When you start shopping for a self storage unit, cleanliness and price might be the top two factors on your mind. However, as you rent, things like convenience, security, and customer service might matter a little more. Fortunately, technology has exploded within the world of self storage, making it easier than ever to rent and maintain your unit. Here are two high-tech self storage trends you might love, and why you should look for a state-of-the-art facility:
1: Automated Unit Door Systems
Automation isn't just for your home. Believe it or not, some self storage facilities now use fully-automated access gates and unit door systems, so that they can keep your unit safe and sound. Here are a few benefits automated unit door systems offer:
- Matches Tenant to Unit: Unlike traditional security systems, which essentially grant access at the door and then give tenants free rein of the facility, automated systems match access gate codes to the security codes on the actual unit doors. If a tenant gets in through the front gate and then attempts to open a door that isn't theirs, the system will notify managers of a potential security breach.
- Improved Access: Storage managers overlock units when their owners become delinquent on their rent, which can be inconvenient. If you pay off your balance after the office has closed, you might have to wait until morning to gain access to your unit. However, some automation systems are designed to automatically unlock when units are paid, so that you don't have to wait even longer to gain access to your belongings.
- Gives You Access to Reports: Automation systems continuously track access points, user key codes, and security breaches. Because of this, you might be able to gain access to handy reports. For example, you might be able to ask the front office when the last time your unit was accessed, so that you can determine whether or not you are using your unit enough to warrant the monthly rent.
Before you rent a storage unit, ask facility managers how well the automation system works. If they report problems or offer troubleshooting tips, keep shopping until you find a facility without lots of issues. Not every automation system is created equally, and some are more reliable than others.
2: On-Site Customer Kiosks
Wouldn't it be nice if there was always someone in the storage office ready to help you? Although it might not be plausible for a company to ask an on-site manager to work overnight shifts, some facilities have found success by installing on-site customer kiosks. In fact, self storage kiosk sales increased 53 percent between 2013 and 2014.
These kiosks can help storage customers to perform a wide range of tasks, including filling out new move-in paperwork, making payments, reporting maintenance issues, and updating gate codes. In addition to making it easier to conduct business—regardless of the time of day—self storage kiosks can also help you to stay on top of your customer responsibilities. For example, you might be able to swing by after work to fill out that vacating form or to report that new leak that you found in your storage unit.
If you are worried about criminals using on-site kiosks to alter your storage agreement, you shouldn't be. Some systems even use face-to-face video conferencing, so that managers can verify your identity. By comparing your streamed image to your on-file photo ID, managers can make sure that they are granting access to the right person.
By finding a high-tech storage facility, you should be able to protect your belongings and enjoy an even more carefree storage experience.