By Jim Chiswell
I received the following story from Yvonne Roush, an outstanding manager at East Diamond Self Storage in Gaithersburg, Md. Roush has been a manager at the property for about a year. The property is managed by Veritage Management Inc., which oversees several facilities in Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia.
I want to share a quick anecdotal story with you regarding one of my tenants. Mr. C is an admitted hoarder. When he came in our store in February, he freely told me about the issues he deals with. When he was moving in, I read about a support group for hoarders that met in our area, cut out the article and gave it to him. He gladly accepted it, and was not offended by my gesture.
Yesterday I moved him into a 10 by 10 (previously he had needed a 10-by-15-size unit) and he sat and told me that he is now seeing a psychiatrist and is on meds for anxiety. He has sold three cars that he had been hiding in his neighborhood, and has also been able to part with about one-third of his stored goods.
Mr. C told me he attributes my kindness to this success. Jim, I only listened and didn't pass judgment. I only gave him a small piece of paper and said it may be helpful. Yet he feels more in charge of his life. I doubt most people would think that a self-storage manager could make a positive difference in someone's life, yet I have.
Her simple act of kindness changed a life. It made me wonder about all the ways managers across the country in our industry are impacting peoples lives every day. My hat is off to you Yvonne for what youve done to help Mr. C and Im sure countless other customers you touch. While some people may think getting a hoarder to reduce the size of the unit hes renting is a bad thing, I consider what she did as the absolute answer to helping someone solve their storage problem.
Jim Chiswell is an industry veteran and owner of Chiswell & Associates LLC. Since 1990, his firm has provided feasibility studies, acquisition due diligence, mentoring and customized manager training for the self-storage industry. He has served for a number of years on the Inside Self-Storage Editorial Advisory Board, is a moderator on the SelfStorageTalk.com interactive online community and is faculty member of the Self-Storage Training Institute. He can be reached at [email protected] or www.selfstorageconsulting.com.