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11 Dec 2023

A Digital Revolution: The Biggest Impacts of Technology


Mason Shaw

American Storage South & KISS Solutions

The self-storage industry has witnessed a transformative wave of technological innovations in recent years. However,2023 brought about one of the most significant leaps in the evolution of self-storage facilities. This is in part due to the vast option of vendors with a low adoption threshold for owners and operators interested in transitioning to automated solutions. From advanced security solutions to streamlined operations, this past year has marked a turning point in the industry’s history, with technology leaving a lasting impact on its landscape.

Leading the charge in significant impacts are the following:

Smart Access Control

One of the most substantial technological advancements in the self-storage industry in 2023was the widespread adoption of smart access controls through smart locks and gate access. These technologies have transformed how tenants access their storage units and facilities. Using smartphone apps, tenants can now securely and conveniently access their belongings. This not only enhances security but also simplifies the user experience, attracting more customers and increasing occupancy rates.

Advanced Security Solutions

Over the last 22 months, advanced security solutions powered by technology have become a cornerstone of the self-storage industry. AI-driven surveillance cameras, facial recognition software, and smart alarms have significantly improved security measures. These innovations not only deter potential thieves but also provide tenants with peace of mind, making them more likely to choose a facility with cutting-edge security features.

Remote Management Platforms

Usage of two-way video communication has been widespread throughout the U.S. Market, with many already established forms of automation pivoting to include the feature. This newest addition to the repertoire of automation has allowed owners and operators to keep the human element alive by placing their strongest managers and district managers in a position to communicate in real-time with tenants and continue strong customer relationships. As an added bonus, the data points created through these interactions allow for upper management to monitor facilities in a way that has not previously been possible.

AI-Powered Customer Service

AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants have become integral to the self-storage customer service experience. In 2023, these tools reached new heights in terms of sophistication, providing instant support for tenant inquiries, reservation bookings, and even account management. This improved customer service not only reduces the workload on staff but also contributes to higher tenant satisfaction and longer ‘open’ hours to remain competitive, leading to customer retention and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Data Analytics for Business Insights

In 2023, data analytics tools played a vital role in shaping the self-storage industry’s future. Facility operators started using remote management platform tools to pull data such as foot traffic, rental conversions, customer communication points, and more to gather real-time insights into occupancy rates, pricing strategies, and customer behavior. By leveraging this data, self-storage businesses can make informed decisions about staffing, hours, and automated support that maximize revenue and optimize occupancy rates, creating a more efficient and profitable operation.

To conclude, the impact of technology on the self-storage industry in 2023 has been nothing short of revolutionary. From enhanced security and streamlined operations to improved customer service and data-driven insights, the industry has finally chosen to harness technology’s potential to provide better services, attract more customers, and remain competitive in an ever-growing marketplace. As technology continues to advance, the self-storage industry can anticipate further innovations, making it an even more efficient and customer-friendly sector in the years to come.

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 team@kisssolutionsusa.com . To reach out to Mason, email her at mason@kisssolutionsusa.com

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