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Should Managers Worry About Self Storage Automation?

June 8, 2022

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5 min

We’re always hearing talk these days about how computers are going to replace us at work.

It can be a scary thought. Even if you don’t pay too much attention to it, you might start to worry when you hear words like “automation” floating around the workplace. And with the way that the self storage industry is moving, those of us in the industry hear that word a lot.

You shouldn’t be worried, though! Self storage software and automation are ways to make your job as a self storage manager easier, not erase it entirely. In fact, mastering the software your facility uses is a great way to secure your job rather than worry about it.

 

You Shouldn’t Fear Self Storage Software & Automation

If you’re a self storage manager, you might get nervous when the topic of self storage software and automation comes up.

Well, you really should be. Why?

Because implementing new self storage software and increasing automation at your facility improves your day-to-day work experience significantly. On top of that, you only increase your job security by mastering your facility’s software and making yourself invaluable. A facility is always going to need someone to put eyes and boots physically on the grounds.

The fact of the matter is that self storage software is inevitable. The industry has been behind for a while, and now people are beginning to play catch-up.

So how do you weather that storm of modernization as a self storage manager?

You become the champion of the process. You become the one that knows the self storage software at your job the best. You allow it to take the burden off you for many of the simple tasks that can be automated, allowing you more free time at work to do the other things that need to be done with a higher level of care than ever before.

Let’s look at some of the ways this software can improve your day-to-day work life.

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Self Storage Software Makes Customer Service Easier

Whether you’re already a customer service rockstar or you need a hand managing the countless faces you see each month, self storage software can help make it all easier.

Here are some of the ways your life is made easier on the customer service front thanks to your facility’s software:

  • Ability to take detailed notes tied to customer records
  • Easily-viewable record of customer’s history at the facility
  • Automated help that lets customers handle the small, tedious stuff without bothering you
  • Tracking of gate access, unit access, payments, and more

Let’s face it: A lot of customer service is small, tedious work that distracts you from other important tasks.

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Sure, some of it is grand and gives you an opportunity to make a lasting impact on the customer’s experience and show why you’re an invaluable asset.

For the most part, though, you’re taking care of things that can be easily handled automatically. You’re stopping your rounds to answer a phone and talk about payments, for example, when a website, chatbot, or automated phone system could do the same without interrupting you.

Furthermore, some of you may be interacting with hundreds of customers.

Instead of getting tied up in minor tasks and forcing yourself to remember the interactions you (or your co-workers) have had with hundreds of tenants, utilize your facility’s self storage software to make your life easier and get more important work done.

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Taking the Pain Out of Follow-Ups

As a self storage manager, it’s important to follow up with customers.

A lead is generated? Follow up.
A reservation or rental is made? Follow up.
A payment is missed? Follow up.
A move-out just occurred? Follow up.

There’s always something that needs to be sent or requested at virtually every step of the self storage journey.

You could spend all day just seeing what needs to be followed up on and sending the appropriate messages, making the appropriate calls, and managing the responses.

Lucky for you, your facility’s self storage software can do a lot of that for you.

From sending information after reservations and rentals to asking for reviews and sending surveys, self storage software can handle a wide array of tasks related to following up with customers.

That means you can free up time to do things that computers can’t do.

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Self Storage Software and Facility Management

We’ve talked a lot about how self storage software and automation can free up time for you to actually manage the facility.

Now, let’s take a look at how that same software can help you with facility management and make you look even better.

There are two main areas we’ll focus on:

  1. Facility rounds and maintenance
  2. Move-ins and move-outs

When it comes to making your rounds, managers have a variety of different methods. Some might have a checklist, some might just take notes on a notepad or a mobile device.

Some—those that have started to master their facility’s software packages—might even use digital sitemaps and unit records.

With most self storage software, you have access to digital sitemaps that allow you to see a visualization of the facility from above. Click on a unit on the sitemap, and you can usually pull up the unit’s record.

In many cases, the sitemap itself will even display the units in different colors based on the unit’s status.

This is useful so that you can easily check on units at a glance while doing your rounds. For example, if you see a unit with no lock on it you can simply glance at the sitemap in your hands and know its status. Is it supposed to be occupied? Time to see if they’ve moved out or just forgotten to lock their unit.

Outside of your rounds, there are other ways software can help you manage the facility as well.

With move-ins and move-outs, there are a variety of tasks you probably have to perform. Whether it’s sending information to a tenant, checking for damages or trash and items left behind, or getting welcome packages together and setting locks in the unit for the next tenant, it’s easier when you’re assisted by self storage software.

Use the software to automate communications, set reminders, and see what units have move-ins and move-outs at a glance rather than having to scan spreadsheets or other filing methods.

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No one wants to be replaced, especially not at work where they make the money they need to get by.

Thankfully, that’s not something you should worry about as a self storage manager when it comes to automation. Self storage software is a tool you can leverage for your own benefit!

Master your facility’s software to improve your job security while making your day-to-day life easier.


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