Self-storage is a stable and mature industry that benefits from a historically steady demand. But despite its maturity, the self-storage infustry hasn’t remained stagnant. The introduction of climate and humidity-controlled units expanded storage options for tenants. And security innovations like tamper-resistant padlocks and CCTV improved security for both tenants and their property.
Now, the self-storage industry is evolving again. Leveraging advances in internet-based technologies, self-storage is entering a new era characterized by smart devices and connected facilities. By taking advantage of advanced platforms and a constantly expanding range of smart connected devices, owners and operators are improving security and operational efficiency, while providing tenants with a much more satisfying customer experience.
What are smart devices?
Smart devices are the driving force behind the Internet of Things (IoT), a trend that is reshaping products across industries. The number of smart or IoT devices in 2018 totaled 10 billion in 2018 — a number that Gartner predicts will skyrocket to 25 billion devices by 2021.
So, what is a connected or smart device? A smart device connects to a network or other devices using wireless technology. Most connected devices offer advanced features that improve their functionality, enabling them to provide value both autonomously and via interactions with other devices.
In the consumer arena, smart devices and the Internet of Things are rapidly transforming customer experiences. For example, smart thermostats optimize energy efficiency and allow homeowners to monitor and control HVAC levels remotely using their smartphones. Smart refrigerators can even monitor the expiration dates of food items and notify the consumer when an item needs to be replenished.
Going forward, smart devices and IoT will become fixtures of everyday life. Why? Because these devices streamline ordinary routines, allowing consumers — and businesses — to perform common activities faster and more effectively.
Smart devices and connected facilities in the self-storage industry
Connected devices open the door to new opportunities in the self-storage industry. By outfitting facilities with smart devices and creating a connected network, owners and operators can significantly improve their ability to monitor and control key activities.
While smart technology may eventually be applied to nearly every device in your facility, some of the most common applications in today’s self-storage industry include:
- Access control keypads
- Wireless security cameras
- Power Monitors
- Facility lighting (indoor and outdoor)
- Smoke/CO2 alarms
Although smart devices can be applied in isolated use cases, the most effective strategy involves the implementation of a network of smart devices connected to a cloud-based central management platform. The result is a connected facility — an intelligent, technology-rich facility that delivers competitive advantage through improved operational efficiency, enhanced security, and a seamless tenant experience.
Implementing smart devices in a connected facility
The decision to install smart devices and create a connected facility represents a significant step forward for your self-storage operation. Operations that invest in smart technology and a robust management platform achieve substantial ROI through efficiency gains and revenue improvement. It’s not uncommon for self-storage operations to attract new tenants and increase occupancy through improved retention after upgrading to a connected facility.
Additionally, smart devices present a flexible and scalable solution to common challenges in self-storage. As your connected facility grows, you can easily add new smart devices, expanding your connected network to encompass a wider range of functions and features. The addition of a new device to the network is a relatively quick and hassle-free event. Rather than replacing major systems or implementing new software, you can simply add the new device to your existing network using wireless connections.
But like all major initiatives, the success of your connected facility hinges on the quality of the technology provider. It’s critical to partner with a provider with a proven track record in the self-storage industry. You should also look for a partner that offers a robust management platform capable of seamlessly adding new smart devices to the network.
It’s time to invest in smart devices and a connected facility
At PTI Security Systems, we know how to use smart devices and IoT to your advantage. As a pioneer in connected facilities, we understand the nuances of the self-storage industry — we know what your tenants expect and we’re experts at maximizing the competitive benefits a connected facility upgrade can provide to your operation.
Ready to learn more?
Let’s start a conversation about how smart devices and a connected facility upgrade can improve business performance and customer satisfaction in your self-storage facilities.