Goals for 2009: Competitive Sales, Facility Remodeling and More

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For example, if you challenge yourself to sell a minimum of $10 in supplies per newly written lease, it’s very easy to measure your achievement. If you write 10 leases, the goal is to sell $100 in supplies. Did you achieve that goal?

If you have only 10 percent of your current customers paying by credit card or ACH deposits, you might set a goal of 15 or 20 percent in the year ahead. Knowing that people who pay by credit card stay longer should be sufficient motivation to get managers to ask customers to pay by credit card and to get them to sign an auto-pay form.

A great goal is to set a number for total leases to write in the year ahead. Few managers can get current customers to keep their unit when their storage need is over, so there will always be a given level of move-outs.

Let’s say you have a 500-unit project operating at 80 percent occupancy (400 units). If your traditional pattern is approximately 100 people move out annually, and you want to get your facility to 85 percent occupancy by December, your written goal should be to rent a minimum of 125 total units.

If move-outs increase, the goal will need to be revised upward during the year. Putting these goals in writing and getting the agreement of everyone on the management team gives everyone direction for the year ahead.

If you haven’t already done so, get your team together. Talk about the things you want to achieve for the year financially and even personally, and put it in writing. Remember, without having a measurable goal, you don’t know if you have achieved it.

See You in Vegas?

The Inside Self-Storage World Expo in Las Vegas is always the biggest storage event of the year. The ISS team has put together an outstanding educational program, as well as the largest vendor and supplier tradeshow. Returning to the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino for the meeting gives us outstanding meeting space. Las Vegas also has a variety of hotel selections with room deals and vacation packages, so everyone can take advantage of coming even on a strict budget.

You can get complete details on the agenda and exhibitors at www.insideselfstorageworldexpo.com. I hope to see you there.

Jim Chiswell is the owner of Chiswell & Associates LLC. Since 1990, his firm has provided feasibility studies, acquisition due diligence and customized manager training for the self-storage industry. Jim has served for a number of years on the Inside Self-Storage Editorial Advisory Board, is a moderator of the Self-Storage Talk online community and an instructor of the Self-Storage Training Institute. Mr. Chiswell can be reached at 434.589.4446 or chiswell@earthlink.net; visit www.selfstorageconsulting.com.

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