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Gabfocus | Tech Trends of Self Storage 2020

Gabfocus |Tech Trends of Self Storage 2020

Technology is always changing. And, if we've learned anything, it's that it's better to be ahead of the trends than behind them. So, what's happening now? what's on the horizon? Join us as we discuss the latest and greatest tech and tools self storage facilities are using to keep their units rented, their customers happy, and their operations running smoothly.

Featured Speakers: Phil Murphy
Moderators: Melissa Huff & Tommy Nguyen

Category: Operations
Focus: Owners and Managers
Aired: November 5, 2020
Duration: 1:00:01


If you don't have time to watch the whole Session, here are some of our favorite parts:

  • At 3:35, Phil talks about where and how customers are renting and reminds us why e-sign should be a no-brainer
  • At 9:30, Phil talks about why he thinks storage apps won't ever really take off
  • At 16:45, Tommy and Phil talk about why they don't recommend selling add-ons (like boxes and locks) in the rental process and why "the unusual is the biggest disrupter" to your operations
  • At 21:18, Phil makes the case for "doing business the way your customers want to do business" and why it's important to have a range of channels and options to offer
  • At 40:15, Phil discusses how operators have adapted around COVID and what he expects the trends to be moving forward
  • At 44:15, Phil reviews self storage tech trends over the last few years, the movements that didn't pan out, and the outcomes that surprised us
  • At 51:40, Phil and Tommy talk about what tech they expect to see more of in the coming years and how that would affect the industry

Question of the Week

We asked Phil: What tool or technology would provide the biggest competitive advantage right now?

“It’s going to be your operations. You need to control my operations and control my opportunities. Put in technology that lets you mange your leads. How am I going to communicate with them? How am I going to stay in touch with them? How am I going to make sure my management teams are doing that Not just calling, but texting or emailing - however your customers want to be communicated with. That posture towards your ops and getting tools that can help with that will drive you forward.” - Phil Murphy

Gabfocus Takeaway

To quote Phil, our big takeaway this week was "make sure you can do business the way your customer wants to do business." The unpredictability of 2020 has made the importance of technology, digital tools, and adaptability crystal clear. The move towards more streamlined, self-service, and virtual tools with in self storage has sped up this year, and operators and owners who refuse to modernize, won't be able to keep up. Modern customers are growing more and more accustomed to technology and expecting it in every industry they turn to.

Additionally, we're reminded that there are an ever-growing list of tools and tech facilities can use internally to improve their communication, make the most of the opportunities they have, and generally, streamline their operations.

The bottom line? Don't be afraid of technology! Use it to reach as many customers as you can, to maximize your team's effectiveness, and to stay competitive in the modern landscape.

What are Gabfocus Sessions?

Gabfocus Sessions are 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 to learn more about self storage? Join us on select Thursdays for Gabfocus.

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Top Questions Answered in this session

  1. How and where are customers paying and renting?
  2. Are storage apps going to ever become a thing?
  3. Should I use QR codes? Are operators integrating QR codes in their new contactless efforts?
  4. Are there any tools or tech I should be implementing to make the renting or paying process better for my customers?
  5. How tools or channels are customers interacting with?
  6. How is communication between stores and operations changing?
  7. What are the pros and cons to moving more virtual, both internal and also with our customers?
  8. What is going on in virtual management? Are they replacing kiosks?
  9. Are there any new tools or software operators are using to improve operations?
  10. What are some major tech trends or changes in self storage over the past few years? Were there any surprises? Did anything not play out the way we expected?
  11. How has COVID effected how facilities and operators use or think of tech?
  12. Is there anything on the horizon we should know about? Any big tech updates you see happening in self storage over the next few years?
  13. What tool or technology would provide the biggest competitive advantage right now?

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


Phil Murphy

CEO, CallPotential

Website: https://www.callpotential.com/
Email: phil@callpotential.com

Got questions or comments for the panelists?

Our panelists will be happy to answer any questions you have. We hope you enjoyed this Gabfest Session. Talk soon!

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Resources from this session

Awesome Quotes

“Once your operation is in place, you can become more dynamic with your pricing, but that requires data. You need some method of being able to record the data that you need to know whether your price is in the right place - whether you need to move it up or start giving some concessions.” - Warren Lieberman
“I never want to downplay to what someone else is doing. I'm better than they are, then I'm going to be worth a higher price. That's what value is. If you go out to a restaurant and get really good service, would you go back? Yes! What if it was pricier? You'd still go back because you got better service and a better product.” - Jim Mooney
"It's good to be informed on your competition. I don't want to ignore them, but I don't want to respond too strongly to them either." - Warren Lieberman
"We did a survey of 10,000 facilities on their pricing. We found out that two-thirds of those operators didn't change the price of a single unit of the course of a month." - Warren Lieberman
“Rate increases and value pricing are the number one ways to grow your revenue.” - Jim Mooney
"Tenants in more convenient units tend to be less price sensitive." - Warren Lieberman
"The size of the unit is only one aspect of what people are willing to pay for." - Warren Lieberman

Question of the Week

We asked our panelists: What’s the biggest hurdle to introducing value pricing to my facility?

““Manager buy-in is going to be the biggest hurdle to overcome. ” - Jim Mooney
“Embracing the concepts and believing that this can really work. If you don't, you're going to find all sorts of reasons not to do it. After that, the next biggest hurdle is just ranking the units. You don't want to do it alone. Divide it amongst your team, and get help.” - Warren Lieberman

Gabfocus Takeaway

Traditional pricing for storage units has centered around size. A smaller unit costs less than a bigger unit. Right? In this Session, we learn how pricing can be dynamic and really depends on what matters most to a customer. Borrowing insights from other industries, Warren and Jim discuss how significant convenience and availability can be when pricing your units, as well as a whole host of other features and amenities.  In short, the value of your units isn't static. Introducing dynamic value pricing to your facility, can not only help you get more out of your units, but it lets your customers prioritize and choose the qualities about your units that matter to them most.

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