4 Tips for Hiring Part-Time Staff to Support Your Full-Time Self-Storage Managers

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Setting your part-time manager requirements at a higher level may make it harder to find the right employee. However, it will benefit your business in the long run by helping you create the right team for your facility that will work toward a common goal.

TIP 3: Clearly Identify Responsibilities and Offer the Right Training

You're spending thousands of marketing dollars to get that phone to ring or get that customer to walk in the door. How would you like to listen to a phone call on which your relief manager denies a prospect the existing special offer because he is unaware of it? Or takes too long to find the availability and price for a certain unit size because he doesn't know how to use your system? Or is just plain rude and uninterested in renting units because he doesn't think sales is part of his job?

The part-timer may very well be your future site manager in training. You may argue that the average relief manager spends the larger part of his working hours simply maintaining the property, but does he ever answer the phone? Does he interact with prospects or customers? If so, then he has to go through the same operations and sales training as your full-time managers.

Relief managers are mostly offered minimal training (if any) that has to be completed in a very short time before they start working, sometimes single-handedly. For your self-storage investment to be a success, carefully evaluate the responsibilities of your part-time employee and offer the right training program to help him help your business.

TIP 4:  There Is a Way to Reverse High Turnover

It’s not a secret that there's a high turnover rate for employees in the self-storage industry. Could this be partially attributed to a lack of investment in employee development? With average pay starting at minimum wage, the positions attract candidates who may be more transitory. This puts the owner in a position where he's not eager to invest in part-time staff, especially if they think the employee may not be around two months later.

You may not be able offer a higher wage. But by  hiring the right candidate, clearly defining responsibilities and offering growth opportunities via training, your part-timers may not be as eager to move on to a different job. Add to this mix a performance-based bonus program, and you can sit back and watch while your managers and property thrive.

Small to mid-size self-storage operators work around the clock to improve facility profitability and cash flow. We come up with new techniques and strategies to advance the areas that need work. The hiring and training of part-time employees is an area that should not be overlooked. It will bring you one step closer to the objective of streamlined operation and increased profit.

Aycha Williams is a marketing and training strategist for AC Commercial Property Management, manages more than 1.2 million square feet of self-storage and other commercial holdings in Florida and Texas. Williams oversees the strategy, implementation and tracking of all company marketing efforts and property-manager training programs. She has more than 15 years of commercial real estate, high-tech and consumer-products marketing experience. For more information, call 407.647.9800; e-mail awilliams@accommercial.net; visit www.accommercial.net .

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