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28 Dec 2020

Trends and Tips for Self Storage Payments


Holly Fiorello

Director of Marketing

Debt collection is often the most unpleasant part of any business. Aside from managing cash flow, establishing a process and making ends meet, you’re faced with other unforeseeable outside challenges. Some tenants pay on time, some pay late, and some simply don’t pay at all. With the build up of varying circumstances, it can be difficult to determine the best approach for your business.

Zoom into the bigger picture and ask yourself; is my collections process effective? Is it driving revenue in an efficient manner? If you’re hesitant, it may be time to refresh your procedure. With our guidance and resources, we’re here to walk you through best practices in the industry to improve your collection process.

1. Standardize your process. Manual or automated, keeping consistency in your routine is essential. After all, collections aren’t a one-off event. Through standardization, you’ll form better time management and provide a better customer experience, all while keeping your staff productive.

If you’re not already using automation in your self storage collections strategy, a surefire way to strengthen your process is by assessing time spent on collection activities. Use automation through various channels like text, email and phone as a supplemental tool for on-site staff. By eliminating monotonous tasks like invoicing and rent reminders, they’re able to spend less time dialing for dollars and more time focusing on closing rentals.

Now more than ever, customizable messaging should also be a staple feature within your collection process. In the second quarter of 2020 we saw a drop in collection events, including payment-reminder texts, calls and emails, in an effort by operators to lead with empathy through the onset of the COVID. Eventually, the number of events bounced back and many were able to easily adjust their tone and messaging. Messages like “Pay now: Upcoming Rent Payment Due” were softened to “Friendly Reminder: Upcoming Payment.” Especially during our current environment it’s important to stay flexible and transparent to provide the best possible customer service.

2. Encourage auto-pay enrollment. Take a look at Netflix or Amazon, or maybe even your gym. The convenience of auto-pay enrollment is transforming the way people pay bills, and eliminating the hassle of paying on time. Despite the uncertainty of the economy we found a 48% increase in auto-pay enrollment year-over-year for July.

In addition to your own financial benefits, tenants are freed from the burden of recurring payments. In the age of virtual tech, convenience is the name of the game and automation is helping improve the overall customer experience.

3. Empower tenants with multiple payment options. Like mentioned above, convenience is key. Tenants are actively searching for more convenient ways to pay. As we, consumers ourselves, continue to adopt new payment methods into our daily lives, we begin to expect them elsewhere. Through different payment options, whether it’s mobile, email, or pay-by-phone IVR, your convenience to your customers is the most essential part of your collection process.

Through our data, research, and expertise, we hope to have uncovered a few ways to rethink and improve your collection procedures. Staying competitive through new tools and technology is proving to pay off, especially as we grapple with the ever-changing circumstances of our current environment. Story provided to Radius+ by Call Potential Thumbnail: Image by Pixaby

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