Far too many self-storage owners are risking their assets by using untrained or poorly trained facility managers. There are also several myths surrounding the concept of manager training in the industry. Let’s break them down and uncover the truth.
Myth 1: My Managers Don’t Need Any Training
Most facility owners believe any sort of systematic training is a waste of time. When you ask a group of owners how many of them have a manager-training program, the number of raised hands is woefully small. Many are leaving too much to chance when it comes to ensuring their facilities are managed effectively and profitably.
It’s incomprehensible that an entrepreneur would develop or invest in self-storage and then turn his assets over to people with no formalized training. The idea that any person hired to manage a facility would naturally know how to rent space, collect money or do any of the other tasks necessary to effectively manage the site borders on ridiculous. Unfortunately, many owners believe just that. Their “training” program is like Moses at the Red Sea—throwing up their hands and hoping for a miracle.
Myth 2: I Can Train My Managers Myself
No, you can’t. You won’t. You shouldn’t. For reasons that might seem illogical, there’s something “magical” about having an outsider conduct training for your managers. I don’t know why, but it's true. Making training a special event and bringing in an outside teacher is much more effective than throwing in some occasional tidbits in the midst of all the other communication you have with your managers.
The fact is most owners just are not very good at training their managers. They don’t have the experience, personality, resources or systems that a training professional or company can bring to the table. The most successful people in this or any industry keep their egos out of the way and realize they don’t have to be the smartest man or woman in the room. Don’t let your ego keep your self-storage organization from succeeding at the most professional and profitable levels.
Myth 3: I Trained My Managers Years Ago and That Was Enough
Really? Considering the highest-paid athletes in the world attend spring training every year, it’s obvious your managers need regular training as well. You’re fooling yourself if you believe otherwise. Everyone gets rusty, forgets, or needs a refresher or update on the latest and the greatest. Your managers need that as well.
Can your managers really maintain a high level of professional sales skills or collection efforts with the training you provided all those many months or years ago? No. For you to expect that of them is unfair and naïve. You cannot expect your staff to keep up with the industry’s best practices and techniques if the only training they received was that lame book or CD you gave them when they first started years ago.
Myth 4: There Are No Good Training Options
Between the national and state self-storage associations, industry conferences, and the plethora of vendors who offer various training webinars, books, workshops, etc., there are more than enough high-quality training options available in the self-storage industry. To believe there are none available is mindboggling. (By the way, the so-called “training” program you developed is not a good option.)