All self-storage facilities are not created equal. From honest pricing to advanced security features, the saying, “You get what you pay for,” rings especially true in the storage industry. We often use a comparison to hotels when explaining the difference between storage facilities. You wouldn’t expect to get the same high-end services at a 2-star hotel as you would a 5-star hotel, right? The same goes for self-storage companies. While one may offer, “Free Rent!”, another may provide you with high-end security features. It’s up to you to decide where your belongings will stay while “on vacation” from your home.
We wrote about honest pricing earlier this month and it is definitely something we wish customers knew more about when choosing a storage unit. The hotel example also comes into play here — when booking a room for your next vacation, would you rather know upfront how much it’s actually going to cost? When booking a hotel room, cleaning fees, travel and activity fees, pet deposits and more often result in prices higher than the quoted price on a “cheap” hotel room. The same goes for self-storage. Cheap self storage, or facilities offering “free” rent often see the quoted price and the actual price differing greatly.
When searching for a storage unit, we want our customers to look into the entire price and not only the “free rent” special. Look at the actual total. Does it include deposits, hidden add-on costs, administrative fees and move-in fees? Does it include insurance? Does the move-in special include a full 30 days? Look at the whole price of the storage unit before making your decision.
Personal Safety and Security
When choosing a self-storage unit, personal safety and security will likely be on the top of your priority list. When visiting your unit, you want to feel comfortable. You want to be able to trust that while you’re away that your belongings will be secure. Consider this — would you feel comfortable at a 2-star motel with poor lighting and a basic lock on the door? Would you expect 5-star security and personal safety from this motel if you paid the bargain price for it? The same goes for self-storage.
At SPS, we have invested in advanced security systems including high-def video surveillance, automated gates and individual security alarms on EVERY unit to ensure your personal and material safety. For high-end services and security, you likely won’t qualify for “free rent”.
Let’s circle back to the hotel comparison when it comes to customer service. For both self-storage and hotels, the star-rating doesn’t always correspond with customer service, but if you read the reviews on Google, Trustpilot and Yelp, do you see any running themes? When you call the business, are you routed to a call center or can you talk to a knowledgeable professional manager who is actually at the local facility? Typically, a five-star rated business has better customer service than the two-star rated business.
Maintenance and Cleanliness
Along with safety and security comes maintenance and cleanliness of a self-storage facility. High-end self-storage facilities proactively maintain the facility before problems surface. When renting a storage unit, you should ask what a company does to avoid leaks and moisture risks before they become a problem. One roof leak can ruin the contents of dozens of units, which needs to be taken into consideration when renting a space. What about pests and rodents? What measures does a facility take to ensure it is truly free of rodents and pests?
Maintenance and cleanliness also tie back to personal safety and comfort. Would you feel comfortable storing your belongings at a dingy storage facility that doesn’t place a priority on cleanliness?
Choose Your Self-Storage Facility Wisely
Today, renters do an incredible amount of research before making a final decision about where to rent a storage unit. We want our customers to consider pricing, security and personal safety, customer service and cleanliness before signing on the dotted line. Remember that just as with any purchase you make, “you get what you pay for,” so make sure you get the best value in self-storage to protect your belongings and yourself while your items are away from home.
Are you looking for the best value in self-storage? Find an SPS location near you!