Three may be a crowd for some owners and operators looking to get on trend with remote management and automation in the industry’s fast-paced environment as our asset class continues to push the transition to remote-managed facilities due to increased savings and convenience. Yet many owners seek ways to begin the change without sacrificing management control.
There are three simple questions Owners and Operators must ask themselves when looking to make the leap to remote management:
Once taking the internal deep dive into why remote management may be the next decision in the operational structure of the facilities it is then important to look to vendors who offer simple solutions to these asks. The foundation for running a smooth remote-managed operation relies on the meshing of the following components:
Smart Cameras: Outfitting facilities with smart cameras in order to have eyes on the facility at all times is the first step in stepping away from a boots-on-the-ground operation. Smart Camera functionality is built out to capture human movement, vehicle movement, suspicious activity, colors, faces, license plates, and more. With Smart Cameras, owners and tenants can feel secure that their facility and belongings are safe and secure.
Remote Management Software: Perhaps the biggest trend in remote-managed facilities is the emergence of managers calling into facilities remotely utilizing two-way video software similar to Skype, Zoom, or Facetime but refined in a manner that allows the tenant to have a truly unique experience working one on one with a manager albeit remotely. This specific type of software integrates into smart camera data. Also, it allows for internal tracking of foot traffic, capture rate, and conversions making a strong case for utilizing its functionality.
Auto-Attendants/Kiosks: In order to run an entirely remote operation and still provide access to renting units and interacting with the business after typical store hours, many operators utilize the functionality of interactive auto-attendants and kiosks to ensure seamless move-ins and frequent action items. These have been a staple in the industry for years and the improved functionality within these solutions has skyrocketed over the last two decades. Seen mostly as a supplement to Remote Management Software, auto-attendants, and kiosks play a large role in ensuring success for the future of self-storage.
Automated Access Control: The final piece to running a smooth remotely managed facility is automated access control which comes in the form of gate and unit access. Smart locks and smart gates that are integrated into mobile applications for easy use allow tenants to fully control their unit in the palm of their hands. This is a cornerstone of our industry that has seen immense growth in the last 8 months as locks are transitioning from physical keys to Bluetooth to NFC technology thus taking out another physicality component of the operation.
While knowledge of these solutions is important it can be overwhelming to puzzle together different solutions and vendors to achieve one specific goal. There is no argument that there are enough vendors in this space that allow for facilities to move in the direction of remote management on their own terms, however, it is exciting to see that there are also emerging companies working toward providing total solutions to operators looking to get in on remote management without the loss of control. If you are an owner or operator looking to make the transition to remote-managed facilities without handing over the keys to the castle, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Mason Shaw is the Operations Manager for American Storage South, which owns facilities in the surrounding Charlotte area. In addition, she is the Product and Sales Manager for KISS Solutions. A software solutions company she helped co-found with Robert Kapp, Owner of American Storage South. KISS Solutions offers automation and technology platforms to help run the daily operations of self-storage facilities. For more information about KISS Solutions, email email@example.com . To reach out to Mason, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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