A storage story


The storage spaces they let out come in various sizes.

More than 10 million people will live in the greater KL and Selangor areas by 2020? Sisters Noor Isma and Noor Amy’s reaction to this was to think that space would soon be a big problem. That’s why they started their self-storage business, reports ZIEMAN.

DO you have storage problems and just can’t find the space at home? Or you want to de-clutter temporarily because you’re hosting guests for two weeks or a month? Call the The Storage People for solutions.

A subsidiary of Myrelo, a moving company, The Storage People, launched in December, are run by sisters, Noor Isma Ismail, 43 and Noor Amy Ismail, 39.

Isma found the perfect storage place for their business — a four-storey bungalow, which they have extensively renovated to house 132 self-storage lockers of different sizes to cater to the needs of individual homeowners and commercial businesses.

Amy anticipates that more than 10 million people will be living in the greater KL and Selangor areas by 2020, and by then, space would be a big problem. That was how the idea of self-storage business came to them.

Noor Isma standing in front of the four-level bungalow that is the company’s storage space. — Photos: ART CHEN/TheStar
Noor Isma standing in front of the four-level bungalow that is the company’s storage space. — Photos: ART CHEN/TheStar

But before they embarked on the business, the two attended a three-day “Self-Storage Expo In Asia” last May in Tokyo.

Upon returning, they realised that the biggest headache was getting the funds to buy a property to start the business. Their loan application was turned down three times.

On the fourth attempt, they got their much-needed help from PUNB’s Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Retail Project Fund.

Money in hand, they acquired a bungalow in U8, Shah Alam and did renovations, which costs a few million ringgit. The storage units they offer are available in small, medium, large and extra-large sizes.

“Students will be keen to take advantage of the half-lockers that can hold smaller quantities of goods, starting from 1.1 cubic meters (approx 8-12 boxes). Serious customers can choose units up to 45 cubic meters (equivalent to three 3-ton lorries),” says Isma.

The size S lockers go for RM100 to RM230 a month, M for RM330-RM370, L between RM370 and RM800, while XL is being leased between RM800 and RM2,045.

The Storage People, backed by 15 committed staff and 20 contractual workers, will advise on the appropriate storage sizes for a customer. You can select your unit based on floor space or volume.

“We offer both for easy reference. Storage unit terms are limitless, from a few weeks to a few months or even years. You can rent as long as you need the space. Payment is on a monthly basis,” says Amy.

Sisters Noor Amy (left) and Noor Isma Ismail are the driving force behind The Storage People.
Sisters Noor Amy (left) and Noor Isma Ismail are the driving force behind The Storage People.

The Storage People will even help you move in your stuff. After all, they have been in the movers business for years.

“We have a Move-In Van to bring all your belongings to The Storage site,” says Amy.

“Our experience in Myrelo has taught us that moving is one of the more stressful experiences people have to handle. At The Storage, we can make it easier for you. So there is no need to worry about how to move your stuff into self-storage because once you sign up with us, we will move you in for free,” she adds.

“For the last 10 years, Myrelo has always strived to innovate its business offerings,” says Isma.

“This strategy continues with The Storage People as we aim to offer the latest, easiest and most convenient way to safely store your valuables,” she continues.

The Storage People prides itself, for example, as the first Malaysian self-storage company to offer online reservation.

And Isma says all belongings stored at site are safe as they have round-the-clock security measures and computerised logs for all activity related to your storage unit.

“Even when the office is closed you can always get access to your storage units, 24/7. We guarantee premium services, and customer satisfaction is our highest priority,” says Amy.

The storage place employs a Streamline Recess Latch System that ensures minimal corridor intrusion and prevents lock damage from passing trolleys, and customer injury from protruding latches and locks. The doors lock at optimal height for customer use.

“We also have the service called ‘Easy Tenant Access’ using EasyCode, which is the first self-storage app designed for this purpose, and The Storage People is the first in Malaysia to offer this technology.

“Using advanced geo-fencing technology, EasyCode takes away the hassle of remembering gate access codes with a simple touch interface to open gates and doors. You can also view your access history and get notifications,” explains Isma.

Another feature is the Smart Building software, which makes the storage place a smart, environment-friendly building. It helps reduce carbon footprint as a customer’s coded access is synced with the zoned lighting and ventilation systems.

“We only turn on what we need when you’re there and turn it off when you’re not,” says Isma.

As for security, the entire facility is monitored with 24/7 CCTV with individual storage unit alarms.

“We also do off-site monitoring using a cloud-based, self-storage management system that provides offsite access to our management team so that we always know who comes and goes in our facility. And even if you forget to turn your alarm back on, our system will ensure that it gets turned on automatically for you,” says Amy.

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