Pros and Cons of AI in Self Storage?

What are the pros and cons of AI for a self storage business? Artificial intelligence is one of the biggest emerging trends in the UK. It is expected by experts that it will have a significant impact on businesses, and self storage industry is no exception.

The number of UK AI companies has increased by 688% over the last ten years, and around one in six UK organisations, totalling 432,000, have embraced at least one AI technology – according to government research.

Regarding self storage, AI has the potential to influence the industry massively. It can help self storage facilities better understand their customers, identify opportunities for improvement, and automate mundane tasks like inventory management.

Self storage operators might find it tempting to hop onto the trend and integrate numerous AI and automated functionalities, believing that is the direction the market is heading in. However, the essential factor is this:

Pay attention to your customers, and consider if human touch or AI efficiency is what they really want.

In this article, we are going to discuss the pros and cons of some of the most popular AI tools for self storage businesses, and why you should consider both before implementing them.

Customer service chatbots

Pros: AI chatbots can be a great way to maximise your customer’s experience. With its round-the-clock presence, the bots engage with customers quickly by addressing any basic questions they may have about available storage, pricing and facility features.

Cons: 23% of customer service companies in the UK are currently using AI chatbots, but recent studies show that 86% of consumers prefer interacting with humans to chatbots. Can AI-generated content ever sound truly human? And if customers suspect there’s a bot behind a brand, will it put them off your business?


Pros: ChatGPT recently took the world by storm. Capable of writing emails, essays and more given a few short prompts, ChatGPT has become one of the fastest-growing apps in history. Allowing ChatGPT to prompt content or marketing ideas can be a great way to significantly reduce workload. 

Cons: ChatGPT sounds very confident when answering your questions, but that doesn’t mean it’s always correct. This can lead to confusion for consumers. Even its makers openly acknowledge the bot’s shortcomings stating: “ChatGPT sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers.”

Software-based access control

Pros: Having self-storage access control security solutions enables customers to access and manage their storage units remotely and streamlines the entry and exit processes. It also allows the operator to collect relevant customer data, minimise admin work and additional staff overhead costs. 

Cons: Although you might be saving money on staff overhead costs, implementing AI tools often requires a substantial upfront investment. Costs involve not only the technology itself but also training staff, integration into existing systems, and potential software updates. Many operators also worry about “losing the personal connection” between themselves and the customer and find that customers sometimes prefer face-to-face interactions. There may also be challenges including data privacy concerns, as well as technological failures or cyberattacks.


Pros: A.I.-driven smart security cameras and access control systems have the potential to improve the safety and security of self storage facilities. Unlike traditional cameras that only record footage, these advanced cameras can analyse visual data on the spot. They can detect unusual activities, such as unauthorised access or suspicious behaviours, triggering instant alerts to security personnel or staff members.

Cons: AI security systems often involve the collection and analysis of data, which can raise concerns about individual privacy. Consumers are concerned about facial recognition, and behavioural analysis aspects as they might infringe upon personal privacy rights if not managed transparently and ethically.

Our Takeaway

Overall, there are many ways operators in the UK are utilising AI tools. While there are numerous pros of implementing AI in your business, it’s also crucial to consider the potential risks.

We are strong believers that people buy from people, and it’s important to make sure your team think independently and is empowered to solve problems which are paramount to the success of your business. Taking intentional steps to ensure technology is used as a tool, not a constant distraction, will help you stand out amongst the rest!


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