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  • Seeking advice for new facility

    Hello,

    I am new to the self storage business, and appreciate all the advice thus far! I have building a new facility with 100 drive up units of varying sizes. I have two initial questions if I could ask some advice?

    1. Should I allow the storage of vehicles (cars, motorcycles) inside units? Pros/Cons?

    2. Should I use a self-service kiosk for rentals? My rental software (ESS) has a nice online rental portal, but just wanted some opinions?

    Thank you in advance!

    Mike

  • #2
    I store boats, auto, motorcycles. I also have a clause in my contract about storing gasoline.

    Good Luck on new adventures

    Comment


    • #3
      Most facilities allow vehicle storage. Issues to be aware of:
      - Lien/auction process is different for property with a title. Laws vary by state but you should be familiar with them to ensure you are collecting the correct information up front.
      - Leaks... if it's got oil in it, there is a good chance some is going to leak out. I ask my tenants to place a pan under older vehicles, and I try and make a point of putting vehicles in units that I know have a stained floor already when possible. People moving furniture don't want a grease stained floor.

      Whether or not to use a kiosk really depends on how you manage it, and what the expectation is in your community. For a small facility such as yours, the kiosk hardware and service costs may not make sense. But it's a good idea to have a master plan that includes it so that as you grow, you'll have a traffic pattern that will support it. I did not put in a kiosk at my facility in the first two phases (163 units total now) but I am adding a gate, fence and kiosk with my 125 unit expansion. You need to plan out the kiosk and gate so that potential renters can stop outside the secure area and rent a unit, and also so that they can turn around and leave (even with a uhaul) if they pull in and don't rent.

      Comment


      • #4
        We require vehicles to be running and currently registered in the state of WA. now, if you want to avoid broken down junk you'd be wise to require running, up to date registration and insurance as well. However, when you use a kiosk you lose control for renting to people with vehicles and every kind of broken down piece of junk can and will be stored without supervision. Also, make sure you check your lien laws to see if you can just have it towed when it's past due or do you have to go through the entire lien process to get rid of the piece of junk in a unit.
        90% of what you're stressing about now won't even be relevant in a year. Breathe easy. ~Wesley Snipes

        WA State

        Comment


        • #5
          If you store vehicles be prepared for people to haul project cars in when you're not watching. So get to know your local salvage yard, and who they use to process vehicle liens so you can get rid of the junk in your units in a timely manner. The vehicle lien is a tedious process and worth the $100 most charge to process the lien and do all the paperwork for you.
          Gina 6k
          twitter.com/GinaSixKudo
          VM: Four-Oh-Eight- Seven-Eight-Oh-Eight-Oh-Seven-Nine
          storagebizhelp@gmail.com



          You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!
          I am not an attorney, just an experienced manager who is willing to share what I have learned. Your thoughts, practices or opinions may vary and neither of us may be right.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you for the input!

            Comment


            • #7
              One other question worth asking...any opnions on offering Tenant Insurance Policy vs. Tenant Protection Plan?

              I have read several articles/posts and realize they are two distinct entities. Just curious as to whether one is more commonly used over the other, and perhaps some recommended companies?

              Thanks,

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by delavanti View Post
                Hello,

                I am new to the self storage business, and appreciate all the advice thus far! I have building a new facility with 100 drive up units of varying sizes. I have two initial questions if I could ask some advice?

                1. Should I allow the storage of vehicles (cars, motorcycles) inside units? Pros/Cons?

                2. Should I use a self-service kiosk for rentals? My rental software (ESS) has a nice online rental portal, but just wanted some opinions?

                Thank you in advance!

                Mike
                We allow vehicles to be stored inside the units. We ask that the customer put cardboard or plastic under the car to keep any liquids from getting on the concrete.

                I have 188 units at my facility and we don't have a kiosk. We will be adding an additional 92 units this summer and won't be putting a kiosk in. It's more important that you have a website where customers can rent a unit online (which you do) and that you answer the phones. There are ways to relay information without paying for a kiosk. We will be putting up an information board with how to rent a unit, who to call, how to vacant, etc. Almost all people would get on their smartphones to rent a unit even if a kiosk is in front of them! This is because they are comfortable with their phones and know what to expect.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by delavanti View Post
                  One other question worth asking...any opnions on offering Tenant Insurance Policy vs. Tenant Protection Plan?

                  I have read several articles/posts and realize they are two distinct entities. Just curious as to whether one is more commonly used over the other, and perhaps some recommended companies?

                  Thanks,
                  Tenant Insurance Policies are purchased by the customer on an individual basis. Tenant protection plans involve the owner paying for coverage on all units for the insurance coverage and then adding that amount to customer rent.

                  I have a tenant insurance policy company at my facility and they do an awesome job and follow state laws. Would love to get you in contact with them.

                  Comment

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