simple as it may sound. It’s a fast-growing segment of commercial real estate with distinct operational challenges from multiple viewpoints. With so many emerging technology solutions, it’s no surprise that virtual self-storage management is becoming the industry standard.
Because technology is more critical than ever for self-storage operators, it’s important to combine the right people and processes to achieve your business goals. Before you start implementing technology solutions, clearly define those goals. Why do you want to implement new technology? What are your challenges?
The next step is to break down your challenges into action items. For example, your objectives may include improving customer service, creating a seamless guest experience, refining operational efficiency, enhancing brand loyalty, and increasing revenue. Once you have a clear picture of your goals, you have a roadmap to help you achieve your objectives by leveraging technology.
To get you started, we’ve gathered some information to help you learn about the best technology solutions for your business.
Invest in a Robust Software Management System
The point of implementing a software management system is to automate repetitive day-to-day tasks, thus improving efficiency and customer satisfaction. This will ultimately lead to business growth and increased profitability. A robust system that is capable of handling all your booking, accounting, and management operations will streamline your virtual self-storage management processes, saving your company time and money.
Self-storage management software offers a host of options with similar features as well as key differences. Some providers offer turnkey solutions, while others are customizable to your unique business processes. The size of your operation is a key factor in informing your software choice. Small operators will benefit from a straightforward solution that maintains their data in one place. A larger company that supports multiple facilities needs a more robust solution.
Equally important is the software’s popularity among other companies and its ability to integrate effortlessly with your current technology. In other words, it should simplify your daily operations, maximize revenue, and provide a smooth tenant experience. This will enable your entire organization to run seamlessly and provide a painless experience for your customers from initial search to move out.
The following features are considered essential for self-storage management software:
- Customer Relationship Management
- Task Management
- Reporting and Communication tools
- Pricing and Discounting tools
- Integration with current access and security
Below are a couple of examples of how technology can be leveraged to enhance vital security features.
Smart Lock Solutions
Today’s consumer is looking for a self-storage facility that can deliver high-level security and convenience. In an environment as competitive as self-storage, it’s vital to give your tenants the peace of mind that comes with an extra layer of protection. A smart lock solution will attract and retain customers, ultimately serving as a competitive advantage.
The latest generation of smart locks allows tenants a level of control that wasn’t previously possible. Instead of requiring the typing in of a code on a keypad, smart entry systems use Bluetooth technology via a smartphone app or a Bluetooth key fob to access the gate, door, elevator, stairs, and office.
An additional feature enables a tenant to text a temporary access code to friends, family members, co-workers, or movers to enter a storage unit anywhere in the world. Access can be immediately revoked when it is no longer needed.
Tenants appreciate the assurance that their belongings are in a facility that features a smart entry system that includes thermal monitoring to prevent fires and activity monitors to stop theft.
One of the most commonly used security technologies in self-storage facilities is video surveillance which is designed to record footage of all activity at your self-storage facility. The potential for theft and vandalism is greatly reduced, providing your tenants with the confidence that their belongings are protected 24/7.
The footage is stored in a cloud-based system that can be accessed remotely to monitor multiple locations from any PC or mobile device. Video can be intelligently tagged, making it easy to pull clips in the event of unauthorized activity.
No storage facility can guarantee that stored items will be completely safe. Nevertheless, facilities equipped with these virtual security features are far more likely to deter crime and unauthorized activity.
Along with reinforcing your security, a virtual self-storage management system will optimize your property’s occupancy rate and profitability.
Virtual Management Solutions
Whether you’re a small, medium, or large company the XPS Solutions dashboard can provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions that will result in desired outcomes for your business. Our dashboard will:
- Track performance on a real-time basis, on-demand, from any device
- Track and archive data from every call handled by our self-storage specialists
- Identify geo-data, rental conversion percentages, caller buying cycles, requested unit sizes, and marketing sources
XPS Solutions provides a variety of solutions, including Call Center Services, MyStorPal, 24/7 Pay by Phone, and Rent Up that empower your managers by giving them more time to focus on satisfying your customers and growing your business.
Call Center Services: No more missed opportunities.
Missed calls are missed rental opportunities. The average facility is missing 90 calls per month, 80% tenant-related and 20% prospect-related. XPS Solutions provides your facility with 104 hours per week of professional phone coverage, freeing up your staff to handle other tasks. Our system integrates with leading software to access payments, capture leads and prospects, and view unit numbers, gate codes, inventory, pricing, and promotions, all while saving you time and money.
MyStorPal: There’s an app for that.
MyStorPal makes it easy to engage with your tenants. Customers love the convenience of being able to use an App to view their account, make payments, get their gate access code, and upload photos. This simple solution requires no upkeep or maintenance and encourages customer retention.
24/7 Pay by Phone: Free up your staff.
Virtual payments are another tenant favorite and a staff time-saver. This service reduces payment call volume by 55%, integrates with most software management systems, and features a simple “plug and play” setup with no need to manually install drivers. Customers can easily check their balance as well as facility details and hours.
RentUp: Rent a unit from your living room.
This is a real advantage if your facility is an unmanned facility, allowing you to focus on-site maintenance and other important tasks. Utilizing professionally trained sales reps, RentUp provides prospective customers with the ability to lease self-storage from anywhere, even their living room, on any mobile device. This system integrates with leading software to provide touch-free convenience. Our team can view inventory, pricing, promotions, and even send the contract.
The self-storage facility of today needs to keep its fingers on the pulse of new technologies. If owners and operators want to remain competitive, it’s essential that they have a firm grasp on how to leverage technology features that will enable virtual self-storage management to elevate the traditional property model.