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  • Locks on or off?

    Upon opening the facility I was wondering what the protocol is for a facility and its locks. Do you typically have locks on each and every unit and have a lock box with all the keys in it? Or would you leave the units unlocked until they are rented? I have gone back and forth on this.

  • #2
    Originally posted by StorageBee View Post
    Upon opening the facility I was wondering what the protocol is for a facility and its locks. Do you typically have locks on each and every unit and have a lock box with all the keys in it? Or would you leave the units unlocked until they are rented? I have gone back and forth on this.
    All of my vacant and ready to rent units are locked with a managers lock.
    I am not certain of your question about a "lock box and all the keys in it" though.

    It is always best for the empty, rentable units to be overlocked.
    This is to ensure that no one will utilize this empty unit by mistake or on purpose, by putting items in the unit, putting a lock on the door and then you, the manager have no way of knowing what is inside and who did what, without having to cut the lock.



    Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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    • #3
      I use colored locks. As soon as unit is vacant I put a yellow lock. Once I clean/spray and bait the unit I replace the yellow lock with a green one. That way I know the unit is ready to be rented. That way I never mistakenly show a potential customer a dirty unit.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by evets View Post
        I use colored locks. As soon as unit is vacant I put a yellow lock. Once I clean/spray and bait the unit I replace the yellow lock with a green one. That way I know the unit is ready to be rented. That way I never mistakenly show a potential customer a dirty unit.
        We do the same here. Green locks are for empty ready to rent units. Yellow locks need to be repaired or cleaned. Red locks are overlocked.

        Our empty units are always locked with a managers lock. If not someone might accidentally move into that unit, use it for their excess stuff that didn't fit or sometimes when they move out they just shove the crap they don't want in it. It is a hassle when there are items in a unit that magically appear and you don't know what to do with them.

        We do not keep customers keys to their units. I wouldn't want anyone to say that I went into their unit and looked around or took something. I wouldn't want to work in a place that had access to customers units.
        The future depends on what you do in the present.

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        • #5
          I do a lock check each and every day and know what is empty and ready. typically I have less than 15 units or less available, depending on time of the month. I use a plastic/wire padlock seal on the empty units. I haven't had any problems of people trying to get in to them for whatever reason. Katy bar the door if I do though.
          "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by lady5563 View Post

            All of my vacant and ready to rent units are locked with a managers lock.
            I am not certain of your question about a "lock box and all the keys in it" though.

            It is always best for the empty, rentable units to be overlocked.
            This is to ensure that no one will utilize this empty unit by mistake or on purpose, by putting items in the unit, putting a lock on the door and then you, the manager have no way of knowing what is inside and who did what, without having to cut the lock.


            Ok so the lockbox is what someone told me that I needed to get to keep track of all the keys that would be used for these said locks on the units. Well we have almost 500 units. My eyes got really big when they were explaining this to me as I would have to keep up with 500 separate pairs of keys. I figured that there had to be an easier route therefore this is why I started this topic. I felt kind of dumb asking this question but again this is all new to me so I figured what better way to find out then to ask the people who know.

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            • #7
              You should be able to get large sets of matched locks with the same key that opens all of them. My late/lock out tenants get that type of lock with one key fitting all the same locks.
              "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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              • #8
                We don't lock our empty units, we put the yellow seals on them once they are cleaned and ready to rent. That's because we do online rentals and if someone rents a unit on a Sunday when we area closed, they need to be able to access the unit.

                Anyone who has a kiosk has to do it that way too. When a new customer comes to the facility, they bring their own lock and key. Not sure why you would need to have keys to the units. Either use seals, or put the same lock on every unit so one key opens them all.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by StorageBee View Post

                  Ok so the lockbox is what someone told me that I needed to get to keep track of all the keys that would be used for these said locks on the units. Well we have almost 500 units. My eyes got really big when they were explaining this to me as I would have to keep up with 500 separate pairs of keys. I figured that there had to be an easier route therefore this is why I started this topic. I felt kind of dumb asking this question but again this is all new to me so I figured what better way to find out then to ask the people who know.
                  There are no dumb questions, and frankly everyone does this business differently.

                  In my opinion you only need a few keys, one for your red overlocks, yellow vacant locks, and maybe the green ones if you have that system. You sell or give away (after charging admin fee) a new lock to every client and it is theirs to keep. Everyone gets a new shiny lock, they see the lock and three keys coming out of the blister pack, and we are all 100% clear that I do not have a key nor responsibility for accessing their goods. Disc locks are the most common type, Chateau 970 is the model I use and have had no problems with. I stock it in both single and double keyed alike packs.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lisa T View Post
                    We don't lock our empty units, we put the yellow seals on them once they are cleaned and ready to rent. That's because we do online rentals and if someone rents a unit on a Sunday when we area closed, they need to be able to access the unit.

                    Anyone who has a kiosk has to do it that way too. When a new customer comes to the facility, they bring their own lock and key. Not sure why you would need to have keys to the units. Either use seals, or put the same lock on every unit so one key opens them all.

                    At one of our properties we do online rental which I hate btw...But for that property we keep 2 units of every size unlocked for the online rentals. At that property we use Storedge so it will default to the lowest numerical numbered unit for online so we only keep those unlocked.

                    If leaving your vacants unlocked is working for you great. I used to leave them unlocked myself but I had a mystery unit about 15 years ago. What a pain in the a$$. Never again!
                    Plus if an owner or district manager find a mystery unit before you do it puts you in a awkward position to have to explain even if you did nothing wrong. Many property manager have been terminated in this industry because of mystery units. A lot of crooked managers have kept units out of the system and collected cash on the side for them.

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                    • #11
                      We haven't had any problems with mystery units. However, unless you are there 24/7 locking up units as people empty them, you are always going to have a few vacant units with no lock on site, depending on how long it has been since your last walk.

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                      • #12
                        That is why I even do a lock check on my days off. I always know what is open and what is not. Plus, I feel safer knowing all of this.
                        "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by StorageBee View Post

                          Ok so the lockbox is what someone told me that I needed to get to keep track of all the keys that would be used for these said locks on the units. Well we have almost 500 units. My eyes got really big when they were explaining this to me as I would have to keep up with 500 separate pairs of keys. I figured that there had to be an easier route therefore this is why I started this topic. I felt kind of dumb asking this question but again this is all new to me so I figured what better way to find out then to ask the people who know.
                          Chateau sells "manager, keyed alike locks"
                          The only people that will need this key is YOU and any office staff.
                          Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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                          • #14
                            We do not lock our empty units, reason being we operate all our locations from a call center and kiosk. If we had onsite managers we would over lock our empty units. It would save a few mystery tenants, but not a lot over the years. As owners we save a lot of money by not paying an onsite managers.
                            Woodee

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                            • #15
                              The old owners here never locked empty units. When we took over, may of the empty units had stuff in them. Took us months to get everything straightened out. What a mess, never again. We lock each and every unit once it is vacated.

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