Self-storage software provider Centershift, which recently became part of software giant Yardi, is working on a product designed for small self-storage operators.

Since 2001, Centershift has catered mostly to large self-storage operators. Now, it’s ramping up its focus on the little guys. The new software product is set to be released by the end of the year, according to Yardi’s blog.

“We are working on a self-storage vertical offering in the Genesis2 platform. That will be the first offering we provide on the Yardi Voyager framework,” former Centershift CEO James Hafen, who now manages Yardi’s self-storage business unit, said on the company blog.

“We’re working with Yardi on an implementation of a vertical in that space that is a little bit simpler and will be ideal for small storage providers,” Hafen added. “They make up 80 percent of the industry, and we are looking forward to providing a smart solution for them.”

Stepped-up competition

The new Centershift product will go up against self-storage management software offerings such as WinSen (Sentinel Systems), WebSelfStorage (U-Haul), Storage Commander (Empower Software Technologies) and Syrasoft.

Software on Yardi’s Genesis2 platform enables companies with small to midsize real estate portfolios to streamline property management and accounting. The web-based, cloud-hosted software features a single database and works with any web browser.

The Centershift team, now part of Yardi, remains in Salt Lake City.

Yardi bought Salt Lake City-based Centershift for an undisclosed amount in March. Yardi, based in Santa Barbara, CA, specializes in property management software.

Attractive to large operators

Currently, Centershift sells two types of self-storage management software: the Advantage product, with some “bells and whistles” turned off for small operators that don’t need them, and the Enterprise product, which provides full functionality.

On the blog, Hafen explained Centershift’s appeal to large storage operators.

“We’ve always been a more attractive option for the larger operators, with lots of properties and the need to manage them centrally. The paradigm when we entered this space was stand-alone databases on desktops,” Hafen said.

“If you wanted to get consolidated reports and close your books, and you had 10 properties spread across a couple of states, you were faxing data around and re-entering data,” he added. “The immediate plea was ‘Help us manage a portfolio of multiple properties,’ and we made that much easier.”

John Egan