Consultant uses kiosks to turn around struggling self storage facility
PHOENIX, Arizona – October 8th, 2010 – OpenTech Alliance is proud to announce that Almighty Self Storage rented 17 units in the month of August through their INSOMNIAC kiosk. Brian Vander Meulen, owner of I.D.E.A.L. Assets, LLC and creator of the Almighty Self Storage brand, began consulting in 2006. In July 2009, his company was hired to turn around and manage a self storage facility. One of the first things Vander Meulen did was advise his client to install a self–service kiosk to extend the facilities’ business hours, make it more convenient for customers and easier for him to manage.
The kiosk was installed right before Thanksgiving in November 2009 and the first two move-ins actually took place on Thanksgiving Day. Almighty Self Storage is located in Inman, South Carolina – a small town of approximately 2,100 people situated near Lake Bowen. The facility has approximately 280 units and is fully fenced with upgraded electronic access and a new digital video monitoring system.
Vander Meulen also advised his client to convert some unused office space into new climate-controlled units (which are completely rented) as well as add a new RV building which includes 12 additional covered boat/RV spaces in order to accommodate the growing demand for those rentals. Now, along with its non-climate controlled units, the facility has been upgraded to better serve the customer demand of the local Lake Bowen market. The nearest competitor is less than one half mile away making competition very tight.
Implementing the kiosk was a crucial decision for Vander Meulen. “I was going through a difficult personal time with my infant daughter’s health and had to manage the facility from out of town, without the kiosk that would not have been possible.” Vander Meulen was able to automate the facility to the point that he could effectively manage the business via the phone, internet, and kiosk.
“The kiosk has been a tremendous help with move-ins, especially with the convenience it provides after hours.” commented Vander Meulen. “Customers have realized how easy it is to use. The kiosk has been averaging anywhere from 30 to 50 payments per month and last month the kiosk rented 17 units. One of the unique things about the kiosk is that customers pay late fees. People can’t argue with the kiosk about why their rent is late,” said Vander Meulen. “They just pay it.” This benefit alone has allowed Vander Meulen to have better control of the facilities late-paying customers; therefore, being able to essentially run the facility with a one to three percent delinquency rate.
Vander Meulen also added, that primarily due to the addition of the kiosk, as well as the other facility upgrades, he was able to increase the rental rates and decrease delinquencies resulting in his client’s overall increased revenue by about $3,000 to $4,000 per month.
Clients have told Vander Meulen that their customers may not like the kiosk or may not adapt to its advanced technology. “I just tell my clients – this is a must have – if people can use an ATM, they can use the kiosk.” With occupancy rates that have increased nearly 20 percent, Vander Meulen is confident in his advice.
.D.E.A.L. Assets, LLC offers self-storage management, property valuation, image consulting as well as bookkeeping services. To allow Mr. Vander Meulen and his team to assist you in making your facility look better and run smoother while increasing your bottom line, contact him for a confidential consultation via phone at (864) 529-8494 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OpenTech Alliance, Inc. is the leading developer of innovative self-storage solutions. The company products and services include 7 models of INSOMNIAC Kiosks ranging from $4,900 to $18,000, INSOMNIAC Live! call center services and the INSOMNIAC Self Storage Network for online storage reservations. OpenTech products and services improve customer convenience, reduce operating costs and increase revenues for self-storage facilities. For more information or to see an online demo, please visit www.opentechalliance.com or call (602) 749-9370.
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
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