Smartphone usage is at an all-time high among U.S. consumers. According to Pew Research, an impressive 81% of consumers currently own a smartphone, up from just 35% in 2011. And as consumers’ love affair with their smartphones continues to grow, it creates new opportunities for the self-storage industry.
But it’s important to understand that self-storage customers aren’t the only beneficiaries of the smartphone revolution. In today’s industry environment, mobile apps are providing significant advantages for owners and operators — advantages that lead to better business performance and the ability to stay ahead of the game in highly competitive local markets.
Mobile apps benefit self-storage operations in several important ways
Mobile apps power consumers’ reliance on smartphones in their work and personal lives. The average smartphone user spends 90% of their mobile time on apps and accesses more than 30 apps each month. Without mobile apps, many consumers would be unable to make purchases, arrange transportation, or in some cases, control common household systems.
The integration of apps into our everyday lives creates new challenges and possibilities for self-storage operations. Across demographics, customers increasingly expect the ability to interact with businesses using their smartphones. In self-storage, tenant-facing access control apps empower tenants to open gates and doors, view unit activity, perform one-click payments, and more.
In many ways, access control apps provide tenants with the kinds of enhanced customer experiences they enjoy from retailers and other providers. Self-storage operations that enable seamless mobile interactions not only meet their customers’ expectations but gain access to an impressive range of business benefits.
- Ability to attract younger tenants: A Self Storage Association demand study found that 14% of millennials households in the U.S. rented storage space — a higher percentage than Gen X, baby boomer, and Greatest Generation households. As the first digitally native generations, millennials and Gen Zers want self-storage options but trend toward operations that provide seamless digital interactions.
- Additional revenue opportunities: Today’s consumers are willing to pay a premium for convenience and the ability to use their preferred technologies in new ways. Self-storage operations that offer a mobile app for facility entry, unit access, and other activities often build the cost of the app into their pricing models or charge extra for its use. So, in addition to satisfying tenants’ technology expectations, the mobile app creates an added revenue stream for the business.
- Improved customer loyalty: Poor customer experiences result in tenant turnover. Although there are a variety of factors that contribute to the customer experience, tenant-facing access control apps eliminate the friction associated with manual routines, creating a convenient and reliable experience that improves loyalty and boosts customer lifetime value (CLTV).
- Competitive advantage: Going forward, technology will separate market leaders from the rest of the pack in the self-storage industry. Cloud solutions, the Internet of Things (IoT), smart connected facilities, and seamless mobile experiences create competitive advantage — and with many local markets quickly reaching the saturation point, that’s an advantage most operations can’t afford to ignore.
Technology matters more than ever to consumers, and the implementation of a mobile app represents a critical milestone in a self-storage operation’s growth curve. By equipping tenants with the ability to perform essential tasks from their mobile devices, owners and operators can significantly improve their ability to attract high-value tenants and retain them over the long term.
Unlock new business benefits for your operations and create an improved customer experience for your tenants with a tenant-facing mobile app like EasyCode. To learn more, reach out to one of the access control experts at PTI Security Systems today!