Is your Self-Storage Business COVID-Ready?
The self-storage industry is facing unique challenges given that employees have to come into regular contact with tenants, their belongings, and potential guests who may arrive to help them. So, what procedures do businesses need to have in place to stay running through the pandemic?
The coronavirus pandemic presents an unprecedented threat not only to our lives but also to businesses. The self-storage industry, in particular, is facing unique challenges given that employees have to come into regular contact with tenants, their belongings, and potential guests who may arrive to help them.
With this in mind, businesses have been forced to change quickly to adapt to social distancing measures, sterilisation procedures, and lockdown rules. Even though self-storage was considered an essential business in the UK, many businesses have had to adapt to having fewer employees on-site to help customers and keep facilities clean.
So, what procedures do businesses need to have in place to stay running through the pandemic, and how can you prepare for life in the new normal?
Social distancing is one of the best ways to combat the spread of COVID-19, and it’s vital that businesses respect these guidelines. One of the best ways you can maintain physical distance between your employees and customers is having the technology in place that allows customers to access their units, move in, and move out without needing employee assistance.
With Storeganise, your customers can book units, make payments, and manage their access codes all through the user web app. The customer will also be billed automatically, so you don’t have to worry about sending out invoices and chasing for payments.
Not only will your business be saving costs on fewer employees, but your customers will be grateful for a seamless experience, and your employees will have peace of mind knowing that they can keep a safe distance away from people outside of their household.
Despite the Job Retention Scheme in the UK allowing millions of people to continue receiving their salary while their workplaces are closed, claims for out of work benefits have skyrocketed as the number of people on a workplace’s payroll fell by 730,000 between March and July. If you run your business outside of the UK, then you may also be suffering with the rise in unemployment figures.
Many of your tenants may not be able to pay their rental fees on time, and this may increase as the Job Retention Scheme in the UK is set to scale down in the coming months and COVID-19 continues.
As a business, the best thing you can do is be flexible and help these tenants where you can. Many self-storage businesses like yours have worked with tenants to create flexible payment plans, or have given out-of-work tenants a discounted rate so they remain on the books.
Helping your community isn’t just the right thing to do, but it can help you secure leads as you slowly start to return to normal life. Customers have a keen eye for businesses that are helping their communities and customers, and doing your bit can win their favour for life.
Communication is Key
It’s vital that you are clear with customers what services you can and cannot offer during the pandemic, particularly if you’ve always offered in-person services.
For instance, if you’ve chosen to close your management office so your administrative staff can work from home, you need to let your customers know how they can get in contact if they have any problems or questions. Social media is a great tool for this, but you should also have signs around your units explaining how customers can reach you.
Maintaining Facility Cleanliness
We all know how important it is that we keep shared surfaces as clean as possible during this pandemic, but as time goes on, many people are questioning why these cleanliness standards were not commonplace to begin with.
After all, with seasonal illnesses like Influenza also being a significant risk to the elderly, young, and immunocompromised, it makes sense to do what we can to slow the spread of those diseases too.
At a self-storage unit, there are many surfaces that are touched by both staff and customers that require regular sterilization to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Keypads, locks, handles, credit card readers, and restrooms are all high-risk areas for cross-contamination. As you start to return to a new normal, customers are going to be looking at cleanliness standards when deciding which businesses they want to rent a self-storage unit. As you can expect, customers will want to know that storage facilities they’re entering are safe and clean, and this requirement is only expected to continue.