Let's talk about self storage.

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  • 1.  Newbies...managing from afar

    Posted 07-21-2021 12:10 PM
    We are newbies, acquiring our first storage facility, with 52 units.  The facility does NOT currently have a gate (we plan to add in the future) and no on-site manager. We live in a different town, about an hour away but travel there frequently and have relatives in town so that part is not an issue. My question to you all is - we want to make the renting process as easy as possible for our new tenants (most of the units are full, but we have 4 to fill), but we don't want to put ourselves at risk, so we have heard of other facilities actually leaving their unrented units unlocked and keeping a padlock inside, so that the tenant can go to the unit as soon as they rent online (we use management software). However I know that leaves us open to potential squatting issues or other unwanted issues. To some of you that do not have a gate with security integrated, how do you handle new tenants? Do they meet you in person to get the lock for the unit once they complete their agreement and pay online?  Does anybody have any experience with leaving their unrented units open - pros, cons?

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    Keadon Collins
    KC Express Storage
    Snyder, TX
    (325) 899-7771
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  • 2.  RE: Newbies...managing from afar

    Posted 07-22-2021 11:21 AM
    Hello Keadon,

    Welcome to the storage family. You ask a good question...here are your options: 
    1. You can invest in Davinci Lock. Go to www.davincilock.com to see how these locks work. 
    2. You can go to your local Home Depot and pick up combination locks. When you rent out a unit, then you can give the customer the code (you still have a new lock sitting inside...this is only for them to get access to the unit) and ask them to put the combination lock by your office. 
    3. Zip tie the units with a new lock sitting inside. Once a customer rents they break the zip tie and get access to the unit. I wouldn't recommend this option if you don't have a gate and have squatter issues in the neighborhood.  

    Good luck. Please dont hesitate to ask more clarity questions or call me directly.

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    Raheem Amer
    SVP - Operations
    Devon Self Storage Holdings (US) LLC
    Frisco TX
    (630) 660-2637
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  • 3.  RE: Newbies...managing from afar

    Posted 07-22-2021 12:37 PM
    Thank you! That is so helpful. 

    Sent from my iPhone





  • 4.  RE: Newbies...managing from afar

    Posted 07-23-2021 10:26 AM
    We built a new building and it has zip ties on the doors.  This building was new and we did not want to buy 350 yellow locks.
    But, we do a daily walk check daily so we would immediately know if we had squatters... but we also have keypad access to our hallways so we would only be at risk if someone moved into the wrong unit (which has happened).
    We prevent that by actually showing every unit unless it is a remote move in.
    We then verify the correct unit is moved in on our daily property checks.
    I would encourage you to pay a relative that you say lives in the area to do a daily lot walk.
    Make sure the property is clean, make sure the property has locks on every unit and make sure that you have yellow locks on your exterior units.
    You can manage this remotely but you do need someone, even a part timer to walk the lot.
    David Fisher

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    David Fisher ASA Sr. Appraiser
    GM & Chief Cook
    Fisher Global Development, LLC D/B/A Imperial Storage Solutions
    Sugar Land TX
    (281) 794-2361
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  • 5.  RE: Newbies...managing from afar

    Posted 07-23-2021 01:59 PM
    Thank you. Fortunately I think we will have someone who can help us. 

    Keadon Collins
    Karen Rachel Collins
    325-899-7771
    Sent from my iPhone