What do you name your unit?

All joking aside, it turns out to be very important what you name your units in your management system.  As an aggregator we get to see a wide range of information about inventory.  Our job is to collect that inventory into similar classifications so that we can present it to consumers.  In other words we try to make sense of all that inventory and put it in front of people so they can rent it.

As experienced owners, you probably know what types of units command better prices – drive ups, easily accessible units, better well lit units.  So if we all know what attributes of a unit are desirable, why do people name units “self storage”.  I am not kidding – using names like this is a disservice to your consumers and to you.  Let’s digress with a little discussion about attribution.  How do you describe a storage unit:

  • Size (10×10)
  • Location: Upper, Interior, Outside, Drive up
  • Temperature Control: none, heated, cooled
  • Security: alarmed
  • Shape or ceiling height: 10ft, sloped, irregular
  • History: previous water damage
  • Door type: steel, roll up, double

SiteLink and Centershift have some of these attributes built into their systems, and they are helpful for things like size and temperature control. However, they do not have really useful info like whether the unit is upstairs, has an irregular shape.  Let’s say you want to look across your inventory and run a report.  If you name the unit types like this: Upper hallway – roll door climate controlled, you can instantly understand which units are renting and which units are not renting.

As more and more people look at your data (ahem, Storitz) – using good names for your inventory will become more important.  Urge your team to standardize your names.  If you manage many facilities, it will be impossible to do good yield management and cross facility reporting if the unit naming conventions are not standardized.

So when Storitz tries to look at your inventory, we are trying to classify it according to the key factors for a consumer – size, location (accessiblity) and temperature control.  Naming your unit ‘self-storage’ does not give us or the consumer a lot to go by.  Please think about what you name your unit and pick a good one!

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