Just joking! The word easy and manage are two words that don’t really coincide well together. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it, right? With that being said, though, self storage facilities really are not that difficult to manage once you have identified what needs to be done, the time frame in which it needs to be done in, and established a good routine. Want a heads up about the kinds of things we are talking about here? Read on for penny #9 in the “Why Self Storage is a Dime” series.
Master Customer Service Skills
This probably comes as a no brainer, but self storage managers are not just locked away watching over inanimate things. They are the face of the business. This will even carry over to time spent “off the clock”. Be considerate of those in your community, you never know who may walk in the next day needing to rent some space. And obviously, as with any customer service job, there are going to be difficult customers. It’s how you handle tough situations like those that will test just how good your customer service skills are.
Despite having what feels like a hundred other responsibilities, your customer service should always come first. And we know that everyone has bad days, but those really need to be left outside of the office and not felt by your customers. In the position of manager, your game face really needs to always be on and ready to play!
Master the Paperwork
In addition to making the sales, you will also be responsible to filing the paperwork that goes with it. This is an extremely important job. If things get misfiled, they get lost. The scenarios that could play out from misfiled or lost paperwork is endless, and usually ends in the “end” of your career. Another thing that you will want to take into consideration while working on this task is the sensitive information that you are privy to. Your customers have entrusted you with some of their most valued information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, address, and maybe even the contents of their unit. If that kind of information fell into the wrong hands, it would be a disaster for your tenant!
Maintenance, Maintenance, and more Maintenance
It may seem like this job is never ending. To put yourself in a better frame of mind, think of it as ongoing. The amount of maintenance that needs to be done will also vary according to the size of the facility that you are managing. If it is a large facility, you may not be able to do it all on your own and you could find yourself supervising a maintenance crew.
Facility maintenance it probably going to be the biggest time taker. There are grounds to keep (ie. Mowed lawns, plowing snow, pulling weeds, sweeping pavement, etc.), units to clean after a renter vacates, paint to touch up, light bulbs to change, and the list continues. These duties will change with the season. Though it sounds rather daunting, once you can identify what needs to be done, you can schedule the tasks in. This will help in your time management and in ensuring nothing gets forgotten.
Drive the Marketing Bus
Now, I’m not saying that you need a degree in marketing or years of experience. What I am saying is that you will be partially responsible for bringing in business. Having a good relationship with the community is just the tip of the iceberg. A manager should feel comfortable placing ads, managing a facebook and Instagram page, and in working with the chamber of commerce so that your business is seen as more than just a storage facility.
Facility Management- Not Easy, but Not Impossible
As you can see by just considering these 4 responsibilities, self storage facility management is far from easy. But if you consider some of the alternatives, it sure is easier than managing a burger joint or retail store. The key is staying organized and knowing where your priorities are. That concludes penny #9. Be sure to check in next week for the final penny in our series!