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Automating Your Self Storage Facility

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Automating Your Self Storage Facility

Have you ever thought about automating your self storage facility? With the number of smartphone users rising every year, it may be time to consider fully, or partially, automating your facility. New technology now enables tenants to rent, access, and pay for their unit all on their personal smartphone. More than 1.5bn people in Asia own a smartphone and the Covid-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated the uptake of digital solutions.

So, why waste the perfect opportunity to meet your customer where they are?

Read on for a list of 5 reasons why you should consider automating your facility.

1. Tenants expect automation
One of the most compelling reasons to automate your facility is the convenience factor for tenants. Consumers can do almost anything online these days, whether it be grocery shopping, paying bills, or ordering their morning coffee. People now expect this type of automation at the businesses they go to, so why shouldn’t they have the same experience at their self storage unit? Letting tenants rent, open, and even request to move out of their unit from their smartphone gives them the everyday convenience they are used to.

2. Lower overhead costs
Choosing to go with a fully automated self storage facility can significantly help you reduce overhead costs. For one, you reduce daily office hours because there doesn’t need to be a manager on-site full time, which lowers payroll costs. Since there are fewer onsite employees, there doesn’t necessarily need to be a large office or bathroom for workers either. This leaves you with more rentable area, which can be used to add more storage units and increase your revenue.

3. Work from anywhere
A major upside to having a completely automated facility is that you don’t have to be on site. Gone are the days when you couldn’t have a much needed vacation and keep your store open at the same time. All your tenants need is a smartphone and Bluetooth connection to access their unit. Because most automated facilities use cloud-based applications, there’s no need to come into the office to manually lock someone out of their unit if they are delayed with payments. Now, your integrated property management software combined with your electronic locks can automatically revoke access to the unit, gate, and any other access point until the bill is paid.

4. Potential for higher security
Unmanned facilities are traditionally thought to have more break-ins than a conventional self-storage facility. Now, we are in “…the new age of ‘Smart Entry systems’,” according to Scott Zucker, Esq. Unit doors are locked using an electronic lock, making them virtually impossible to break in to. While tailgating to get into a facility could still occur, the use of electronic locks and motion sensors ensures that a potential intruder isn’t able to gain access to the units. Tenants can access gates, entry doors, and lifts using their Bluetooth enabled device. With a Smart Entry system, you can ensure the best possible self storage security.

5. Remote check ins
One of the biggest questions when talking about facility automation is how a new tenant will be able to independently access their unit. With new technology innovations in the industry, it is now easier than ever to handle this. The Nokē® Smart Entry system utilises an electronic lock that secures the door. When someone rents a unit on the facility’s website, they receive a text message to download the app and have a digital key waiting for them on their smartphone. It’s no longer necessary to walk tenants to their unit and physically remove the lock. This functionality has been particularly useful for operators and tenants during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

To learn more about Nokē® and the newest technology in self storage automation, please contact our General Manager Jack Perrins on jack.perrins@steelstorage.com.sg