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4 Small Facilities, Do I really need software?

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  • 4 Small Facilities, Do I really need software?

    Hi Everyone,

    Long time reader, first time poster. I am loving this forum, I spend at least an hour a day reading it. Thank you, everyone, for the community. I hope to be able to give back one day.

    My brother and I just bought our first 44 unit facility last month and we have an LOI out on 3 facility portfolio with the biggest one being under 200 units. None of the facilities are manned and two don't even have fences.

    The previous owner of the first facility was doing everything in excel and passed on those excel files to us. The current owner of the 3 facility portfolio is also renting apartments and is using apartment rental software to keep track of the storage units.

    With all that said do we really need software or can we do it in excel with 4 facilities all under 200 units? We both are very excel savvy. I would hate to spend $100 a month or more on something that's a fancy version of excel.

    If you think we need the software can you please let us know what it can do for us?


    Last edited by Amy_ISS; 16th March 2018, 10:39 AM. Reason: Typo

  • #2
    I think the software is worth its weight in gold. The integrated payment processing, text/email reminders and receipts are extremely valuable in keeping tenants current. The reporting is also very useful. While there are some bells and whistles you may not need I can't imagine running one facility, much less multiple facilities without it.


    • #3
      Yeah, no question in my mind. You need software and the extra money you make my managing rates and saving time is going to pay for it and then some.


      • #4
        First: Welcome to the forum.

        Second: What redbird and Steve said.
        "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"


        • #5
          As a vendor, obviously I am a bit (completely) biased on the subject but there is definitely many benefits to using management software for your situation. In your particular situation especially, site to site control would really bring the properties together while centralized analysis tools such as multi-site reporting would give you a better overall view of your income and tenant trends.

          You mention that the sites also don't rely on on-site management at the moment, so introducing online rentals, payments, and reservations will not only be a great tool for your tenants but also minimize the possibility of human error (it happens, hey no judgement) and replace the tedious manual inputting that is currently in place.

          There are many many software solutions available that are within your budget. to be 100% honest, we have some clients that have facilities with > 20 units that just want all of their customers on auto-pay (do it, great idea) and just sit back and collect the revenue. It's all going to be up to you how you want to manage your facilities, but ignoring the tools available to you is something I would never recommend.

          Hope this helps and welcome to the forums bcollett
          Kevin Kerr
          Self Storage Software by Storage Commander

          Direct - 951.867.4732


          • #6
            Software is the way to go, you have so many things you can do with it. E mail, texting, E-sign leases, etc..etc.etc.
            Dave (Woodee) Scott


            • #7
              bcollett Do you really need it? No.

              If you're an expert in Excel and enjoy doing all the data entry, analytics, inputting all customer info into a separate doc, then by all means.
              Are you using Salesforce to keep up with all your accounts?

              Perks of using management sofware:
              *Central hub that holds all customer information within a secured database that you are able to access remotely.
              * Real-time data input. Logs account activity to each individual account (notes, payments, account changes, updates, modifications, log on history, etc etc).
              *Historical data of revenue, accounts receivables, occupancy statistics, marketing, bad debt, exceptions, etc etc.

              I highly recommend using some type of management software, there are many out there to choose from. We use SiteLink. The advantages are highly beneficial & peace of mind has no price tag.


              • #8
                Our facility has over 80% of our customers on auto-pay. All rents are due on the 1st of the month. On the first our software runs all of the auto-pays, emails receipts to everyone who has email, prints receipts for those who don't have email all before I come to work. It also does all of our closing info, does bank deposit, and emails owners the daily report automatically every day. I love it!


                • #9
                  UNCLE...UNCLE...from reading it looks like sitelink is used by a lot of folks. Is there web version good? And will they move on price for multiply small facilities?


                  • #10
                    If you want reasonably priced software check out 6storage. I believe I pay $29 a month and it includes a website, ability to take credit cards, etc. I'm sure it doesn't have all the bells and whistles some of the higher priced software does but it does everything I need it to do. When pricing this software make sure you ask about yearly technical support contracts. Some of them really gouge you with that additional charge. 6storage has unlimited support for free.


                    • #11
                      Shop around for software. Most offer a demo you can use. I created the questionnaire for when I was shopping around. Feel free to modify this to suit your needs. In the end, we went with StorEdge.

                      Attached Files
                      Adam Harris
                      Store More Mini Storage
                      Rogersville, TN


                      • #12
                        I have a love hate relationship with site link web edition. However it is more love than hate. Some things need redone or changed, but overall it is worth the money you spend. It is a you get what you pay for situation.


                        • #13
                          Went with Easy Storage. So far so good. But we have a ton to learn. If anyone has Easy Storage tips & Trick please send them our way...


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bcollett View Post
                            Went with Easy Storage. So far so good. But we have a ton to learn. If anyone has Easy Storage tips & Trick please send them our way...
                            How much is this software ?


                            • #15
                              I believe that it depends on your requirement, Just ask yourself two questions

                              - Do you invest a lot of time to manage billings and payments, Would saving time be a better option for you?
                              - Is keeping a track of real time data vs Dues, Late Fee and reminders tough? Would Automation make things better?

                              There's tons of software vendors in the storage community now and it all comes down to choosing the one that suits your way of operations better, Just have in mind to try out the software on a trial before choosing one. Deciding to go with a software will always be a worthy investment always, as you do have options ranging from $29.99/month to $320/month.


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