Self-Storage Talk Poll Asks, 'Would You Stay Open Late?'
Copyright 2014 by Virgo Publishing.
By: John Carlisle
Posted on: 04/11/2011



 

It's 5:50 p.m., and the self-storage facility closes up for the day at 6. The manager is in the middle of plodding through the daily day's end tasks: bookkeeping, software syncing, walking the grounds, filing, etc. Then, the phone rings.

"Hi, I'd like to rent a unit tonight if you're still open. May I come to the office and sign up right now?"

What would the manager say? What should the manager say? What if it's not an issue of staying late but coming into the office on an off day, or a day when the facility's closed? This topic is being explored in a poll and related discussion thread "Staying Late for a Rental" on Self-Storage Talk, the industry's largest online community. Overwhelmingly, respondents are saying yes, they would stay late. But they do add a few exceptions in the discussion thread. Member LLLVIS writes, "Part of it depends on 'how late.' But I have stayed late before knowing a new rental was coming in. As for a day off? No. I don't live here, and am not going to come across town on a day off for that. Any other day off I have there is a relief manager here." Member Barnett has a similar view: "I have stayed late before. I usually won't now, only because most time the prospective tenant does not show up."

On the other hand, some members insist customer service is paramount and doing an initial favor for a tenant is worhwhile. SpacieStacy2006, who started the thread, offers this take: "We will stay late if needed to get the rental. It makes a great first impression! If I know for sure that the person is coming, I will come in, even when the office is closed for the day, to rent the space. I think those little things can add up in the long term and can make a huge difference." Moderator AirportSuperStorage notes her company has pre-approved manager overtime for instances like this, making sure that people will stay late to take care of paying customers. This last point brings up an interesting issue for owners: If you're going to ask your staff to go the extra mile to close a sale or take care of a tenant's issue, does the staff have any incentive to do this? Even if they aren't paid extra, will they be recognized?

Do you have an opinion on whether managers and staff should stay late? If you are a manager, what do you do in these instances? Tell us what you think on Self-Storage Talk, the official forum of Inside Self-Storage. You must be a registered member to post, but registration is free and can be done at http://www.selfstoragetalk.com/register.php.