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Is renting storage spaces considered "essential"?

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  • #16
    All my rentals have been online for the last year. Best thing I ever did. I've only rented 2 units in person and one of those I'm getting ready to auction.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by bnr_manager View Post
      You know what's really interesting to me -- I got so many older people today who came into this office as if it's no big deal and like their a$$ wasn't on the line here. Pretty much every single request for a relatal (in person in the office) was someone over the age of 60.

      Eventually, pacnwstorage is right, I started getting those types of calls:
      "What storage do you have for rent?"
      "What size are you interested in?"
      "Any size! Need it right now!"
      Basically a red flag. So I stopped saying that I had anything. Will think about it. Probably will start renting to existing customers only for the time being of this 2-week quarantine to minimize this stupid attitude. I seriously haven't had a decent lead today. Only those "don't care" idiots.
      The older tenant types have no one at home and are really wanting to talk to someone. I get it but I have to watch out for me as well. Yea, "any size unit you have". Not gonna fly. If they ask for any size I ask what is going in the unit and then I pay real close attention. I want details and not general statements like, "just household stuff". I then throw out a size and a price and ask when they need it because I am full and can put name on waiting list. Then I never call them.
      "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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      • #18
        We are renting new units online only at this time. If someone had issues we finished the process over the phone. I have also told my current customers that only phone, online or drop box payments will be accepted this month.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by twotoejoe View Post
          All my rentals have been online for the last year. Best thing I ever did. I've only rented 2 units in person and one of those I'm getting ready to auction.
          All of them? Wow. It must be specific for your geographic area. Can I ask what service online are you using for that? And what size city are you in?

          I mean, how would you even explain the rules of the site when you rent online. Or, not even "explain" but make sure that they understood it and not just checked the box. In our case, if we were renting it all online the site would literally be filled with homeless people. I'm not kidding.

          We have online requests when people can fill out a form but they still have to come to the office. And if they show up and something stands out, I will tell them "sorry, it's just a request for the unit. I don't have anything available."

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          • #20
            Originally posted by bnr_manager View Post

            All of them? Wow. It must be specific for your geographic area. Can I ask what service online are you using for that? And what size city are you in?

            I mean, how would you even explain the rules of the site when you rent online. Or, not even "explain" but make sure that they understood it and not just checked the box. In our case, if we were renting it all online the site would literally be filled with homeless people. I'm not kidding.

            We have online requests when people can fill out a form but they still have to come to the office. And if they show up and something stands out, I will tell them "sorry, it's just a request for the unit. I don't have anything available."
            I can't speak for twotoejoe, but I don't believe I've ever had a shady tenant that came from an online lead. They're almost always walk-in or phone leads and want to pay in cash (which obviously they can't do online). Not saying it can't happen, of course, but it doesn't seem to fit the pattern in my experience.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by RMRSS View Post

              I can't speak for twotoejoe, but I don't believe I've ever had a shady tenant that came from an online lead. They're almost always walk-in or phone leads and want to pay in cash (which obviously they can't do online). Not saying it can't happen, of course, but it doesn't seem to fit the pattern in my experience.
              Yeah, I see your point. Although it probably depends on the geographical location of the storage site.

              Walk-ins are easy to handle. Those "red flags" usually give you a hint right off the bat. Anything from using a foul language to describe what they need, or saying "I need any size" or something like "I need to put away someone else's stuff" -- if I hear it, I usually try not to rent to them.

              With online, in our case, it seems like everyone has those cheap disposable phones these days that they can use to fill out a form using a one-time gift card from WalMart and here you go, they have a storage. But then they never know the gate hours, our other rules, or that they can't hang out the whole day onsite, or it seems like half the city starts using their gate code. That kinda thing. Although again, in our case we're in a relatively small city (about 50 thousand people) with a large number of homeless people and a bad drug problem. So that probably makes a difference.

              Although my worst ones are the phone inquiries. It's hard to tell just by hearing someone's voice. So you may tell them, yes, I have the unit that they need. (Or, they may have someone else call. Like some manager from another storage site that tries to get rid of them (side note, PLEASE don't do it to other managers!) or that phone answering service (Insomniac or whatever it's called -- they seem to say "yes" to anyone who calls) and then when the person shows up you kind of already committed. So that bit me many times before.

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              • #22
                I've been wearing my mask and gloves while renting "in person." No online rentals allowed, and system not set up for it.

                Interesting...few people in this area are practicing social distancing, though I'm seeing more people wear masks and gloves.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by bnr_manager View Post

                  All of them? Wow. It must be specific for your geographic area. Can I ask what service online are you using for that? And what size city are you in?

                  I mean, how would you even explain the rules of the site when you rent online. Or, not even "explain" but make sure that they understood it and not just checked the box. In our case, if we were renting it all online the site would literally be filled with homeless people. I'm not kidding.

                  We have online requests when people can fill out a form but they still have to come to the office. And if they show up and something stands out, I will tell them "sorry, it's just a request for the unit. I don't have anything available."
                  All but two. Never had an online rental go bad. If they don't have a credit card, an email address and a cell phone I don't need them as tenants.

                  BTW, the one that past due came by today and paid in full, including next months. That seems to happen when they are locked out of the unit.

                  Oh, and I use Easy Storage. Love it!
                  Last edited by twotoejoe; 26th March 2020, 10:25 PM.

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                  • #24
                    We're in Florida, and although our corporate office staff are all working from home at this time (a stay-at-home order was issued this week for the county the corporate office is in), there has been no change to our (store level) day-to-day business. We have lots of locations, and business is still coming in every day. I have suggested and requested that we remain open but with our doors locked, renting online and/or through emailed documents as well as manning the phones, and even a creative solution to those needing retail products, but so far there are no plans to do anything like that.

                    We are nearly out of gloves, wipes and hand sanitizer--they probably won't last the weekend. We are advised to maintain 6 feet between ourselves and customers, but when pressed for a guideline as to how to accomplish this when completing rental paperwork, there's nothing.

                    I didn't even realize that not all of our locations are set up for online rentals until I started visiting the individual store pages yesterday. I'm sure that's part of the hesitation to this sort of limitation in business.
                    "Anything worth doing, is worth doing right." ~Hunter S. Thompson

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                    • #25
                      So far, everything I have seen here in PA we are an essential business.
                      If you think about some of your tenants, we have had tenants that repair gas pumps and other repairs needed for a C-store chain in the area, a tenant that repaired ATM's, and don't forget the pharmaceutical representatives. That is just a few that I can think of now. We have no idea what some tenants store that may be essential.
                      Joe Krezdorn
                      DAK Self Storage
                      Leesport, PA 19533
                      www.dakselfstorage.com

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                      • #26
                        According to the Federal Guidelines, Storage is an essential business in all states. We have locked our doors and tell everyone that we are doing business online and by phone. If they want to make a payment, we remove the cash from the drop box after they have left and handle everything with gloves. This is keeping us safe so far.
                        Throw kindness around like Confetti - But don't get glitter in your eyes!

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