When it comes to finding Mini Storage Software there are many options to choose from. It can almost be compared to buying a car. You have to decide among the thousands of options what you really need and also what will really work for you. Do you need a car, truck, or van? Big engine or good gas mileage? Red or Blue? Mini Storage Management software is the same. Do you need a web-based program or stand alone? What about websites and credit card processing? Do you need 100 reports or just the main ones? When it comes to Mini Storage Software there are bunch of programs to choose from with a wide variety of bells, whistles, and costs.
The first thing you need to do is determine, what are my needs? If you are running a chain of Mini Storage Facilities with multiple managers and personal your needs will be more demanding than if you are an owner operated facility with 150 units. This article has been written to try and shed some light on a few of the most important features your Mini Storage Software should have to keep up with technology.
1- Credit Card Processing - Now days credit card and debit card processing is becoming one of the best ways to generate new business, collect more money, and automate the management of your storage facility. Your Mini Storage Software should have the ability to connect to your merchant account through whats called a "gateway". Once your Mini Storage Software has been connected to your merchant account you should be able to set your tenants up on automatic recurring billing. This has been found to be one of the greatest time reducing strategies in managing a storage facility. Your software will save the tenants credit or debit card on file and charge it automatically each month. Credit card processing for your Mini Storage is essential to automating the management process as well as attracting younger tenants such as students and young couples.
2- A Website Integrated With You Mini Storage Software - I hear more and more every week of storage facilities cutting their advertising budgets for the Yellow Pages and Phone Books. Now days you almost always have to have a website as part of your marketing mix. Internet users are increasing every month in the U.S. Why do I suggest this as part of your Mini Storage Software? Because if your Mini Storage Software is integrated with your Website you will have the ability to rent units online, take payments online, as well give your tenants their own online account that they can check balances and print invoices. These features are important when looking into getting Mini Storage Software.
3- An Online Tenant Account - Another important feature that your Mini Storage Software needs is the ability for your tenants to have their own online account. This account is unique to each tenant and allows the tenant to go to your website and login. Once they are logged in they can make a payment, rent another unit, reserve a unit, print their invoice, and view their current rental situation. This is important because this can cut down on calls to the manager about needing to make a payment over the phone, finding out what unit they are in or what gate code they have, and wanting see their account statement to make sure everything is correct. The more tools that that you can give your tenants to take care of themselves the less time and money you have to spend doing it.
4- Email and Text Message Reminders - Now days it seems like almost everyone has either a cell phone or email address. Utilizing these new methods of communication can again save your facility time and money. One of the most important features your Mini Storage Software should have is the ability to send an invoice reminder each month via email or text message. It has been calculated that after the postage, envelopes, paper, ink, printers, and time, it costs roughly $2 per month per invoice sent. This means if you have 150 units you are on average spending $300 a month to send paper invoices to your tenants. This cost can completely be done away with by sending your invoice reminders each month through the email or text message.
5- Online Rental Capability - And last but not least Mini Storage Software should have the ability to rent storage units online. This feature means that your Mini Storage Software needs to be connected to your website and know what availability you have. Prospective tenants are more likely to rent a unit from you if your website and Mini Storage Software give them the ability to make that decision right away on the website as opposed to calling or waiting for a manager to call them back. A Mini Storage facility is getting closer to being ran like a hotel booking or airline booking. People want to find what they are looking for, make the decision, and pay all in the comfort of their own home on their own computer. The younger generations go the internet for almost everything and very few even own a phone book. This feature can increase rentals to your facility as well as cut down on time spent moving people in and sorting paperwork.
These top 5 things are very important to have when looking into purchasing Mini Storage Software. They can greatly reduce the time and money it takes to manage a storage facility.