One of the best things that a property owner can do for a multifamily complex is to install a secure, attractive set of storage units for the tenants to use. Having clean, and secure tenant storage solutions in place will not only add value to the property but also reduce theft-related crimes in the community.
How Storage Units Pay For Themselves
One of the biggest mistakes that multifamily owners make is to assume that installing on-site storage bins is above what they can afford, or that the investment will not pay off in the end. Contrary to popular belief, it costs about the same amount of money to install unattractive wire mesh storage boxes as it does to install a solid set of strong, private storage bins. Depending on the size of the complex, and how many bins that will be sufficient for the property will determine the overall cost of purchase and installation.
What many property owners fail to realize is that on-site storage for tenants is in high demand. In fact, according to a recent study, most tenants that rent apartments would much rather have a safe and secure storage location on the property that they live on rather than storing their property in a remote location.
Most of the tenants that said they would rather have on-site storage also said that they would be willing to pay more each month to have it. With a little bit of planning, preparation, and finesse, the rent that the tenants are already paying could be raised in order to accommodate clean, secure storage bins. Millions of tenants throughout the United States are already paying upwards of an extra $100 per month to have on-site storage.
If you think about how much an off-site storage facility charges its renters it is easy to see where the opportunity to bring in an extra $10,000 per month is very real. If a tenant is paying over $200 a month for off-site storage, they would be more than happy to have on-site storage for half the price. Whatever price you charge will be up to you, so you can either spike it up or lower it.
Attractive Storage Units
There are a few ways that a property owner could make the storage units even more attractive than they already are. One of the details that people like to see when it comes to storage is security. Adding extra layers of security around the perimeter of the storage bins is one way to make the units look more attractive. Whether it is a set of security cameras, or an extra layer of walls or locked doors that people must pass in order to reach their bins the added security will provide an appealing essence to the storage areas.
Of course, there is no reason to go overboard with it all. If the property looks like it has a heavily guarded atmosphere, the tenants that go to look at the apartments to see if it looks like a good place to live may get the impression that the neighborhood is so crime-ridden that the apartments need maximum security measures. To give off the appearance that there is adequate security and that their belongings are safe in the units is all that needs to be done.
The Look of Strength
Anything that can make the bins look stronger and more sturdy could be attractive in the eyes of prospective tenant storage. Extra sturdy locks that are attached to strong and secure latches can easily provide a rugged look that will not only be attractive to tenants but also unattractive to thieves.
If you think about it, nobody wants to see their property guarded by a flimsy-looking lock with a flimsy latch. If the look of the very thing that is keeping their stuff safe appears to be as easy to snap apart as a pretzel stick, they will not be impressed or feel safe. This goes for thieves as well. If a thief sees a weak entrance to a possible good bounty they will make note of it, and come back to hit the place as soon as they can.
Putting a fresh coat of paint on a storage bin that has been around for a while and seen a few seasons always helps to keep things looking nice and clean. Of course, the colors should match the rest of the property and make a statement of security. It is up to the property owner to use decorative fonts with the numbers on the units or keep them looking generic and sturdy. Depending on the styling preferences of the property manager, the general appearance can vary in the essence of taste.
After a period of time, the existing paint will acquire a buildup of dirt, oils, and other potentially destructive materials on the surface. It is important to thoroughly wash the outside of the bins, preferably with a pressure washer and mild detergent, in order to make sure that the new paint sticks to the surface and does not have to be re-painted within a few weeks.
When most people gaze upon a structure the first thing that they notice is whether or not it looks sturdy and balanced. If you have a bunch of storage bins that are different shapes, sizes, and colors it will appear to the beholder that there is something amiss.
Although space, and the availability of it, are sometimes scarce, this obstacle can be used as an advantage. If the bins are structured in a way that provides visual sturdiness, they will be more attractive to the people that are looking at them for security purposes. Because the bins are completely customizable, they can be built in such a way that presents to the person looking at them that they are all the same structure. Whether they are stacked upon each other, or side by side if they all have the same height they will appear stable, strong, and sturdy. However, if they are all different heights they might appear as if they are off-balance and shoddy.
Clean and Free of Grafitti
Most buildings in urban areas have issues with graffiti at one point or another. It goes without saying that if a property wishes to be free of vandalism, it has to be maintained on a vigorous basis. Each day every part of the property must be examined for graffiti, and the so-called art should be removed or covered immediately. Although there is no way to actually stop vandals completely, short of hiring a 24-hour guard, removing all instances of it before it sits long enough to attract attention may dissuade vandals from returning over and over again.
If the storage bins are constantly cleaned and well-maintained they look much better than if they are dirty, run-down, and full of fowl graffiti.
The absolute best way to make storage units more attractive is to take good care of them. Once they are built, installed, and in working order, they will most likely attract a lot of attention. The attention will come from people that depend on them for security, and from people that want to break into them. When you create an environment that gives confidence to tenants and scares would-be thieves away you add value and safety to your entire community.