People use self-storage facilities for endless reasons. They are far more commonly owned than people may think. For instance, if you need to downsize, if your home just doesn’t have enough storage, if you’re moving or if you’re flipping homes you’ll need a storage unit.
If you find yourself in need of a self-storage unit, make sure that you do some research first. It’s important to ask questions and make an educated decision based on your individual needs and the amenities of the company you’re interested in. Luckily, we’ve come to the rescue with our list of the top 10 questions to ask your self-storage facility before making a decision.
Do you have security code access?
When storing your things in a self-storage unit, it’s important to know that things will stay secure. The last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your valuables are safe. That’s why one of the first questions you should ask your self-storage facility is whether or not there is a security code accessible gate.
Having this type of gate allows you to store your things in a private facility that cannot be accessed by anyone who does not own their own unit. When you have a computer-controlled security code access it means that you can be sure only customers will be entering the lot. Another benefit of security code access is that it actually records each and every access – verifying who enters and at what time. Since all of the activity is recorded, it deters potential theft between neighbors and allows you to check the activity log if tragedy strikes.
In addition to security code access, you can ask if your self-storage facility has any options for digital video recording or CCTV monitoring security. This is beneficial for two reasons. First, cameras deter thieves. It’s as simple as that. Second, if there is any type of break in, it will be recorded and logged so that the police have a greater chance of identifying and prosecuting them.
Are there alarms pre-installed in each unit?
The second question you should ask your self-storage facility is whether or not there are individual alarms installed in each storage unit. This is important because sometimes, the facility will have an alarm simply for the building and not for each unit. When you have individual alarms, it is easier to realize whose unit was broken into and helps identify the police faster. There are benefits to both, and you might not need individual alarms, but you should ask so that you know what you are paying for.
When it comes to individual alarms, keep in mind that you can often be notified immediately. It is essentially a burglar alarm for your storage unit. There are a lot of benefits to having these types of alarm systems at self-storage units, but usually if a company doesn’t have individual alarms it is because they have taken other measures to ensure that your unit is safe. You can also install your own remotely monitored alarm system if you’d like. This way, you can monitor your things from your mobile device.
Like we said, it all comes down to personal preference so keep this on the list to ask your self-storage facility and go from there.
Are there any deals or specials currently running?
So, now that you understand the security of the company you’re looking at, it’s time to figure out pricing. The best way to approach this is to ask if there are currently any deals or specials. Some facilities run continuous deals for new tenants, some run big discounts depending on the season or event and some do both. The best way to find out is to simply ask.
For example, at The Lock Up Self Storage there are always rental discounts and special offers. One running offer is a free-moving truck with every new lease to help you get your things comfortably into storage.
Can I lock in this price or will it increase over time?
It’s always frustrating when you sign up for something because of the price… only to find out that it will continually increase over time. Therefore, make sure you ask your self-storage representative this question. If you sign into a contract, will you price remain the same? What about if you don’t want to sign up for a long term contract and prefer to determine your needs month-by-month? Each of these things will make a difference.
One thing to consider before asking about prices is what your needs actually are. Consider how much space you really need in order to store your items safely. It’s no surprise that more space is usually more expensive, so it’s important to only rent what you need. If you’re a bit lost, see if there is anyone on staff that can help you determine your needs. The best self-storage facilities offer different sizes so that you don’t get stuck paying for wasted space.
Are the units climate controlled?
Regardless of what you need to store in your unit, you’ll probably want to find something that’s climate controlled. The benefits of storing things in controlled climates far surpass non-controlled units. Climate controlled units allow you to store a variety of your objects without worrying about them being damaged due to extreme temperatures. You are able to personally control your temperature, which also helps with moisture control and decreases damages to your items.
If you live in an area with a steady climate that doesn’t reach extreme temperatures, you may be able to pass on climate-controlled units. The price differences vary; so if you want to save a few dollars consider your location. Usually, your self-storage facility will be honest with you about whether or not you’ll benefit from a climate-controlled unit.
Is there a manager on duty or at least on call every day of the week?
Sometimes things happen and you’ll want to talk to a manager. Maybe you’re having a problem with your unit or an emergency is happening. Whichever it may be, ask your prospective companies whether or not there will be a manager that is on duty every day during the week. If they’re not on duty and working on site, see if they are able to be on call for emergencies. Oftentimes you’ll find that family owned and operated companies are more readily available for their customers.
If I need to talk to someone, will it be with a local employee or someone at a call center?
This question falls in line with the aspect of speaking to a manager. However, it relates more to localized personal rather than higher up positions. Imagine you need to speak with someone so you give the company a call at their number. Sometimes, it is directed to a call center with foreign workers who might not understand your personal question because it deals with a localized aspect. It can be a little frustrating talking to someone new each time who doesn’t understand the problems associated with your city or storage facility location. Big companies might even have automated answering systems, which we all loathe. Ask your facility if there is a local number to call or if you’ll need to go through a call center. There are pros and cons to both, but again, you’ll want to know the answer prior to committing.
Can I set up payments online?
People have started moving from paying paper bills to completely online payments. It’s convenient, saves paper and allows you to set up automatic payments. With the rise of online business, it’s very likely that you’ll be able to pay for your storage unit online. However, it’s important to ask just to be sure. It would be very difficult to manage your unit from across the country, or even the world, with paper bills.
Is my unit accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
When you have full access to a storage unit it means that you’re able to access it regardless of the time of day or day of the year. For some people, this isn’t important. For others, it’s everything. Make sure that you ask your prospective facility whether or not you’ll have access to your things after store hours have ended.
Is there action taken against pest control
Finally, talk to your self-storage facility about pest control. It often goes overlooked when thinking about long-term self-storage, but it can make a huge difference. If you’re storing clothes or other fabrics, pest control can help make sure that you’re items aren’t ruined by moths and other pesky pests. Ask them if this is an option or what they do to help prevent pest invasions.
If you’re looking for a great self-storage facility that can answer all of these questions and more then head on over to The Lock Up Self Storage. The Lock Up Self Storage is a family owned and operated self-storage facility that has been in business since 1976. We have tons of different options for each and every budget and need. All of our units are climate controlled and have video monitoring for added security. Give us a call today so we can walk you through our process, or head over to www.thelockup.com.