Unit Trac Self Storage Management Software Helps Create Life Balance for Semi-Retired Entrepreneurs
As semi-retired professionals, Greg Leach, 65, and Bob Malle, 74, knew how to negotiate a great deal, work with customers, and sell themselves — key characteristics for successful entrepreneurs.
By combining those skills and investing in cloud-based management software, they were able to build a successful self storage business while still making time to enjoy their senior years.
The Move to Self Storage - A Partnership Years in the Making
Greg and Bob have been neighbors, co-workers, and friends for over 46 years. Originally from Florida, they migrated to South Carolina in 2018 when they decided to ease out of retirement together.
Retirement could be the perfect time for indulging in activities they loved doing the most. It could also be the ideal time to start a business. Bob and Greg took it one step further and asked: why choose between the two?
They were confident they could put their savings to better use and still enjoy retirement by investing in self storage.
Challenge: Run a Successful Business While Living the Life they Wanted
Opening a high-quality self storage facility business while providing the work/life balance they were after would take a measured approach.
Because Bob had a strong IT background, and both knew customer service would be an essential factor, they looked to a software management system that included:
- Cloud-based technology
- User-friendly interface
- Easy to operate
The first online option they tried turned out to be a disaster and "unbelievably onerous," says Greg. It not only frustrated them but also confused their clients. They needed to find something better.
Solution: A User-Friendly, Cloud-Based System
Fort Knox Climate Storage wanted to centralize operational control, increase occupancy, and improve the online payment process. Setting up a straightforward, easy-to-use, cloud-based self storage facility management software like Unit Trac turned out to meet those goals in several ways.
1. Simplifying the Process while Delivering Amazing Support
Unit Trac was recommended to them by other people in the business. "Once we saw it demonstrated, I knew that there was no question that it was going to be the software we'd use," says Bob. Unit Trac allowed them to run the business and rent units without having to overcomplicate the process.
Greg says that Nicole Roberts's support, Unit Trac's sales and support person, sealed the deal. "We appreciate her so much. Initially, we were on the phone with her at least every week. She was fantastic to work with."
2. Tracking Accurate Revenue and Unit Availability
Because Unit Trac is driven with return on investment in mind, it offers a large selection of reports so users can see what parts of their business are working best. Reports include growth plans and market analysis, making it simple to follow progress or catch issues before they're a problem.
"I use all of their reports in any given week," Greg says. "They (Unit Trac) will even expand reports to meet our needs if we need additions or changes."
Fort Knox’s WordPress website gives an exceptional user experience
Image from fortknoxclimatestorage.com
3. Providing Convenient Online Customer Portal
From the beginning, it was essential to make sure potential renters understood how they were different. Bob built their website with this in mind, including FAQs, storage tips, and plenty of videos.
Incorporating the Unit Trac customer portal would also be a huge part of attracting their customers.
"If you click anywhere within our website," Greg explains. "You'll be working with Unit Trac in some way." Unit Trac allows customers to see what's available and rent it wherever they happen to be on the website.
Results: A Profitable Business with a Low-Stress Management Style
It may not be exactly "armchair management," Bob jokes, but he can definitely manage the business from his armchair if he wants.
1. Cloud Management Saves Them Time and Missed Opportunities
Both men appreciate that they can do everything from their phones or direct customers to do it online with Unit Trac.
Greg says that even though their gates are open from nine to four, they can conduct business anytime and anywhere they happen to be. "Sometimes Bob will get a call, and he'll just pull off the side of the road and rent to somebody and then go back to it."
2. Business Turned a Profit in Second Year with the Addition of Two New Buildings
Fort Knox Climate Storage has a methodical management style that works thanks to Unit Trac. The online software has helped them fill units and collect rent painlessly, contributing to the bottom line.
They now are almost at maximum capacity. Greg and Bob continue to keep a close eye on the Unit Trac reporting and use their technical assistance whenever it's needed.
"I've never seen a business this good before, ever. It's definitely working for us, and Unit Trac creates a great way to manage our costs," says Greg.
3. Customers Stay and Even Rent More Units
The average Fort Knox Climate Storage customer stays and will often even rent additional units. Of course, the fact that they are known for clean, secure, easy to rent storage is a significant factor in keeping their customers coming back.
According to Greg, any customer who resists going online just calls, and either one of them can jump online and do whatever needs to be done for the customer.
"With access to Unit Trac," he says. "We can take care of whatever problem that they have. It just makes it convenient to do business."
Becoming Self Storage Leaders
As self storage business owners, Bob and Greg recognize the enormous benefits of using a system like Unit Trac. Today, Fort Knox Climate Storage is rapidly becoming one of Pendleton, South Carolina's leading providers of self storage.
For Bob and Greg, the ability to move around and try new things has been one of the most important outcomes of their venture together. Not only did starting a business in retirement result in financial security, but it continues to provide a way to appreciate each other and genuinely enjoy their senior years.
Unit Trac was designed to not only work with your website but to work with your lifestyle. Sign up for a risk-free 30-day trial on our website or give us a call to get started with a demonstration.