Responses on two Self-Storage Talk threads seem to indicate an overall rising trend for manager use of websites and electronic options for storage payments.
SST moderator Mama Duke says, “[Web payments] allow another convenience for my customers. They don’t have to spend gas money to come in and see me or even a stamp to mail their payment in. They can sit in their PJ’s at 3:00 a.m. and pay their storage bill online. I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t offer online payments.” SST junior member Valueom adds, “You are also freeing up your manager to focus on obtaining new rentals.”
Mama Duke and Lisa T, senior member, offer automatic monthly credit card payment at their facilities, in addition to several in-person payment options.
Junior member SSIreader says, “Now [tenants] have no excuse to be late and for me to waive a late fee.” Member Fly-fisher of Rosehill Storage adds that, “It also makes it easier on us when calling for collections as we can offer this payment option as a quick resolution.”
Joe Krezdorn, manager of Dak Self Storage in Leesport, Pa., says, “Almost one-third of my monthly payments are online payments. I also think delinquent tenants would rather pay that way to avoid face to face. That’s alright with me. At least I get paid.”
Junior member Palmetto-Moon, who also takes website payments, recommends making “sure your website is optimized for mobiles! We have lots of people starting to pay from mobile devices.”
Other SST members added ideas about using iPads for reservations and payment. John B., senior member, says, “iPads/tablets would only be compelling if I wanted to complete a rental while I was standing in the unit with the prospective tenant. I have to have a PC in the office to make my tenant management software talk to my gate software…The only other use I could see for a tablet system right now would be for a remote-managed facility where you are not doing face-to-face rentals and the manager/owner is mobile.” Priscilla, junior member says, “I use an iPad. I live on site so if I get a phone call…and I am not at the desk, i.e. in my apartment, I will take payments with it.”
Jerry Teeter, manager of Store My Classic in La Vista, Neb., represents a different approach than the SST thread comments. He says, “We provide a niche-type of storage only for vehicles, it’s not like your typical storage units. We don’t have a national or regional customer base. Generally, [customers] come into the facility to inspect it and make sure it’s what they want and obviously they have to bring their car in so we typically just do the payment at that point. We don’t take payments online.”
However, Teeter says there are other options as well: “We do a contract with a customer and run their credit card every month or automatically debit the card.” He says that auto debit is “definitely” the easiest way of receiving payment.