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Top Technology Advancements in the Storage Industry, Part Two

With technology evolving so quickly, it can be difficult to keep up with the recent advancements – let alone know where you should invest in technology. 

Although there’s no definitive answer, the best areas to invest in are the technologies that directly impact your net income – namely, technology that can impact pricing power, expense avoidance, and occupancy. 

With each of these areas, technology can be used to increase your revenue and decrease your expenses. 

1. Pricing Power

Pricing power is your ability to increase prices without decreasing demand. Items like unit size, unit features, seasonal demand, and location are strong examples of pricing power. 

To determine whether an area of technology is worth investing in, consider – will this impact my pricing power? Here are a few examples of tech that could impact your pricing power: 

  • Revenue Management – this type of technology can help you manage dynamic pricing strategies, allowing you to take advantage of seasonality and competitive advantages. 
  • Tiered Pricing Strategies – consider adjusting your pricing to reflect a tiered pricing strategy. For example, pricing can vary based on accessibility, size, climate-controlled features, and convenience (such as drive-up, access hours, and distance from the main office). Tiered pricing allows customers to choose units based on their budget, and allows you to capitalize on those that are willing to pay for premium options. 
  • Creating a Clear Competitive Advantage – do you know exactly what makes your facility better than your competitors? If not, do some research to figure out what your competitors are lacking that you could excel in, and there’s bound to be some technology that can help you! For example, automated locks can provide contactless rentals. Cameras and security systems can provide increased safety for tenant belongings. Whichever your point of differentiation may be, explore technology options available to enhance your advantage. 

2. Expense Avoidance
When running a business, you will almost always run into unexpected expenses. Wherever possible, take steps to remove avoidable expenses from your budget – and technology can help! Here are a few examples: 

  • Cameras and Security Measures – this can deter theft and vandalism, reduce liability for storage owners, and may help you qualify for better insurance terms as well. 
  • Lien Management Software – liens can be one of the most complex parts of owning a storage business. Reduce complexity and confusion with lien management software, which can help you streamline the lien process, automate notifications, ensure legal compliance, and manage lien documentation. 
  • Automated Collection Technology – this can help reduce bad debt, minimize late payments, and decrease staff time and administrative work. 
  • A Robust Website and/or a Call Center – take advantage of the aspects of the storage business that can be done off-site, such as rentals and customer service. Investing in a robust website or a call center can ensure no potential customers are missed, while reducing the cost of on-site facility staffing. 
  • Optimized operations – operation management technology can help reduce operational costs with automated systems for inventory management, billing, and facility maintenance, and allow for more competitive pricing. 

3. Increase Occupancy 
As your primary revenue driver, increasing occupancy is the best way to increase your revenue – and technology has only advanced, with increased capabilities to help power your occupancy. Here are a few technology strategies to take note of: 

  • Online Booking Capabilities – with the added convenience of technology, there’s no doubt that being able to book or reserve a storage unit online greatly increases occupancy. If your website doesn’t include the ability to book storage units online, make this a top priority and watch your occupancy skyrocket!
  • Virtual Tours and 360-Degree Views – the more a potential customer knows about your services, the more likely they are to rent! With cleanliness and security being key in storage, adding 360-degree views or virtual tours of your facility is a simple way to tell customers more about your storage units and increase occupancy. 
  • Digital Marketing – when looking to increase your occupancy, evaluate your digital marketing tools. Although digital marketing is broad and covers many different avenues , evaluate areas of opportunity that could increase your occupancy, such as: running paid ads, search engine optimization (SEO), running promotions, and optimizing Google My Business listings. 
  • Real-Time Availability Tools – displays on your site that tell customers exactly how many units are available (and which ones are going fast!) provide customers with accurate information, encourage faster decision-making, and allows you to optimize your site to promote units that are available. 
  • Dynamic Pricing Software – if your occupancy is extremely high (90% or more), it’s possible that your prices are too low and revenue is being left on the table. Conversely, occupancy that is too low can put your income in jeopardy. Take the guesswork out of knowing how much to charge and when, and instead invest in a dynamic pricing software that does it for you! 

Technology in the storage industry can feel vast and overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to! When making decisions about technology that can have the biggest impact on your facility, remember: focus on technology that impacts your pricing power, expenses, and occupancy.  

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!