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10 Tips for Making a Good First Impression in Self-Storage

Linnea Appleby Comments
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5. Know your stuff. Practice and have a great presentation for each of the key items in your business, focusing on all of the following:

  • Answering the phone
  • Presenting the rental agreement
  • Demonstrating the keypad
  • Showing a unit
  • Explaining the tenant’s responsibility for insuring his own goods

Be consistent in how you present all of the above so that all customers get the same great service. Know your policies and follow them. Read the rental agreement and understand the terms so you can explain with confidence any questions related to that document. If you do not know the answer, tell the person you will find out and get back to them ... then do it.

6. Maintain a neat and organized office. File items promptly; handle cash with diligence; audit your own work and that of your other staff. Two sets of eyes on all items of importance makes for a great check-and-balance system to assure everyone is in compliance and performing the tasks consistently.

7. Maintain great curb appeal. Make sure your windows and doors sparkle and are free of fingerprints and smears. Are you banners straight, not droopy? Replace torn or faded signage and banners promptly. Are all the light bulbs working? How does the landscaping look? Is your merchandise fully stocked and clean with prices on all items? How does the office smell? When you take immaculate care of your facility and surroundings, people will more easily believe in your business and entrust their belongings to your storage services.

8. Check the mirror before every shift. Wear your uniform with pride and ask for replacement shirts if yours are stained or worn-looking. Make sure your clothing is wrinkle free. Do your shoes need to be replaced? Presenting an impeccable you will help you feel confident about yourself, your work and property.

9. Track your key business statistics and goals. Understand how many move-ins you need to increase occupancy by 1 percent or meet your budgeted goals. Set a goal for merchandise sales and insurance penetration, and make a plan to succeed. For example, if you want to sell $700 in merchandise in a month, you’ll need to sell $23.33 a day to meet that goal. Monitor your performance daily to assure you’re on track.

10. Say “thank you” at every opportunity. Let your tenants and customers know you appreciate them regularly. You’re useless without them; good customer service will keep them around.

Tried and True

It’s no secret that these are just tried-and-true tips for good customer service, but while we all are aware of them, we all have the opportunity to improve on them every day. It takes a conscious effort. To truly be the Director of First Impressions you need to set yourself as an example of excellence.

As John D. Rockefeller Jr. said, “The secret of success is to do the common things uncommonly well.” Put these 10 tips to good use and you’ll be an uncommonly good manager who makes great first impressions every day on the job.

Linnea Appleby is president of Sarasota, Fla.-based PDQ Management Solutions Inc., which provides full-service facility management, consulting, startup, auditing, management and training services. She is also the managing director for the Florida Self Storage Association. For more information, call 941.377.3151; visit

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