Barclay Self Storage started as a new business venture for two full time employees in the financial industry. They realized that the Self Storage industry was largely a cash-and-checks industry. With the rapid expansion of online and digital payments, the one industry that seemed to be lagging behind was the self storage industry. After consulting numerous different consultants and manufacturers, the consensus was clear. Everyone was still relying on cash-and-checks. However, Barclay was certain that the only reason the industry relied on payment management was because there is a slow adoption of technology into the industry.
“Our customers love our website and ecommerce solution! They can rent a unit in minutes. It’s remarkable how many of our customers rent storage in the middle of the night when it is most convenient for them. Without the online solution, they wouldn’t be able to do this!” ~ Barclay Storage Founder
As Barclay Self Storage defined their business strategy, they recognized the necessity of more efficient operations that streamlined collections, minimized lockouts, and reduced time management in order to be successful. Barclay is located in a small town, and, like most small storage facilities, is driven by off-site management. The owners wanted to reduce overhead and the typical headaches that occupy a storage facility manager’s time. They also realized that they wanted to be able to offer flexible rental hours that would help those 2nd and 3rd shift employees that need to rent a unit between the hours of 6pm and 9am.
Barclay Self Storage evaluated several online solutions that seemed to fit their needs. What they found was either a website plug-in for some customer data management company or a reservation system that didn’t allow them to actually rent units online. What they needed was a turnkey solution that cut their management time down while making it as easy as possible for their tenants. They chose FourSide Solutions as their turnkey customer data management, online rental, and marketing portal for its ease of use and economic efficiency.
Barclay Self Storage was a new facility that launched with zero occupancy. Industry-standard lease-up pace was estimated at 7 to 10 units per month. On opening day, they had amassed a waiting list of 20 people. They began renting units in September and averaged 1 new rental per day until they reached capacity. Barclay’s business plan called for a first phase launch of 100 units, and management quickly regretted not building the entire facility at once. The following spring they completed phase II and resumed averaging one new rental per day until they reached capacity again. To date, they consistently operate at nearly 100% occupancy with minimal tenant management time needed. They rely almost exclusively on FourSide Solutions’ automated emails and past due reminders. 80% of rent payments are paid by 8 a.m. on the 1st of the month, another 15% come in over the next 5 to 10 days, and Barclay’s management team spends their time with phone call reminders for the remaining 5% or so of their tenants.
“I hear other self storage owners talk about sending invoices, tracking payments, and locking out delinquent renters and it makes me happy that we have a FourSide Solution!”
After the first phase was half full at the Barclay facility, the owners launched a 90,000 square foot facility in a larger market. Kent County Self Storage construction started in July with hopes of launching in late fall. Due to approval delays, they were not able to begin renting until late January. They expected business to be slow throughout the winter season, and estimated that they would lease 9 to 11 units per month till spring. But instead, they were able to rent 60 units before the end of February! They proudly credit FourSide Solutions with providing them with the easiest and most convenient management system in the industry.