By Tyranni Rineer, Certified Self Storage Manager
When looking into storage properties for your self storage needs, you may see different types of management systems and wonder what they mean. The main ones are an On-Site Property Manager and a Resident Manager. You may also see that a site has a Kiosk or that Office Hours are by Appointment only.
Let’s review the differences between these types of management systems, so that you can determine which one is the right fit for you:
On-Site Property Manager and Resident Manager.
If you like an actual person that can show you around, help you out and answer questions when you stop in at the rental office, then an On-Site Property Manager or a Resident Manager should be your choice. Both have a physical office on the property and a property manager is in the office during regular business hours. Office hours vary from store to store, so call ahead or check their website before heading over to make sure the manager will be available.
These managers are there to help you usually five or more days a week and provide that personal touch that many people prefer. You can visit with an actual person who will give you a tour of the property, show you actual storage units, point out where your storage unit may be located, rent units on the spot, take payments and help with any customer questions or issues that may arise. The only real difference between these two manager types is that a resident manager actually lives somewhere on site, typically in an apartment or house adjacent to the storage buildings.
Hours By Appointment.
If a storage property lists that they have hours by appointment only, then that usually means there is no office located on site. It could be what is called a satellite location and run out of an office just a few minutes away at the main storage location where the property manager works. Or, it could mean that the property is fairly small or not busy and no office is necessary for daily operations. For this type of storage company, you need to call or go online to schedule an appointment to visit the property and meet the manager.
During your appointment on site, the manager can give you a tour, answer your questions and rent a storage unit to you. The downside to this option is that if you are on site accessing your storage unit and you have a question or an issue, there is no manager right there for you to get help. You will have to call them and set up a time to visit or talk. And, depending on their availability, you may have to wait a few hours or a few days.
The last option we are going to talk about is a kiosk. These work basically the same way as an ATM and there is typically no office located on site. At a kiosk property, you are able to pull up and rent a unit 24/7/365 through the computer system. Oftentimes you have the option to make payments to your account and sometimes they offer a phone system to talk to a storage professional if you have any questions or issues relating to your storage unit or problems using the kiosk.
Sometimes, however, a large storage property may have a kiosk on site in addition to the rental office and property manager. This happens more often in larger urban areas where the property is busy all day long and has a couple hundred to a thousand storage units available. In this situation, the kiosk can act as a second manager so customers don’t have to wait in line. A kiosk may also be in place to help provide longer hours of service when the office is not open. This helps customers because it is there and available to rent in the middle of the night or on a holiday when the rental office is closed, providing all day service.
While some of these options have similarities, others are quite different and offer less direct service. At Moove In Self Storage, we have property managers on site at least five days a week at every location. We also offer the option for you to rent a storage unit online 24/7 if you cannot make it to the office during regular business hours. It is really up to you to decide which option best suits your needs, and which one you will be comfortable with as time goes by and your valuables are stored at the property.