Effective managers perform their tasks right the first time. As basketball coaching great John Wooden said, “If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”
Great managers don’t focus on how to best handle customer complaints, they work to prevent complaints and customer-service issues altogether. They keep their promises and look for solutions to potential challenges before they become problems. For example, they call tenants about possible leaks in their units instead of waiting for customers to complain.
Great managers take the time to clearly explain leases and head off potential misunderstandings about expectations, and they make a big deal out of the “no late-fee guarantee” auto-billing option. If you want to improve job efficiency and performance with more effective time management, work smarter to reduce problems instead of spending inefficient time fixing them.
Pull Your Weight
Effective managers also learn to do their part. I’m amused when I hear of managers—often assistant managers—whose tasks don’t include vacating units or making collections calls. Why not? Typically, there’s a training or trust issue.
Everyone who works at a self-storage facility must be able to conduct all day-to-day aspects of the job, or they should not be there. If everyone does their part on their day, work will never get backed up.
Be a Schedule-Maker
The most critical skill to master when improving time management is to learn to make time for important tasks. A common trait among the most productive managers is they formally schedule tasks, such as making past-due calls, conducting lock checks, going to the bank and following up on rental leads. This may seem almost magical, but it’s a simple proposition: If you schedule tasks, you will get more done.
One of the best aspects the self-storage manager position is you can do a great job, get it all done in eight hours and go home. Anyone who tells you they eat and sleep storage really needs to get out more. You can actually have a life outside of your self-storage career, but to do that, you must have effective time-management skills. If you practice the techniques discussed above, they really will make a difference in how well you do your job and how much you enjoy it.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .