Callbox Storage wants to upend the self-storage industry in Texas and beyond | Crain's Dallas

Callbox Storage wants to upend the self-storage industry in Texas and beyond

Callbox Storage's app lists the inventory a customer has in storage and allows them to recall a box or item on-demand. | Photo courtesy of Callbox Storage.

Callbox Storage is bringing on-demand technology to the self-storage business, allowing customers to have their boxes and furniture picked up and brought back through a mobile app.

Individual boxes are cataloged so, for example, a box with Christmas decorations can be brought to the customer with the push of a button on the app. The company is the startup alternative to the self-storage model where customers do the work themselves, from loading the truck, unloading, packing it in the storage unit and, later, reversing the whole process to empty it.

Kyle Bainter started the company in September 2016 with a central facility in Grapevine that can service all of North Texas. Now, the co-founder and CEO recently announced that he’s raised $5.2 million from investors and plans to expand to Austin by the end of the year. Bainter also plans to expand to two or three more markets in 2018, including one outside of Texas.

“The growth has been really good. It’s been steady. We’ve been growing month over month and customer feedback has been incredible,” Bainter said. “All our deliveries are done by our employees. We do all the heavy lifting, we take it to the storage and they (customers) have clarity on what’s in storage.”

In its first year, the company had 1,250 pickups and deliveries, Bainter said.

“We’re the first Texas-based group to do this,” Bainter said. “It’s my belief that in the long run that this is the future of storage because of the convenience.” 

Callbox Storage prices are competitive with existing storage centers with the smallest unit selling for $18 a month and the larger 10-foot by 10-foot unit selling for $178 a month. Customers get one free delivery of up to five items per month.

Tonia Tomlin routinely visits self-storage units as part of her own business, Sorted Out, a Dallas company that organizes and declutters homes and businesses.

“We simplify lives at home or in the office so they don’t have to think about where things are,” Tomlin said. “Everything has a home.”

Tomlin founded the business in 2004 and has visited her share of self-storage units on behalf of her customers. Until she found Callbox Storage.

“It’s a great match for us,” she said. “I don’t know what we would do without it. We don’t have to hire a mover or a truck. It saves me time and it saves my customers money. It’s just a quick phone call and they make an appointment.”

The fact that customers can retrieve any item they want from the storage facility on-demand is a nice perk, she said.

“They have great inventory control and I can see all of my customers’ things at a moment’s notice,” she said. “My customers know that if I trust them and I use them as a trusted vendor of mine then they know their things are in good hands and they are going to get their things back in a timely manner.”

 

Editor's note: On 11/1/17 this article was changed to reflect the correct pricing for Callbox Storage as $18 a month for the smallest unit and $178 for a 10X10 unit. 

October 30, 2017 - 4:53pm