10 Ways for Self-Storage Owners to Reduce Expenses and Improve Cash Flow

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4. Recurring Expenses

There are also a number of recurring expenses every facility has such as utilities and maintenance. Utility expenses such as electricity, water and trash pickup make up a large percentage. Installing motion detectors on lights will reduce your electricity costs considerably. Similarly, setting the temperature at a regulated level for climate-controlled units can result in incremental savings over time. Watch your monthly accounting reports closely to catch a change in items such as water use. A sudden jump might result from a leak, for example.

Pest control, landscaping, alarm and maintenance companies all have a lot of competition. Therefore, it would be wise to price shop and get multiple bids each year before signing a contract.

5. One-Time Expenses

Your storage managers will agree that maintaining a property is one of their key responsibilities. While they will act with urgency to fix a broken gate, they may not pick the most cost-effective repair solution. It would not be surprising if your accountant received a bill for the broken alarm system you didn’t approve or an upgraded pest-control program you didn’t authorize.

Closely monitoring these expenses, especially if you have multiple properties, is crucial yet can be very difficult at times. Consider having an established purchase-order system with a minimum of three bids and official paperwork for each new job order. This way, you’ll ensure you monitor and approve the lowest rate for all repairs.

6. Do-It-Yourself Training Programs

It’s a given that your site managers need to know how to rent units, collect rent and otherwise run your facility. Are you willing to spend the time to assemble an effective training program that will work best for them? If you take the challenge, you can have overall control of your program and keep thousands of dollars in your pocket.

The same argument is valid for call evaluations. Consider using the real call recordings you already have through your call-tracking numbers. Use them to evaluate your managers instead of hiring a call-evaluation company for mystery-shop calls. Some of these companies charge a minimum of $30 per employee per month. Every dollar saved will help your bottom line.

7. Marketing Costs

Today, self-storage operators can hire someone to build them a website that is fully functional, user-friendly and optimized for search engines within days, all at the price of a car detail. Web and graphic designers and Internet-marketing managers are at your service right now. There are hub websites that bring you and your vendors together. You get to evaluate and pick suppliers, name your price, and pay when the job is complete to your satisfaction.

How closely are you monitoring the success of your cost-per-click (CPC) advertising? If you’re running Google CPC campaigns, knowing the number of clicks and dollars spent is only half the equation.

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