2020 is officially the year of social distancing. Rightfully so as we all continue to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. But, as more states enact shelter-in-place orders, countless businesses are having to quickly shift how they operate in this new world. Grocery stores are limiting the number of people shopping at once, restaurants are exclusively offering takeout and, unfortunately, many other businesses have simply had to close.
However, as many of you likely know, storage has been deemed essential in most states. And where they haven’t been listed as essential, they haven’t been listed as non-essential either. We’ve heard from many of our clients that they remain open and ready to serve their communities.
As such, it’s more important than ever that you’re taking the necessary precautions to successfully operate your business while limiting customer interaction to keep everyone safe. To do that, we’ll cover some capabilities we’re hearing operators say are critical.
As more and more people are working from home, storage operators included, it’s vital to have the ability to access your facility management software from anywhere. Which is where a browser-based interface comes in, as it gives operators the capability to access their software from their smartphone, tablet or computer. While this has usually been a nice-to-have , it’s quickly become a need-to-have as we continue to navigate this crisis. For more on how Storable can help you with that capability, go here.
We’re glad to see that people are still reserving and moving into units. So, it’s important to limit physical contact between your staff and your customers as much as possible. One crucial way to do this is with online move-ins. Many operators are opting to offer an online move-in experience. In doing so, they can protect their staff and customers while maximizing move-ins during this period of social distancing.
A critical part of any online move-in process is the ability to sign documents electronically. With eSign capabilities, your customers can accomplish this with a smartphone, tablet and even a computer. They can even do this if they’re at the facility, allowing you to remain a safe distance apart. eSign is a must if you’re going to implement online and contactless move-ins, as you’ll still need a signed lease agreement. This is such a critical capability during this time that we’ve actually seen our feature utilization go up by over 20% in the last 30 days.
Autopay & Online Payments
With fewer tenants venturing out of the house, it’s also important to offer flexible payment options. By offering autopay and online payment options, you’ll give tenants convenient ways to stay current with their payments while ensuring you’re capturing every dollar of revenue that you can. Plus, this is useful long-term as it’ll free up more time for your staff even after the stay-at-home orders are lifted.
With so much uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to stay in close communication with your tenants. With two-way texting and email, you have a way to instantaneously share communications with your tenants as well as receive feedback. We’ve even seen operators using these features as a way to give a contactless tour of their facility when tenants move in.
Safety First and Last
We believe the key to success right now is, above all else, safety. Safety for you, your family, your staff and your customers. Luckily, the technology exists to empower and keep operators safe at a time like this. And while the concern today is safety, the truth is, it’s capabilities like these that will drive growth for your business long into the future.