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  • 1.  management software change

    Posted 08-21-2023 10:41 AM

    Question.  We've about "had it" with our current self storage management software, unfortunately after 26 years.  Who has made a change from one software to another?  How much of a mess is it to do that?  Did you lose any tenants from your database, etc.  BTW, we have due dates on tenants anniversary, not the first of each month.  Just looking for some guidance and opinions on such, it's quite a big decision.  Thanks.  Brian Taylor, Manager, FM 707 SELF STORAGE Abilene, TX.

    Brian Taylor
    Facility Manager
    FM 707 Self Storage
    Abilene TX
    (325) 676-5886

  • 2.  RE: management software change

    Posted 08-22-2023 08:35 AM

    Hi Brian,

    Software conversions can be a nightmare.  As long as you are aware of the potential items that don't convert your should be able to prepare for the pitfalls of changing software.  The new software company should have a list of items that do not convert.  See the list below for issues we have experienced during software conversions: 

    • Unit types not converting ( everything pulls through as self storage not climate or RV  )
    • Unit sizes not converting
    • Commercial tenant names not converting 
    • Letters & notices not converting
    • Tenants in multiple units no longer linked
    • Electronic lease not converting
    • Unavailable units not converting 

    These are just a few of the bigger issues.

    Best of luck!

    Denise Bowley
    Self Storage Science, LLC
    Lufkin TX
    (936) 632-5533

  • 3.  RE: management software change

    Posted 08-22-2023 09:56 AM

    Thank you, Denise, for that helpful list!! I am with you Brian, I want a different software but too chicken to make the switch and deal with the fallout. Better the devil I know and all that. Anyone else have any helpful advice? Anyone switch to another software that they are super happy with? Anyone have experience with a company that made your transition really simple or a company that made is difficult that you would NOT recommend?

    JoLea Conn
    OnSite Manager
    Richmond TX
    (281) 341-7867

  • 4.  RE: management software change

    Posted 08-22-2023 10:20 AM

    We converted several years ago. It was fairly seamless. And the new company gave us a checklist ahead of time for what items we would need from the previous software to make sure the conversion was done correctly.

    Unit mix

    Rent roll


    If I remember correctly the only thing that did not automatically come over was the autopay, and we had to manually enter those. But from what I have been told, not all software will convert over to another and might have to be done manually. If that is the case, that can be a real headache. Our customers loved the change because it gave them more features, online account access and an after-hours call center. 

    But do your research before your switch. Every software company has its pros and cons. Sometimes we also get fed up with our software company too, but the other companies either cannot provide what we need either or the cost of switching is way more than the occasional headaches we have with our current company. 

    I would recommend researching not only the cost, but the types of reports they offer vs. the reports your need and currently receive, the price difference between your current credit card processing merchant and the new one (if you need to switch). 

    Sarah Cole
    District Manager
    Oakcrest Management, Inc.
    Burleson TX
    (817) 846-0003

  • 5.  RE: management software change

    Posted 08-24-2023 09:38 AM


    Software conversions are challenging, but they're manageable and your data lost should be minimal if you know what to look out for. Typically, you would want to pull your rent roll, unit mix, and management summary before the conversion to give you something to compare to. Then make sure you have a stop date for transactions, keep your tenants notified, and have your new software do the switch.  The software that you pick can affect what kinds of things will convert, but whichever company you go with can set your expectations there so you know how much prep work you have ahead of you, and how much time you'll need to spend correcting things.

    I've worked on around 300 software conversions over the years and I've seen everything from a totally seamless conversion with no data loss at all, to a conversion where tenant info got all mixed up and names and addresses were swapped around on units. Most go well, but so long as you have your data records before the conversion, you should be fine.

    Some common issues i've seen include:

    • Unit amenities not coming in correctly, so make sure yo have your unit mix before the conversion for any corrections
    • Tenants with multiple accounts come over without these accounts linked - you can usually link these back after the conversion
    • Autopays usually don't transfer - make sure to let your tenants know if this happens
    • The old software sometimes doesn't shut off your payment processor immediately and you can end up with phantom transactions in the old software that aren't reflected in the new one, so make sure to watch for this or manually shut off payments to avoid it
    • E-leases don't usually come over- you can usually get a bulk download to keep these for your records though, they just won't show up in the tenant account
    • ledger info, notes, etc normally don't come in. There are some softwares that can bring these over but most cannot.
    • Discounts and recurring fees usually don't come over
    • Past due accounts tend to come over without any late or lien fees added
    • Prepaid accounts, especially on anniversary billing can come over with incorrect paid through dates sometimes

    Post conversion though, I normally check high level data points from the management summary and then drill down from there as needed. Total sqf, total units, occupied units, gross potential rent, occupied rent, etc before and after should be matching. If they aren't that's when you investigate closer and try to find which data points are causing issues and see what may need to be corrected. 

    I will say though, don't let fear of the job ahead stop you from taking action. Modernizing your software can give you so many more options on services, marketing efforts, tenant management, etc. The benefit definitely outweighs the risk. Good luck!

    Katie Cowen
    Product Development
    Move It - NSA
    Greenwood Village CO
    (720) 786-5783