Finding local storage options can be difficult when the web seems to be dominated by national chains, but a nationally owned chain can’t be that bad, right?

Well…

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That depends on what you are looking for in a storage unit. If all you want is a place to hove your stuff, a national storage chain is probably fine. But if you want a storage facility that cares about you and your stuff, you might be better off looking for a truly local option.

Regional storage chains and locally owned facilities offer a personal touch that most national storage facilities simply don’t because the owners and managers also live in your community.

Here are some of the differences I’ve observed.

When I deal with a local storage facility, storage managers are more able to work together and more likely to do so. For example, we don’t rent moving trucks at our facility, but a local storage facility a couple miles away does. When I have a customer or potential customer who needs a truck, I refer them to Providence Storage because they rent Penske trucks. Sure, I occasionally will lose a customer to their facility, usually the ones who need to rent a truck often, but I still make the referral because it’s good customer service.

So why send them there instead of some other truck rental company?

Because I’ve met the owners and I know that any customer I send to them is going to be treated well.

Likewise, when they have openings and I don’t, I’ll send customers to Locker Room Storage in Collegeville and they return the favor. Because we are both local storage, we are focused on treating customers right. Even if you don’t store with me today, you or your neighbor might need storage next week and I want you to recommend us.

An employee at a national chain might want to be able to give this level of customer service, but might also be risking their job to do so. Companies that offer local storage units are usually more focused on being part of their community.

In fact, that’s another reason to choose a local storage company. We contribute to our local communities. Spacemall Storage supports charities like Unite for Her, a breast cancer charity on the Main Line, and smaller charity events like the Trappe VFW Car Show, where they are raising funds to help a family get transportation for a handicapped child. National chain storage companies may also support charities, but do they support them in your community?

We’ve also sponsored Little League teams, offered discounted or free storage to Boy Scout troops and local churches and sent items to charity auctions for local citizens in dire circumstances.

Finally, you should choose local storage because your dollars stay local. All of the local storage companies I know are reinvesting in their community. They spend their income locally, helping support other local businesses and generally support the local economy. Often, with a national chain, all the profits are siphoned off to another part of the country, contributing nothing to the places that made them.

At Spacemall Storage, we thinkw e can do better.