I currently own one 60 unit (soon 90 unit) facility that is 15-20 minutes from my home. I am in escrow to purchase an 114 unit with room for expansion that is about 90 minutes from my home. Looking for advice and recommendations for best systems to be able to run these remotely (for the most part). Specifically management software, security/camera systems and integration between the management and gate systems. Both facilities are gated and currently have RFID card readers that will need to be changed out to keypads. Current facility has a cheap camera system that I'm not sure if it can be web based or not.
Also, what kind of costs am I looking at?
Any help is greatly appreciated!
@Mark Byrge Sitelink has been a popular managemenet software for running multiple facilities. They can all be accessed through your computer from any location to either look at whats going on during the day or to actually control tasks and change items. PTI security also has a good selection of security systems that integrate right into the computer and I believe they even have mobile access. Also check out "selfstoragecams" for full security camera packages.
(Not sure if i am allowed to post the actual names. I am not affiliated with any of the companies.)
Not sure about the cost for either. But I know they are popular among the facilities I have seen/managed.
@Mark Byrge I don't know if it's against policy or not, but insideselfstorage.com and click community, there are some forums that you can find some information you are looking for there.
10 federal self storage is a company that is at the forefront of this area. They are putting together multiple systems and when they speak about it it is their passion. You may want to inquire about licensing their technology and system.
They have even gone so far as to run a with and without automation case study to prove the concept
@Mark Byrge - I'm having a new system installed on my facility that is web based. We are having it done in about a week. PM me and I can let you know how I like it and give you the company I used.
Thanks Tim! I actually went with Easy Self Storage and it has been life changing for me. I am using their software as well as their call center to answer all phone calls and renting of units. It has taken the weight and anxiety off of me alwwys worrying about missing phone calls or interupting what I'm doing and allows me to work ON the business instead of in it. They do a great job and have already rented a ton of units for me as well as adding insurance to many of the rentals which is all additional income that i didnt have before. The price is BEYOND reasonable too, much cheaper than hiring someone part-time. HIGHLY Recommend them!
@Mark Byrge - Awesome! The platform we went with actually doesn't have a call center yet (they will be getting one). I definitely think once we have another facility that we will move to finding one though. I looked into easy self storage, but preferred the platform of the one we went with. They were my second choice though!
It wasn't 6Storage by chance was it?
@John Nachtigall I used to work for 10 Federal as their acquisitions director! Reach out if you have any questions. Great company and they're doing some cool things in storage. I left to start my own acquisition company.
Nothing we used was proprietary. One of the owners did develop a disc lock that would be the "poor man's" way of removing the overlock that might be worth considering for remote management. That lock and accompanying software will integrate with one of the bigger players in the management software space (can't mention the name yet). Other than that, everything we used was "off the shelf" from normal self-storage hardware and software providers. Reach out to them if you want to learn more. They're great guys and helpful. Brad spoke at the SC Self-Storage Association meeting last fall (2017), and laid out the unmanned stuff we used. I'm sure you can download or get a copy of his presentation somehow to learn more.
@Mark Byrge How did the automation go? I'm looking at a facility that is currently using a part time manager with limited hours. Our business model is converting to automated 24hr access. I'm trying to ball park the cost of the Kiosk's and lock vending. Any idea what that might set me back?
I went with Easy Storage Solutions and could not be happier at this point. I now own four properties that are all using the ESS software along with the call center that they provide. There is no need for a kiosk as in my opinion this is a dated technology. 65% of my rentals are handled by the call center, and the other 35% are done with the online website and mobile site provided by ESS. I currently do not do any lock vending and make the renters provide their own, as I have looked into buying a vending machine for each facility but the payback on it is just not there and has never been an issue for the tenants to provide their own. I currently manage all four properties with no employees and only have contract help in regards to lawn care and snow removal, major/project maintenance, etc. One of the properties is about 2.5 hours from my home, so I also contract the lawn care guy to do periodic checks on move-outs, lock checks, etc. which costs me around $30-$50/mo. This has reduced my need to visit the property down to about once every 3 months. I also have very good camera systems in place which allows me to monitor activity and the property from home.
Hi @Mark Byrge ,
Will Easy Storage Solutions retrofit an existing, manually managed facility for automated functionality? Or if they don't, will they recommend local contractors that will? I assume all that is needed is keypad access for the gate and security cameras, no?
They are purely a software and call center. I did mine in conjunction with a local supplier and then just integrated it with ESS. Pretty simple actually.