self-storage insider

A Blog by the U-Haul Self-Storage Affiliate Network

Remote Move-Ins: The Online Advantage to Filling your Rooms

Whether your facility is fully staffed seven days a week, partially, or completely unmanned, having an online rental option can only serve to increase your occupancy.

Now more than ever, consumers are looking for ways to minimize human contact when transacting business. In that regard, Covid-19 has magnified an already growing trend in the self-storage industry, the need to rent online.

Perhaps you think the only consumers who would rent a storage unit online are younger people, in their 20s. Maybe your own customer base is largely older adults or Seniors.

I’ve got news for you!

Millennials are not the only demographic who buy online! 68% of Americans make an online purchase at least once a week, and according to Inside Self Storage, “71% of consumers start their buying journey with a web search”.

The success of Amazon has changed the way Americans purchase items and services. You may already have a website. You may be advertising your business on a storage aggregator, like Sparefoot. But advertising is a one-way street of communication. Accepting reservations is a great way to open a dialogue with potential customers. Allowing online move ins, though, is the pinnacle of customer service!

The WebSelfStorage Business Platform has been advertising our partner locations on for over 15 years, with the ability to capture customer reservations and send them to our affiliates. In early 2019 we introduced a “Rent Now” feature, allowing our partners to list individual units on the site for remote move in capability.

Providing customers with the ability to choose the unit or space that fits their needs, make payment, and most importantly, sign a rental agreement electronically, will place your self-storage facility above the rest. Our Remote Move In feature works from a smart phone, iPad, PC or Mac, and can generate whatever rental agreement or contract you’re currently using.

Not only can remote move-ins help fill your rooms, it can also help keep them occupied. Consumers who rent online (and therefore pay by credit card) are more likely to enable Autopay during the move-in process. Customers on Autopay rent 40% longer than non-autopay customers. They are also statistically less likely to go into delinquency, saving you time, money and energy on collection calls and late notices.

Technology such as this is a great benefit to your business, but it is also just one tool in your business arsenal. Remember that great customer service will always go the extra mile, so when you receive that online reservation, reach out and call that customer as soon as possible and let them know you’re expecting them. If you receive an online rental, call and introduce yourself, find out what they’re planning on storing. Tenants often don’t realize how much they have. Take that opportunity to turn one rented unit into two. Or a 10×10 into a 20×30!

A great web presence on the most widely used website in America for moving and storage, the ability to receive online reservations in real time, and remote, touchless move-ins with eSignature and built in payment processing. It’s easy to see why WebSelfStorage and the U-Haul Self-Storage Affiliate Network is the best choice out there, at the best possible value!