6 Areas of Expenses Self-Storage Operators Should Regularly Review

By Matthew Van Horn Comments
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Utilities

Every year the utility costs at your self-storage facility rise. Regularly review your electric bill. If it increases, check to see if the electric company has raised its rates. Put your indoor lights on automatic timers, and make sure customers close the doors to all air-conditioned and climate-controlled buildings. Make sure outdoor lights are turned off during the day.

Internet and phone service are two other services you should bid out on a regular basis. Often a bundle pack or a multi-year agreement can reduce your phone and Internet costs by 20 percent or more.

Professional Services

Regularly review all of your facility's professional services. Lawn care, pest control, security monitoring, snow plowing and maintenance contracts are all services that can be put out to bid.

Insurance

It’s not uncommon for a self-storage property insurance policy to increase 20 percent over the previous year. Try to find a broker who has multiple carrier contacts to find the best deal. If you have multiple properties, consider leveraging those facilities into a single policy. Often, there are significant discounts for this type of multi-property policy.

Office Expenses

Office expenses are often hidden. They may seem tame compared to insurance or utilities, but they add up quickly.

Look around your office. Do you have seven colors of Post-It notes, 25 types of pens, eight colored highlighters, six types of candy on the counter, and a gum-ball machine you don’t remember ordering? Set standards for office supplies. Consider setting up an account with an office retailer like Staples or Office Depot and limit the office supplies your staff can order. It may seem like a small expense, but you can often save hundreds of dollars per year.

The year 2013 is coming quickly. Even though the self-storage industry has been very successful over the last few years, facility operators must regularly monitor their expenses. This simple exercise can add thousands of dollars to your facility value.

Matthew Van Horn is vice president of Cutting Edge Self-Storage Management, a full-service management company specializing in management, feasibility studies, consulting and joint ventures within the self-storage industry. Van Horn is well-known for finding hidden profit centers in self-storage operations. For a complimentary copy of “Hidden Profit Discovery Session,” send an e-mail to mvanhorn@cuttingedgestorage.com. For more information, call 866.970.EDGE or visit www.cuttingedgeselfstorage.com. Follow the company on Twitter at Cuttingedgemgt, and on Facebook at Cutting Edge Self-Storage Management.

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