02 May CallPotential Creates SmartKiosk to Simplify Rental Process, Reduce Paperwork Errors
Seemingly out of nowhere, a new piece of technology is creating a lot of buzz in the self storage sector. During the 2016 Inside Self-Storage World Expo in Las Vegas, lead management and call center solutions software company CallPotential unveiled its SmartKiosk. Phil Murphy, President of CallPotential, says the new kiosk could be a game-changer for the industry in terms of speed, accuracy, and price.
Murphy is a self storage owner himself. He operates 14 facilities and hated missing rental sale opportunities while offices were closed. He’d seen other kiosks on the market but was put off by the price.
“I thought there had to be a better way to get these rental sales but at a reasonable cost,” Murphy says. “I didn’t want to reduce hours or staff. I decided I wanted a tool that was more of a staff augmentation approach rather than a staff replacement. I looked at current kiosks and thought, ‘Let’s not just make it cheaper, but also more user-friendly and faster.”
Murphy knew that it typically takes a manager ten to 15 minutes to process a new rental the standard way. He wanted something that could cut that time down. He also knew that with all the paperwork involved in a new rental, mistakes can happen.
“I thought, ‘This is a tool that needs to work in two functions.’ I wanted something that could run a facility when managers weren’t present where customers can self-serve, and managers can also have it to run a facility more quickly and smoothly.”
For starters, the SmartKiosk has a built in eSign and ID scanner. A renter can place IDs and credit cards on a sort of tray, which scans a card, and then automatically inputs the information into the system.
“This speeds up the rental process. With the scanner automatically entering information like their address, it makes a much quicker process. Rather than a new rental taking ten to 15 minutes, the SmartKiosk allows you to process one at an average of two minutes. We actually had a fastest rental contest at the ISS World Expo. The winner did one in 46 seconds, although I don’t think she read everything.”
“The accuracy is even more important,” Murphy adds. “So many mistakes can happen with paperwork. The information you scan from a driver’s license and bank card is the same information going into your lease.”
In addition, the SmartKiosk offers a built-in size guide, interactive video guides, can accept checks, ACH, and credit cards, and integrates with most management software. Current models include one for indoor use, one for outdoor use, and a handheld version for managers.
“The manager’s version eliminates another jump-off point for a sale. When a manager shows a unit, they can start the rental process and finalize it right there rather than having to go back to the office first,” says Murphy.
Something else that may seem attractive about the SmartKiosk is the cost to the operator. Murphy explains, “Other rental kiosks used for self storage can cost tens of thousands of dollars with big monthly fees. The SmartKiosk sells for only $999 [per unit] and $65 a month [for service]. It’s definitely budget-friendly.”
Based on the feedback he got from the ISS World Expo, Murphy believes the SmartKiosk could be pivotal for the self storage industry. “I think this will be very impactful. The biggest problems in self storage are speed and accuracy, and the SmartKiosk fixes that.”