Self storage is becoming ever popular for many different reasons. More and more businesses base themselves online, opting to use self storage space as a cost effective alternative to lengthy contractual based warehouse space.
We are paying more per square foot of property so we need more affordable extra storage space and many people are now moving to the big cities for work because they have to, or to base themselves in hubs of activity in their specific industry. Plus, many people are simply recognising how flexible and useful self storage is in general; when adding to the family, when moving house, starting a new craft – the list really is endless.
If you are one of the many people looking to invest in self storage, it is important you ask all the right questions in order to get yourself the most value for money, high quality, secure self storage.
Here are 10 questions to ask your self storage facility before moving in:
How Much Customer Support Do I Get?
You need to know a lot about the customer support you will get, which is something you won’t find out when the company is trying to sell you a space. Obviously, if they seem genuinely interested in your needs and not up selling the biggest space to you then that’s a start, but it won’t show you everything you need to know. Find out if as a customer you will call through to a call centre or a person actually based at the site if you ring. Find out what other customers think – ask the company where you can find reviews of them – if the reviews don’t seem balanced, do your own research.
Ask what happens if there’s an issue with payments, an emergency, with the service you are getting – try to see how open and available the company is to your needs. You’re looking for an open and honest response from them that lets you know exactly what they offer.
What Security Do You Have?
Security is so important, because your treasured possessions will be held at the site! How many entry points does the place have and how are they protected? What is the security lighting like? How many cameras do they have? Is there 24 hour security?
How Are My Goods Protected?
This will help you find out additional information about security and about how your items are protected. They should give you information about insurance, climate control, security and pest control as well. Basically, they should give you way more reasons than you thought of to trust that your items are safe there.
How Flexible Is The Service?
This is so important, particularly if you are a growing business. You may well need to go from a small space, to a large space, back down to a small space again, especially if your business is still growing or has seasonal fluctuations in stock. If you get tied into a contract for a year in a space you might not need in 3 months, this isn’t the place for you.
Where Are You?
This may sound really simple, but if you see a company listed as being local you might assume they won’t be more than 10 minutes away from the city or town centre, when in fact they could be over an hour away depending on their location. Find out exactly where they are so you can determine if you can get quick access to them.
How Long Have You Been Trading?
This should give you information about how trustworthy the company is. New companies are great and all, but working with a company with years of experience in this trade will never be a bad thing and has so many benefits long term.
Are You Independent Or Part Of A Chain?
There’s a lot of benefits to choosing an independent storage facility. Usually they are family-run, take great pride in their facility and provide excellent customer service. A chain might be a good option for you, but don’t discount an independent as they might have an edge you weren’t aware of and offer a different kind of service than you are used to with the bigger and national firms.
How Much Will It Cost?
You’re looking for a completely transparent quote and hopefully they will ask you plenty of questions to give you a personalised quote, not just a generalised guess. But, you need to make sure you supply accurate information in terms of what you are storing and the sizes, else the quote is just not going to be accurate.
Do You Offer Other Services?
Accepting deliveries when you aren’t there, offering a packaging service and removals service are all good signs this facility is well organised and well connected. If they can offer you a service or recommend someone who does that service in the local area, you’ve got a great ability to get the things you need quickly all in one place.
Can I Come And Visit?
If the facility is great, you shouldn’t have to ask this question, they should have already encouraged you to visit. This is hands down the most important thing you can do. They might talk the talk on the phone, but the facility might have issues they don’t mention that you can only see in person. Don’t make the mistake of only noticing those issues after you have committed to a space.