Self Storage Vendor Spotlight: AI Lean

Hi everyone! This is jim ross and self storage show today. Segment. When you go to another vendor spotlight. Excited for this one.

I got the founder of a eileen frederick the lander with me today. How's it going? Going. Great. Thank you about yourself, jim. Going good, these air, these air fun having an opportunity doing these kind of vendor spotlights. We get a kind of dive in and get more information on you guys, and you're kind of a newer player in industry. So I want to make sure we had a chance toe to talk and get the word out.

I appreciate it. We're really excited to be here and to tell you everybody a little bit about ellen and what we do. And it's a it's fun were new in the market, and I think we have a fun and exciting product that actually solves some pain points. At least that's what south storage owners are telling us.

So awesome. That's just perfect fit. So let's just jump right into it here. So go ahead and take it away. Hi, i'm fredrick verlander from a eileen so we started the company about a year ago, and we are a lean to auction platform.

Uh, i'll give you a little bit of background about our story. It was co founded by myself and alistair and four other co founders who are strategic advisers and started another company called air 24 in france that was recently sold to the french post office.

We have victor, that is our sales and excellence person, and how we all started was really that human claim, all from france. Had his company called their 24 that date electronic certified mail.

And that's what they revolutionized that market in france. For anything that need to be certified, they could be done. Electronica. We full idea validation.

And we were looking in the us to see how what's a fit. And at the end of the day, there wasn't a fit for average things because fedex and ups is so standard here for that perspective, by talking to self storage owners that, like this, is interesting.

We do have a problem with dealing with leans, and certified mail is kind of a pain, so an electricity from l could be very interesting, but we really are more interested in maybe having something that has a full solution to automate this whole process.

And we knew that we bcm may have been bombproof by having big clients like pitney bowes was dark. Exxon and gazprom, who were using it as feelings just like self storage company did.

So we I talked with a whole bunch off talk, probably close to 100 south storage owners and managers. And what we learned is that lien processing time is highly consuming for local managers.

Uh, a new owner who has 2025 locations he has his staff spends roughly 2500 hours a year on just dealing with leans. And for a larger operator that has 180 locations, that's close to 20,000 hours.

That's an enormous amount of time, and district managers for a larger facility spends about 2000 hours a year. That's a huge time suck if we put it that perspective.

I've been there, done that, remember? Remember, we were talking a little bit when you're first getting going, talking about it and just kind of the pain points. So just the time, money and energy it z terrible. So, yeah, any kind of solution you got?

I'm game and then for you know, that the delivery and picking payment mechanism, especially in different states, figuring out what is it? And on average for an operator has 2025 applications.

It's about 2 to 5 errors. Ah, month. Roughly that happens, they're usually caught, but it's something that occurs with name is missing. Or they only send it out to one of the tenants, not both who are the co signers.

And at the end of the day, like most self storage owners, they want to improve technology and streamline. The process is they don't want to deal with really highly mechanical task, especially if you have a lot of locations.

The main pete campaign points that came up over and over. It's a legal minefield. I have multiple states remembering what is allowed, where and how and what is the process that I have to mail it. How many days is a lot of a regional managers were saying, you know, this is this is a major headaches, and it's something that is tedious, that they have to be really specific on, uh like we just talked about. It's time consuming and time is money.

And at the end of the day, they want to minimize errors, and they want to increase the labor efficiencies. I've heard over and over where a lot of managers was saying my local manager goes out to the post office at 12 30

To go deal with it because that's the best time to go way. Have a client who comes over. They go down on their lunch break. They need something. Nobody is in the office.

They get upset and they then leave. And there have been unhappy customers that much. Rather have the local managers giving better service or up selling, you know, selling some extra features and just get increased revenues.

Doing the job running units. We got better things to do with our time. So, yeah, and as everybody knows, mistakes are costly.

It's especially if you're in new york or los angeles area. It's it's the verdicts can pretty horrendous. On average, four facility who spends about 2025 locations, they spent about 80 grand a year, roughly on on labor and mailing costume. That perspective, some of it trends everybody was talking about is, it's a tech based competition. Now it is.

There is a new generation of renters, about 2025% of the renters or younger. They have smaller places. They want ease of use. They don't want to have a certified mail. They wanna have something which they can deal with, preferably an sms with a payment link that they can just pay that what they owe. They just want to know faster and quicker on if you try to mail it to them. Ah, lot of them don't open it for three weeks or four weeks.

Um, so what did we come up with from an alien? So once we listen to everybody, what the needs? Waas we came up with an automated state lean process that starts from the beginning, where we pull the information from a front and like such a cycling, for example, pull everybody who is overdue.

And that's dependant from state to state. Some states, it's, you know, 10 days, some is 14 days from is 30 and we'll pull the data from each state based on with the state laws out.

It's, uh, we have a database with every single state law in the country for every activity that in there, if it's a car that their military, you know and how are you supposed to serve it in massachusetts?

I can just send an email out. I don't even need to have a read receipt if it goes in the junk folder. Well, bummer. If you're in california, I need, you know, having basically a biometric authentication in order to prove that who opened it.

So you know, there's broad bases and differences on dof course we use like people don't open the email. They don't open anything. Electronically. We go the good old standard way of a certificate of mail in a certain different male, just the standard people that people operate today.

And we came up with a dashboard to make it easy for tracking and reporting. And more importantly, it's a full repository of all the documentation. Anybody goes back for a year or two back, somebody comes back and say, you didn't do the lien properly.

Here's the paperwork. It's easy to find search by the name. Here it is. It comes up and we push a pdf into the front end as well, so that there is in the notes for that tenant. There is a full pdf with every documentation that they need proving its illegally.

Uh, that would come in handy because, yeah, i've been on the end of that. People going, I need you know, we didn't send me that.

So yeah, he had had the fingertips people to pull that, that that would be very handy. Eso really? What are the benefits? It reduces the burden that your employees and organization deal with.

It makes it easier from a complexity to really configure the work flows. And one of the things we really worked on, which will show you in the demo is making it easy to work with your workflow, not what we think is best. But how do you as a self storage owner or operator really functions on that perspective and everybody does it differently.

And we just wanna make sure that it goes can easily be customizable how you do it, not what we think is right. Mhm. And at the end of the day, adding a technology advantage for your customers making it easier for them to pay you make it easy to get information we send out a text message every time a lien goes out.

It's not legally binding, but it is something that ah lot of millennials going to say. Oh, I got a text like me look, an email that might might not and even if it's not legally binding, but anything improves your payments by 20%. Great they paid.

It's done. It's just not something. We're gonna look as proof when if it goes in to auction at that point, uh, key advantages, cost savings.

It's really frees up your stuff more than anything else to do. Other tasks. It automatically manages all the updates on timelines.

Revenue optimization is, you know it's gonna be increased. The resource is so that you can get new rentals. Increase it if you get one more rental per quarter.

It adds up quickly per location. If you look at it that way on ultimately with people and we all know attendants, there's bad apples. But then there's people who forget, and anybody who gets reminded more often gets hand held a little bit.

It usually really reduces delinquency rates. At the end of the day, I was just talking with an owner, a couple days ago, and they said, you know by us reminding people every 10 days it's owed, it's going to come in.

The delinquency went down by half. It's simple tasks like that because it was front of mind. It's interesting from that perspective of how that was they used to for that one facility. One of them were, I think, mailing at 8 to 10 letters before, and that's down to 2 to 3.

And that's a pretty big difference. Just i'm consuming. But it's sometimes easier to have a happier client than trump having them go through the auction that's throwing them out. Definitely.

Yeah, don't with that's lots of last step, but yeah, you got a kind of systems and communications in place so you can avoid that. So that's great.

And then at the end of the day is remove the human error, basically, if its automated the machines. If date says this, it's gonna do it, and we don't have to think about human error on that point on. Duh. That's kind of where we are, so i'm gonna give you guys a demo, so i'm going to switch my screen share so we can go to the other, uh, screen where I can have a demo opened up. Here we go, e c it perfect.

So if we look at what a lean this is our dashboard. So once you've logged in, this is set up for one location. Of course, we can have it set up for multiple. We really have three levels off users. We have the first one which is the local manager on that person. Can onley look at things they really can't do much more than upload a photo for an auction?

Okay, the next level would be a regional manager, and the regional manager has the ability to look at multiple locations and correct things. If something is wrong.

If something is missing on ultimately then you have the ceo where the owner who has a different dashboard that we usually customize so that they have the information they want. I mean, talking to one which has about, I think, 300 locations.

They wanted a summary on top which said, how maney leans, do we have what's the status of each one of them? And then on the other side above, on top of this dashboard waas give me by region, what is it?

And then have the full dashboard at the bottom. So that's customizable. But the only difference between this screen and regional managers. You have one more column on the left, which basically says the location where the limbs are from.

Uh uh, the really the magic. What happened is really in the workflow, so the workflow as it's set up. So this is one that is set up for california, for example, where we have the lien notice sent that dave day 14.

I can go in here as we set it up with the clients, but the client can then go in and say, I want to give a person the benefit of the doubt. I'm going to give him an extra three days. So we're going to send out the lien, notice that 17 days versus 14, and the system will allow that as we validated.

Now you can see a day 17. The lien notices going to go out if I go in at seven days and I validated, it's still gonna put it at 14 because that's the minimum allowed by california, and that's just it's not gonna let you put in something incorrect.

Good. So the little fail safe that way. That's perfect. So as we go through it, we can standing on day 14 and sms goes out at the same time.

Two days later, we sent out a letter from the usps. If nobody opened the email for the first one which was sent out where the sms if nobody does anything, we've had clients who said I want to send all three at the same time?

Sure, we can go in a say and change it right here and say, I want to send it at the same time as the other one. And now you have all three, which is going to go out at the same time. So it's highly flexible this way that 14 days later and now the lean to sail letter goes out, we're gonna go out that either by email by elektronik certified mail, other two main ones on the n s m s and followed by the u. S. P. S. We just had a question yesterday, for example, of somebody who says, could I do a reminder automated that after 10 days there, 10 days late don't want to send the lean yet, but I just wanted to send him an email on the taxing.

By the way, your 10 days like, yeah, that's an extra step we could add. And if I want to go in here, we don't have that letter in there. But I could say, you know, call it instead. Warning, debt letter, uh, one. And that goes out when I send by email, for example.

And i'm going to send that out. Sure. I'm gonna put it in as I don't have that proper letter in here. But so in here, I can now go in and move it up on top.

So here, if I go in instead, it would be that I put it at day zero. But so so that is after if we pull the data from cycling, for example, or store a bill or we pull it from and we say set the timing, for example, they were gonna pull it at 10 days late.

So we know when we pull it at that point. And we know that at day 10 find this letter is gonna go out, then to be put in as an email and I call it lead to notice, but you would have an option in here basically saying a warning letter.

So that would go out automatically to anybody who was over 10 days and then a day 14. The lien notice would go out the sms on then the post office at the same time in this case, and then the lien to sail letter would go out afterwards. You could put in a warning matter in between. If you want.

Morning sms. Any of those things can be easily customizable in any order you want. Um, I can add the extra step, which we talked about advertising. We don't only just do the lien. We also do the advertising and incorporate that with how people do it.

So after the 30th day, I can go in here instead of patrick, part of a system, a newspaper publication. I'm gonna put in the ad template we've set up with a client that's going to go at 14 days after the last lean letter was sent out.

Validate that now in. And now a day 54 advertising let it goes out for first one. Set up the next one for seven days later, and now your whole name process is done. No, that's pretty slick.

So I think that's really that's really where the magic comes. Is setting up this whole lien process that we work hand in hand with the operator. We set it up based exactly and how they want it, so they don't really have to do anything. We set it up for them based on just talking with them on how they do things, and then we'll customize it and say, okay, is this what you want?

And they'll go, yeah, or change it around and move it and we'll do it right then live with them and then they're ready to go. But it sounds like you're also making sure they're following their state statute linking laws.

Right now you're talking about before. So you're being that guy at the same time, doing what they want to do, kind of customizing it, that making sure they're doing it right. But their state lien law so that z usually I see everyone kind of slipping up.

They kind of think they're smarter than they really are sometimes, and they don't do it the right way, so it's nice being having having that guide and many times for the first time when you meet with them before as we set it up, we'll look at the rental contract to just to make sure there's nothing that needs to be changed in.

Like if it doesn't say, you know in their specifically that we can send you emails or send us a message. No, that has to be in there or it's not binding. So I think those are some of the pieces were saying they need to update the contract to include these things. Otherwise we can't put it in. We'll just going straight to sending it out by mail.

Um, templates is pretty simple. I'm gonna discard the changes. We have the templates set up as people sometimes have them set operating in store herbal.

And we'll just you copy what they have and put it in, and we pull in all the information that is required by law, you know? How is it supposed? What information is supposed to be in it and like, you know, when is it one is gonna be sold?

It's gonna be sold by this time on this date on we have to make sure it matches with the advertising. So since we have that data already from this letter, it's really easy to make the advertising because we pull that date.

That is part of the lane to say letter and push it into the advertising so we know exactly when and where is it going to be advertised? I mean sold once this is all done, then there's nothing really else to do is every day, a couple of times a day, we pull the information from store a bill side length. The front end it updates, are dashboard and, in fact, like details on the first person.

I have a name of a renter. What location are they at? And where are we in this process that I know an email was sent, an sms was sent.

They paid it's over. Uh, next step. It would be the usps. If I click on the usps, a window pops up with the document that was sent as well as the proof of mailing.

So if it's certificate of mailing or certified mail, you would actually have the peace of pale scan piece of paper that we get a number from the post office.

Gotcha at the end here after the second ad, can you see my mouth? Or now is at the end of a second ad. There is a pdf that is formed that can be remaining as just part of a file email to somebody or pushed into the front end, which has every document that was sent every email time stamped and as well as older proof you need for a lien. So that's kind of your full repository off everything you need to say. This is salty lean.

A window pops up, which says it's done. This is everything we've done. Do you want to go to auction? What do you want to dio?

And if somebody has their own auctioneer comes, that's why it ends right there. You just know it's ready to go to auction. If people want to do an online auction, then we can integrate with multiple auction companies where we will pop up windows, take a picture of the location of the storage unit, and then we have all the data, all right in there with the name of a person, the date when it's gonna be auctioned and everything else and we just push it straight in as that owners log in and their account into that, uh, storage auctions. If it's storage treasure, for example, or i've been for storage of what it is, we will push it straight forward.

It's crazy. We could do it all from the same dashboard. Okay, that's great. Yep. Exactly. And so I think this is kind off what we do. We try to keep it really simple, really, uh, lean and try to make it, as you know, simple as possible to do when? As hands off as possible for everybody on that side on the dashboard, we can also which some people have requested instead of having this long list.

They want tabs up here where you would have ongoing leans a problem that will cures on, then history. Gotcha. Okay. Would have the history of the leans, which is there just to go back here. How we've done it in progress is any leans on going.

And for whatever this client I wanted to put late for anything historical, it was just done. It's the past. It was a late notice at the time.

Um, anybody who pays we pull it and then the lien stops right then and there in its tracks because it was paid if they paid during an auction. We can still go in and pull and stop the auction in case that happens as well. Okay, no, it makes. It's great having a dashboard like that having that kind of a focus when it comes to everyone on their collections and lean because that's it's, well, it's necessary evils. We hate talking about the storage business, but it comes with the territory in storage, and it's widely important that you do it right and having that kind of system in place. And that's kind of one thing that does like as having the right systems and efficiency. So that's why I definitely want to have you on talk about this and actually see it, see it in action, and I think the other part, which is always important. I think it's for all the tenants. It's all of us, want tohave.

I mean, if I was a self to a donor, I would wanna have happier clients. I don't want somebody to be mad because something wasn't done properly. It's especially in today's world of social media. It's, it's people want.

I would wanted thio as easy as smoothly as possible. And that's what a lot of the self storage owners were telling me. It's like, listen, I just wanted simple, easy communicate with my tenants and worst case scenario that we're going to, you know, final link to sale and auction it off.

Mhm. And as far as i'm sure you're always adding more software that's compatible with to be able to communicate, you know, back and forth. So that's always an ongoing things that that's great.

Uh, really, for people that want to get more information, you know, and maybe get a demo kind of get more of their questions answered. What's the best way to reach out?

The best way to reach out is frederick at a lean dot com or victor at ellen dot com. I will actually thinking about it. Since I didn't have it on my power point, I will bring it up and type it in.

 won't make sure all it's all in the show notes as well make it really easy for everyone. To reach out and what the website is.

I need l e a. I am sorry. L e a n dot com perfect. I was gonna give it. Make sure you spell it right? Yeah. L e a m dot coms for that. So you want it type in your email. You said yep. I was gonna see how I get back.

Thio. Okay? Yes. So perfect. So yeah, as far as people getting in touch with you and get more information we got here on the screen. But i'll let you say it once again. So everyone can. That's listening.

And nowhere to go to. Yep. You can visit us on our website at www dot ai dash lean, which is l e a n dot com or probably email. Either me, frederick or victor.

Uh, a eileen dot com. And we can set up a demo for you and just give you an answer. Any questions? We'll give you more specific details.

Perfect. Well, great. Thanks so much for taking time being on the vendor spotlight, man. And we'll do it again. Take care.

Thank you for having me. Yeah. Have a good day. You too. Mhm.

AI Lean Streamlines and Automates Your Lien to Auction Process
Website: https://www.ai-lean.com/
Email: success@ai-lean.com
Phone# 781-267-6817

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