They train their managers. Sadly, many owners spend very little on training their managers. When self-storage was easy, training didn’t seem that important. But our business is not easy anymore. Managers have to be professionally trained on how to sell units and collect rent.
Making the Manager’s Job Easier
Today’s competitive landscape demands that you take a hard look at your operation and facilitate your manager’s sales job. Do you ever step back and take time to see what your customers see? Is your facility tired and worn, or shiny and exciting? Does your operation use horse-and-buggy systems or new technology? These are some areas where you should pay special attention.
Curb appeal. Customers often make a decision about renting based on facility appearance, so ensure your facility is clean and attractive.
Sales office. Your merchandise display should be full and organized, and the counter free of clutter. Restrooms should be clean and odor-free. Make sure camera monitors are working. The manager should have a clean company shirt.
Marketing. Your Yellow Pages ad should be regularly updated. Create a facility website with all working links and clean copy. Consider using a call center to capture unanswered calls. The manager should have business cards printed with his name.
Manager tools. Make sure your operation makes use of facility-specific software that is manager-friendly and includes a revenue-management tool. It’s also important that your facility has a good unit mix, and that your manager has access to the appropriate management reports and forms.
Today’s self-storage owners are struggling to figure out how to survive the economic downturn and turn their operations around. Sadly, most miss the obvious silver bullet: the great facility manager. All the gizmos and gadgets, programs and parties, bells and whistles in the world won’t make a difference if your manager can’t make the sales.
The most important person in your self-storage business, the manager, deserves the utmost consideration. He deserves to be highly trained and have clearly defined priorities. Managers with self-confidence and self-motivation are the keys to self-storage success.
Bob Copper is the owner of Self-Storage 101, a full-service consulting firm specializing in training, market and feasibility studies, and helping owners and managers reach higher and more profitable levels of operational effectiveness. To reach him, call 866.269.1311; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; visit www.selfstorage101.com.