Before you do anything, you should take a look at several storage facility websites.
You can get helpful information from a well-designed website: locations, unit prices/sizes, amenities, andaccess hours, just to name a few. A high-quality, sophisticated website, packed full of valuable information, is the first indication that the property is a well-operated, professional facility.
After you look at the websites, visit some facilities and ask the following questions.
How Do You Keep Your Facility Secure?
Please keep in mind that even though most facilities have security features in place, no company should “guarantee” the safety of your belongings. Events randomly occur that are out of everyone’s control.
Storage facilities should be equipped with state-of-the-art features like 24-hour digital video monitoring, individual alarm and fire alarm for each units and a maintenance staff to keep the facility clean and in good working order. The property should have bright lighting, and managers should be actively monitoring the system and doing regular walk throughs.
What Are Access Hours?
Access hours vary by location but are typically from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. However, there are facilities that offer extended hours. During access hours you can use your alarm code or gate code to access your storage unit. If you need access outside of standard hours, you can look for a facility that has 24-hour access or you can ask the management to make an accommodation.
How Do You Handle Pest Control?
Rodents and insects can cause permanent damage to your possessions. You should know how often the units are treated for pest control.
How Do I Contact Staff if I Need Assistance?
Staff is usually present during regular office hours, but there should be phone numbers and emails available for after-hours contact.
What Range of Unit Sizes Do You Have Available?
Think about what you need to store. Are you storing personal items, or do you need business storage? Do you need storage for a car, boat, or RV? Do you need extra high ceilings or extra wide doors? You can find most of this information on the facility’s website, but a team member should be happy to answer these questions.
Do You Have Restrictions on What I Can Store?
There should be a visible list at the facility and/or on the website or on the lease agreement.
Can I Tour the Property?
Make every effort to tour the facility before you make a decision. The tour should give you an idea of the level of customer service, an impression of the property, and a visual feel for the size of unit that you need.
Do I Need Insurance on My Belongings?
Some storage facilities offer insurance through tenant insurance companies, but you should clarify your coverage with your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance agent.
Do You Offer Online Account Management?
Online account management offering bill pay and autopay options is so much more convenient that having to write a check every month. Be sure to verify accepted credit and debit cards.