Having worked in the self storage industry for almost a decade, I’ve visited many self storage facilities over the years. Sometimes, my visits are to train facility staff & managers on new tools available at their disposal, whereas other visits are to help a new owner make sense of the beast they’ve inherited (or purchased) from another owner.
Regardless of the state of a business, I often find that many people aren’t using all of the software tools available to them… and if you aren’t using your current technology to the extent of its ability, you’re missing out!
So let’s take a quick look at four great ways you can use software tools to help you automate your business…
1. Use automated electronic storage agreements
If you’re a member of your local Self Storage Association (such as the SSAA, or the SSAUK), then why not take advantage of electronic storage agreements? Load these into your self storage management software (such as Storman), then generate & print one (for signing) whenever a new storer signs-up.
The benefit: Less time, less mistakes & less wastage. No more issues trying to decipher a storer’s handwriting & no more wasted agreement pads!
2. Use automated ‘Rent Increase Rules’
“All at once” annual rent increases cause customer churn. The alternative is to give your self storage management software a set of criteria and have it automatically increase the rent based on a different set of “case by case” factors – such as the length-of-stay and so on.
Rent Increase Rules will then run automatically within the software every single day, looking for storers who meet your set criteria. When a match is found, the software will automatically implement the increase you’ve set, send a letter or email in advance, and so on… all of this automatically (although you can omit certain storers from the criteria if you need to).
The benefit: Less time, less work, less customer churn & an increase in rental income.
3. Automatically schedule vacant units for cleaning
There’s nothing worse than showing a potential customer through that unit up the back that’s been vacant 9 months, only to find it full of spider webs and wasp’s nests! Simply configure your self storage management software to automatically remind you to re-clean units that have been vacant for a certain period of time… easy!
4. Automate your goodbye
Configure your self storage management software to automatically fire off an email when a storer moves out (or delay it by a few days if you want). In your email…
- Thank the customer for their patronage & include a trackable refer-a-friend coupon code (check out my link eBook below to learn more about making coupon codes).
- Include links for the storer to ‘Like’ your business on Facebook, and to leave a review on Google (these reviews show up in search listings).
- Include a link to a move out survey (you can create free surveys using tools like surveymonkey.com). Ask questions like “What did we do well?”, “What could we do better next time?” and “How likely are you to recommend our self storage facility to a friend” (use a 0-10 number scale on this one; 10 is best). Any positive comments can potentially become testimonials for your website. Of course, we don’t want to be reminding bad storers to leave reviews – so you can elect to NOT send the goodbye email to those storers which you had to sell-up! Learn more about getting your customers to do the selling for you.
The benefits: Easy way to find out what you do well & what you need to improve. It’s also a good way to get testimonials & reviews …all of which help you promote your facility!