Today, the demand for storage spaces is at an all-time high. Homeowners utilize storage units to store their belongings instead of accumulating everything inside the house. Likewise, students living in hostels with shared rooms also prefer keeping their possessions in storage space. Another reason why the storage industry is experiencing exponential growth is because of eCommerce ventures. Retailers and businesses need affordable space to store inventory since they don’t have a physical store.
Despite the exponential growth of this industry, not many people consider this industry to be technologically apt. Still, storage facility owners believe that a lot of space, locks, and electricity are enough to earn profits. In today’s savvy world, technology has a massive influence on the storage industry. It is automating workflows and improving security to make self-storage safer and smart. After all, a successful storage business needs effective maintenance and smooth operations.
However, if you don’t know much about these tech innovations, have a look below. Here are five ways how technology is making self-storage safer and more innovative.
1. Cloud technology
In today’s fast-paced world, self-storage owners should think beyond tracking units and processing payments. They have to focus on the site’s revenue management plan, analyze facility performance, and provide reports to operators. And that won’t be possible until you switch to cloud-based servers. It gathers multiple-site information on a single forum, giving you a clear picture of operations. Additionally, cloud technology facilitates data storage. From customer information, available rental space to contact details – cloud servers stores and keeps all the data safe.
It doesn’t mean you can casually pick any cloud computing application. Innovators have come up with self storage management software to facilitate storage owners and renters in the best possible way. Such cloud-based software gives access to thousands of addresses and properties. Likewise, you can catch a glimpse of the renter’s behavior with real-time data visualization. Precisely, operators can enhance tenant’s experience through management software driven by cloud technology.
2. Enhanced security
Undeniably, security is the most fundamental feature of storage units. You might think conventional locks offer optimal security, but tech is bringing better solutions. The emerging biometric technology provides secure access that is impossible to breach. It leverages an individual’s unique characteristics, such as fingerprints, to secure the lock. Hence, customers can scan their fingerprints on the device to unlock the storage unit.
Moreover, intelligent security cameras and remote monitoring can further enhance security. You can monitor the storage facility remotely and detect odd activities. Besides, include the feature of remote monitoring on self-storage software to gain customers’ confidence. The intelligent cameras also have integrated artificial intelligence and machine learning servers that can detect and alert you about odd activities.
Did you ever imagine robots taking over the workforce? That’s finally happening in the storage industry. French companies have designed robots explicitly for storage facilities. They move on wheels and interact with the customers remotely. From booking procedure, rates to availability, it can respond to every customer query. However, if the customer asks a question beyond the robot’s knowledge, it will instantly connect to a live advisor.
Additionally, these bots can offer guided tours of the entire facility to new clients. Alongside reducing the workload from on-site managers, robots can help in reducing staffing costs. Nevertheless, the only drawback of this tech innovation is that it’s pricey. Almost every robot sells for $24,000, excluding the shipping and setup expense. Hence, capitalizing on robots will only be possible for storage owners operating on a large scale.
4. Mobile applications
Unsurprisingly, millennials crave technology in every aspect of their life. And to respond to customers’ evolving needs, self-storage facilities can provide mobile applications to control access to units. Thus, they will no longer have to carry a key or access card whenever they visit the storage unit. The specialized mobile apps will allow them to manage and access storage space from their smartphone.
Apart from this, storage companies can ask developers to include additional features in the mobile application. Perhaps, you can allow clients to start and renew the lease. Similarly, you can add payment options and live support to elevate the customer experience. Also, allow customers to update access codes through their smartphones to avoid involvement from third parties. These savvy integrations can give you an edge in the storage industry, helping you expand your customer base.
5. Self-Storage Kiosks
These days, people want storage facilities to be accessible round the clock. You might think of hiring a few employees for the night shift, but it would add to your long list of expenses. Therefore, consider getting your hands on self-storage kiosks. They use custom-built software that you can integrate into the property management system. Hence, any customer activity will get added to the database, helping managers keep an accurate check-in balance.
Above all, kiosks can entertain customers at all hours. Tenants can seek help from them to access the facility, address queries, and make payments. Likewise, new customers can get all rental details and payment terms from kiosks. In addition to reducing the employee’s workload, they take care of routine interactions, eliminating the need for in-person interactions.
The up-and-coming technological disruptions are transforming the entire storage industry. It is improving communication, providing greater control, and enhancing security. Likewise, customers can also download mobile applications to have better access to their units. Most importantly, technology is easing things for owners. They can remotely monitor the space, reduce staffing costs, and take the business towards growth.