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Top Technology Advancements in the Storage Industry, Part Three

As the large number of technology opportunities in the storage industry continues to grow, it may feel overwhelming. With so many options, how can you know where to start? 

The truth is, the answer will vary based on each facility, location, and market. (If you’d like a personalized projection from CSSM on how you could increase revenue and property value at your facility, contact us here.) However, we do have a few strategies that you can use to evaluate your facility and come to your own conclusion about where to invest in technology. 

1. Perform a competitive analysis. 

While this may seem obvious at first, there is a lot that can be learned from competitors! Take note of what your competitors do well, where they’re lacking, and how your facility compares. Here’s how to start: 

  • Identify your key competitors. Consider direct competitors (other storage facilities in your geographic area) as well as indirect competitors (alternative storage solutions). 
  • Gather information on each competitor.  This can include a SWOT analysis, pricing methods, technological capabilities, online presence, and trends across competitors. 
  • Benchmarking. Compare your business to your competitors and identify where you excel, as well as areas of opportunity for your business. 
  • Develop strategies.  Based on your analysis of competitors, develop strategies that capitalize on your strengths, address weaknesses, and leverages opportunities. 

2. Check reviews. 
Performing a thorough audit of your reviews can tell you what your storage facility is doing well, and what you could improve. Take note of common trends and sentiments across reviews. After collecting your findings, review areas of opportunity that could be implemented, and create a strategy for doing so. 
3. Utilize the Magic Revenue Finder. 
If you haven’t already heard of The Magic Revenue Finder, it’s one of CSSM’s greatest tools to analyze your revenue and quickly find areas for improvement. The Magic Revenue Finder includes the following areas: 
  • Control Unrentable Units. An unrentable unit represents unavailable revenue. Paying attention to unrentable units allows you to get them back into revenue production sooner. Know why unrentable units are not rentable and what it will take to bring them back into production. Task someone on your team to get the unit back online with a budget and timeline. 
  • Increase Occupancy. The goal is approximately 94% occupancy. If you are regularly 100% full on a unit type, you are pricing your inventory too low. Below approximately 94% occupancy you are better off filling units even if you lower price or increase concessions. 
  • Increase Rent Collected Per Occupied Square Foot. Since you have a finite amount of space, to increase revenue over time you need to increase the amount of revenue you generate from each square foot. This can mean charging more to new customers, charging more to existing customers, or reconfiguring your unit mix to allow you to rent space at a higher price per square foot. Also consider converting parking space to enclosed storage space when that will earn greater revenue per square foot. 
  • Increase the Number of Units Covered by Tenant Insurance or Tenant Protection Plans. More units covered means more revenue. If your tenant protection plan is feeling lackluster and you don’t know how to fix it, contact us. We offer tenant protection plan implementation services that can increase your revenue over $100k and increase property value by $1M+. 
  • Increase the Average Selling Price for your Tenant Insurance Sales or Tenant Protection Plan. Your revenue from tenant insurance or protection plan sales is a function of the number of plans sold multiplied by the price. Increase the price and you will increase your revenue, all else being equal. 
  • Increase Late Fees. Late fees are revenue. Benchmark against the public company operators. Make considered decisions about the circumstances you will allow a fee to be waived. 
  • Increase Administrative Fees. Administrative fees are revenue. Benchmark against the public company operators. Make considered decisions about the circumstances you will allow a fee to be waived. 
  • Increase Ancillary Income. Cell tower income, merchandise sales, truck rental, etc can all increase revenue. 
  • Decrease Late Fee and Other Revenue Waivers. Controlling how fees and other charges are waived can increase the amount you deposit as revenue. 
  • Decrease Move-In Promotions. Move-in promotions reduce your revenue. High demand and limited availability inventory may give you an opportunity to increase revenue by reducing your move-in incentives. 
  • Decrease Bad Debt and Reduce the Number of Days a Unit is Past Due Before it is Sold (but not less than the minimum required by law!) Aggressively collecting past due rent during the first 30 days increases the amount of payments you will receive. Processing lien sales as quickly as possible returns a non-revenue-producing unit back to revenue production. 

Each of these items are a quick benchmark to ways you can increase revenue – it will be up to you to determine how technology can assist you in each area. 

Do you have more questions about running your storage business? We are happy to help! Send us an email or schedule a call with our team. We’ve got you covered!