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Teri Lanza

Teri Lanza
Editorial Director
tlanza@vpico.com

Self-Storage Talk Helps Operators Stay Cool Under Pressure

By John Carlisle Comments
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When most people think of professions that demand composure during crises, they think surgeons and doctors, air traffic controllers and pilots, military commanders, police officers, and firefighters—you know, the usual suspects. But outside of this industry, self-storage managers are probably omitted from the list, but I think they should be included.

There's nothing more important for good self-storage managers than to be able to hit a curve ball, so to speak, to be able to handle the unexpected in stride and continue to carry on with the job. One who is easily overcome by anxiety and likely to endure stressful situations by panicking and breathing into a brown paper bag will have some issues running a self-storage facility.

If you're a self-storage manager, you don't need evidence from me to know this is true, but I'll provide some anyway in the form of recent discussions from Self-Storage Talk, the official online forum of Inside Self-Storage. In this thread, the manager is fairly new to the job  and has been thrown in the middle of a royal mess: a handful of missing leases, out-of-control delinquencies, no cameras and several missing locks, broken hasps, etc. Let's just say her stressors are many. But thankfully, several of her forum peers have come to her aid suggesting quick and effective solutions to her problems.

In another instance of a manager new to a facility, she has found moved-out tenant packets misfiled and strewn about the office, orphan accounts cluttering up the software system, units in dire need of scrubbing, returned mail piling a foot high, and rental trucks from a company she's never worked with before. To top it off, new issues arise every day. Stressful? Absolutely. So, how can she chip away at the problems? Almost immediately after she posted, some SST stalwarts were there to start giving ideas and providing support.

The irony, of course, is that some people venture into self-storage management roles thinking that it's a quiet "retirement" profession. It's true that depending on where you're located, you might have your share of slow, uneventful days. But when conflict arises, do you have the poise necessary to keep it together? Do you know where to turn for a quick answer if you're stuck? If you haven't yet, join the ranks at Self-Storage Talk. You must be registered to post, but it's free and takes only a few minutes.

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