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Getting Your Self-Storage Site Maintenance on Track in 2016

As much as we may want to goof off and focus on holiday entertainments, many of us are busy this month ticking off final items on the 2015 to-do list and drafting new inventories for next year. For self-storage operators, facility maintenance is a task-heavy area that can often lose attention, but it’s important to get and stay on track. Here’s something to help with that.

Teri Lanza

December 10, 2015

4 Min Read
Getting Your Self-Storage Site Maintenance on Track in 2016

The year is coming to a close, and our brains are conflicted: Do we focus on winding down or gearing up?

On one hand, there are things we want to accomplish before the year is out, professionally and personally. For example, maybe there are financial loose ends we need to tie up before tax season or some home-improvement projects to complete before company comes to visit. On the other, it’s been a trying year for many people. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired! I have obligations to meet this month, but mostly I just want to get through the next few weeks, enjoy some time off with family and friends, and take a beat so I can hit the ground running in 2016.

Just before the New Year, I’ll start making lists:

  • New things to learn in 2016

  • Financial goals

  • Items to fix or improve around the house

  • Health and fitness goals

  • Trips to take

And those are just the personal inventories. When it comes to items to accomplish at work, I need a whole new set of Excel sheets!

Many of you are doing the same—taking stock of things to tick off the 2015 to-do list and thinking ahead to next year. Ready or not, here it comes! If you operate a self-storage facility, there’s always a lot to juggle, particularly in regard to property upkeep. Everyone knows it’s important, but if business is good, you’re busy marketing and renting units. It’s easy for maintenance to fall by the wayside.

After speaking with several site managers on the topic of time and task management at an industry event a couple of years ago, I thought, “How cool would it be to create a series of print calendars that would make it easier for a facility manager to stay organized?” At the time, I envisioned something along the lines of a day planner, like the ones the stationary companies issue for students each fall.

The idea stayed with me, and I shared it with ISS Contributing Editor Tony Jones, who works with me to manage the Inside Self-Storage Store. We discussed several concept models and then reached out to some of the industry’s top management companies for feedback. The consensus was a product like this would be useful to their managers and others in the business. They graciously supplied us with task checklists they use in the operation of their own properties and even provided personal tips and guidance from their decades of experience. Then it was a question of merging all this excellent material into a cohesive user-friendly format.  

The end result is the all-new Self-Storage Maintenance Package 2016: Monthly Task Calendars and Guide, which we released through the ISS Store just last week. This digital package includes detailed, customizable monthly calendars outlining tasks by day, week and season. It also includes a 41-page e-book full of expert maintenance advice.

Why digital? Because digital products allow features that would be unavailable in print—in this case, the ability to customize the monthly calendars to suit your individual business needs. Each calendar comes in quick-print PDF format, which is convenient if the chosen routine works for your specific operation. If not, we’ve also included the original Microsoft Word templates, which can be modified at will. All it takes is some basic proficiency in Word tables, which is very easy to learn if you don’t already have the skill.

Each calendar is color-coded for weekly, monthly, quarterly, seasonal and annual tasks. Each page also features a list of daily maintenance tasks. Some pages include special callout reminders and tips for things like vacant-unit inspection and door cleaning. The PDF maintenance guide includes 15 articles on topics like winter maintenance, roof care, door cleaning, pest control, service outsourcing and much more. The whole kit and caboodle comes bundled in a convenient zip file folder.

If you’re a master list-maker, perhaps you have no need for something like this. You’ve got all your maintenance tasks dialed in on your Google calendar and you’re good to go. But if you could use a little help getting or staying on track, this package may do the trick. It’ll be ready when you are, after the holidays are over and you’re able to be more single-minded. Have a maintenance tip or trick to share with fellow facility operators? Please post it in the comments section below.

Happy holidays from all of us here at ISS. Here’s to a productive, low-stress 2016!

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