Most people use self-storages to get rid of items they don’t necessarily need, but are too financially or emotionally valuable to be thrown in the trash. We can say that self-storages in United States aren’t used to their full capacity. Due to advanced technology today’s storage units are equipped with air conditioning, high security cameras, alarms and cloud technology. With all this tech, self-storages reached new heights of security and convenience. In this article we’re going to review some of the latest innovations in self-storage business.
Green energy efficiency
Self-storages today are not dark and poorly ventilated spaces. Storage owners are quickly embracing green technology and installing energy efficient climate control systems, which keep storages dry and mold free.
In order to prevent water from entering the storage, some entrepreneurs are utilizing storage tops covered with vegetation, which also serve as a high R value insulation. Others are installing solar panels, which power storage lighting and air conditioning systems, and sometimes even generate surplus electricity, which is then sold to utility companies.
Recycled materials are widely used in storage construction. Many storages are made of recycled steel and fly ash (which is a concrete byproduct). Since these units have very low construction costs, their owners are able to offer much more affordable prices to their customers.
In Breaking Bad, Walter White used self-storage to store tons of cash, which was seen as a very risky move. Today, this could be a very good decision. Security is a number one concern in a self storage business. Most self-storages are run by on-site managers who live in an apartment inside the storage facility and guard it 24/7. Some self storage facilities also hire armed guards and install complex alarms and CCTV systems.
High-powered security cameras are usually run by third-party surveillance contractors, who can quickly notify the police and fire brigade in case of a break-in or fire. Since terrorism became a major threat to self storage facilities, entrepreneurs also started using Qualified Anti-Terrorist Technology (QATT) for defending their businesses from terrorist attacks. Some storage’s also have thumb or hand print verification technologies, proximity card access and individual alarms.
New and advanced self storage solutions also offer various new conveniences to their customers. Today the majority of these facilities have self-service kiosks where people can register and pay for their unit at any time of the day. Online registration and payments are also very common. On self storage websites, customers can open their accounts, review, rent or pay storage spaces and get discount codes and special deals.
Managing self storage facilities
Managing self-storages also changed since the ‘60s when these facilities became popular. Entrepreneurs are now hiring third-party cleaning and security companies in order to relieve themselves from these duties and offer high quality service to their customers. All documentation needed for running a self-storage facility, including clients’ records is now kept in cloud environment and can be uploaded and checked on the spot.
Besides the on-site manager, modern storage facilities often employ an IT and security experts, who deal with security system problems 24/7. Some entrepreneurs, on the other hand choose to outsource these tasks to specialized security and surveillance agencies.
Self storage facilities drastically improved in the last few decades. They are becoming more popular due to increased mobility of the working people and the divorce rate, which is continuously growing. Popularity of self-storage facilities is also fueled by highly popular reality TV show, called Storage Wars, where professional buyers buy storage contents based only on a 5 minute inspection. Due to increasing popularity of e-commerce, self-storages can also become more interesting to e-commerce entrepreneurs, as warehouses and distribution centers, from where they will ship their goods.