The self-storage market is currently booming like no other in the PropTech world. And not without reason! The coronavirus pandemic had a great impact on our lives, and we humans had to adapt to the new reality. This new reality has also changed most of the industries that have had to adapt to the new requirements. The self-storage industry was quick to change and was able to meet the expectations of its customers, providing them with complete safety and comfort and a high standard of hygiene when using its services. Moreover, this also coincided with the ever-increasing changes in our society and the increasing demand for additional storage space - even if only for a short time. What exactly has been done to meet the current requirements and needs of customers? Has intelligent technology become a golden mean for self-storage providers and helped them to become a strong player in the real estate market?
Customers and their new requirements change the self-storage industry.
Self-storages providers must meet the needs and requirements of their customers - especially nowadays when they have become even more demanding.
Simplicity, flexibility, convenience and safety are certainly at the forefront. Customers don’t have the time or patience for endlessly long booking processes. They expect that the process of self-storage space booking and its payment goes online quickly and the access rights to the box should be directly available on their smartphone and secure as possible. Also, direct and contactless access to the self-storage box 24/7 - with the highest standards of hygiene - is today more important than ever before.
What exact changes in customer needs and wishes have developed in times of pandemic? And how quickly did the smart self-storage industry adapt or already have solutions for the rapidly evolving problems of users?
Intelligent solutions make self-storage spaces even smarter, more attractive and safer, aren't they?
Undoubtedly, smart self-storage spaces are way much better prepared for the new reality and customer requirements than those without implemented intelligent technology. Why? The answer is very easy. Thanks to smart solutions, all administrative or management processes of self-storage boxes went digital and thus became not only flexible but also hygienically safe.
What are the advantages of smart door opening without a key?
The keyless door opening system provides seamless and touchless interaction with the self-storage box as to unlock the box all you need is your smartphone app. The smart box door opens and closes automatically and locks itself again, so there is no need to touch the box. In terms of controlling smart-home elements such as light switches - these also do not have to be touched, as the lighting system in the self-storage box turns automatically on as soon as the door opens (due to integrated motion sensors) or the command is given via the smartphone app. Easy right?
Additionally, big smart self-storage spaces or smaller residential ones help people avoid unnecessary contact with other people, which is also an important aspect of the current situation. We don’t mean here our relatives, of course, 😉 but rather postmen, parcel or other delivery services, who can receive temporary access rights to our boxes and leave our orders there. This way we protect ourselves and prevent the further spreading of the virus.
“Guided virtually, using locally” - a new management path in Smart Self-Storages.
The app enables seamless communication and non-physical interaction between users and administrators of the building. It means that all parties are always and constantly digitally networked. And... it has several advantages!
Residential Smart Self-Storage or parcel boxes: especially in the pandemic times, they help to protect older or high-risk patients. How? Neighbours can be asked digitally, whether they can pick up parcels or do small errands. For this, temporary access rights can be quickly and easily assigned to anyone via the app and then removed again.
Big Smart Self-Storage facilities: The facility manager can also be digitally notified about any failures or defects around the facility. This way, he can quickly respond to occurred issues and fix them without getting into any physical contact with another person. How is it possible? He has an overview of the presence of anyone in a particular box or area. He can also disinfect the box before the customer’s arrival.
Another interesting solution which has been introduced and offered to its customers by our partner & customer, STORE ROOM, is a virtual tour through their facility. This non-physical contact concept is about guiding customers through the facility virtually, and showing them how they can use their boxes locally! That’s smart 😁
Contactless booking and cancellation process.
Another question that may arise is whether the entire booking and cancellation process of such a box can also proceed without any physical contact? Of course, it can!
Just as easily and quickly self-storage boxes can be booked online, they can be in the same way cancelled - which still does not put us at risk of infection.There is no need to hand over keys or sign documents, as access rights and off-boarding can be managed digitally via management platform. However, all these benefits are not only valid in times of Covid-19, but these are also the general terms when using self-storage or parcel boxes. As we believe that buildings should serve people and not the other way around, such aspects as user-friendliness, comfort, security and today especially hygiene are top priorities while digitizing all kind of buildings, Corona independently.
Today we can better see that intelligent technology and its smart solutions play a major role not only in facilitating our everyday lives but also protecting us! The smart self-storage industry has been able to adapt to the new suddenly emerging Corona-caused problems of customers - faster than any other industry.Their services, as well as their handling and management, maintain the highest hygiene standards and contact restrictions, and therefore have a unique selling point, especially in times like these. Therefore, it makes them more attractive to customers. For that reason, the smart self-storage industry is to some extent a winner of the Covid-19 crisis, because firstly, people need now additional storage space, and secondly, the management and the entire booking process is easy, secure and flexible. Together with smart-technology like the one of Sensorberg, self-storages are becoming future-fit, appealing and secure for today’s and tomorrow’s customers.
Sensorberg has already successfully equipped several Smart Self-Storage Spaces with its Smart Storage solution in Austria and Germany (including STORE ROOM and MyBox). Currently, the focus is on expansion into other countries, so that more digitalized Self-Storage Spaces will follow soon!
PS: Yes, our smartphone helps us to touch different things less and to maintain hygiene. However, do not forget to disinfect your smartphone once a day.