Times they are a changing. Self storage is going mainstream, the self storage REITs are outpacing other REIT sectors and are favorably looked on by investors and the storage industry is embracing technology. We recently wrote about the role online reservations play in keeping your self storage facility full and why accepting reservations online is a must and now we move on to accepting tenant payments online.
It seems natural to accept online payments, especially if a tenant rented online in the first place. There are many benefits and minimal downside to accepting online payments. There is a positive trend taking place in the storage industry with regards to embracing new technology. Many self storage operators now have sleek, innovative websites, accept online reservations, use storage aggregators, experiment with QR codes and use kiosks. Accepting online payments is another extension of embracing technology.
Accepting online payment from tenants is convenient for customers because they do not have to waste a trip to stop by a storage facility in order to drop off a check. By coming into the storage facility, the customer is ultimately wasting gas or money from having to purchase a stamp and envelope just to make a payment. Offering the option to pay online also makes it easy for the customer to avoid a late fee. If the customer does pay late, there are no excuses. Another benefit is when calling customers for collections, managers can simply tell them to pay online rather than to come to the facility to drop off a check. A delinquent tenant may find it easier to pay online rather than pay face to face.
By accepting online payments, managers can focus on obtaining new customers, marketing and keeping the facility clean. They will have more time to perform day to day activities and will have more time to work on new ideas since they will not have to deal with collecting rent checks in person each day.
Before you begin accepting online payments make sure your website is set up correctly and able to handle online payments. Also be sure your website has a mobile version or at least can accept payments easily for people paying on a mobile device. If your facility is not ready to begin accepting online payments, it might be a good idea to start automatically charging customer’s credit cards once their bill is due. This will also reduce your manager’s time and will be easier on consumers.
It took a few years but the storage industry is beginning to embrace technology. From online reservations and storage aggregators to accepting online payments from tenants, we’ve come a long way in a short time. The industry is evolving and becoming more tech saavy.
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