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5 Challenges You May Face While Managing Your Self-Storage Business Remotely

With real estate becoming expensive in the US, most Americans struggle with space issues these days. Both homeowners and business owners fall short of space and experience difficulties in storing their belongings. The concept of self-storage emerges as a savior, enabling people to store their stuff safely and without missing out on flexibility. 

According to a recent survey, one in five Americans uses self-storage to address their practical needs for extra space. Business owners can make the most of the opportunity as the industry is projected to grow from $58.26 billion in 2019 to $72.15 billion by the end of 2029. The pandemic fueled the popularity of the remote self-storage business model, offering the benefits of flexibility and convenience to owners.

Despite these pros, running your business remotely can be challenging because this industry does not operate like conventional workplaces. In this article, we will highlight the five challenges you may encounter while managing your self-storage business remotely and share some viable solutions.

Challenge #1: Security Concerns 

Big-city crime in the US was rampant in 2023, with shoplifting and smash-and-grab robberies reaching billions of dollars. The threat is even bigger for self-storage facilities running remotely. Remote management results in vulnerabilities in monitoring and responding to threats promptly. The risk of security breaches like break-ins and unauthorized access runs high without physical oversight.

You can overcome this challenge by investing in comprehensive security systems equipped with access control mechanisms, alarms, and surveillance cameras. Remote monitoring tools can help you keep an eye on the facility through mobile apps. You can hire local security personnel for regular patrols and emergency response. Consider it a small investment to safeguard your customers’ assets and business reputation.

Challenge #2: Maintenance and Facility Upkeep

Like any other commercial establishment, self-storage facilities require proper maintenance and upkeep. Customers expect a clean and well-organized space to store their belongings, so falling short may translate into lost business. However, managing maintenance tasks remotely is easier said than done because you are not present on-site to address issues. 

A 3rd-party self-storage management service provider is the best solution to this concern. You can rely on them to do the heavy lifting of weekly onsite maintenance duties. These include keeping facilities clean, cleaning out vacant units, placing overlocks, and addressing minor maintenance issues. With experts managing these tasks, you have peace of mind about regular upkeep and emergency issues. 

Challenge #3: Customer Communication and Engagement

According to Zendesk statistics, 75% of consumers are ready to spend more with businesses offering a good customer experience. Customer experience essentially includes good communication, engagement, and support. The question for remote self-storage business owners is how to ace the CX front when a lack of face-to-face interactions presents communication barriers and hinders personalized engagement.

Copper Storage Management recommends outsourcing call center setup and management services to address this challenge. Utilize various communication channels such as phone calls, email, and live chat to stay connected with customers. With someone always around to answer calls and emails, customers will be happy even in remote settings. 

Challenge #4: Rent and Payment Management

Another problem you may face when running a remote self-storage facility relates to managing rent collection and payment processing. Many times, you may struggle for timely payments and financial stability.  Without physical presence at the location, the entire process can be cumbersome and error-prone. 

Once again, collaborating with a third-party management service can be an ideal way to handle these functions. Alternatively, you can implement automated rent collection systems to set up recurring payments. Remember to set up alerts and notifications for overdue payments to avoid delays and missed payments.

Challenge #5: Regulatory Compliance and Legal Obligations

The self-storage industry has to comply with regulatory requirements and legal obligations. These include zoning laws, rental agreements, licenses, insurance requirements, and tax obligations. Businesses need to follow them to operate responsibly. However, adhering to complex regulations and ensuring compliance remotely may pose significant challenges.

Not staying updated can compound the risk of penalties and potential liabilities. Partner with legal advisors who specialize in self-storage regulations. They can help you stay informed and compliant with legal obligations and compliance requirements. Also, review and update agreements and legal documents to reflect current laws and regulations.

In conclusion, managing a self-storage business remotely is not easy, but the flexibility and scalability this business model offers, make the effort worthwhile. Awareness of these challenges enables you to define viable solutions to overcome them. You can rely on this guide to create a strategic roadmap to run your remote self-storage business successfully. 


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