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Remote Move Ins

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  • Remote Move Ins

    Hi again! (we have a staff meeting later today, lol, i'm gathering as much info as i can in advance for a few Agenda Items )

    is anyone out there doing Remote Move Ins using eSign leases?

    the owners and i have discussed this idea a few times for the 400-unit self facility that i manage. we also asked about how facilities make this work during a session at the ISS Expo in Las Vegas last spring but we didn't get a lot of useful information. we are about to switch over to eSign leases permanently and the owner is investigating the possibility of offering remote move ins via our website.

    my main concern (as the one who is in the office day to day and has firsthand experience of the **vast** array of real live people who wander in asking about available storage units) is having some total tweaker or creeper complete the online move in process (remotely) then show up at our office with the UHaul and disc lock, all ready to move in! yeeps!

    we do reserve the right to NOT RENT storage units to folks who give off a bad vibe or are obviously dealing with a narcotic addiction (i think everyone can relate to this! when i started i wanted to be all social justice and rent to EVERYONE, no matter their circumstances -- after a few terrible experiences that resulted in evictions and police activity, i am now Very Careful who we allow the privilege of renting at our property and "in my backyard," literally!)

    any input on your perspective or personal experience with implementing remote move ins at your self storage facility would be fantastic, thank you!

  • #2
    My web site has the availability to rent a unit. Not reserve but rent only. I mark all open units damaged in my system so they don't show at the web site. I require a call/conversation with the prospective tenant before I free up the unit and allow the web site rental. I had my share of bad tenant move ins before I started doing this. I screen heavily before a rental, even if they are local. Spidey senses on high alert. I would rather have an empty unit than a full one with a tweaker in it. Allowing warm bodies to fill units, no matter what, is an invitation to problems and being on a first name basis with the patrol police. I have other tenants to look out for here besides renting units. You are right to be leery of the negative possibilities. I would just about bet, I could be wrong, that this is not talked about at the Expo when remote web site rentals are discussed.
    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"


    • #3
      We do allow folks to "move in on line"
      However, they will receive a message in red letters that there are some exceptions and rules.
      They are told that if they are moving in after hours or on a weekend, that they will still need to come to the office to provide us with a current ID and that they need to get their access code and sign the lease.

      By these folks "renting on line" basically, they fill out their contact info and they pay too!

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


      • #4
        Technology is wonderful and it is a great selling point but you should know who you are renting to. If you rent to Ms Jones because Mr Davis wants to break into a bunch of unit or cut the lock & take his stuff before he gets sold at auction you really don't know who you are renting to.

        We have the capabilities to rent the unit online and on occasion I will. However, prior to the actual move in, they must come to the office during business hours with ID and I can make a copy, show them where their unit is and get the gate code. This way I can see who I rented to and make sure it matches up. Remind them of the rules. So far I have been lucky and no bad experiences but I want to see them and if I get one that I get nervous about I will keep an eye on them.

        The future depends on what you do in the present.


        • #5
          Same here, can't get to the unit till I see and copy valid I.D., show them the unit and go over facility policies and if I get a hint of problems I just shut the rental down and tell them I am not comfortable renting to them. I have done it 2 times in 4 years here. I have had 3 back out when they see I mean business about what is allowed around here. I have to have a very open conversation with them before I even release a unit for rental at the web site.
          "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"


          • #6
            We've been doing online rentals for 2 years now...have rented about 150 units online, no problems. None of them have ever gone to auction, and rarely is one of them late. We do make them pay the balance of this month and all of next month when they rent maybe it's the financial requirements that weed out the crazies.

            I have rented quite a few units to crazy people in person during my 15 years in this business. Problem is, just because they come to the office to rent, doesn't mean that they can't pretend to be normal long enough to rent a storage unit.

            And if anyone has a kiosk, there doesn't seem to me to be much difference between letting someone rent a unit on a kiosk, versus their cell phone. Any kiosks have been all over this industry for more than 10 years.


            • #7
              excellent input, thanks so much to all of you for chiming in! i really like the idea of making any online renters pay the second month up front. i feel that will definitely help weed out a lot of the crazies!! and of course always making sure to screen by phone and then in person before allowing them access to the property and the unit. thanks again!

              do any of you use Sitelink and do you know if they have a remote move in option that is easy to plug into an existing website? i will contact them and investigate our options, of course, just wondering if anyone is currently using their software for online move ins.


              • #8
                we have our own software that works with Sitelink. Our customers can also purchase insurance (and our program emails an insurance app to the Insurance company automatically) along with a copy of the policy to me and the customer. We can also load any discounts up on it, so my customers can pay 6 months, get 1 free, or pay 10 months, get 2 free at the time of the online rental, or they can just pay for any more additional months they want.

                They sign on their cell phone screen, tablet screen, or laptop using their finger or their mouse, and it emails both me and the customer a copy of their signed rental agreement. They can also sign up to go on autopay. And they get a gate code and unit #.

                I know some people don't like the whole concept, but I'm a huge fan. I have had zero problems with online renters. Since we are the only ones in the area to offer it, we capture the entire market after working hours, and most places here are closed on Sunday, so we get those rentals as well.

                And I don't seen any difference between online rentals and kiosks.I have had people pull in to the parking lot at 7 pm, not realizing the office was closed, and rented a unit on their cell phone and went straight back and unloaded their U-Haul.


                • #9
                  I'm old fashion. I want to see the face in the place before I rent to them. I want to see the customers fill out the rental agreements in their own hand writing as Prima Facie evidence. I want to see the drivers license with photo and a credit or debit card. Self storage facilities are not just prime places to steal from but to store stolen items. We have had our share of warrants served over the years. Even doing it this way I really get tired of hearing "but I thought" so I can't imagine dealing with people that rent on line.


                  • #10
                    I had an on line rental last night folks!
                    He was successful in his payment and he even picked a $32 per month insurance plan!
                    Imagine that!
                    We called him 1st thing this morning, instructing him that he still needs to please come to the office with his ID and that he needs to sign some things.
                    He came within 15 minutes.
                    We showed him to his unit.
                    He came back to the office, signed the insurance form, showed the DL for us to copy and he purchased his lock and some retail!

                    You create the rule managers!!!
                    Our on line move in's are about 10% of all our rentals, across 12 locations!
                    They can be successful, when YOU create the rules and follow them!
                    Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.


                    • #11
                      Lady I have a question, if I rent online and then I still need to come in and sign papers why not just rent the unit when I come in.
                      Janice - Maxi-Space Storage and Business Solutions


                      • #12
                        I can't speak for the people that actually complete the move in on line.
                        I try and ask questions when they do come
                        Like my new tenant tonight, he had NEVER stored before!

                        I imagine that the new generation of folks, they are more tech savvy and do EVERYTHING on line!!!

                        Hey, I got a new renter and had to do very little to get the rental, if you know what I mean!
                        Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.


                        • #13
                          Let's just hope the new tenant is not going to end up on Judge Judy with you.
                          "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"


                          • #14
                            My newest on line renter did in fact show up, he supplied his ID, signed the protection form, updated his access code AND he went on auto pay!

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


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