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by Taylor Short,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: November 19, 2015

Self-storage facilities have unique needs that set them apart from other types of property management. Gate access integration, additional sources of revenue like equipment rentals and merchandise sales and online reservations are just a few of the elements a self-storage property manager would need to consider when selecting software.

Common Features of Self-Storage Property Management Software

Facility maps Electronic color-coded maps allow the facility manager to see at a glance the status of each unit—which are in use, which are reserved and which are vacant. You can also print maps for your new renters to show them where their unit is going to be.
Payment options designed for self-storage facilities The revenue model for self-storage facilities demands additional accounting features that a typical property management firm wouldn’t need. These include accepting payments and/or deposits for rental equipment, making merchandise sales, accepting credit card payments, scheduling automatic recurring payments based on the customer’s needs or locking the leaser out for failure to pay on time.
Integration with campus systems Oftentimes student housing is tied to meal plans, utilities or class schedules. A robust student housing program will integrate into the university’s other software programs to facilitate transfer of necessary information.
Online renter access Just as property management systems can have a Web-based portal for tenants, software for self-storage facilities will have a portal for renters and prospective renters. They can reserve a unit (based on the vacancies, as listed through the software) or pay their rental fee without leaving their home.
Gate access integration The more advanced software packages will integrate seamlessly with your gate access system. By giving each tenant a unique access code, the system will give the new tenants access immediately, allow you to track their visitation and lock them out when their payments are past due.

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