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Transition State

February 1, 1999

3 Min Read
Transition State

Transition State

When I drove cross-country from Connecticut out to Phoenix nearly four years ago, I didso in a Ryder moving truck with my car hooked in tow off the back. To this day I still getthis quirky little twitch in the left side of my face when I see one of thosebright-yellow demons.

It wasn't so much the drive--although it was long and grueling in the July heat. It wasthe nightmare of organizing the whole move. The day I went to pick up my rented vehicle,the small, independent owner from whom I was borrowing it informed me that the 15-foottruck I had reserved had not been returned by the previous customer and I would, instead,be driving a 20-foot truck out to Arizona. Then there was the negotiating of this vehiclethrough the self-storage facility where I had stored my belongings the preceding year, theunloading of the unit and the loading of the truck. There were seemingly endless stops forgas, late-night, greasy-spoon gorging sessions and too many hours of listening to thedrone of wheels on asphalt. In the end, I made it, but it was a trial.

People in a state of transition have enough on their minds without having to deal withadditional inconveniences and hassles. This is just one of the many reasons why Kirk Nashrecommends offering rental trucks at your facility. In his article, "Become theCompetition" Nash discusses the advantages to adding this ancillary product to yourlist of services. It could be the key element in your winning formula. The stressesinvolved in changing locations or needing to store personal belongings and other goods arealso the reason why Kara Jill Stancell-Salazar stresses the importance of effectivecustomer service in her article, "More Than a Smile." She demonstrates how alittle kindness goes a long way with a customer when times are tough.

There is hardly a self-storage owner or manager out there who would dispute theimportance of customer service. The problem can be finding the right people to executethat service. Research conducted by industrial psychologist Gregory Lousig-Nontdemonstrates the value of honesty and integrity testing in selecting job candidates, aswell as the importance of understanding certain aspects of a person's physiology during aninterview. Recognizing certain clues and red flags may prevent the hire of the wrong manor woman for the job.

Having strong staff representation will grow in importance as more and more facilitiesare established. Pam Alton discusses the significance of management, pricing and marketingin the face of market saturation, while Harley Rolfe continues his discussion on marketingfor the self-storage industry. Cary McGovern also addresses questions of staffing in hisdiscussion of training issues for those involved in records-storage management. Finally,learn more about sale-and-disposal legal-liability insurance from David Wilhite.

Continuing the discussion of transitions, you may have noticed that there's a newsignature at the bottom of this page. They say, the more things change the more they staythe same. With that in mind, you can expect the same quality publication we have alwaysstriven to provide, because its production is supported by the generous contributions andfeedback of our readers. It was wonderful to meet many of you at the Inside Self-StorageExpo in Las Vegas. For those I haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting, I look forward toopportunities to do so.

Best Wishes to You,
Teri L. Lanza


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