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May 11, 2023
Sure, you love your tenants, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have scores of other things to be doing!
Finding the time to balance inventory, marketing, and tenant relationships can become overwhelming very quickly, especially for someone working on a small team or as a one-person operation.
Speaking and interacting with your tenants is important but can also be tedious.
There really isn’t any way to cut out face time with your tenants completely, and it would be a shame if there was, but there are a few quick tips, tricks, and new technologies that can take the redundancy out of your tenant interactions!
1. Automate your communication
One of the quickest ways that you can reduce face time with your tenants is to start automating your reminders. An automated reminder can save hours and hours of emailing, texting, and even more so, phone calls.
The best way to use automated reminders is to send text messages. A simple text message has a lot more chance of not only being responded to but even just opened in the first place.
Text messages are the most time-proven way to engage with your tenants and find that they engage back.
There are a lot of ways that an automated system can help you:
While texting your tenants is a fantastic breakthrough in tenant-operator communication, it should be done cautiously.
Your number is going to get blocked if you’re sending your tenants a new promotion every single day. Or if it isn’t, they’ll simply go unread. It’s important to practice some restraint when it comes to sending these kinds of direct messages to your tenants.
However, the occasional promotion and the informative text message can go a long way for not only convenience but also for how people think of your customer service. People love a personal touch, but they also love when things are quick and easy!
2. Set up automatic payments
Setting up automatic payments is not only a great idea, but it’s also virtually essential to compete in today’s saturated, technologically-growing industry.
The average tenant not only prefers automated payments but expects them as well! Sure, there are still people who prefer to bring in a personal check to the office, but those people are dwindling over time.
According to the 2023 SSA Demand Study, tenants prefer automatic recurring credit card payments more than any other form of payment. This is not only true for the younger generations, like Gen Z and millennials, but also true for the more seasoned generations as well.
Actually, the boomer generation and the greatest generation tend to prefer automatic credit card payments over younger generations.
And it makes sense! Older generations aren’t wanting to make the commute, and younger generations already expect virtual payment, so the decision is clear!
Are you giving your tenants what they’re asking for?
If you’re looking for the right time to switch to automated payments, it’s already passed. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start now!
3. Automate your move-ins
Using your management software to enable online rentals is one of the most sure-fire ways to lure in a new tenant, but what happens after?
It’s all up to you!
Some managers prefer to give their new tenants a walk-through of the facility, others like to be there to show tenants their new units. Sometimes you just don’t have the time for that.
One of the quickest ways to automate your check-in process is to have your property management system send automatic instructions and details to new tenants on how to access their brand-new storage unit.
This can come as a text message (which we recommend), an email, or a phone call.
If you really want to reduce your face time with tenants and give yourself a chance to catch up on all you need to do, a simple automated text is all you need to get the job done, while still providing your tenant with all they need to store successfully.
One way that a lot of managers and operators like to begin their move-ins is by giving a free disk lock to their new tenants. This is a great example of reducing face time with tenants without having to sacrifice excellent customer service.
A smiling face can go a long way, but having an efficient, easy move-in process is still providing your customers with an amazing buyer experience.
Ways I can automate my move-ins:
4. Have a strong website
One of the greatest tools in your tool belt is a strong, easy-to-navigate website. Having a solid website will essentially cover everything we’ve talked about so far.
A good website can:
It’s no longer really an option or not whether you can survive the industry without a website, so simply having one isn’t necessarily an advantage. However, there is a lot you can do to make sure that your website pops up easily on searches over the competition!
Once you’ve done all you can to have your website show up on major search engines, that’s where you can really shine through, with a vibrant website that’s easy to understand and clear to navigate.
Once you have a user-friendly website up and running, it’s important to listen to tenants' feedback. Is this website being used to the best of its ability? Are you seeing growth as a result of having one?
The answer should be yes! But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to improve.
It’s important that your website is not only functional but is up to par with the competition!
5. Go the extra mile in the first place
One of the most efficient ways to cut down face time with your tenants is to do a great job serving them, period!
Being sure that your facility is going the extra mile when you sign on a new tenant can be all you need to save yourself some time.
A good checklist for new tenants:
It’s important that your new tenants are enthusiastic about storing with you, not confused.
Your first impression is your most important impression! Make sure that your tenants are greeted with a friendly face and given all of the relevant information they will need to store with you.
Does your facility have special gate codes, limited access time, or smart locks? Make sure your tenant has every detail that they need in the first place to avoid having several phone calls later.
There really isn’t any way to eliminate face time with your tenants entirely, but that’s okay!
Having meaningful interactions with your tenants is all you need to worry about, and there’s automation and a lot of technology that can help you do the rest.
Hopefully, this served as a guide for finding technology and tips for cutting out your time spent on the phone or answering questions!
There is no replacement for you! But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t use a little help.
How are some more of our favorite posts for upgrading your self storage business customer service and automation!