Self-storage is a growing industry. The basic business model is simple: a place for people or businesses to store their assets while not in use. However, there are a lot of operational and security risks due to the nature of the business. The right self-storage live video surveillance system can help mitigate the risks while driving profitability.
Live video surveillance is a way to monitor your self-storage units remotely in real time. Remote monitoring uses a combination of security cameras and advanced video analytics to keep an eye on your business.
Live video surveillance has a lot of benefits, including enhanced security, lower costs, improved efficiency, and the ability to respond to issues in real time before they get out of control.
9 live video surveillance benefits for self-storage facilities
As mentioned above, being able to monitor your business in real time has both security and non-security benefits. Here are nine benefits of live video surveillance:
- Identify retraining needs
- Respond to issues in real time
- Remote monitoring
- Virtual guarding
- Better security
- Alarm verification
- Better customer service
- Reduced liability
- Added service to boost sales
Note that these benefits often open up great synergies. For example, better security is a selling feature for many people looking to store their assets somewhere safe.
Identify retraining needs
Employees often find themselves in need of retraining. This can be due to their lack of experience or mistakes made during initial training. Whether malicious or because of training shortcomings, the results are the same for the business: reduced profitability from lost productivity.
Here are two of the most common retraining opportunities for self-storage facilities:
- Time theft: Time theft is when employees are being paid to work but are doing something else instead. This can be simple productivity issues such as employees using their mobile phones during work hours. However, it can also be more serious, for example someone working alone in the front office of your self-storage leaving the premises for an extended period of time.
- Security lapses due to short cuts: An employee leaving their post mid-shift is only one way that employees can cause security issues at your self-storage facility. To someone unfamiliar with the reasons behind certain standard operating procedures (SOPs), they can feel like the “slow way” of doing something. However, the SOPs are there for a reason, and employees skipping steps could lead to liability and theft risks.
Self-storage live video surveillance can help businesses uncover retraining needs. By auditing your locations for company policy compliance, you can see how your employees are acting when you aren’t there.
Volunteers of America-Michigan uses Solink to identify several retraining issues. Live video surveillance has helped them find instances of employees not doing what they are supposed to without ever needing to step foot in the affected stores.
Respond to issues in real time
Motion alerts are a great way to receive notifications about things happening on your property. There are times of day where activity is unlikely to be lawful use of your self-storage facility. By setting up motion alerts, you can receive an SMS message with a link to the real-time video feed.
Without the live video surveillance system, it would be impossible to know what happened. It could be a small animal setting off an alarm, someone living in their unit, flooding, a tenant accessing their unit late at night for legitimate reasons, or many other emergency or non-emergency situations.
With real-time video monitoring, you know what is happening, whether it requires a response, and how to respond to rectify the situation if necessary.
Remote video monitoring gives you the ability to see what’s happening from anywhere. That means you can keep an eye on multiple locations from a centralized office, check up on things from home, or log into your account from your mobile device.
Here’s an example of how self-storage live video surveillance can help you monitor an event as it unfolds in real time. Your self-storage facility is in a relatively flat area and there is a hurricane passing nearby. You can watch for potential flooding on your mobile device.
This gives you peace of mind without needing to visit your facilities in person. If units start to get flooded, you can alert tenants about the danger, instruct coworkers to handle the problem, or otherwise mitigate the potential for damage.
Virtual guarding is the use of live video surveillance equipment to replace on-site security guards or enhance their ability to patrol large spaces. In either case, using your security system to replace live guards can save a lot of money.
In addition, surveillance cameras never sleep, cannot be intimidated, provide objective evidence when an incident occurs, and can monitor your entire facility at once. All of these added benefits are why many property managers are using remote guards to protect their buildings.
Virtual guarding is particularly effective for self-storage live video surveillance. The design of large indoor or outdoor self-storage facilities means there are a lot of blind corridors and it could take hours to patrol the entire premises on foot. Using virtual guards instead means a single person can monitor the entire property simultaneously.
Solink is a complete video management system (VMS). In Solink, you can search for theft or other security incidents, save the videos, organize all the evidence gathered for an event, and share it internally and with law enforcement in one platform. Similarly, you can monitor liability risks such as flooding and share the videos with your insurance company if necessary.
Solink Video Alarms Monitoring Service is another way to better protect your business with live video surveillance. Unlike traditional panel alarms, video alarms can monitor entire areas of your business for improved detection, both indoors and outdoors. You can also turn them on and off one zone at a time, meaning you can lock down the front offices at night while still permitting tenants to access their storage units.
In a recent independent comparison of Solink Video Alarms and traditional panel alarms, video alarms led to multiple arrests while traditional alarms led to zero apprehensions.
Alarm verification gives trained professionals the ability to review in real time what is happening on a site before deciding whether an emergency response is warranted. Then, when law enforcement is required, the video feed is shared with the dispatcher to ensure prompt and appropriate response.
However, the value of alarm verification goes beyond better security. Verified alarms also save you money. Many police forces no longer respond to unverified alarms, and where they do false alarm fines are increasing.
This is especially important for self-storage facilities as late night tenant visits, curious animals, and inclement weather could all cause false alarms.
In the same head-to-head comparison mentioned above, Solink Video Alarms led to a 100% decrease in false alarm fines across multiple restaurant locations.
Better customer service
The self-storage industry is very competitive. Prospective customers want to see your facilities, evaluate the cleanliness and security of the property, and be confident there are no hidden fees. There is a lot of trust involved in this business, which requires the right customer service approach.
Video, with or without audio, gives you the ability to review how your employees are interacting with customers. In this way, self-storage live video surveillance allows you to record examples of good customer service to show employees how best to help your customers.
Self-storages have a lot of liabilities due to human traffic and the storage of private possessions. One unique concern, however, is renters living in their units. Self-storages are not up to the legal standards for residencies, and turning a blind eye to people living in their self-storage unit could lead to a lot of legal trouble.
Live video surveillance can help alert the proprietors to the possibility that someone is living in their self-storage unit. For example, motion search can be used to find unusual traffic outside of normal operating hours.
This is only one of the ways it can help reduce liability. Flooding and fires, including encroaching wildfires, are two natural hazards that can be monitored remotely in real time. In addition, private roadways through your facilities can be viewed to make sure they are clear of obstructions that might damage a tenant’s vehicle.
Added service to boost sales
Most property managers install live video surveillance at their self-storage facilities to protect their bottom line from unexpected expenses. However, enhanced security is also a selling point to a lot of tenants looking to store their belongings safely.
As part of a tour for prospective tenants, mentioning that the property is being monitored 24/7 gives them confidence that their possessions won’t be lost, stolen, or damaged.
Solink is the best self-storage live video surveillance system
Solink provides a customizable cloud-first video analytics platform. Productivity and training, health and safety, cleanliness, security, and customer service can all be monitored with self-storage live video surveillance.
To see how Solink can help you monitor all of your self-storage facilities, sign up for a demo today.
Timothy Ware is Solink’s Content Manager. He brings over ten years of writing and editing experience to the job. When he isn’t writing about security, loss prevention, and asset protection, he’s enjoying his newest board game. His work has appeared on many B2B SaaS websites including Baremetrics, Security Today, TeamPassword, Cova, and SignTime.