Self storage is not something that people normally think about. And then, something happens in their lives:
- People get married or decide to live with someone else;
- people get divorced;
- they decide to renovate or rebuild their house;
- they decide to downsize to another home;
- they are leaving school for the summer and need a place to store things until it’s time to go back in the fall;
- a close relative passes away;
- they may start a new home business and need space for inventory;
- if they have a business, there may be a need for space for extra inventory or business supplies;
- If they are an long term established business, they may need file storage space;
- If they are medical or legal professionals, they may have statutory requirements for file storage; etc.
These, and other reasons that we have heard at Abacus since we first opened almost 20 years ago, are what cause people to at least temporarily have extra stuff and therefore think about getting a storage unit.
Whatever the reason, what are the things that they should perhaps think about when they go shopping for a unit? At least a few of the things that they should think about are:
- a location that is convenient for their purposes;
- the safety and security of their possessions while in storage;
- perhaps most importantly, value for money.
Everyone who places their possessions in self storage has the right to expect that they will get them back in the same condition as when they were put into storage. How can a self storage shopper have some comfort that this will occur? Is any difference in price for a storage unit in a facility that is operated with care, as opposed to one that is not, significant when compared to the value of the possessions placed in storage?
This is what is meant by the value for money reference above, and why value for money is more important than price, and why price should not be a primary consideration. The reason – a lower price may by itself signal a self storage facility that is not operated at a standard that is reasonably safe and secure. How, then, to find the best value?
There are a number of things that a self storage shopper can do to find good value:
- if you contact the facility by phone, do you get someone who is interested in your needs, and has a positive and helpful attitude;
- if you visit their website, is it easy to navigate, and does it have information on it that is helpful;
- perhaps the best thing you can do is visit the self storage facility and notice how it is being run. Does it look shabby or tired, or is it clean and well maintained;
- If and when you visit the facility, is the attention and service you get from the people there helpful, or is it perfunctory;
- notice and ask about security and safety, such as emergency power in the event of a power outage by the local utility;
- can you get insurance for your contents, and if so, what is the coverage available relative to the cost for such coverage; are there extra fees and if so, what are they;
- is the agreement to occupy the unit priced on a monthly or 4 week basis, and if this is a puzzle for you, ask about it;
- what are the current pricing specials, if any (is the facility reasonably competitive in its pricing).
These are at least some of the questions, which if answered, will help determine quality and value levels amongst different storage facilities, and the facility you should choose.
Abacus constantly strives to be a leader and the best in the industry relative to all of the questions above, and indeed, to set the value standard for the industry in the market it serves. We would welcome your test of our service - we want an opportunity to show and give you the value you deserve!