With the events of 2020, many self-storage businesses moved to a more contactless operation in order to be able to continue to serve customers and meet the demands for storage. Because of the jump to remote work and school, many new customers needed storage options in order to create work and school environments within the home and store items they didn’t need at the time. While many industries were struggling, the need for storage options remained strong. In 2020, the self-storage industry saw a vacancy rate of just 8.3%.

According to the Storage Café, 1 in 3 Americans utilize self-storage. With the need for storage so great, it makes sense for owner-operators to consider trends in business operation as a way to offer options to new customers.

Out of an abundance of caution, in 2020, businesses searched for ways to protect their employees as well as customers. With limited contact options less available at the time, the tech solutions began to grow. Many customers have since embraced online or contactless options for rental. Some individuals still prefer to limit contact as much as possible.

The most popular contactless features include:

  • electronic leases
  • online payments
  • online reservations
  • move-in

While not all self-storage operations are comfortable or ready to move to a full contactless operation, the trends in 2022 indicate that customers are ready for it. Because they need storage and demand for it remains high, some are willing to reserve and commit online when 3 years ago, they would not.

Business owners will still need to facilitate the day-to-day operations of their business and provide on site customer service as needed. There will always be customers who prefer an in-person experience though that may continue to shift over time.

Additionally, business owners will have to engage with customers in other ways to provide that meaningful connection in order to keep them. As costs rise across the board for most industries, prices will change as well. Maintaining a relationship with customers will keep them loyal to your business. Social media is a great tool to facilitate that.

As the Argus Self-Storage Network Affiliate for the state of Florida, Weaver Realty works with entrepreneurs every step of the way. We provide guidance and instruction on managing your business as well as moving toward a contactless self-storage. Our goal is not just to get you started in business as a self-storage owner, but to help you operate the best self-storage business. We are ready to help you get started today. Call us at 904-733-0039.