They say first impressions are everything—and in a business that revolves around keeping customer’s valuables safe and secure, this old adage couldn’t be more appropriate.
When It Comes to Self-storage, Appearance is Everything
One of the most popular pieces of advice that customers receive when deciding on a self-storage facility is to look for a property that is in excellent cosmetic condition. Customers typically zero in on facility appearance, maintenance, and obvious security features when choosing between similarly priced self-storage options:
Surveillance System: A modern surveillance system is a necessity, and preferably one with live video streaming so you can monitor it remotely. Customers will expect the alarm system to be reliable and the number of security cameras to provide adequate coverage.
Perimeter Fence: Is your entire perimeter fenced in? Are there damaged areas that require repair, such as rust and corrosion, holes, and broken fence posts? Perimeter fencing in good condition is one of the first things a customer takes note of when evaluating your premises for security.
Entrance Gate: How modern is your access gate? Does it operate with a keypad or an old-school lock and key? Most importantly, does it operate smoothly when an authorized party attempts to access it? An unreliable gate is a sure sign of facility neglect.
Individual Unit Doors: In addition to the entrance points to the facility itself, a thorough customer will also look closely at individual unit doors to assess whether they appear sturdy and secure. Make sure all doors are operating properly and check for paint condition; you don’t want chalky paint rubbing off on customer’s hands—it’s a sure sign of neglect.
Check for visible defects, dents, or broken and/or missing hardware, and evaluate all door seams for cosmetic appearance, aging, and weatherization. To ensure units are leak proof and that ventilation is sound, examine storage unit floors and walls for any evidence of moisture collection or damage.
Since the condition of an individual door unit is one of the most obvious signs that a customer’s valuables will be secure, this is one of those areas that shouldn’t be overlooked during the refurbishing of your self-storage building. Replacement doors and roll up door components are not only an excellent investment- they provide an immediate bang for your buck when it comes to providing a cosmetic upgrade to your facility.
Fire Prevention: Most customers will take note of fire prevention equipment—and the lack of it. Make sure that all fire pulls, extinguishers, and sprinkler systems are current (not expired) and not doing double-duty as clothes hangers and cobweb collectors.
Insurance: Make sure all relevant insurance is current and up-to-date with adequate coverage to protect customers and their valuables.
Evaluate Your Self-Storage Facility Like a Customer
Double-check the condition of all obvious exterior building features, such as columns, bollards, headers, downspouts, and trim—as these areas can really date a facility when they are in need of cosmetic attention. If your facility has exterior wood components or on-site painted surfaces, you may want to consider replacement with pre-painted metal panels and trim. Outdated, corrugated, or rusted metal roofing should be replaced with single-seam commercial roofing for the best overall appearance and value.
Follow this checklist to get a better idea of where your facility stands in terms of a customer perspective:
- Cleanliness of facility: Is your building clean and tidy? Are there trash issues that need to be dealt with? The overall appearance of cleanliness is a big indicator of value to a prospective customer—they want to know that the company and its management take pride in their facility, so they can feel confident that their valuables will receive the same treatment.
- Building appearance: Do any metal panels have noticeable defects, corrosion, or peeling paint? All of these conditions suggest neglect and customers will associate the oversight with the quality of your facility in general.
- Illumination: Is the lighting throughout the entire facility sufficient for the safety of customers and loading/unloading activities? Quality lighting speaks volumes about whether a facility takes security and safety seriously.
- Parking lot striping: This is one of the most often overlooked measures of quality in a self-storage facility—especially one that rents parking spaces for boats, RVs, and other vehicles. Be sure the striping in your parking lot is up to snuff, brightly colored, and where appropriate, marked handicap-accessible.
Check Out The Competition to See What You’re Up Against
When considering whether to refurbish or upgrade your facility, it might help to check out your competitors’ properties. If the competition looks pristine and makes your facility look a bit worse for wear, it’s probably time to consider a few upgrades to stay relevant.
Refurbishing isn’t just about cosmetics, after all. It can revitalize your facility, but it can also improve your bottom line and level the playing field against your competition. With more market appeal and an increased facility value, your business will likely see enhanced occupancy and be in a position to command higher rents.
Refurbishing With Roll-Up Doors and Components by BETCO
BETCO has been in business since 1984 and is an industry leader in self-storage manufacturing and installation.
BETCO manufactures all the components you need to bring your self-storage facility to pristine condition, including steel roll up doors, metal roofing, trim options, siding, wall panels, and customized metal parts. BETCO offers roll-up doors to fit all brands of self-storage buildings. BETCO only offers refurbishing with BETCO components to existing customers.
Self-storage facility refurbishing with components from single-source manufacturer BETCO could be the key to staying profitable in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace.
If you’d like more information on roll up doors or refurbishment of your BETCO self-storage facility for maximum ROI and value, contact BETCO’s refurbishing team for a consultation.