Transactions and Deals: April 02, 2020
posted on 4/2/2020 11:02:00 AM
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated adoption of online and over-the-phone self storage unit rentals to limit contact between staff and customers. A number of operators announced that their technology teams had built new processes for virtual leasing. Many storage operators are assuring the public with additional sanitizing efforts to limit the spread of the virus.
Here’s a sampling of ways self storage industry operators are responding to the crisis:
OpenTech offers free online rental tech to industry
OpenTech Alliance will provide its online rental software to self storage operators to rent units when their office is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The software can be quickly embedded in a storage operators’ website and be available to rent units immediately. The e-commerce platform, INSOMNIACTM Online, is available to storage operators free for 6 months.
INSOMNIAC Online is a cloud-based rental program that allows customers to select a unit, sign the facility's actual lease, pay for their storage space and then move-in, all from any Internet-enabled device.
“Self storage operators are doing their best to keep their facilities open for business while also limiting in-person interactions. The ability to rent units online could have a big impact for them,” stated Robert Chiti, Chairman and CEO of OpenTech Alliance.
CubeSmart rolls out interaction-free rentals
CubeSmart has introduced the ability for customers to rent a storage unit without the need to interact with others in-person. Available at CubeSmart stores in New Jersey, and soon to be available nationwide, customers can now complete the rental process and gain access to their storage cube with a few steps over the phone and online.
“CubeSmart is pleased to offer a way to continue to provide outstanding customer service while promoting social distancing,” said Christopher P. Marr, president and CEO of CubeSmart.
CubeSmart’s technology and operations teams collaboratively developed the capability in a short timeframe. Under CubeSmart’s contactless rental process, customers can bypass the rental counter and proceed directly to their storage cube.
Self Storage Plus offers remote leasing
Self Storage Plus in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, has introduced a remote leasing option to serve as a convenient and safe alternative to lease a storage unit amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“In just a few short days we built a new process that emphasizes safety while maximizing responsiveness to the community,” said Mike Anthony, executive vice president of Self Storage Plus.
Virtual leasing can be accessed by visiting the Self Storage Plus website, selecting the desired location and reserving a unit or calling that location. The rental process will be completed virtually.
Simply launches online rentals
Simply Self Storage has launched its "Simple Rental" online rental capability for customers. In testing and development since December 2019, this new functionality allows customers to securely, easily and quickly rent a storage unit using their computer, tablet or mobile phone.
Customers renting a storage unit via "Simple Rental" can skip the line in the store and instead use a one-page checkout process online. Customers choose a secure lock at each location, select from insurance plans and sign up for auto pay.
Store Space begins touchless rentals
Store Space Self Storage is using its Storage360 property-management platform to launch a “Touchless Rentals” program at all locations, effectively allowing customers to rent a unit and move in without the need for any face-to-face interaction.
In addition to implementing “enhanced” cleaning and sanitation practices at its properties, the company launched the new program as part of its initiative to protect customers and employees during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
New Store Space customers can complete their rental leases online and move into their units without meeting with facility staff in person. Existing tenants can also manage their accounts and make payments online. The process can also be handled over the phone.
“Our customers rely on us, either as a facility for essential business needs or simply to store vital household goods,” said Chris Harris, CEO. “We needed to find a way to provide the same level of access and customer service while limiting exposure to COVID-19 for both customers and employees.”
Store Space operates 30 facilities in 12 states.
Guardian limiting contact with public
Guardian Storage, which operates 25 self storage facilities in Colorado and Pennsylvania, is working to ensure employee and customer safety during the coronavirus pandemic, including a contact-free rental and move-in process for customers and remote-working solutions for staff. The company’s entire portfolio remains fully operational.
“With the help of a new software system, we’re able to manage inquiries and call-backs remotely, take payment over the phone, and provide new tenants with the information needed for a seamless move-in, including their access code and a map of the property to show exactly where their unit is located,” said Steven Cohen, president.
Metro Storage expands online and phone services
Metro Storage LLC, has expanded its online and phone-based services to enable contact-free rental process for customers during the coronavirus crisis. Initiatives deployed across the company’s portfolio allow tenants to select and pay for a unit, complete their rental paperwork, and manage their accounts online.
“Metro Self Storage already had phone and online rental options in place for several years, so we were able to easily modify our existing rental process to make it contact-free for our customers,” said Marc Harris, vice president of operations. “The percentage of online rentals has doubled in the past two weeks.”
Headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois, Metro Storage operates 140 self-storage properties in 14 states.
Tags: online rentals
, social distancing
, covid 19
, Metro Storage
, Self Storage Plus
, Simply Self Storage
, Store Space Self Storage
, Guardian Storage
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