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25 Jun 2024

Unlocking Savings: The Cost Benefits of Switching to Smart Locks for Self-Storage Facilities


Mason Shaw

American Storage South & KISS Solutions

Embracing Smart Lock Solutions in Self-Storage Facilities

Self-storage facilities are evolving, embracing advanced technologies to streamline operations and improve security. One of the most transformative innovations in this sector is adopting smart lock solutions. These modern locks not only enhance the security of storage units but also offer significant cost savings. By switching to smart locks, self-storage operators can save money on maintenance, eliminate the need for cutting locks and replacing lost keys, simplify site audits, and reduce overall operational costs.

Maintenance Savings

Traditional locks require regular maintenance. Keys get lost, locks get jammed, and wear and tear necessitate frequent replacements. Each of these issues incurs costs, both in terms of materials and labor. In contrast, smart locks significantly reduce these maintenance requirements. For instance, our NFC OneLock utilizes Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to eliminate the need for battery replacements, unlike Bluetooth locks, and they do not require hardwiring, making them simpler to install and maintain.

The three configurations of NFC OneLocks—padlock, cylinder lock, and latch—are designed for durability and longevity. These locks are less prone to mechanical failure than traditional ones, further reducing maintenance costs. The initial investment in smart locks is quickly offset by the reduction in ongoing maintenance expenses.

Eliminating Lock Cutting and Key Replacement

One of the most common and costly issues in the self-storage industry is the need to cut locks and replace lost keys. Traditional locks often need to be forcibly removed when tenants lose their keys or fail to pay their rent, leading to additional labor costs and the expense of new locks. Over time, these costs outweigh the cost-benefit of buying traditional locks for cheap.

Smart locks eliminate this problem entirely. With digital access control, there is no need for physical keys. Access can be granted or revoked remotely, reducing the need for on-site interventions. This saves money and enhances security by ensuring that only authorized individuals can access storage units.

The only requirements for tenants to enter their unit are to download the mobile app and make current payments.

Streamlined Site Audits

Conducting site audits is necessary but time-consuming for self-storage operators. Traditional audits involve manually checking each lock and logging access events, which is labor-intensive and prone to errors. Smart locks simplify this process by providing digital access records.

Smart locks feature a lock log that records a digital fingerprint of all open and closed events, including the times and dates when the locks were accessed. This automatic logging makes audits faster, more accurate, and less labor-intensive. Operators can quickly access this data to verify access history, enhancing security and reducing the time spent on audits.

Additional Operational Savings

Beyond the direct savings in maintenance, lock cutting, and audits, smart locks offer other operational efficiencies. For example, they enhance customer satisfaction by providing tenants with convenient, keyless access to their units. This convenience can be a significant selling point, attracting more customers and potentially allowing operators to charge premium rates for units equipped with smart locks.

Smart locks also reduce the administrative burden associated with managing physical keys. There is no longer a need to track, issue, or collect keys, freeing up staff to focus on other tasks. This can lead to reduced labor costs and improved overall efficiency.

Additionally, at the tenant’s convenience, temporary key access is a key feature in the build-out of the lock functionality so that friends or family members can access the same space, offsetting any objections to shared space access.

Near Field Communication: The Key to Effortless Connectivity

One of the standout features of these smart locks is their use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. Unlike Bluetooth locks that require regular battery replacements or wired connections that involve complex installations, NFC-powered locks offer a hassle-free solution. NFC technology ensures that the locks are always ready for use without the need for ongoing maintenance related to a power supply.

NFC technology also enhances security by limiting the range within which the lock can be accessed, reducing the risk of unauthorized access. This technology is both secure and user-friendly, providing a seamless experience for both operators and tenants.

Versatile Configurations for Diverse Needs

The availability of smart locks in three different configurations—padlock, cylinder lock, and latch—ensures that they can be used across various types of storage units and doors.

This versatility means that operators can standardize their security solutions across their entire facility, simplifying management and enhancing security.

Enhanced Security and Accountability

Smart locks provide an unparalleled level of security and accountability. The digital lock log captures every access event, creating a comprehensive record that can be reviewed in case of disputes or security concerns. This transparency is invaluable for operators and tenants, providing peace of mind and a clear access record.

In the event of a security incident, the digital lock log can provide crucial evidence to identify when and by whom a unit was accessed. This can deter theft and unauthorized access, further enhancing the facility’s security.

Switching to smart lock solutions offers substantial cost benefits for self-storage facilities. Reducing maintenance costs, eliminating the need to cut locks and replace keys, streamlined site audits, and additional operational efficiencies make smart locks a wise investment. The use of NFC technology ensures that these benefits come without the hassles associated with battery replacements or complex installations. With their versatility in configurations and enhanced security features, smart locks are poised to revolutionize the self-storage industry, providing operators with a powerful tool to improve their bottom line and enhance customer satisfaction.

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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