Top 5 Features to Look For at a Self Storage Facility
Jon Fesmire | March 18, 2021 @ 12:00 AM
When it comes to finding the right self storage facility for your needs, you’ll want to look into a variety of local storage locations. It’s a good idea to compare prices, distance from your home or work, and what sort of neighborhood they’re located in.
Those are the basics and should help you narrow down your choices. However, you’ll also want to look at their features. We’re sure that at Storelocal, we have everything you’ll need, but we want you to feel certain. So, here are five important features that will help you find a great storage facility.
The biggest reason most people use self storage is to have a place to fit their belongings that don’t fit at home. The next reason, which is also critical, is to keep those things safe and secure. To that end, storage facilities employ a variety of security measures.
- A Wall or Fence
Any storage facility that has drive-up units will have a high fence or stone wall surrounding the facility so that people can’t just wander in or easily break in.
- Gated Access
If the facility has a wall or fence, it will have coded, gated access. Each tenant gets an individual code to enter and leave the property. Note that if the facility has indoor units only, there may not be a gate or wall. In that case, however, tenants must enter their code at each building door to enter.
- Good Lighting
Self storage facilities tend to have bright lighting outdoors and in, and these lights are usually motion activated, so as you enter a hallway, the lights come on to guide your way.
- 24 Hour Cameras
Any facility you choose should have cameras covering all areas of the property 24/7. Often, you’ll see a wall of surveillance screens in the office.
- An Alarm System
The facility needs an alarm system in case of break-ins. Some even have individually alarmed units. On the rare occasion that someone attempts to break into a unit, they’ll know exactly which one has been compromised, will catch it on camera, and can alert the police immediately.
Not every facility offers discounts, and whether they do or not shouldn’t be the only factor in your decision. However, it’s nice when they do. The sort of discounts you’ll sometimes see in the self storage industry include $1 for the first month, but you must rent for at least two months, or half price on the first or second month’s rent.
If you’re an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces, including in reserves, you will get discounts at most storage facilities, usually 10% off rent and often 10% off all merchandise. Just remember to bring in your military ID when you sign up. If you’re signing up online, they may ask you to upload or email a photo of your ID.
Whether the company you rent from has an outdoor kiosk or a Tenant Inc. Hummingbird monitor in the office, a self-service system makes a great addition to any facility. It gives tenants, both old and new, an easy way to rent a unit, to move to a different unit, perhaps large or smaller, and to pay the monthly bill. You can do these things online, over the phone, or face to face with a person, of course, but many prefer to simply drive up to a kiosk or use a screen in the office lobby to handle things quickly.
Think of this as similar to an ATM at a bank. You still get the experience of going to the place of business, which many people like, but you can take care of your needs in an automated way.
A few areas in the U.S. have such constant, steady weather year-round that climate control is a luxury. In most of the country, we would consider it a necessity, at least as an option.
Climate-controlled units are designed to keep your stuff in great shape no matter how long you store it. They keep the temperature between about 50 and 80 degrees and between 30% and 50% humidity. That temperature range may not be very comfortable for people, but for your goods, it’s just right and will keep metals from warping, wood from cracking, and more. Plus, the humidity range will help prevent mold because things won’t get damp, but will also prevent paper, canvas, wood, and more from drying out.
Online Bill Pay
Long gone are the days when you would need to go into a self storage office to pay or mail a physical check. Yes, you can often use a kiosk if that’s what you prefer, but you can also pay online via your computer or smartphone, and with your bank account or a credit card.
Plus, if you like, you can set up automatic payments. That way, you don’t have to remember this one bill every month and can easily avoid paying late fees.
What other features do you think are essential for a self storage facility to offer? Feel free to tell us in the comment section below.