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Three Surprising Things Self Storage Owners & Operators Can Learn from Apple's Latest Product Launch

Posted: 6/8/2018
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 The self storage business is rather straightforward. You provide safe and secure spaces for any customer that pays to store their personal property on your site. Yet there is much more complexity to being a successful self storage site owner or operator than just that. In fact, thanks to new technological developments, modern facilities offer higher levels of accessibility to consumers while simultaneously providing higher levels of safety and security.

As a result, this means self storage business owners need to have an intimate understanding of the latest digital security technologies currently in development or those just released to the public. A surprising source of information is Apple, the tech giant well known for its iOS mobile devices and sleek, ultra-powerful desktops and laptops.

You are likely wondering how Apple, a company more concerned with designing the next must-have iPhone, can have anything to teach you about being a better self storage operator. The truth is that there are at least three things to learn from Apple’s latest product launch that can be applied directly to your business.

The Universal Themes of Apple Product Launches

The cavalcade of Apple devices is neverending and you may be asking yourself which product we will be examining. Instead, consider the consistency between Apple products as opposed to individual devices. Whether it is a new piece of hardware or a new software application, there are universal themes that accompany every new release:

  1. Heightened security features to protect user privacy
  2. Revamped accessibility to ensure users can accomplish bigger and better things with these new tools
  3. An attention to detail that translates to ergonomic and aesthetic excellence

These innovations are common threads that have run throughout the lion’s share of Apple products for over a decade.

But what can Apple’s adherence to these themes teach us in the self storage sector? What sort of lessons can be learned from handheld digital consumer products geared towards mobile connectivity that could possibly be transferable to providing safe and secure long-term storage options to the public?

The following are three things that self storage owners and operators can learn from Apple product launches:

1. Privacy and Security Are Key

One of the most recent Apple product launches includes the newest version of iOS, the operating system it uses for their mobile devices. iPhones and iPads upgrading to iOS 11.3, the update that rolled out in late March of 2018, benefit from Apple’s ever-expanding focus on user privacy. The update includes features such as:

  1. New provisions for transparency
  2. Tools for users to control how Apple uses their personal data
  3. A renewed commitment to safeguarding user data from anyone and everyone — even Apple

Apple has a long-standing history of holding user data sacrosanct. This is one of the core beliefs of the company and it is one they have stood behind time and again even in the face of being ordered by the authorities to do otherwise. In fact, they have even gone to court over the issue, refusing to add “back door” access to its operating system when the FBI made such demands. So how can Apple’s high-level commitment to user security translate into a lesson the self storage industry can learn?

Simply put, the focus on user security through advanced technology is an integral part of the self storage facility user experience. Secure access control systems ensure that no unauthorized individuals gain access to facilities without the user’s keycode. Outside of door electronic locks on individual doors provide higher levels of security for stored personal items, discouraging theft and vandalism. Additionally, these security features can also provide 24-hour monitoring services throughout your facility, heightening security even further and discouraging both theft and vandalism, especially when combined with door alarms and security cameras.

2. Accessibility and Ease of Use Are Key

Apple has always developed its devices with an eye towards making them easy to use. The more fluid and intuitive it is to use the latest iPhone, the more likely you are to purchase one. In fact, the company has been focusing on not just general accessibility but also ensuring that anyone who wants to use their products can, regardless of any possible physical limitations.

One of the biggest splashes made by Apple in recent years is the new focus on providing accessibility to people living with disabilities. These features include support for alternative input control devices, built-in voice-over functionality for the vision impaired, hearing aids that are compatible with iPhone handsets and actively encouraging developers to provide higher levels of accessibility in third-party apps and services.

Much can be learned from this push toward accessibility and the role that technology plays in providing this accessibility. While the need for a self-service facility to be physically accessible to both the disabled and the able-bodied is always going to be important, digital tools and systems that provide users 24-hour access after punching in a code mean facility access is quick and easy. Integrating mobile apps into your self-service facility’s digital security system can provide even more accessibility for your customers, ensuring they can enter their unit whenever they like.

3. Ergonomics, Aesthetics and User Experience Are Key

If there is anything for which Apple is known, it is the premium placed on aesthetic user experience. From its Apple Watch picking up major design awards to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus featuring an innovative all-glass design to the company in general ranking tops in customer satisfaction over rival Samsung, the high-powered Cupertino design house knows how to please its customers and have them coming back for more.

The lessons you can learn from the company’s presentation aesthetic and focus on customer experience are manifold. Not only that but following in Apple’s footsteps by providing tech-savvy customers with options to control their self storage site experience leads to higher levels of satisfaction. This satisfaction drives repeat business in the form of renewals and new customers alike.

In fact, addressing the needs of your customers can be as simple and as innovative as making your company website mobile-friendly to provide a hassle-free user experience. Adding to this by designing and implementing interactive sitemaps that can show a user where they are within a given site shows your customers that you care about their convenience. Meanwhile, on-site keypads for gates, doors or even elevators grant automated access and easy payment options.

Bringing It All Together

When it comes to the lessons that Apple product releases can teach us, it is clear that integrating even one of the company’s signature features can enrich customer experience and have a significant positive effect on your own business. Whether it is taking steps to ensure your site is safe and secure, making your site accessible with easy-to use access tools or by focusing on aesthetics and user experience, such efforts are sure to bear fruit.

Meanwhile, combining two or even all three of these features together offers synergistic benefits well beyond what you would reap from adopting just a single approach. Much as Apple products that demonstrate an admixture of all three design elements go on to be often wildly successful, integrating all three strategies into your own self storage site locations is apt to reap substantial rewards in the short and long term.

However, sourcing these technological solutions can be a challenge, especially if you do not know where to look. You will need to partner with an experienced company that provides site security, door automation and ease of access solutions. If you want to learn more about how integrating these technologies can help grow your self storage site, contact the experts at PTI Security Systems today.

About PTI Security Systems

PTI Security Systems is the global leader in access control and security solutions for the self storage industry. PTI provides the most innovative, durable and reliable security products including keypads, wired and wireless door alarms, mobile apps for both tenants and facility staff, video surveillance solutions and powerful security software that integrates seamlessly with most management software on the market today. To learn more or speak with a PTI advisor please visit PTISecurity.com.

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