Smartphones are changing customer expectations and the way they interact with businesses. Thanks to cloud-based technology and amazing new innovations in mobile apps, we can now start our car, turn off the lights in our bedroom, and answer a knock at our front door from anywhere using a smartphone.
We are also starting to see technology transform how customers use and interact with self-storage facilities. Automation appears to be the new frontier in the self-storage industry.
Smart entry technology lets tenants enter your facility and access their unit by simply using a smartphone, or Bluetooth fob. No more lost keys, forgotten gate codes, or other problems that are commonplace for storage tenants. This is great news for customers, right?
But how can the rapidly changing technological landscape be a good thing for self-storage owners? Smart entry systems offer more benefits than you might realise when it comes to operating your storage facility.
Here are 6 ways smart entry technology will enhance how you operate your facility by automating rentals and improving the customer experience.
1. No More Forgotten Gate Codes or Lost Keys
How many times each month do you get a call from a tenant who has lost their keys or forgotten their gate code?
Even the most responsible customer can lose the key to their unit or easily forget a code. Smart entry is the future of self-storage and operators will be just as happy as their customers to know that traditional methods of entering facilities and units —and the headaches surrounding them—are in the past.
With smart entry, tenants can open gates, main doors, lifts, and units all from the palm of their hand using their smartphone or other mobile device. Have a customer who doesn’t own a smartphone (yes, there are still a few out there)? We’ve got them covered too! Our Bluetooth fob provides the same convenient access with the push of a button. This saves you valuable time that you might have spent replacing keys or making a trip to unlock someone’s unit.
2. Overlocking Made Easy
Overlocking is a huge pain point for self-storage facility managers. Keeping up with tenant payments and having to manually lock and unlock each delinquent unit requires time and attention that could be used elsewhere.
With Nokē Smart Entry, overlocking is done automatically when a tenant misses a payment. Access is also restored instantly for your tenants once an online payment is made. This will save you and your customers from having to deal with the frustrations that go along with manually overlocked units – giving you more time to grow your business.
3. Better Security
Security is one of the biggest concerns for both customers and self-storage owners. Traditional locks leave units vulnerable to being broken into as they can be cut or removed. Industry leading smart entry systems have electronic locks inside every door—making break-ins from lock tampering virtually impossible.
Each unit is equipped with thermal motion sensors that detect any unusual activity, which helps further prevent break-ins and eliminates tenants living inside of their unit.
These features help put you and your customers’ minds at ease knowing their goods are safe and secure.
4. Differentiate Yourself from the Competition
Customers are drawn to the latest technology these days and have come to expect this type of convenience in their day to day lives. Why not provide this same level service and convenience for self-storage?
This system truly provides a fully automated rental experience – they pick their space, select their insurance level, sign a rental agreement, and pay for their unit completely online. With a digital key sent directly to their smartphone, tenants can instantly access the facility and their unit and move right in.
The increased security and convenience that the Nokē Smart Entry system provides will drastically improve the overall customer experience, setting you apart from your competition. In fact, many facilities are even charging higher monthly rents for their smart units and renting them up at the same rate or faster than their traditional units.
5. Data Collection
Using cloud-based technology lets you know who is coming to your facility and at what times, all while keeping a detailed record of how long each tenant stays at their unit. This kind of data can help you spot when a tenant might be getting ready to move out.
Knowing when and how often tenants are coming to your storage facility might also help you determine special offers to keep customers around or attract new ones.
6. Overhead Cost Reduction
A smart entry system is also a smart investment for your business as it will reduce a number of costs for your self-storage facility. Having a smarter security and access control system that is integrated with your property management software means it isn’t always necessary for an employee or manager to be on-site.
During the build phase, working with a single supplier for access control and partitioning reduces installation time, cost, and the overall project timing.
Time is money and the less time you have to spend solving old problems at your facility is more time that can be invested in new business.
Credit: Janus International UK Ltd