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Online Move-Ins. Yay or Nay? Pros and Cons

:)  Sitelink has just put out their push to add people-less (Online) move-ins as a way to better serve our customers.  I searched this database for opinions on Web Move-Ins.  It looks like from my search that in 2019, many if not most did not enjoy the prospect.  From overnight drug dealers plotting new spots, to just plain old bad customer service, electronic or web based Move-Ins has had its pitfalls.  In 2020 Covid changed how we do business, and then again, it did not.  We still prefer to spend the time with the customers to make them customers and not just numbers.  If you could list your pros and cons of doing business in the touchless world using web move-ins, I would appreciate it.  What are your experiences?  Thank you fellow Storage Pros.  :)
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Comments

  • ESSESS TXRegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 19
    We do not do online rentals. I prefer to communicate with the prospective tenant so they know how we operate, our property rules, gate hours, etc. I have only had to withdrawal a lease once and that was because the guy wanted to challenge all of our addendums. I advised him I would shred his paperwork and we just were not a compatible facility for him (he cussed me on his way out so we dodged a bullet there). During the time we had our offices closed, we still did move-ins via some email, our drop box, or I would step outside and talk to them. 
    Edited to add: We are in a rural town and half my tenants don't even own a smartphone or "do online" and still write checks 
    Angela Reyes
    www.rentess.com
  • BusyPropertiesBusyProperties ILRegistered User ✭✭
    We do not offer online rentals. I have had a few by mail after speaking with them on the phone. Otherwise all are in person. It is too risky! 
  • i43storagei43storage WIRegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    I do not do online rentals.  I have, however, been doing my rentals over the phone.  At least I get to hear the sound of their voice and, like @ESS said, explain the procedures a bit.  The main reason why I do not do online rentals is because I usually have a waitlist and I know who is next in line.  I would rather speak to the prospective tenant and get them on a waitlist than have them look online to see "no vacancies."
    Jean Marie
    I-43 Storage
  • GSI03GSI03 SCRegistered User ✭✭✭
    My company does online rentals, but I personally don't like it.  1) Only about 25% get the rental right and the rest have to come in to finish anyway.  2) If someone does an online rental they can't look at the sizes and know for sure if the one they have picked will work.   3) The computer picks the unit # and it may or may not be a good unit.  4) The company has decided that we will leave all our vacants unlocked and the tenants can move into whatever unit they want to, and anyone can leave trash in any unit.   I know there are locks that can be unlocked remotely, but we haven't even looked at those yet.    5) The computer cant offer any additional incentives to get a rental, or decide if I don't want that rental at all.
  • GM_SJ_BSSGM_SJ_BSS CTRegistered User ✭✭
    We currently do not do online move ins at this time.  I worked in one of the big box companies and I hated the online move ins, like mentioned above, unless the person has used storage before, they usually pick the wrong size unit and also mentioned above, here we have certain units we use for vehicles and certain ones for household items due to location/access ability to the unit.  Our units are all alarmed so we also like to express the importance of entering their access code and not follow anyone in or out due to unit alarms.  As well as the face to face meeting as in the 16 plus yrs I've been doing storage, you learn to go with your gut feeling on people and hard to do with online move ins.  I would also get a lot of people who would move in after hours and avoid coming into the office to complete paperwork, supply photo id.  We would have to overlock the unit, deny gate access just to get them to come in.  The big REIT are all on board with this, cause the greed of losing a customer and plus the big box companies will do anything to cut employee payroll for a manager free location to make their pockets larger.....I get in these day in ages, everything is going to contact-less, move ins, shopping etc...(I am guilty myself of ordering food etc. online to avoid store crowds, traffic etc.)  BUT I do refuse to use a self checkout as I try not to contribute more to someone losing their job.   I'm not 100% ready to give up people-free contact all together....Hate to blame the new generation but in my opinion its like they have no idea how to communicate to people in person, their faces are planted to their mobile devices and they literally have no people skills...its like a huge generation of feral kids...Just my opinion...
  • CoffeeZillaCoffeeZilla SCRegistered User ✭✭
    We do not do online rentals for multiple reasons. Firstly, a program can't tell if the potential customer is a heavy drug user, which a live manager can. Secondly, a program can't tell if a potential customer is just casing the place for future theft, which an experienced live manager can. Thirdly, if your site doesn't have a live manager, you'll still have to hire a cleaning crew to keep trash and debris from building up. The fourth reason is, who takes care of customers when they have issues like key loss, a manager who knows the area/clientele or a computer who can only say, "beep boop..."? The fifth reason has been touched on in earlier posts as well, even a marginally experienced manager's eye is helpful in determining what size unit is actually needed, and can rent them the correct size and location unit the first time. In this situation the program will have to be notified that a transfer is needed and it will take days if not a week to properly get the customer in the correct unit, which wastes the money and time of both the customer and company. They'll leave for another storage facility to avoid all these hassles, and then write a bad review online, which can happen if your company has a website or not. They'll leave a bad review on Google, Google Maps, and if they're mad enough, they'll create a page for your company on apps that function as online business reviews, JUST to badmouth your lack of customer service.

    Also, @GM_SJ_BSSGM_SJ_BSS said:
    ..Hate to blame the new generation but in my opinion its like they have no idea how to communicate to people in person, their faces are planted to their mobile devices and they literally have no people skills...its like a huge generation of feral kids...Just my opinion...

     How dare you. If the "kids" spend more time online than learning people skills, who's fault is it? Who raised them that way? Hmmm? You're talking about kids who've never held a job, and whose parents are too busy trying to survive with jobs that take all their time away from raising their kids. Everyone starts somewhere, and if you get ignored by a kid at their first job who is used to being disrespected by you boomers just for being young, I don't blame them. I blame their parents and all the rude customers who forget that they're new, everyone is new at one point, they're still learning, and they already don't care because your generation has been disrespecting them for years before they even thought of getting a job. What you fail to realize is that "these kids" DON'T make the decision to go paperless and humanless and contactless in the new business practices. You said it yourself,  GM_SJ_BSS said:
    , cause the greed of losing a customer and plus the big box companies will do anything to cut employee payroll for a manager free location to make their pockets larger.....I get in these day in ages, everything is going to contact-less, move ins, shopping etc...(I am guilty myself of ordering food etc. online to avoid store crowds, traffic etc.)  
     are what is to blame. Kids don't dictate company policy. Your generation does. If a kid is rude to you, your response to them can teach them how to be a better human. Every generation has a mix of those who want to be better humans, and those who've already given up. I always try to treat everyone equally and with the same amount of customer service that I'd like to have shown to me, because you have no idea what kind of day they've just had, and I choose to give people a chance to treat me like a human being.
  • GM_SJ_BSSGM_SJ_BSS CTRegistered User ✭✭
    Sorry CoffeeZilla  if I touched a nerve....THATS WHY ITS SAYS IN MY OPINION, so.... you don't have to agree with me, that's what is so great about this Country... we don't have to agree with or even like each other but we are all entitled to our own opinions....Oh and FYI  I'm not even a boomer yet LMAO still have over 10yrs before I am...so now what
  • GSI03GSI03 SCRegistered User ✭✭✭
    WOW
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