Gabfocus Episode 2: Automated Operations

Gabfocus Episode 2: Automated Operations

Are you offering No Contract Rentals? What about online payments?  Come see what tools and integrations are out there to boost your efficiency and revenue while maintaining the safety of your team and customers.

Moderators: Melissa Huff and Tommy Nguyen
Featured Speakers: Stephanie Tharpe, Jim Ferguson, Jane Sauls, Phil Murphy, Scott Worden, Bob Copper

Category: Operations
Focus: Owners and Managers
Aired: April 16, 2020
Duration: 1:16:01

Gabfocus Sessions

Gabfocus Sessions are weekly, virtual workshops for self storage owners, managers, and operators. Brought to you by the team behind Gabfest: StoragePug and MR Management.

Each session features hand-picked industry pros who will dive deep into relevant topics surrounding our industry, share best practices, and explore trends in the market. It's our hope that these sessions help you navigate your self storage business better during these uncertain times.

Want more tools for your managers? Join us on Gabfocus weekly on Thursdays.

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Top Questions Answered in this session

  1. What has been the biggest change at your facility since COVID-19 began?
  2. What are the most common tasks that I can automate?
  3. How do fully automated properties keep the property clean and safe (in relation to break-ins, etc)?
  4. With automation how do you handle the customer who wants to visually see the unit they will be renting?
  5. As technology evolves in the self storage arena, what should we be doing to improve the overall user experience for the the customer? (Natalie Kleist)

These are just a few of the questions answered during this session! Get your pen and paper ready!

Live Poll Results: What tools are most important to provide to your employees?




Meet your speakers


Stephanie Tharpe

A+ Management Group


Jane Sauls

Little Vine Storage


Phil Murphy



Scott Worden



Bob Cooper

Self Storage 101


Jim Ferguson



Got questions or comments for the panelists?

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Resources from this session

Baseline Automation Tools for Operators
used by Little Vine Self Storage and A+ Management Group

  1. A reliable Software Management Tool (Sitelink)
  2. An effective website (StoragePug)
  3. Secure and integrated gate system (PTI)

Awesome Quotes

  • "When we refer to unmanned, that doesn’t mean unmanaged." (Jane Sauls)
  • "Chances are if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Get the advice of someone else who knows more about storage than you do." (Bob Cooper)

Tools Mentioned

Workshop Highlights

We asked the panelists: "If someone were to buy their first storage facility today, what should they focus on?"

You’ve got to do your due diligence for what’s going to work for you, your market, the size of your facility, the features you’re offering, what the demand is. There’s no one blanket answer. - Stephanie Tharpe

If you gave me millions of dollars, I’d make sure there were good systems in place. Then you can hand it over to good people to run it. - Jim Ferguson

Don’t confuse automation with interaction. It’s an augmentation, not a replacement. It’s a force multiplier. - Phil Murphy

Always look at your specific facility. Don’t just try to duplicate. What I’m doing that’s working for me might be specific to my location and demographic. - Jane Sauls

There are a lot of resources that are available. Don’t be scared of technology. Embrace it. Continue to do your due diligence, participate in webinars, and learn bits and pieces from everybody. - Scott Worden

Make sure you should buy it in the first place. Make sure you know what the market is. Know what you’re buying. Chances are if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Get the advice of someone else who knows more about storage than you do. If I’m buying a new property, the first thing we do is a new website. - Bob Copper

Good systems. Software systems, gate systems, camera systems. Make sure those automated options are in place from the beginning. - Melissa Huff

Key Takeaway: Do Your Homework. There are a lot of tools out there and a lot different strategies. There's no shortcut for doing things the right way. Take your time, do your due diligence, and reach out to as many people as you can to find the answers that are right for your location. 

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