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  • Security system/Management Software

    I am working on developing a Self Storage facility and am currently examining options for both security systems as well as management software. We are looking for the best options with the most features, ideally making it as easy as possible for customers to pay online and gain entry to the facility. So far I have been looking at PTI and OpenTech systems for the security side, and StorEdge and Storage commander for the property management. It also seems that 6Storage could provide a consolidated solution to both sides. Any advice on finding a good software option would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Hi Mikke,

    I'll abstain from mentioning anything on the management software side since I'm obviously biased on the subject, but here's a link to an article published in last year's ISS magazine, "A Modern Guide to Choosing Self Storage Facility Management Software" that could possibly give some insight on things to look for.

    As far as access control goes, PTI and OpenTech Alliance are both solid providers. Can't go wrong with either of them.
    Kevin Kerr
    Storage Commander Cloud Software
    k[email protected]
    Direct - 951.867.4732

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    • #3
      I use Storedge at one of my properties and it is a nice program but I wasn't too please when they were bought out by Sparefoot.
      I also use Syrasoft and I am VERY happy with them.

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      • #4
        I've been running PTI and Storage Commander for many years now, they've both been bulletproof. The people at Storage Commander actually listen to my suggestions and treat me like a big player, although I'm a sole proprietor of only one facility and 400 units. SC just came out with a browser based interface too, now I can run the facility from my PC, Mac, or iPad.... from anywhere.

        Using SC and PTI I've processed payments, updated customer info and interfaced with my gates from the beaches of Costa Rica, Maui, Kauai, Fiji, Cozumel and from as far away as Manila and Tokyo.
        In no way affiliated with Storman software.

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        • #5
          We inherited WebSelfStorage run by Uhual when we purchased our business and I hate it. If there was any easy way to change over without having to contact tenants for credit card info I would do it in a second. I also see someone else commented their system is run by Spare Foot. I tried Spare Foot when we first took over the business Feb 2019 and hated them. So there's some info on what NOT to use!

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          • #6

            Originally posted by StorageBrett View Post
            We inherited WebSelfStorage run by Uhual when we purchased our business and I hate it. If there was any easy way to change over without having to contact tenants for credit card info I would do it in a second. I also see someone else commented their system is run by Spare Foot. I tried Spare Foot when we first took over the business Feb 2019 and hated them. So there's some info on what NOT to use!
            It's difficult depending on what software provider you have. We have agreements with some providers like Sitelink to share information for conversions in order to make transitions easy for users. That way if a customer comes to us from Sitelink or vice versa, we are able to bring over 95% of the information, including credit card data in most cases.

            Unfortunately, that's just not the case with all providers and some like WSS don't give any access to data. In situations like yours, we usually just suggest sending out an email to customers to update their credit card information online to ease the process. The problem is, if you're not happy with them now (chances are) you're not going to be happy with them 5 years from now either. So I guess you have to weigh out what's worse, changing or staying with them forever.

            Kevin Kerr
            Storage Commander Cloud Software
            k[email protected]
            Direct - 951.867.4732

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kevin SC View Post


              It's difficult depending on what software provider you have. We have agreements with some providers like Sitelink to share information for conversions in order to make transitions easy for users. That way if a customer comes to us from Sitelink or vice versa, we are able to bring over 95% of the information, including credit card data in most cases.

              Unfortunately, that's just not the case with all providers and some like WSS don't give any access to data. In situations like yours, we usually just suggest sending out an email to customers to update their credit card information online to ease the process. The problem is, if you're not happy with them now (chances are) you're not going to be happy with them 5 years from now either. So I guess you have to weigh out what's worse, changing or staying with them forever.
              Thanks for the input, you are absolutely right about not being happy 5 years from now! I would consider switching in the spring next year, but unfortunately I just have too much on my plate right now.

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              • #8
                Mikke1243
                Disregard if you have your camera security system already covered. Realize you were just asking about software.
                You might check how your Customer Insurance is tied into your billing/management software, if your looking at customer ease.


                Our security guy just moved us to UniView tec hardware and NVR systems. They are working fine, but not saying you need to change. Here are some features you might check with you supplier on. I love features of this system. It is very illogical using it, feels like a programmer versus a user designed.

                This is our new facility and we are planning for expansion. The NVR NR12816 is built for 128 channels, we have used about 60. We go with one camera per 6 units. Its a big selling point and the cameras are so cheap now. Another differentiator. Switching our other locations to this as we age out or add.

                a. Put a bullet camera over your keypad in/out for a facial shot. Realize the PTI has a pin hole camera built in, I would go with consistent software. Also with this camera, you can both Record/hear the user, and also speak back to them. Again, keeping these functionalities to one system. Make sure you put a sign telling them, they are being recorded visually and vocally.
                b. Use a Special license plate camera IPB2447M both coming in and out. Has to be a specifically built camera for License plates. Can see through headlights and taillights and glare. More pixels doesn't matter, it has to be specially built.
                c. Motion sensors- by camera IPB436 be able to dial in the "size" of the object to register. At our current setting our Rottweiler doesn't register, but we do. When snow or blowing rain gets close to the lens, it will set off, because it looks large.
                d. Motion Sensors- by camera you can highlight areas you want to register. At our front entrance cameras they project out over the road and across the field. We were picking up cars on the highway 200 yards away. Turned off the highlight in that area.
                e. Motion sensors- on another Topic, the person noted they had to look through their cameras to see who moved into a unit without turning in a contract. He spent a lot of time looking over his camera system. Get a system that shows a date and timeline, that shows "orange" highlight anytime there is recorded movement. It makes it a lot easier to review 24 hours of film. We used to have to look for was the rope handle in or out, leaves or grass in front of a door moved, lock broken into or not. A lot easier to look at the orange timeline and just look at those motion logs.
                f. Motion sensors- this can be done on any system, just food for thought. My wife gets a ping on her phone every time the front gate opens. She can view all cameras anywhere in the world. We can set the "back" cameras where someone might break in, to send us a motion ping, between the hours of xx to xx.

                There is a reason for each of the above items, even with a PTI system. 1. Can you identify them?, 2. Can you find them?, 3. Did they actually go into "that" unit?, 4. Did your NVR memory bank time out, before you knew you had a break in? Without these, your city or county attorney won't prosecute.


                There was a well responded to Topic on unit numbering somewhere. For kicks you might show your layout and ask the group how they would number. It was amazing how much thought and good ideas was generated in one day on that topic. Example: Should you do 001 or just 1. Will you have other locations? Multistory? RV/Boat storage also? etc.

                Good luck on the project.

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