The Excursion…Leaving the Safety of Amazing Spaces
This week in order to research for my blog and to better understand the world of self-storage, I visited a few different self-storage facilities around The Woodlands area. I saw this little excursion as an experiment. When I was shopping for self-storage after moving to Texas, I didn’t bother visiting any other self-storage unit in Houston outside of Amazing Spaces. This was my chance to truly see if the images that I saw online actually matched the physical location. Moreover, I knew this little research trip would help me identify the “it” factor that separates Amazing Spaces from other storage places.
Disclaimer: I will not name the names of the places I visited and am not trying to condemn these businesses in any way, shape, or form. When deciding what locations to visit, I selected a variety of different brands, so I would have a clear understanding of all the available storage options to consumers. This post is merely a collection of the thoughts and observations I made while visiting these locations. Please keep an open mind and understand this was an educational experiment for me, not a way to judge or poach from these places. I wanted to share my experience on this blog; hopefully this experience will help someone out there!
Facility #1: I eagerly walked up to the door of Storage Rental Facility #1. The outside was what I typically pictured self-storage facilities looked like before starting my research on the unit my fiancé and I rented: orange, run down, and dreary. The door into the office was locked. The door had a window on it, so I was able to see inside. I knocked and patiently waited outside. Hmm.. no answer. I knocked again. Three tiny dogs came running out from what I assume was the manager’s on-site apartment. They barked at me through the door. The morning research wasn’t off to a roaring start.
I waited around five minutes for someone to open the door. After 5 minutes, I had enough of the barking dogs and started to walk away. As I walked back to the car, a woman appeared from the storage area. She unlocked the door, put the dogs away, and let us in. She was a bit gruff, but quickly gave information on pricing and we were out the door in less than 3 minutes. No tour. No explanations.
Facility #2: This facility seemed very nice from the outside. All the units were gated off, so I didn’t have any access to them. On my tour, I saw that the inside was bright and clean. Okay, this isn’t so bad! True, the property wasn’t anything spectacular, but it wasn’t something to scoff at either.
Here’s where Facility #2 took a turn for the worst. The person selling me the unit left me alone in the hallway while he looked for open units to show me. When he returned, he didn’t end up showing me an interior unit and took me outside instead. I waited for him to explain the benefits of climate controlled storage in Houston. Nothing. When we returned to the leasing office, I saw that the property manager was arguing with a customer. I was scared for the poor customer and wondered what circumstance would warrant a lecture from this man.
Facility #3: I walked right into Facility #3. The leasing office was locked and a sign on the door stated that the manager would be back in over an hour. I turned around and was free to roam the hallways of the storage unit facility. I thought about how easy it would be for me to cut one of the locks. Clearly security in Facility #3 wasn’t the greatest.
I visited five storage locations in total. I met some very nice people and excellent salespeople. For example, one person was very convincing when she stated that 80 degrees Fahrenheit was the “norm” for climate controlled self-storage. I’m sure she wasn’t trying to be malicious, but really? 80 degrees? There’s no way that’s climate controlled!
In order to help those out there shopping for storage, I put together a little checklist for you to take with you when you’re doing research on where to rent. I know I could have used this checklist while I was shopping for storage, so I hope it helps you!