A quality month-end package will focus on the following:
Month-end call report: This report will address any problem areas at the facility, what actions have been taken and the outcome of the resolution. It will also include a summary of projects or goals completed this month, those set for next month, anticipated outlook for the following month, explanation of extraordinary expenses, a comprehensive rate survey of immediate competitors and monthly/year to date (YTD) trend analysis of key result areas in an easily understand format.
Financial report: This section will include an income/expense statement utilizing general ledger accounting principles for the current month, YTD, same period this year (TY) versus same period last year (LY), YTD TY versus YTD LY, current month to budget and YTD results to budget, a balance sheet including any journal entries provided by your CPA (such as depreciation, etc.). A complete check registry will be included along with a series of optional reports (some owners do not want all that detail), such as bank account reconciliation worksheet, detailed trial balance, payroll documentation, cash flow analysis (statement of cash flows) and invoice distribution reports. Sound financial reporting like this will aid you immensely in year-end tax preparations, bank financing and estate planning.
Facility reports: These are reports directly from your self-storage facility’s computer system. At the very least they should include management and financial updates, such as summary reports, potential income (revenue) reports, reports showing deviations in rents by unit as compared to standard rates, transaction-summary reports showing total daily business for the month, collections reports, rent roll, reports showing concessions, fees waived or other credits by unit number or transaction. The packet should also include any other reports you request.
A complete and thorough reporting package should be laid out in such a way that you can easily understand what is going on with your facility at first glance. For example, the package may include a comparative trend analysis, complete with charts graphed for key result areas such as physical occupancy, occupied square feet and economic occupancy on a YTD basis. Right away you will be able to see peaks and valleys allowing quick identification of seasonal trends. However, if you choose to delve into all of the data supporting these facts, you have this information right at your finger tips.
Property-management companies utilizing advanced reporting methods will also typically handle compiling and mailing the same reporting packages to your investors and partners, but it is a safe bet to ask the question and confirm they will go this extra mile for you so there is no misunderstanding.
The decision to go with a management company is yours. You can easily see that finding a company that provides comprehensive reports will save you time by getting to the heart of the matter. Hire a company that puts the right information at your fingertips. Your self-storage site deserves no less.
Raymond E. McRae is the vice president and director of operations for Mesa, Ariz.-based Storage Solutions, which conducts feasibility studies, third-party management, market surveys, consulting, auditing, acquisitions and development for the self-storage industry. For more information, call 480.844.3900; visit www.storage-solutions.org.