Evaluating Self Storage Software
How do you go about evaluating Self Storage software? Where do you start? Here is our top 10 guide to help you assess Self Storage software for your Self Storage facility.
- How big do you plan to be?
What are your growth plans? Have you build a new facility with multiple stages that will be staged over a number of years based on growth? Do you have plans to build more than one facility? Do you run a small facility that has no potential for growth? Working out your growth pattern is essential before you make any assessment of Self Storage software.
- How many people do you think will need to use the software?
This might seem like a silly question but not all Self Storage software is the same. Web based software gives operators almost unlimited choice in the number of users as opposed to traditional server based and PC-based software which may have additional user restrictions and may cost a lot more to add additional users.
- What do other operators use?
This is not always a great test of how good Self Storage management software is as every Self Storage operator operates differently and your needs may differ from the facility that you might be comparing your needs with. The other operators needs and growth may differ from yours, meaning that their recommendation may not suit your business. However, at the same time, if your competitor is using a universal tactic that would work for any storage facility, such as listing their website on a ‘compare storage prices website’ it could be worth investing in the same platform. Other operators can provide insight into the service that is provided by a Self Storage software company: a significant criteria for any purchase. Be wary of specific advice that says use “XYZ storage because it’s the best”. It might be for them, but they could be out of date and operating using old software!
- What specific features are essential for me?
Just about all Self Storage software bills clients on a cyclical basis whether it be monthly, weekly, fortnightly etc. Not all Self Storage operators operate in the same way and it’s important that the software that you choose allows you to plan your day as you would have it. Undertaking daily software tasks is something that every Self Storage facility that uses software has to do; understanding that you want to do this to your timetable rather than the software’s timetable is essential. Do you have specific language support?
As an example if the software requires you to process all of your letters and payments and charges prior to starting each day might mean that you have to conduct this process prior to opening as it is common for keen storers to turn up at your store right on opening, more often than not wanting to rent a space or purchase merchandise. Nothing can be worse than having to wait for the software to run through its procedures prior to you being able to make a sale. Controlling the daily processing of these software tasks should be your decision.
- Payment processors make a difference.
Modern day Self Storage sites take Internet payments and customers expect this. There is a cost for you to transact this business with a third party payment processor and your bank and these costs range anywhere from 1 to 4%, depending on who you use and the deal that you have struck. An essential element of your choice must be to use a software package that gives and delivers choice of payment processor. Without choice you are locked in your particular payment processors terms and charges and more often than not the software provider is receiving a portion of those payments on an ongoing basis, increasing the cost of you to deliver Internet and credit card payment services.
Choose a software vendor that delivers choice for payment processors which means that you can shop around for the best deal for credit card transactions. This can add up to many thousands of dollars per year and should form a major part of your decision-making process about which software you pick for your facility because these ongoing charges over the life of your facility are significant.
- How do I manage more than one facility?
If you’re growth plans include adding an additional facility, it will soon become evident that you need an overriding software package to help you manage both sites. Pick a Self Storage management software package that can provide an external “Home Office” or corporate control package.
If you decide to use a corporate control package, check to see if the package can deal with promotions, security and rate control across all of your facilities. Not all corporate packages can do this.
- Should I pick a web-based software or client base software?
When Self Storage software was first created in the late 80’s the only choice was to install a software package onto the computer and use it. With the creation of the Internet and cloud-based computing opportunities were created for being able to deal with some of the stumbling blocks of PC-based software which included multiple users and expansion and most importantly backup. With cloud-based software backup is not an issue as the backups are server side in the cloud, saving you time and money. Most top accounting software worldwide is cloud based.
- What support will I get?
Traditional client server software is installed on a PC and typically software vendor’s offer a support contract for that software. If you let that lapse then it’s up to you so if you need help you will need to call the vendor and they will charge you for that help.
Web-based software which is on a monthly subscription basis includes help. Another key factor is that you’re always on the latest version which means that you have always the best software available at any given time to run your business. This is a tried and tested model that delivers the best outcome for Self Storage operators as the industry changes so quickly.
It would be naive to suggest that there is a perfect software company in the Self Storage industry: finding a software company that can deliver you a solid product, with well supported offerings and providing suite of products with third-party vendor’s that complete the Self Storage management picture in our view is the only way to manage a Self Storage facility.
9. What reporting options are there?
Choose software where you have choice to see reports locally on the screen, or on a phone or tablet computer. Reports that can be exported to Excel or PDF is essential for your advisors.
10. What commitment does the provider have to the industry?
Not all self Storage software is made by specialists in Self Storage. Ask the vendor about their experience in the industry. Do they write software for other markets? Self Storage specialats hold the key to the best software and the best features, their whole business depends on it. Are they interested in your business?
SiteLink Self Storage Software is the value equation for Self Storage
SiteLink Self Storage software is the world leader in providing a suite of Self Storage software products combined with third-party vendor integrations that can be used from the smallest facility right up to real estate investment trusts REITS. They are the largest specialist self Storage software providers.
As part of your low, monthly SiteLink software subscription, operators have access to the mailing of notices, various forms of billing, CRM, tenant and new moving rate management, web interfacing for payments and reservations and multi user access and much more. Combined with the monthly subscription, users have access to the corporate control Centre, which provides additional control over security enquiries and reservations, and promotions and overall set up.
All included in the one low monthly fee. If you have an electric gate there is no additional charge for a gate interface and many suppliers are supported. SiteLink offers multiple credit card payment processor solutions to suit any budget and does not lock you in to any specific payment processing model, reducing your costs. Your Choice.
Third-party integrations which include SMS, online rental and analytical software are all available for SiteLink operators. Tight integration with the Internet is the hallmark of SiteLink as this is the most significant customer source available to any operator.
Sitelink software submits its software to serious third-party testing, resulting in full PCI DSS level I certification and SOC 1 certification. It is one of only two software brands in the world to achieve this certification, providing peace of mind to all operators.
With over 11,000 sites and over 40,000 users SiteLink is the software of choice by more Self Storage groups in Australia than any other software, Australia’s only REIT (National storage) uses the software and hundreds of other sites from the smallest right to the largest you SiteLink every day to manage their Self Storage business.
Flexibility is the key to using Self Storage software and making the right choice is critical for the ongoing success of your business and more Self Storage software business has been successful using SiteLink software than any other and that is one thing that you can ask a SiteLink Self Storage user.
To find out more call us on 07 3889 9822 or contact us here