Some owners have hired full-time staff for maintenance issues including tasks such as landscaping and painting, or have taken a more of an active role in the planning for capital and replacement items. Some companies employ dedicated employees to work outside the facility in sales and public relations, which helps bring the facility to the public in a more professional manner.
The use of kiosks at many facilities has allowed managers to take payments and rent units even when offsite or performing other duties. More facilities will likely install kiosks, but they will primarily act as your aid, not your replacement.
Many companies now have full-time staff focused solely on collections or auctions, too. This, again, has allowed the manager freedom to perform more tasks aligned with helping customers. It also puts you in a more positive role for the facility.
However, there are still many self-storage facilities that continue to operate with a single manager who performs all the duties described above with competence and professionalism. So the next time a non-industry participant talks about what an “easy job” you must have, pull out your to-do list and hand it to him. Once he understands all of your responsibilities, he’ll be in awe, and gain a higher level of respect for what you do every day.
Mel Holsinger is president of Professional Self Storage Management LLC, which manages more than 40 facilities in Arizona, Colorado and Texas. Holsinger has been in the self-storage industry for more than 25 years. He is a frequent speaker at Inside Self-Storage World Expos and other industry events, a contributing writer to Inside Self-Storage magazine, and a founder of the Qualified Storage Manager program. To reach him, call 520.319.2164; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.