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April 7, 2020
Your self storage manager is the face of your business, your salesperson, and your closer.
Sometimes they're your maintenance person, groundskeeper, and accountant too!
Finding the right person can literally make or break your business. So how do you choose the right person?
In 2023, the jobs market is tighter than it has been for a long time! Finding a self storage manager at all can be tricky, let alone the managerial superstar you want behind your counter.
Higher pay, better benefits, and other perks can help you get quality applicants, and the good news is that a top-notch self storage manager can be more than worth the money.
But how do you know which candidate to pick? Who's going to help you grow your business?
Here are 7 traits that good self storage facility managers should have.
Your property manager must be a salesperson.
Having a sense of urgency to rent more units is crucial to growing your business.
They're the first person that prospective tenants come into contact with, so they must understand the value of a rental!
If they rented 1 extra unit per week, that’s 52 extra units rented in a year! At $130 a month, that's over $81,000 in extra revenue for your storage facility over a two-year period - keep these numbers in mind if payroll starts to weigh on you.
Having an above-average manager (who works hard to rent units) will make you far more money than they will cost.
Compensate your manager for their extra efforts! If your success is their success, they'll have a good reason to keep making sales even on a bad day.
When it comes to managing a self storage property, customer service skills are vital.
They need to be outgoing and friendly.
Property managers are not only the first human impression of your facility but also the closers. They get customers to sign the lease and spend their money.
When a current or potential tenant shows up to your facility, the manager should be their guide to a great experience.
Trust is a huge part of any successful work environment. In self storage, trust is even more vital than in many other industries. You'll have to trust your manager to make lots of important decisions every day - after all, if you were going to be at the facility 24/7, you wouldn't need a manager!
Self storage is such a unique industry that your tenants stay longer when they like and trust the property manager. This is why hiring a manager is so tricky - you need someone personable, professional, and trustworthy.
Your manager needs to be trustworthy for obvious reasons - they're handling the money, dealing with customers, and they have the keys to your business. But the manager also needs to trust you, which is mostly on you.
Your manager is a junior partner in your business. Be responsive to their ideas - they're on the front lines and may have a better perspective on certain issues. They will be more apt to come up with innovative ideas and share them with you, knowing that their thoughts will be heard and not ignored or laughed at. They also need to know that you're going to compensate them for their efforts.
Being a self storage manager is a tough job, and if they feel like you're taking advantage of their talents, they won't stick around long.
As a self storage owner, you are invested in the success of your storage business, but you also have chosen your employees because they showed you they are capable of doing the job without you hovering over their should.
You want a property manager who is going to sweep the hallways when they are dirty, keep the office clean, change light bulbs out, etc.
Your facility's curb appeal is a large factor in its success or failure, and you need a manager who both understands that and cares about it. You need a manager that takes pride in the facility - they need to feel like they're a part of the business too.
The success of your business should be their success as well.
Like in any business, the pressure can mount and burst at unexpected moments.
Maybe a customer is unable to pay their bill - this would be a very embarrassing and upsetting situation for many. Maybe a fire and your sprinklers ruined the heirlooms they were storing with you.
A good manager will stay calm under fire
You want a manager who can handle an upset tenant.
Actions and words spoken during times of stress can often lead to regret and lost business or bad reviews, which will hurt your business over time.
Most employees do work hard, but for many people, their job is an uphill battle, with task after task coming at them and the only time they are caught up is when they go home for the day, only to return again the next day and start over.
A good manager knows this and finds ways to make their own work more effective and meaningful. They need a desire to please tenants and they need to care about the rental experience they're creating.
Tenants will appreciate a willingness to do what it takes to make them happy, and facility owners will welcome their disposition to do what it takes to reach success.
In a self storage facility, as well as most other businesses, mistakes are going to happen. They will make your company look bad, they'll upset customers, and they'll upset the ownership (you).
A good manager knows how to take responsibility for those mistakes rather than try to find someone to blame. Then you want someone will take it a step further and work to make it right.
Through these traits, and the many other leadership abilities that a good manager displays, your self storage manager will help your business grow.
When you choose your self storage facility’s next manager, look for these traits so your company will be in the hands of someone capable of keeping your business successful.
To learn more about building a successful self storage team, take a look at: