Koala Self Storage, O’Connor is a purpose-built centre, located south of the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia. It opened in October 2001 with 842 units and has continued to grow to more than 1000 including vehicle bays. The site is ideally located between two major roads, Leach Highway and Stock Road, giving the building great visibility to passing traffic. Koala have taken advantage of this with huge sign writing on the side of their buildings which is clearly visible from the roads and nearby area. The site is sloped which posed some challenges for construction, however this has been used to advantage with drive up access to both levels of the main two-story building. This clever design has maximised the amount of drive up access units on the site, and minimised the distance of travel for the internal units from the many access points and loading areas. All the units have 3 metre ceilings and there is a range of sizes to suit any potential storage need.
Koala Self Storage also opened a high security boat storage section not long after opening. This area not only has state of the art security, with key-pad access, infra-red beams and electric fences, it also has all the facilities a boat owner could need. Wide driveways enabling easy manoeuvring of boats are just the beginning, storers also have exclusive use of a boat wash, power to the boat bays, a kitchenette, lounge room and even a hot shower. It’s no wonder there was a waiting list for the boat storage during construction, which within weeks of opening was full.
“The advanced security features are just one of the reasons that people store with Koala”, says Norma O’Hara, manager of the O’Connor centre. “We have individual key pad access, infra-red beams across every access door, as well as self locking internal doors, which makes unauthorised movement within the centre almost impossible. Our closed circuit TV cameras cover the who facility and are displayed in the reception area as well as being recorded. It’s our bright staff and professional service that people are always commenting on though. We don’t aim to be the cheapest storage option, but we offer the best service, which gives storers great value for money.”
The service at Koala, O’Connor doesn’t stop with the friendly staff. All storers have access to free internet, fax, photocopying and phone services. There is even a cappuccino machine to use. A small conference room is available for commercial customers, and most importantly the facility is always presented in a clean, fresh manner. There is a great merchandise display in the foyer and flat screen monitors in reception show images from the extensive CCTV coverage in the centre.
There is a fairly typical mix of storers in the facility,although the number of commercial customers has increased. “We are not so much actively targeting commercial customers with marketing campaigns,” Norma says, “it is more that they have heard of the service we offer. We are members of the local chamber of commerce, which gives us some exposure to local businesses. We have also been influential in lobbying efforts regarding Fremantle Bypass changes. Our service speaks for itself, and referrals and word of mouth continue to bring us more business, particularly in the commercial area.”
Koala O’Connor has a great rapport with its customers and all staff are well-trained, and experts in demonstrating all the benefits that Koala Self Storage has to offer. Their laughter and humour makes storing with Koala an enjoyable experience. If that’s not enough there is always the cute koala clip-on’s, attached to all the new contracts. Just another way in which Koala tries to stand out from the crowd. Norma, as the manager, says she is totally convinced that to include as much humour into sales advertising is a very important feature in self storage. “If you make people laugh they will buy from you.”