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7 Tips for Hiring a Great Self-Storage Manager

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4. A Techno-Friendly Attitude

This era is one of communications, and the Internet certainly has changed how we do business in the self-storage industry. In the old days, minimal computer knowledge was acceptable. Today, facility operators are looking for managers who are Internet-savvy. Using online tools to follow up with prospects and keep tabs on time-sensitive information such as new leads or online reviews is only possible with a good knowledge of technology.

Upper management is also looking to communicate in real time with site managers, and online tools such as “Google Documents” makes this possible. Computer skills and technology knowledge is of upmost importance to look for in a candidate.

5. Accountability Counts

One of the qualities that may be hard to gauge during an interview process is a prospect’s commitment and accountability. There’s nothing like being able to delegate tasks and expect them to be completed promptly and accurately.

Number of years of experience at each of the previous jobs may tell something about the candidate’s skills and accountability. Nevertheless, the personality trait that allows a manager to run a property like his own is not easy to measure by a simple interview. You must rely on your instincts when making a decision on accountability and hope you make the right decision. The next tip for a successful hire will hopefully take the guesswork out of gauging accountability.

6. Conduct a Pre-Hire Test

It’s not uncommon for an impressive candidate to fail to deliver once hired. He may have many years of experience and excel in the interview, but 30 days down the road, you come to the conclusion that no level of training can remedy his weaknesses and you have to let him go. You’ve now lost an invaluable month of time and have to start all over again in your search.

The great news is there are several companies that provide aptitude-testing solutions to take the guessing out of the equation. For example, you can use an online “hire testing” interface that measures sales- and customer-service skills and personality traits. Yes, that includes measuring a sense of responsibility and commitment. What’s more, testing of basic mathematical skills and computer skills are also offered.

Everything is completed online and results are e-mailed with a detailed report. Based on the data, the system either “recommends,” “highly recommends” or “doesn’t recommend” a candidate for the position. The results of various candidates can be compared through the online interface, which creates an archive of all completed tests. Using a new-hire assessment tool is essential to ensure you have the right employee to run your facility.

7. Background Checks Are a Must

These are essential to avoid any undesired surprises, such as a bad driving record or worse. Again, there are several companies that offer this service, including those specific to self-storage. For a minimal cost, you’ll know you’re leaving your property in good hands.

Follow the hiring steps above, and chances are you’ll have a great, long-term storage manager in place in no time. Best of luck.

Aycha Williams, a marketing and training strategist for AC Commercial Property Management, has more than with 15 years of experience in the marketing of commercial real estate and high-tech and consumer products. Based in Orlando, Fla., her company manages more than 1 million square feet of self-storage and other commercial holdings in Florida and Texas. For more information, call 407.481.9899, ext. 111; e-mail; visit

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