Newest Technology In The Self Storage Industry

Alivia Whitaker | March 4, 2021 @ 12:00 AM

Do you still think of self storage as a sleepy "Mom and Pop" industry? Think again! New technology is taking over the way we do self storage.

Just like many industries, automation and slick, cutting edge technology is carving the way in self storage.   Companies like Keylock Storage are paving the way in this field.

Here are 3 emerging technologies that may change your self storage experience:


Smart Locks

Did you lose the keys to your unit lock again?  Well, forget having your lock cut - a new innovation in the world of self storage is smart locks. 

Smart locks are automatic, electronic locks that are often opened by pin on a keypad.  They allow the tenant increased security and convenience.

Inside Self Storage detailed how these locks work.  They said,

"Electronic door locks are used for three primary purposes:

  • To secure the collateral of the site owner.
  • To provide individual unit alarm security.
  • To increase security for the tenant by providing a supplemental lock to his existing cylinder lock.

In practice, a tenant arrives at the gate. He enters his PIN into the keypad. If he’s not past-due (and, therefore, not locked out), the gate will open, the computer will instruct the lock on each his units to unlock, and the alarm will be temporarily disabled.

If the tenant is past-due and an overlock order has been given by the management system, the keypad will display a message such as, “Your account is past due. Please use our kiosk or see the manager to make a payment.” Even if the tenant tailgates into the property behind another customer, he will not be able to access his unit, since the electronic overlock is applied. The alarm feature works like any other individual door-alarm system, sounding an alarm when a unit’s door is opened and the tenant has not entered his PIN at the entry keypad. The electronic-lock software goes further by being able to sound an alarm when the door opens or closes.

When a valid tenant leaves the facility, he normally enters his PIN into the exit keypad. The computer then instructs the lock on each of his units to return to the locked position and the alarm is enabled. The software also re-locks and rearms the unit after a preset period of time (designated by the owner via a setting within the program). So even if a tenant doesn’t enter his PIN at the exit keypad, the unit becomes protected again automatically.

The system can also tell the owner or manager when a problem appears to exist in a unit’s door-contact switches. Other features include not allowing the unit to lock if the system thinks the door is open. These and many more settings are fully adjustable by the owner or site manager."

Apps and Kiosks

Another great technology resource that is coming out more and more in self storage is mobile apps and kiosks.

Mobile Self Storage Apps

Self storage facilities like Keylock Storage provide dynamic mobile apps that allow you to do things like shop for a unit, communicate with staff and pay your bill.  These updated and user friendly apps really change the self storage experience for the tenant in terms of convenience and ease.

Outerbox gives us the stats on mobile usage and retail,

  • 77% of American's own a smartphone
  • Over 230 million U.S. consumers own smartphones
  • Around 100 million U.S. consumers own tablets
  • 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months
  • Almost 40% of all eCommerce purchases during the 2018 holiday season were made on a smartphone.
  • eCommerce dollars now comprise 10% of ALL retail revenue
  • 80% of shoppers used a mobile phone inside of a physical store to either look up product reviews, compare prices or find alternative store locations
  • An estimated 10 billion mobile connected devices are currently in use

And these stats definitely apply in self storage.  That is why more and more owners and operators are moving to mobile apps.  


Another new technology in self storage is self help kiosks.  These kiosks are used inside or outside a storage unit and allow the customer to browse and rent units autonomsly when a manager is not on site.  Some facilities are even defaulting to the kiosks and not hiring physical staff at all.   Weigh, whether this is important to you.

Kiosks work like a self checkout at a grocery store and are sessentially just a physical computer on site you can use to rent and pay your bill.

Remote Monitoring and Security

Some self storage facilities offer the ability to view security cameras of your unit through a mobile app or website, although this is not as wide-spread.  This allows the tenant to have more control and monitoring over the security of their belongings.

Some facilities even offer monitoring of HVAC units in climate controlled wings.

When looking for a storage unit, you will want to make sure your facility offers you the latest technology.  Not all facilities are created equal and some will offer more amenities than others.

In addition, you can visit Keylock Storage Blog for more interesting articles about organization and lifestyle: