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Level Up Your Communication Skills to Improve Self-Storage Operations

When you communicate clearly and with confidence, you’ll strengthen your relationships with others and build trust in your self-storage business. Consider these three ways to hone your communication skills.

Amy Campbell

October 29, 2021

3 Min Read

Sometimes, we’re not the best communicators. There are several reasons for this. One is that we often erroneously suppose everyone is thinking what we’re thinking. Silly, I know. But when you’re contemplating about something, you just assume someone else will understand what you’re saying. It’s like when you ask someone to bring you the “whatchamacallit” from the other room. They know what you mean, right?

In tandem with this is our tendency to add shortcuts. I’m not talking about TTYL and BRB. Our misstep is leaving out details. This goes along with the mistake above. If you’re thinking what I’m thinking you don’t need the details. You know what I mean. Well, that often isn’t the case.

There are some people you associate with who’ll know what you’re pondering and won’t need you to provide details. This is likely a small pool. Even my daughter gives me an exasperated look when I don’t plainly say what I mean. Sometimes, it’s because we’re distracted, multi-tasking, or overwhelmed and overworked. Also, let’s be honest, it can be attributed to age, too!

When operating a self-storage business, not communicating clearly with coworkers, supervisors and customers can lead to misunderstandings, misinformation and a lot of frustration. One email becomes four because you left out important details in the first. No one wants that. A phone call can take way longer than necessary when one or more parties are unclear, and may even lead to more confusion. Have you ever hung up the phone and thought, what?

Becoming a better communicator will do more than just cut down on those back-and-forth emails and make your phone calls smoother. It can also help you improve your sales skills, which leads to more rentals. Good communicators strengthen their relationships with others and even build trust. This is a key element to providing the best customer service.

So how can you improve in this area? There a million online articles, books, podcasts and videos on the topic. Here’s a start:

Be present. Seems simple, right? We’re bombarded all day long with tasks, information and our own internal monologue. It’s natural to want to multi-task, but you need to stop and focus on what’s happening right now. Focus on the email, the conversation with a tenant or your boss, and stop thinking about the work you still need to complete or your plans for Saturday. When you’re focused on that moment, you’ll finish it faster than if you’re trying to do more.

Be clear. Know your job, your company’s policies and procedures, and what’s expected of you. That way, when speaking with a tenant or prospect, you’re confident. Practice your sales pitch, how to explain the rental agreement, or what to say in a collections call. When you know your stuff, it’s easier to communicate clearly. You show self-assurance, it leads to—you guessed it—trust.

Be a listener. While listening might not seem like a skill you need to be a good communicator, it most definitely is a part of it. How can you persuade a potential customer to choose your self-storage business if you don’t know anything about their needs? Listen first, reply second. Ask questions when you need clarification.

The pandemic has vastly altered the way we communicate and interact with one another. While some of it has greatly improved our lives, it definitely has also opened the door for more miscommunication. Don’t let that happen. Understand the benefits being a good communicator will bring to your personal and professional life, then hone your skills. When you do, you’ll be more effective at work and in your other relationships.

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Editor, Inside Self Storage

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