What it means to run a fully remote self-storage facility
Before we had a “Notes” app on our phones, we carried around hardly legible, hand-written grocery lists. Remember when we didn’t have a GPS readily available at all times? We had to print out directions, or open up a map, neither of which recalculated our routes. Technology has transformed our day-to-day lives, creating an irreplaceable level of ease and access. Many organizations have followed suit, providing automated systems, online bill pay, and scheduled digital reminders to make our lives easier. Why should storage facilities be any different? Self-storage remote management is not only possible, it’s a real possibility today and increases customer value.
What does fully remote self-storage management mean?
Copper Storage Management is the largest, fully remote, third-party management company in the U.S. While competing third-party self-storage management companies do implement some level of automation, they are not considered fully remote. For example, they might introduce a kiosk system, but still require a part-time employee to be present at the facility. Or, they might have a manager on payroll to handle customer service and other issues that arise.
According to Ziprecruiter.com, the average annual salary for a full-time self-storage
manager is $31,755 per year or $15 an hour, not including payroll taxes, benefits, or other employee-related expenses, such as office supplies. Rolling the cost of an on-site manager into a remote management system can increase NOI and value substantially. Remote management companies typically offer many, if not all, of the same services a full-time employee would manage but can be significantly more effective.
Copper Storage Management allows self-storage facility owners to have completely unstaffed facilities, and they handle every last detail of operating a self-storage facility. These details include bookkeeping, customer service, lien auctions, marketing, collections, security, maintenance, etc. This cuts costs, saves time, and provides ease to the facility owner, as well as to the customer.
What are the benefits of self-storage remote management?
When customers want to rent units, they have options on how they do it. There’s no need to wait in long lines or wait on hold to speak to a customer service representative. They can call their operations center, visit the storage facility’s website, or scan a QR code. Additionally, clients will also save both time and money. Because Copper Storage Management handles everything from their end, this provides efficiency and convenience for customers.
Will customer service be sacrificed because the facility is fully remote?
Absolutely not! Unlike other self-storage facilities that operate within normal business hours, Copper Storage Management’s operations center is available seven days a week for twelve hours a day. This allows for more flexibility for customers who want to access their storage unit when they need to. It’s also important to consider things such as mandated employee lunch breaks, which can become cumbersome to a customer who needs to access the facility during their own lunch break. This isn’t the case with self-storage remote management. Clients have access if they need it, when they need it, and at the time that’s most convenient for them.
What happens if there’s a maintenance issue on site?
More often than not, maintenance issues are rarely solved by an on-site staff member. Usually, an off-site team or third-party company is consulted. Or, if the on-site team member is new, the chances that they have experience with technical maintenance issues are slim. However, Copper Storage Management has vast experience in this area and can therefore handle a wider range of services. They can schedule someone to come on-site quickly, who will resolve the problem without the need for an in-person team member to be present.
Additionally, Copper Storage Management contracts with a local maintenance/operations coordinator who visits each property a minimum of once per week. During these weekly visits, the onsite staff checks every unit for compliance with the property reports, cleans up the facility, and makes any needed minor repairs. Information gathered at these weekly visits is reported to the management team, who update the software system and escalate any maintenance or operational issues.
What about security?
When it comes to being fully remote, security is absolutely a priority. A fence and gate system are highly recommended, with access control that allows tenants to easily access their storage units while keeping out those who don’t belong. Copper Storage Management’s access control system connects to software via cellular or internet service, eliminating the need for onsite computer equipment, while maintaining real-time status updates for rentals and tenant payments. In addition, many facilities are equipped with security cameras that record upon motion detection and maintain those recordings for 2-4 weeks, providing overall peace of mind.
Self-storage remote management might feel intimidating, but Copper Storage Management handles all the details for you. Much like booking a hotel room or even buying a car the process of renting a self-storage unit can be contactless and accessible. Change is hard, but in a world that’s becoming more and more automated, it can also be incredibly worth it.