Do you have access to the Internet? Then use it. Type in "self-storage training" and you’ll be overwhelmed with the choices. Your state association has resources. Take advantage of the conventions and meetings all around the country. Send your managers to local training opportunities. Closing your facility for a few hours during the middle of the month won’t destroy your business. It will allow your managers to learn how to rent more space and collect more money, which will be well worth it.
Myth 5: My Managers Were Trained Before I Hired Them
Hah. Do you really believe the other seven or eight self-storage companies on your manager’s résumé did any better at training him than you can or will? Instead of a “super-trained” superstar, it’s more likely you’ve inherited years of bad habits. Since most owners have the same beliefs about training that you do, it would be unbelievably risky to believe your new “experienced” manager is already well-trained.
You would be far better off to hire managers with sales experience instead of industry experience. You need managers with an outgoing personality, not a jaded one. Hire employees with superior customer skills, not those who believe past-due customers are deadbeats. Hire people who know how to effectively answer the phone, not those who can’t function without their cell phone.
Training Top Five
So what kind of training should you provide your self-storage managers? Here’s a breakdown of the top five elements that should be included in every program:
- Sales training: This should include how to answer the phone, manage leads and effectively turn more of your prospects into tenants.
- Collections training: This consists of ways to maximize revenue, document efforts and reduce lien actions.
- Time management: This includes how to stay organized, work more efficiently and get everything done.
- Customer service: This training encompasses acting proactively, reducing customer complaints and producing a superior customer experience.
- Revenue management: This includes implementing rent increases, reducing discounts and concessions, and improving ancillary goods and services income.
You have a self-storage asset that may be worth millions. Isn’t time you started treating it that way? Use the industry resources available and implement an effective and professional manager-training program today. Quit leaving your success to chance.
Bob Copper is the partner in charge at Self Storage 101, an industry consulting firm that assists facility owner/operators and managers in developing more effective and profitable operational systems. It also aids in conducting performance reviews and providing the necessary tools to perform at higher levels in a competitive industry. To reach him, call 866.269.1311; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; visit www.selfstorage101.com .