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Self-Storage Owners Improve Operational Performance by Investing in Manager Hiring and Training

By Bob Copper Comments
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There are many traits with which people are born, but being a self-storage manager is not one of them. Invest in training for your managers. Most want to do a great job but don’t because the owner hasn’t provided them with the right knowledge and resources. Provide sales, collections and time-management training, and you’ll be surprised at the return on your investment.

Get the Manager Involved in Marketing 

All too often, we focus on the small things and miss the big picture. Self-storage owners want to know what they can do to create more customer phone inquiries and walk-ins. What they should focus on is whether their manager is trained to handle the results of the facility’s marketing efforts. If your manager isn’t turning an acceptable percentage of leads into rentals now, how will generating more leads make a difference?

If your manager is unprepared to handle the outcome of a successful marketing strategy, your effort is wasted. But it isn’t always the manager’s fault. Perhaps he hasn’t been told that a coupon is circulating, or that there are call-center leads awaiting follow-up. It’s the owner’s responsibility to keep staff in the marketing loop.

Phone calls between potential customers and managers can become dead ends when a manager has no idea how to professionally and effectively turn those calls into rentals. Make sure your manager is involved in and knows how to implement your marketing strategy. “Go visit apartment managers” is not a marketing plan.

There are few businesses as manager-centric as self-storage. The manager has far more to do with the success of an operation in self-storage than in most other enterprises. Because of this, it’s more important to ensure you have the right person for the right job.

Your manager can make your facility a success or a failure. What you do about that all-important position says a lot about how you value your assets. Don’t let failure to properly hire, train and motivate your manager be a real detriment to your business performance.

Bob Copper is partner in charge at Self Storage 101, an industry consulting firm that assists facility owner/operators and managers in developing more effective and profitable operational systems. It also aids in conducting performance reviews and providing the necessary tools to perform at higher levels in a competitive industry. To reach him, call 866.269.1311; e-mail

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