How They’ve Boosted Their Bottom Line Without Sacrificing the Customer Experience
February 26, 2020 – Phoenix, AZ, OpenTech Alliance, the leading developer of innovative smart-connected technology solutions for the self storage industry, has helped Heartland Storage Group, the self storage division of HAN Capital, reduce labor costs and streamline operational activities across their portfolio. Tom White, Regional Supervisor for Heartland Storage Group, describes the owners as straightforward go-getters, with a commitment to ensure that they do things the right way, every time. With notable backgrounds in finance and investments, Heartland Storage Group’s owners leverage technology to help them reduce operational expenses while maintaining their high standards for customer service. Their portfolio currently includes 23 self storage facilities primarily across the Midwest, with designs for continued expansion.
One such technology, OpenTech’s industry-leading self-service kiosks, are in place at four of Heartland Storage Group’s facilities with plans to add more in the works. “They work extremely well for us, we like those a lot,” stated White. “The labor point is great for us. We have someone onsite limited hours, and the kiosk manages the rest.” With additional support provided by OpenTech’s INSOMNIAC Live! Call Center, which integrates with the kiosks to provide live, 2-way video support to customers should they need assistance, Heartland Storage Group is able to reduce labor costs while providing added convenience for their tenants.
“They’re able to get their payments in when they want, on their time schedule,” stated White. “If we were working a regular 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., a lot of these people work later than that or overnight, and we’re getting payments at all times of the day. I’ll see people make a payment at two in the morning – people like that a lot.” White also noted the convenience of dispensing locks from the kiosk, and added security brought by tenant photos captured during the rental process – which recently proved valuable when a renter’s identity came into question.
Heartland Storage Group also converted 20 of their locations from live to online auctions with StorageTreasures.com to resolve a significant number of delinquent accounts, reduce auction-related expenses and staff time, and decrease security threats to their facilities. “When I first started we were way behind on auctions – I needed to get them going,” stated White. “A live auctioneer charged 25%. My boss came across StorageTreasures, which only charged 10%. We’ve used you ever since and it’s been nothing but a piece of cake.” In 2019, Heartland Storage Group recovered over $23,000 through 165 sold auctions.
In addition to an increase in lien recovery, improvements to staff efficiency have been one of the biggest benefits of utilizing StorageTreasures’ online auction services. “If we were doing live auctions, that was basically a full day of getting people registered, doing the auctions, making payments – that was a full day wasted just doing auctions,” stated White. “And that could be for as little as six or seven units – you may not have a whole lot, but it took forever. What took hours before, now literally takes minutes. We prep them in advance, we post it, and it only takes a few minutes to post each auction. When auction day rolls around, it’s painless. If the auction ends at Noon, we’ve made arrangements within 15 minutes – and we only have to deal with that one person, not 100 people.”
White summed up the operational efficiencies StorageTreasures brings in a few simple words: “Doing auctions was a full-time job. Now it’s not. Now it’s just a minor part of a typical day.”