Space Control Newsletter
Issue # 17March 2014
In This Issue
Is Data Safe in the Cloud?
Rate Management
Quick Links

Stop by our booth (416) at the Inside Self Storage Trade Show in Las Vegas on March 31 or April 1 to see a demo of Space Control's Insight, the most powerful  suite of management tools in the self-storage industry.  
Designed specifically for absentee owners or companies managing multiple locations, Insight is a suite of programs that includes Onsite, the point-of-sale system for use at the counter and Insight, built just for the management side of the business.  
Let us show you how you can bring all the benefits of cloud technology to your business.

Is Your Data Safe in the Cloud? 


Where, exactly, is this cloud thing?  That's often the first question we get asked about the cloud.  The answer is pretty simple.  It's a computer at a professional data storage center that allows you to access your data through the internet---nothing to do with clouds.  


The second question is about data security.  And the answer to that may surprise you. 


It's a Control issue.  We tend to think that our data is more secure on our own computer in our own office.  But that's because we are really thinking about control instead of security. A Forbes article from a couple of years ago pointed out that this is why some people are afraid of flying---because they're not in control on an airplane. When you're driving your car, you are in control but, when you get on a plane, you surrender control to the pilot. And that makes us feel less safe. We worry less about driving than flying even though statistics show that we're much more likely to be in a car crash than an airplane crash.


That same thinking makes us feel that our data is safer under our control. Consider the professional data center like the experienced airplane pilot. They are well trained, and they have backup systems and contingency plans for any problem they might encounter. They know the implications of a crash on their business' bottom line. Keeping your data safe is their only business so they cover all their bases including a fully trained staff, restricted access to the premises, backup generators, and buildings that can withstand extreme weather.    


The bottom line is that professional data centers can and will invest far more resources into keeping your data safe than you can. Your business is storage. Their business is data security. And the safety of your data will make or break them.  


Credit Card Security.  The same rule applies to credit card data. The number one reason behind cardholder data security compromises is the inability of merchants to protect their customer's stored credit card data. Most companies that experience a data breach have failed to protect sensitive information. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) are designed to help you better protect that data. They require, among other things, a firewall, anti-virus software, secure passwords that are changed often for all users, access on a need-to-know basis only, tracking and monitoring all user access, restricted physical access to card data, regularly testing of security systems, and so on. All this requires a lot of time and effort and you could get fined or lose your merchant account if these rules are not followed.


Get it out of your office so it's not there to steal.  The easiest and safest way to reduce your liability in this area is to store your credit card data with the professionals.  Data thieves can't steal what you don't possess. We chose Element Payment Services as our credit card partner because they offer off-site storage on their Level One servers as well as point-to-point encryption. They are actually a member of the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council so you can be sure they know what they're doing.


Automatic monthly payments are not a problem with Element's tokenization technology. They store the cardholder data; we store a token that Element gives us as the id for that card. When it's time to make the charge we simply send the token and amount to Element. They use the cardholder data stored on their server to submit the charge.




Rate Management with Insight  



After several years of being nervous about rent raises, we're getting more and more enquiries about ways to raise the rent. Insight offers many options, including the following:


Yield Management: Base your move-in rates on supply and demand. Insight can automatically raise the rate when you have only a few spaces left in a popular size or reduce the rate if you've got a building full of one size. You set up the parameters, and Space Control handles it from there.


Current Customers:  But, since you probably have more rented spaces than vacant ones, it even more important to consider automatic rent raises for existing customers. It's too easy to miss some customers when using a manual method. Create a 5% raise for one year after move-in and each year after that. Insight will keep track of when each customer's raise is due and print the letter the required days before the raise. This has the added benefit of spreading your raises over the whole year. Set this up once and then never worry about who gets a raise, how much, and when.


Regional Manager or Owner Has Final Approval:  If you'd rather have the Site Manager recommend new rates for the Regional Manager's approval, Insight can do that too. There are options to exclude customers who moved in or had a rent raise recently. Then you have a list of those eligible for a raise. Open Onsite on the same computer and review the customer account at the same time. After you decide the new rent amount and add any comments, simply Save that information. The Regional Manager or Owner in a different location can then review and edit the list of recommended raises before Scheduling them to go into effect.


Of course, you can raise all the customers in one size, raise everybody by a percentage, or bring everybody up to your vacant rates. You can "try out" some rates to see how much they will increase income before approving them. Spring is here---time to raise rates.





     Please stop by our booth at the ISS tradeshow in Las Vegas.  I look forward to showing you our new suite of programs for the cloud and to discussing all its new features with you.
     Ramona Taylor
     President, Space Control Systems 

     206 Providence Mine Road, Suite 118

     Nevada City, CA 95959

    800-455-9055  ext 12