Auditing Your Self-Storage Facility: A Checklist for Owners and Operators

Alyssa Quill Comments
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If you sell locks, boxes, tape, etc., a facility audit is a great time to verify and track your inventory and check your pricing. Make any revisions to your display that might help you increase sales. 

Facility Inspection

Self-storage managers look at the same things every day, and sometimes it’s hard to see the property’s faults. A facility audit is a great time to come in and look at everything with a fresh perspective, through a customer’s eyes, or even through a potential buyer. Here’s a short checklist: 

  • How is your curb appeal? Clean, inviting, well-groomed?
  • Are employees well-groomed and professionally dressed?
  • Is the office clean and free of dust, fingerprints and clutter?
  • Are the keypads clean and in good working condition?
  • Are the elevators clean and in good working order? Do the emergency phones work?
  • Is the lot clean and free of debris? Are parking spaces clearly marked?
  • Are interior and exterior lights working, including exit signs and emergency lights? Are timers correctly set?
  • Are climate-controlled temperature settings appropriate? Are the HVAC units being maintained?
  • Do the gutters need to be cleaned?
  • Are the unit doors and hasps clean and in good condition?
  • Is the signage inside and around the property clear, professional and in good condition?
  • Are interior hallways clean and bright?
  • Are vacant units ready to rent?
  • Are all required licenses and inspections up to date (fire, elevator, business, alarm)?
  • Is the security system working at full capacity (including door alarms if you have them)?
  • If there is an apartment onsite, is it in good condition? 

Spending a full day every couple of months on the items listed above has proven to be well worth the time for any owner. Make a day of it, get to know the manager better, and take the time to train him when issues arise. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, hire a consultant to do it for you. Following up on the items addressed in proactive facility audits will help you increase revenue, decrease expenses, reduce your liability and grow the value of your facility. 

Alyssa Quill is vice president of Investment Real Estate Management in York, Pa. She has worked in the self-storage industry for nine years in finance and operations roles. Investment Real Estate LLC provides self-storage brokerage, construction and management services to owners and investors in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. For more information, call 717.779.0804; visit www.irellc.com.

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