The Self Storage Industry has been around forever now. Well not forever but the first recorded self storage facility dates back to the 1850’s, and the industry reached the United States in 1891. The self storage concept has been pretty simple and consistent all through history but as we are now seeing a influx of technological advances the self storage industry is changing with the times to compete with the new builds, stay relevant and make it easier to move in an pay rent at the end of the day. Not only does new technology add ease for the tenant, it has tons of applications to help storage owners succeed.
As the millennial generation moves into adulthood and are having to store their belongings, they want a fast and easy way to do so. They use technology for almost every aspect of their daily lives. Self Storage facilities are recognizing this demographic and some are adapting to the times to make it easier for their tenant’s experience as well as their own life. We are now seeing the whole storage process digitized either through storage kiosks for 24/7 convince reducing a managers workload or eliminating the position all together for an owner. Also, coming into play is an influx of mobile app platforms that take care of move in, rent, tenant communication as well as mobile access to units through digital locks.
As for owners, most are realizing the benefits of self storage technological advances in security, storage management software as well as robotics. Remote monitoring not only for security cameras but all moving parts of facility is available now. Owners can check their HVAC units and if maintenance is needed directly from their smart phones now in real time. Losing the the old written spread sheet and moving all you data tracking online creates better analytics for owners to review and make changes for the business with more accurate up to date results.
As for a more far fetch aspect of technology reaching the self storage industry, the robots have entered the building, literally. A French engineering company created Keylo , a robot that helps facility owners to remotely interact with their customers. Keylo serves in the sense of a self service kiosk but is able to move around on wheels where it can offer guided tours or better access an issue a tenant may have with their unit. The robot can move with the tenant to its unit and see the possible issue with the 2 way camera system. Keylo is interactive that connects to a live advisor that can answer questions or address concerns as well as digitally sign leases on the screen as well as retrieve locks. I wonder how far off we are to stream line the whole process digitally from begging to start.