Hiring a Self-Storage Facility Manager vs. Automating an Unattended Facility

In the self-storage world, choosing between hiring a facility manager or embracing automation to run an unattended facility can significantly impact your business’s efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and customer experience. Each option has advantages and disadvantages, and it’s essential to consider them carefully before deciding.

With automation, customers can access their self-storage at their convenience. Unattended facilities utilize technology to provide a seamless, convenient experience. This approach liberates facility owners and renters from traditional hours of operation constraints and adds a new dimension to the self-storage landscape. Automation can reduce the size of your staff, resulting in lower workforce costs, and it simplifies processes, resulting in improved efficiency and faster customer service.

Hiring a self-storage facility manager to run a successful facility requires diligent oversight and customer interaction. Utilizing a facility manager entails hiring a full-time staff member, which means committing to an annual salary and benefits. While having a dedicated manager on-site offers personalized service and in-person assistance, it does come with limitations.

Advantages of Automating an Unattended Facility

Cost Efficiency

Automation reduces the financial burden of hiring a full-time manager, making it a cost-effective solution for facility owners.

24/7 Accessibility

One of the most significant perks is offering 24/7 access to tenants. With remote management, tenants can access their units whenever needed, even during off-peak hours.

Remote Oversight

Remote management allows you to monitor your facility’s activities from a distance. You can easily handle reservations, payments, and security measures, enhancing operational efficiency.

Enhanced Security

Automation often integrates advanced security features such as digital locks, surveillance systems, and access controls, providing tenants and facility owners peace of mind.


Automated systems can be scaled up as your business grows without hiring additional on-site staff. A remote management team like Copper Storage Management can support your growth goals through call center set-up and management, bookkeeping and marketing services, and more.

Considerations for Hiring a Facility Manager

Cost Implications

A significant factor is the financial commitment of hiring a full-time manager. Beyond the salary, expenses like benefits, training, and potential incentives should be accounted for in your budget. Depending on the facility’s hours, you might need to hire multiple facility managers to meet the demand.

Availability and Flexibility

While a manager can provide in-person assistance, availability might not always align with your tenants’ flexible access needs. Limited hours of operation can deter potential renters who require access outside regular business hours.

Personalized Service

Having a manager on-site allows face-to-face interactions, creating a personal touch that some customers value greatly. However, customers might also experience wait times, especially during peak hours of operation. This could leave customers feeling frustrated or unsatisfied.

Is Running an Unattended Facility Right for You?

The choice between hiring a self-storage facility manager and automating an unattended facility ultimately depends on your business model, budget, and the preferences of your target audience. With the evolving demands of modern consumers, embracing automation can provide the flexibility and accessibility that today’s renters seek while optimizing operational costs.

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