"From making sure downspouts drain and roofs don't leak, to hazards all around your property, maintenance is the key to preventing any mishaps," Kudo says. She recommends operators walk the property daily to make note of potential hazards. If something needs attention, take care of it immediately, she advises. "If you can't rectify a situation on the spot, then you should be marking off the area for staff and customer safety. If you work diligently on preventive maintenance, a hazard should never appear. However, if one does, it will stand out immediately," she says.
Show Law Enforcement Some Love
Building a relationship with local police is another way to cultivate facility safety. "By building a strong relationship with local law enforcement, they are looking out for you and your property even when there’s not an issue, helping to prevent issues before they arise," Goldberg says. "In the case of an issue, familiarity with our property and our company allows law enforcement to address the situation as quickly and effectively as possible." Storage Village has established relationships with police by serving them directly as well as gaining recognition through community-service initiatives.
In addition to added security, the presence of officers can deter potential criminals and give tenants peace of mind. An easy and marketable way of gaining law-enforcement presence is by offering storage services, Kudo says. “One officer tells another, and then another officer rents a unit." In the event officers stop by to pay rent or use the restroom, tenants will see their presence and gain an extra sense of security in regard to your facility.
Safe Storage Living
Managers who live on site need to take extra precautions to ensure safety at all times, and not only during business hours. The biggest challenge to resident management is ensuring personal safety, Kudo says. "It's the same basics that every homeowner has to consider. Living where you work does add another layer since customers also know you live there.”
Maintaining safety for resident managers includes having a plan for emergency situations, being aware of your surroundings (especially after hours), and updating local police with information about the people living on the property, Kudo advises. If you get home after dark, driving around the property in a locked vehicle is a good way to safely survey the site. "If you encounter someone unknown to you on site after hours, you can simply drive out to a public area and phone law enforcement," Kudo says.
At the end of the day, safety precautions create a better environment for everyone and attract customers, which ultimately translates into revenue. "It's no longer enough to provide a clean, dry place for [tenants] to store their valued possessions," Loftin says. "They are demanding a higher level of security and they are willing to pay for it."