It would be an understatement to say technology is constantly disrupting the way we interact with the world. Technology has shaken industries to their foundation and revolutionized the relationship between consumers and businesses. Everything seems to be managed remotely these days — but even self-storage facilities? Keep reading to see what I mean.
Even when you consider how we rent movies. Blockbuster, a staple in American homes, went completely out of business because they couldn’t keep up with the new age of streaming services. Another example is ATM’s. Remember, when the thought of getting money from a machine, rather than a human being, sounded crazy? Now, I bet you take out money from a teller maybe 1 in 20 times.
Technology Knows No Bounds in Industries
In my prior practice of orthodontics, I can see similar trends as orthodontists move away from braces in favor of clear aligners. Even now, I think it’s probably a 50/50 split with braces slowly falling off the bandwagon.
Consider the role of artificial intelligence, digital communications and remote management on how we live our lives. You’ll see it clearly: technology permeates every good or service we engage with.
Just think about a few decades ago. The idea of self-driving cars, online retailers delivering our packages via drones, and even self-checkout counters seemed like something from a sci-fi movie.
Yet today, this is our new norm. I’ve even read about assisted living communities experimenting with how artificial intelligence can improve care for clients in ways humans can not.
The speed at which technology moves and consumer expectations are both increasing yearly. And because of this, there simply will not be enough qualified humans to work in the traditional roles as before. Change is inevitable, whether we like it or not.
In many cases, technology vastly improves the quality of the products and services we all enjoy. For example, a robot played an important part in building your car. You may even know someone who received a medical surgery with the assistance of a robot. It’s easy to see how in these cases, technology improves quality, accuracy and sterility.
What Does Remote Management Have to Do with Self-Storage Facilities?
Still, there is plenty of question and controversy as to the integrity and propriety of taking humans out of the equation. When it comes to self-storage, can clients really expect the same quality experience if technology manages everything entirely? Will it actually help or harm the customer experience if there is human presence?
If you’ve visited as many storage facilities as I have, you will probably agree that the general customer experience at any self-storage facility is anywhere from mediocre to horrible. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for.
On the whole, self-storage personnel are under-trained and underwhelmed. They probably want to do better, but simply are unable given the facilities and resources available to them. It’s no surprise that the more humans there are, the more human errors will occur. And, to be frank, from the consumer side, sometimes it’s just annoying to have to interact with a human. Especially if the alternative is getting the same job done better, faster and more efficiently without.
For our self-storage project in Fultondale, our management team will consist of highly paid and highly trained team members. Our model includes a white-collar manager who also has incentives of compensation programs that tie to moving the revenue needle on our units.
This individual will be managing 10-12 facilities simultaneously from a virtual location. If you think about the nature of self-storage facilities, most people do not need to speak to a person in-person with storage, EVER! They may need to speak to a person virtually, if they’re opening a new account or have an issue. But as far as in the flesh personnel, there’s never really a need for that. The only personnel we need on-site are cleaning and maintenance.
Why Remote Management Actually Does Work
From our perspective, remote management lends a hand to better customer experience. As technology revolutionizes the world around us, why shouldn’t self-storage, too?
We’re excited about this development and the opportunity to not only build a better physical space for customers, but also a better customer experience. Thanks to the management structure, we’re confident our team members will be more efficient and enthusiastic, with the skills and equipment to make our facility successful.
Still having trouble wrapping your mind around the virtual/remote management model? Check this OnGuard video that describes a smarter self-storage model that enhances customer experience by increasing security, convenience and quality.
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