June 5, 2020 – Phoenix, AZ, OpenTech Alliance, the leading developer of innovative smart-connected technology solutions for the self storage industry, has partnered with Andover Properties, LLC (dba Storage King USA) as part of an aggressive strategy to expand their portfolio to 200 facilities by the end of 2021. Storage King USA currently operates 40 facilities in 11 states primarily on the East Coast. David Cooper, Director of Operations for Storage King, noted that technology will play a significant role in their plans for future growth and changes to their daily operations amid the new contactless environment.
Storage King has partnered with OpenTech since 2012, but was only using INSOMNIAC Live! Call Center Services at the time. Storage King’s portfolio is now supported by INSOMNIAC CIA access control, INSOMNIAC self-service kiosks, INSOMNIAC XpressPay and StorageTreasures online auctions.
“The call center is fantastic – that’s a necessity for us. It’s such a seamless extension of our operation that I don’t appreciate it as well as I should. You have a limited opportunity to capture a sale, and it all starts with that first phone call.” Cooper’s assertion is backed by industry stats, which reveal that 60% of customers rent from the first facility they can reach, and 34% make first contact with a facility through a phone call. “For me, the biggest asset of the call center is capturing missed sales opportunities,” stated Cooper. “Self storage is event–driven – when a person needs storage, they’re going to get it. When they’re calling around looking for prices, you need to get that call. Usually, when someone makes that decision, they’re on a timeline. If we’re missing that initial call, then we’re taking ourselves out of the running. You guys are great at filling that void, and that’s worth its weight in gold. We have a lot of faith and trust in the sales of our team, but yours as well.”
The Live! Call Center captured over 20,000 calls for Storage King in 2019 that would have otherwise been missed. “I take comfort in knowing that when those calls are going through, it’s going to someone who’s going to do their absolute best to make sure the customers have the information they need to make a decision,” stated Cooper.
In addition to expanding their use of the Live! Call Center, Storage King has been rolling out INSOMNIAC CIA, OpenTech’s completely cloud-based access control system, to multiple properties. CIA is currently installed at nine locations with more to come. Now that the initial rollout is complete, Brian Cohen, Storage King President and CEO, says there’s no comparison. “CIA is the best value on the market,” stated Cohen. “From the features and functionality to the overall cost. It’s a great product, and the customer service behind it is second to none. From OpenTech’s leadership to sales and service teams, everyone has been fantastic top to bottom.”
Cohen notes the beacon technology and surge protection as major benefits of CIA that help their operation run without disruption. “We like that the technology uses Bluetooth to verify access codes,” stated Cohen. “Other systems rely on the Internet. CIA does not, so if the Internet is down, it still works.” Storage King noted the similar advantage of CIA’s construction in the event of a power surge, as fuses can easily be replaced to get their operation back up and running quickly.
The data available in the IoE Control Center, as well as the hands-free access functionality offered to tenants via the Storage Genie mobile app, take CIA to another level. “In the face of the pandemic, we’ve been able to monitor and manage access control at all of our properties remotely. Facilities have also utilized the reporting to narrow down people on property, number of visits to the facility and time spent onsite to help identify people who may be abusing units,” stated Cohen. “We also have access to preventative maintenance alerts and can slice and dice customer data.” Storage Genie receives equal praise – both for its ability to provide touchless access now and the benefits to customers year-round. “Customers love not having to open the app to access the property, or touch a keypad. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive – particularly by RV customers even before the current health crisis. It speaks volumes to them that they don’t have to get out and enter that code.”
As Storage King looks to expand their adoption of CIA, they’re also excited about the integration capabilities coming down the pipeline, and the ease of installation the system is known for. “Half of what I love about it is what I’m hearing from my installers – which is equally important,” stated David Cooper. “It’s plug and play – 2/3 think it’s easier to install than competing systems.”
Though Storage King doesn’t have a high delinquency rate (Cooper noted it decreased due to SMS reminders and the XpressPay phone-based payment system), all properties utilize StorageTreasures online auction services for auctions. “The proof is in the pudding,” stated Cooper. “We’ve had live auctions – had five units passed on. Take those same five units and post them on StorageTreasures.com – at least three of them will sell. There’s your proof! Online is clearly the way to go. We’re not only getting more people looking at our auctions, but higher bids, more dollars and higher recovery rates. The buyer base that is already established on StorageTreasures plays a big role in increasing those auctions.” Storage King began using StorageTreasures when OpenTech acquired StorageStuff.Bid, and auctioneers Chris and Cheli Rosa along with it. Of all the online auction services, it was the only one with an auctioneer who could speak to the legalities and issues around storage lien sales – an asset Storage King finds invaluable.
As they work to grow their portfolio, Storage King continues to evaluate other areas where OpenTech’s technology and automation services can support their rapid expansion. They were excited to inherit kiosks at two facilities acquired in Mississippi, as they plan to add kiosks to their operations strategy, and have been pleased to discover that upwards of 40% of daily transactions could be going through the kiosk. This is just one of the technologies they will continue to ramp up over the coming months.
“I’m very impressed with the overall operations of how OpenTech runs – whenever I’ve had concerns over the last two to three years, they’ve been immediately addressed,” stated Cooper. “I’m impressed by the fact that you are always asking yourselves, ‘how can we be better?’.”
To learn more about INSOMNIAC Live! Call Center Solutions, INSOMNIAC CIA, StorageTreasures or other products and services mentioned, contact OpenTech Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org.