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4 Analytical Reports to Help You Improve Your Self-Storage Operation

By Rick Beal Comments
Continued from page 1

Now I know how rate increases affect my customers, and I run this report once a month. Figuring out how to generate it, though, will depend on your software. (If we use the same system, I’d be happy to provide instructions.) Our data showed that customers from one store accepted a higher percentage increase than tenants from a different location, something I would never have known if I didn’t analyze the numbers.

Rate-Variance Report

Rate variances, such as customer credits and discounts, can be likened to an extended stay with your mother-in-law. Throughout your visit, it’s easy to make concessions here and there for the sake of getting along; but at the end of the month, when you get your credit card bill and see how all the charges add up, you’re the one stuck making the payment.

I’m not a fan of free months, dollar move-ins or mysterious customer-service credits. They rarely have a place; but if they’re going to be used, the practice should be pragmatic and deliberate. At the end of every month, you need to take responsibility for every credit and discount you issue. Run a report to examine these trends in your operation to fully understand what’s being given away. A few waived late fees here and there may seem harmless, but they start to add up, which amplifies their negative impact over time.

Leverage the Data

The key to leveraging all these reports is to consistently review and analyze them. It’s easy to get busy and drop the ball occasionally. It can also be easy to let things slide, miss goals or rely on discounts. However, by using the data, you’ll build a culture of responsibility that consistently propels your business forward.

My motivation comes from wanting advancement in my career and a desire to be a better owner-operator. I can’t accomplish either without knowing how my stores run and understanding how these data sets can assist my decision-making. I strongly encourage you to mine the data that can help your employees and facilities succeed.

Rick Beal is the district manager and part owner of Cubes Self Storage in Salt Lake City. His goal is to help a historically slow-changing industry embrace new, innovative ideas. His professional motto is “Storage is a business of inches not miles.” He can be reached at Connect with him on LinkedIn at

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