The current global health crisis has compelled many companies to speed up their digital transformation. An otherwise slow, gradual transition is taking place practically overnight because companies have no other choice but to quickly adopt digital solutions that will help them stay in business. What was often considered a bonus, an addition to regular services, just a few months ago is now a vital necessity. Since self-storage is considered to be an essential business and many people still need to use self storage units during the crisis, the self-storage industry continues to operate. To meet their clients’ storage needs during the coronavirus pandemic, many self storage providers are introducing digital solutions such as contactless rentals. Here’s what you need to know about contactless rentals and their importance during these trying times.
What are contactless rentals?
Contactless rentals allow people to rent self storage units without direct contact with storage company employees. They can complete the rental process and gain access to their unit over the phone or online in just a few simple steps. This way, self storage companies can still provide their signature customer service while safeguarding the health of their staff as well as their clients.
As a storage facility owner, you should have a carefully designed strategy in place and encourage customers to opt for contactless rentals during the pandemic for their own good.
Contact-free rentals can also come in handy in other types of emergencies when physical contact isn’t possible or recommendable.
How do contactless rentals work?
This convenient, non-contact rental solution is very simple. Tenants are asked to sign their lease online so they can skip the rental counter and go directly into their storage unit. Tenants can still access their unit anytime during access hours, but there is no need to interact with others in person.
Customers can use an online calculator to select a suitable unit size, a convenient location, and the desired type of unit (climate controlled, ground level, drive up access, etc.). To make things even easier, there is often an online tutorial on the self storage company’s website.
Virtual estimates as part of the renting process are not exactly new, but they have become more common due to the global health crisis. An online meeting can be arranged to provide an estimate of how much space if needed.
Company representatives are still available to assist tenants, answer their questions, and guide them through the rental process. The goal is to provide professional service and make the entire process as smooth as possible.
What to do when meeting face to face is inevitable?
Face to face interaction with customers should be reduced to a minimum. However, sometimes it can’t be avoided.
In an effort to handle the COVID-19 crisis and slow the progress of the new virus, most essential services follow the six feet rule when meeting in person cannot be avoided. According to this rule, people who don’t live together should stay at least six feet apart at all times. If your physical offices are still open, this is an important measure of precaution to implement.
To keep people apart, write ’’6 feet’’ on masking tape, measure six feet from the desk and mark the floor with tape. Then, move six feet from that spot and mark the floor again. Repeat as many times as needed.
When someone needs to sign some papers or receive a lock for their unit, just place the papers or the lock on a desk and step back so the customer can approach the desk and pick it up.
Additional measures of precaution
In addition to offering contactless rentals and practicing social distancing protocols, it is your responsibility to practice proper hygiene in your offices and storage units so as to protect your staff as well as your clients.
As we join forces to prevent the spread of the novel virus, we must continue to follow guidelines suggested by the Health Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other agencies.
Here are some basic precautions experts recommend:
- Every employee should wear a face mask and gloves. Advise your customers to do the same.
- Remind customers that packing should be done properly , which means using new boxes and wearing gloves while packing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces such as desks, chairs, and doorknobs. Since the novel coronavirus can last for days on metal surfaces, cleaning all metal surfaces frequently is particularly important.
- Clean and disinfect frequently used objects such as keys, computers, phones, and work passes.
- Wash your hands every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water in order to eliminate dangerous microorganisms, including coronavirus. Washing your hands before and after a meal and after going to the toilet is a must.
- There should be enough soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizer available for company employees and clients. According to experts, alcohol-free products are not effective against viruses like this one.
- Avoid touching your face because the virus can get into our body through our nose, eyes or mouth
- Always cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow.
- Regularly open windows to let fresh air inside.
- Employees who do not have any symptoms but have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have recently returned from another state/country should self-isolate and work remotely if possible.
- If an employee exhibits symptoms such as coughing, fever, a sore throat, or shortness of breath, they should be sent home and asked to seek medical help.