By Alyssa Quill
The single most critical factor in determining the success of a self-storage property is simple: It’s the manager! A great manager can make up for a tough location, an older building and a small marketing budget. Follow the steps below to make sure you’re searching for managers the right way.
If you operate a highly occupied property, you may be searching for someone tenants will love, someone who will keep operations running smoothly and maintain occupancy. For lease-up properties, look for someone with more experience in sales and marketing who will close every lead and help generate more phone calls.
Regardless of your facility’s occupancy, you should look for a technologically savvy manager, so start your search online. There are many free job-posting websites including Craigslist.com, Thejobspider.com and Todays-classifieds.com. Post a listing that tells potential applicants what’s in it for them―benefits, opportunities for advancement, a team that respects one another, autonomy, pay—all the major job functions and applicant requirements. The better your posting, the more qualified your responses will be.
A good job description, including an outline of benefits, will hopefully weed out some of the unqualified applicants. You can also use a website such as Payscale.com to determine what a fair salary and structure is for the position in which you’re hiring.
Resumes and Interviews
During the resume review and interview process, look for experiences and attitudes that fit with the position you’re looking to fill. Can the applicant handle all the tasks managers need to juggle? Look for discipline, organization skills, planning experience, and a “get it done” attitude. Will your tenants love this applicant? Will the other team members enjoy spending time with him? Look for a good communicator who’s confident and has a friendly demeanor. Also look for individuals with high energy. Will they be able to solve problems as they arise?
Your new employee should understand the big picture, make objective decisions based on logic and common sense, troubleshoot issues, and analyze situations effectively. Many of your interview questions will be the same for every applicant, but you’ll also want to note any specific questions based on your resume reviews.
If possible, have multiple people interview your top choices to sort out any natural bias. Also, make sure at least one interview is done in person, and the applicant gets a tour of the property so he fully understands what the job entails before accepting the position. Nothing is worse than having to go through the whole process again a couple weeks later because the first person you hired expected an easy desk job!