23 episodes

Join us for our brand new show, The Self Storage Lab–a new podcast deconstructing how operators are adapting to today’s technology-driven landscape and how it might impact your business.

In the age of hyper-informed, store-anywhere customers, your business needs to be always on, data-driven, and customer-centered.

Whether you’re a thousand location operator or looking to get into self storage with your first property, nerd out with us as we help you decide what’s best for your business.

tryswivl.com
tryswivl.com/blueprint

Self Storage Lab swivl

    • Business
    • 4.4 • 7 Ratings

Join us for our brand new show, The Self Storage Lab–a new podcast deconstructing how operators are adapting to today’s technology-driven landscape and how it might impact your business.

In the age of hyper-informed, store-anywhere customers, your business needs to be always on, data-driven, and customer-centered.

Whether you’re a thousand location operator or looking to get into self storage with your first property, nerd out with us as we help you decide what’s best for your business.

tryswivl.com
tryswivl.com/blueprint

    Remote Management and Kiosk Tech w/ Go Store It

    Remote Management and Kiosk Tech w/ Go Store It

    Welcome to the Self Storage Lab — where we deconstruct how operators are adapting to today’s technology-driven landscape and how it might impact your business.

    In episode 22 of the Self Storage Lab, the team sheds light on how self-storage operators are adapting to the latest in tech. From the latest in kiosk technology to advanced unattended systems, they dive into insights on how operators can make their implementation in manned and unmanned setups work.

    Getting nerdy with us today is Beau Agnello, Chief Operating Officer at Go Store It. Beau brings a rich background from his roles at National Storage and Extra Space Storage, where he contributed to product innovation and managed a significant portfolio. Beau emphasizes the importance of enhancing customer experience through technology and shares the data-driven approach Go Store It employs to remain competitive. The conversation also explores the evolution of staff roles, remote management strategies, and lessons learned in integrating new technologies for a consistently excellent customer journey.



    Mentioned in this episode

    00:23 - Meet Beau Agnello

    01:10 - Exploring Remote Management Technology

    02:28 - The Evolution of Self-Service Kiosks

    04:40 - Customer Journey: Attended vs. Unattended

    05:09 - Reframing the Purpose of Kiosks

    06:46 - Enhancing Customer Experience with Technology

    12:59 - Virtual Management and Security

    19:21 - Specializing Roles for Efficiency

    22:06 - Data-Driven Insights and Customer Behavior

    32:44 - Impact on Business Metrics and Valuation

    36:36 - Balancing Cost and Customer Experience

    38:25 - Implementing Kiosk Technology: Lessons Learned

    39:57 - Understanding Customer Behavior

    43:31 - Key Features for Kiosk Solutions

    45:19 - Educating Your Team and Customers

    49:35 - Exploring Other Technologies

    51:28 - Innovations in Other Industries

    59:05 - Final Thoughts and Future Directions


    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/selfstoragelab/message

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Week in AI: Mishaps, Google Search, Multi-Modal, Hardware Devices

    Week in AI: Mishaps, Google Search, Multi-Modal, Hardware Devices

    Welcome to the Self Storage Lab — where we deconstruct how operators are adapting to today’s technology-driven landscape and how it might impact your business.



    In episode 21 of the Self Storage Lab, we’re diving back into the world of AI with all of the recent buzz over the last week. We review key announcements from the Google I.O. conference, including AI overviews in search, and OpenAI's new product developments. The discussion covers how these advancements might affect search behaviors, content strategies, and digital marketing, especially for businesses dependent on web traffic.



    The conversation extends to issues of accuracy and potential disruptions in organic search rankings, exploring the broader impact on operations, security, and customer interactions within the self-storage sector.



    Mentioned in this episode:




    00:34 Google's AI Overview: A Game Changer?
    01:48 Impact on Content Strategies and SEO
    02:26 User Experience and Competitor Analysis
    04:59 Google's Experimentation and Future Directions
    08:01 Monetization Challenges and Global Search Trends
    11:10 Adapting Content for AI-Driven Search
    20:32 The Role of Thought Leadership and Social Media
    27:55 Brand Equity in Self Storage
    28:35 Newsletter Announcement
    29:01 AI Hallucinations and Accuracy
    30:54 The Future of Search and AI
    35:12 AI Hardware Innovations
    36:43 Wearable AI Devices
    40:41 AI in Photography and Self Storage
    49:41 AI Agents and Security Systems
    52:43 Rapid Fire AI News


    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/selfstoragelab/message

    • 58 min
    Access Control: How SAM and Five Star Storage do it w/ Lynn Sykes & Eric Gardner

    Access Control: How SAM and Five Star Storage do it w/ Lynn Sykes & Eric Gardner

    Welcome to the Self Storage Lab — where we deconstruct how operators are adapting to today’s technology-driven landscape and how it might impact your business.



    This episode explores the critical transition from manual to automated access and security systems in the self-storage industry. It highlights the drive for automation prompted by competitive market dynamics and evolving consumer expectations, particularly from younger, tech-savvy customers.



    Guests Eric Gardner, Director of Marketing at Five Star Storage, and Lynn Sykes, Sr. Vice President of Operations at Storage Asset Management, discuss the benefits of sophisticated access and lock systems, including enhanced customer convenience and security, and the operational efficiencies these technologies offer. They delve into the importance of selecting compatible service partners, the impact of these systems on customer service and the staff experience, and the financial considerations of adopting new access control technologies.



    The conversation also touches on the need for thorough training and the integration of new technologies with existing systems to ensure seamless operations and enhanced customer satisfaction.



    Episode Guide

    01:14 Introduction and Personal Journeys

    04:17 Exploring Access Control: Definitions, Changes, and Customer Expectations

    05:36 Exploring Access Control Systems: From Manual Gates to State-of-the-Art Technology

    08:17 The Impact on the Customer and Staff Experience

    14:13 The Data-Driven Approach: Leveraging Insights for Strategic Decisions

    17:49 The Impact of COVID-19 on Access Patterns and Technology Adoption

    20:28 Remote Management and the Role of Technology in Customer Satisfaction

    22:49 Technology Adoption and Measuring ROI

    26:28 Budgeting for Technology Upgrades in Self Storage Facilities

    32:33 Exploring Customer Reviews and Shopping Habits

    33:20 The Importance of Customer Service and Service Partners

    35:50 Managing Remote and Hub-and-Spoke Locations

    38:39 Adopting AI and Security Technologies

    44:06 Innovative Access Control and Security Measures

    47:22 Marketing Strategies and Customer Communication

    53:36 Preparing for Technology Transitions and Upgrades

    57:58 Enhancing the Customer Experience


    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/selfstoragelab/message

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Part 3 - State of Technology: Conversational Trends

    Part 3 - State of Technology: Conversational Trends

    Today’s episode will be the final episode on our special series covering our report on the State of Technology in Self Storage. We discuss our main takeaways from analyzing over 2 million customer conversations used to optimize day to day operations, and cover topics including patterns in customer inquiries, most frequently asked about unit size and amenities, and much more.

    If you haven’t already, go download the second edition of our industry report directly on our website We cover a ton of data points focused on how operators should think about putting The Modern Customer at the center of their universe.



    Mentioned in this episode



    Understanding Customer Inquiries: Service vs. Sales

    Our analysis revealed distinct patterns in customer interactions, primarily divided into service-related and sales-related conversations.


    Service dominates: Approximately 70% of inquiries are service-related, highlighting the need for efficient account management and payment systems.
    Sales opportunities: The remaining conversations focus on unit availability and amenities, signaling strong sales leads.



    Operational Efficiencies Through Automation

    Automated systems are proving to be a game-changer in managing routine tasks, significantly reducing the operational burden on staff.


    Automating routine tasks: Solutions like bill payments and account updates through automation help streamline operations.
    Enhanced customer service: Automation not only saves time but also ensures consistent, high-quality customer interactions.



    Trends in Customer Behavior

    Our analysis unearthed interesting trends regarding customer preferences and behaviors, which can inform targeted marketing and service offerings.


    Short-term storage needs: A noticeable shift towards shorter rental periods, with many customers inquiring about monthly or even weekly rentals.
    After-hours inquiries: A significant volume of messages arrive outside traditional business hours, suggesting the importance of 24/7 customer service options.



    The Rise of Digital Communication

    Digital channels are becoming the preferred method for customer interactions, offering opportunities for real-time engagement and support.


    Preferred communication channels: Customers are increasingly choosing text messages, web chat, and other digital platforms over phone calls.
    Channel effectiveness: Analyzing which digital channels lead to higher conversion rates or more efficient resolution of service issues.



    Seasonal Variations and Customer Needs

    Our data also highlighted seasonal patterns in customer inquiries, which can help operators anticipate fluctuations and adjust their strategies accordingly.


    Seasonality in self-storage: Insights into how customer needs vary by season, informing inventory management and promotional activities.
    After-hours engagement: A significant volume of conversations occurs outside of traditional business hours, suggesting the need for around-the-clock support options.



    Looking Ahead: Personalization and Precision

    The future of self-storage lies in leveraging data to offer personalized experiences and optimize operations based on precise customer insights.


    Granular data analysis: The potential to break down data by location or specific customer segments for targeted improvements.
    Innovative communication strategies: Exploring new channels and technologies to enhance customer engagement and satisfaction.



    As the self-storage industry continues to navigate a technology-driven landscape, understanding and adapting to customer needs through data analysis will be key to staying competitive and delivering exceptional service. Our findings underscore the critical role of automation, digital communication, and personalization in shaping the future of self-storage operations.


    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/selfstoragelab/message

    • 37 min
    Part 2 - State of Technology: Understanding Technology Trends

    Part 2 - State of Technology: Understanding Technology Trends

    Hoping to stand out in this competitive landscape and focus inwardly on improving operational efficiency, operators are looking to the integration of innovative technology and the inclusion of customer-centric amenities within their facilities.

    Today’s episode will be part 2 of 3, where we'll touch on the state of technology being utilized today throughout the industry. We start by breaking down the different tools available to operators, big and small, to help run their day-to day, plus how automaton can make you a better operator.

    Mentioned in this episode:

    Intro to Technology

    We asked ourselves the following questions.


    What issues were operators trying to solve this year? / What was top of mind this year?
    What to look forward in the coming year?


    Online Presence Breakdown

    The rise of digital marketing has created different touch-points for customers to engage with your brand. Prospects are now further down the marketing funnel when they eventually talk to your store team. They will have already visited your website, read some reviews, and perhaps browsed through your rates. You have to ensure you can service prospects and tenants wherever they are.  



    Back of Office Breakdown

    The back of office tech stack is the core of running and operating your self storage operations. These tools help an operator easily manage, monitor, and run their stores and their teams. These directly impact operations, revenue, and tenant management and support measures.



    Facility Operations Breakdown

    Over the last year there’s been a big push on this front. We’ve seen a lot of good stuff at trade shows related to state of the art hardware and software tools. These tools are helping operators streamline facility operations by helping to reduce operating costs and drive a renewed focus on their IN-STORE customer experience.



    If you haven’t already, go download the second edition of our industry report “The State of Technology in Self Storage”. We cover a ton of data points focused on how operators should think about putting The Modern Customer at the center of their universe.



    We also unpack over 2 million conversations with customers in the past year. We think you’ll really like it.



    Stay tuned for Part III where we explore the entirety of swivl’s conversational data trends and how AI is impacting Self Storage today.


    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/selfstoragelab/message

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Part I - State of Technology: Uncovering Customer Trends

    Part I - State of Technology: Uncovering Customer Trends

    Consumer behavior has changed and operators need to rapidly adopt technology to stay current in today's economic landscape. Just last week, we put the final touches to our newest edition of the State of Technology in Self Storage. Building off of two years of data and a mass surge towards AI-driven experiences, the report highlights unique insights to showcase how new technologies are affecting the industry.



    This special series will be divided into three episodes, going over the main sections of the report:


    The Trends our data showed us about the average self storage operator and customer
    The key business areas that will be impacted by AI and new technologies.
    And, the main takeaways from over 2 million customer conversations used to optimize business operations.

    Today’s episode will be part 1 of 3, where we will explore the trends we uncovered from our data and, how operators are adapting to what we call, the Modern Customer.



    Mentioned in this episode:



    A Year in Review


    Recognition of the challenging past 12 months affecting various industries
    Tight budgets and cautious spending in response to economic challenges
    Changing consumer behavior and the need for rapid adoption of technology



    Trend 1: Efficiency Matters


    Learn how operators are reassessing their operational stack, optimizing teams, tools, and data to enhance the customer journey's
    Addressing organizational bloat and improving overall journey for customers
    Emphasis on intelligent automation and resource optimization



    Trend 2: Conversations as Meaningful Experiences


    Prioritizing customer experience for immediate engagement
    The significance of two-way conversations, cross-channel interactions, and deeper customer insights
    Empowering customers and creating personal connections



    Trend 3: Augmented Intelligence


    How are operators leveraging augmented intelligence today
    Moving toward a data-driven culture and utilizing machine-generated insights
    The focus on workforce evolution and the benefits of an augmented approach



    Trend 4: Breaking Silos


    Importance of breaking organizational, data, and mentality silos
    Embracing team sharing and access to diverse data sources
    Overcoming challenges of fragmented customer experiences and duplicated efforts



    Common Thread: The Modern Customer


    Placing the customer at the center of business decisions
    Catering to the expectations of the modern customer
    Addressing generational demand and preferences
    The significance of seamless and convenient access to physical facilities



    Stay tuned for Part II where we explore the technology and customer-centric amenities that operators are investing in to stay competitive.




    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/selfstoragelab/message

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

hlevy57 ,

Loved the Chat GPT AI episode!

Yes, please keep geeking and nerding out, even waxing philosophical!

Very informative and accessible (for even non-technical folks!). Really exciting time we’re living in and hearing about where this technology interacts with the storage space and what Swivel has been up to (all along!)

Looking forward to the Storage Space Lab Happy Hour!

g3l1d ,

Started with ChatGPT

Started général and came back to storage.

MadiShepp ,

Only Self Storage Podcast You’ll Ever Need

The best podcast I’ve found focused on everything self storage. They really know what their talking about! I love listening and find myself walking away with a new piece of information after each listen. My go-to podcast for everything self storage. Keep the knowledge bombs coming!

Top Podcasts In Business

REAL AF with Andy Frisella
Andy Frisella #100to0
Money Rehab with Nicole Lapin
Money News Network
The Ramsey Show
Ramsey Network
Young and Profiting with Hala Taha
Hala Taha | YAP Media Network
NerdWallet's Smart Money Podcast
NerdWallet Personal Finance
Masters of Scale
WaitWhat

You Might Also Like

The Self Storage Show with Jim Ross
Jim Ross
The Self Storage University Podcast
Frank Rolfe
Self Storage Investing
Scott Meyers
Creating Wealth Through Self Storage
Creating Wealth Through Self Storage
Self Storage Income
AJ Osborne
Marketplace
Marketplace