Three Tips for Closing Time

January 31, 2024

3 min


It’s been a really long day - three different customers forgot their codes, two more explained why they don’t have to pay rent, and one nice old man crunched his pickup into the bollards.

Lock up, take a look over everything, and get headed home. Maybe pick up a pizza on the way - you’re far too tired to cook.

But as soon as you hit the driveway, you start to wonder…

Did you miss something?

Those late-night worries are awful, especially when you’re alreay tired and stressed.

The best solution is to have a protocol you follow every night - maybe a checklist, or maybe just a set of steps you go through to ensure you did everything right.

In our Optimizing Your Day-to-Day Gabfocus (part 2), we asked Denise Bowley & Kevin Mullis to tell us about closing up for the day - what sort of routines a successful self storage manager uses to ensure nothing gets missed. 

With their advice in mind, you can set up an easy process that keeps your facility in good shape and gets you home fast!

Check out our Self Storage Operations Guide here!

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Checking Overlocks

This step was fresh on Denise’s mind because one of her managers forgot to do it - checking the gate software for updates and overlocks!

When tenants are locked out of the facility for missing a payment, the gate software will refuse their code. On other facilities, an extra lock will be placed on their unit until they pay. This is called overlocking

However, when the late payment is made, the lock must be removed from the gate system manually. If you put a physical lock on the unit, that will need to be removed too.

This step is first on the list because of how frustrating it can be if it goes wrong. Tenants may be making the payment so they can move out of the unit, or because they need something immediately. Once they’ve paid, you need to ensure they have access during your open hours.

So, the last thing to do before you shut down the PMS - check for late payments and reverse any appropriate overlocks.

Get free checklists, templates, and forms with our Self Storage Operator  Toolkit

Getting Ready for the Next Day

This tip is great for any facility because it’s completely customizable to your own processes! As you’re getting ready to go home for the day, make your to-do list for tomorrow.

As you make tomorrow’s to-do list, you can do the inverse for your closing. If you need to put “unlock the office” on tomorrow’s list, that means you need to lock the office up tonight.

Writing out a list may feel slow, especially when you’re tired and want to go home, but once you get in the habit it will help you remember all the little pieces of your facility that need your attention.

Take a Last Lap

On your way out, take a lap around your facility - driving, walking, unicycle, whatever.

Our experts advise that you want to find any problems before you go home, even if you can’t deal with them that night. Otherwise, when you find the problem in the morning, you’ve got 24 hours of surveillance footage to go through! 

Taking a lap through the facility can also be a good way to remind yourself of other tasks that might have been missed during a busy day.

Make sure you take a look at:

  • The parking lot. Are there any tenants still on the property, or any cars you don’t recognize in the lot?
  • The dumpster and/or trash areas. Did the trash cans get emptied today, and is the dumpster locked up? 
  • The storage units. Are any doors open? Are there any locks missing? Any items left sitting outside of a unit?
  • The office. Lights off, systems shut down, door locked?
  • The gate on your way out. Is it functioning properly?

Budget some time for your final lap around the facility, and do it in whichever order makes the most sense for your layout. 

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For operations with multiple locations, the experts recommend establishing a protocol across facilities. Managers can customize those protocols and do stuff their own way - and they should! But make certain that every necessary task gets completed.

Habits like those recommended here are a great way to combat complacency. When you do the same thing every day for months on end, you stop thinking about it as much and important steps can slip through the cracks.

If you follow this advice and set up your own custom protocol, you’ll be able to go home knowing that nothing is on fire - literally or figuratively.

Looking to learn more? Check these out!

At StoragePug, we build self storage websites that make it easy for new customers to find you and easy for them to rent from you.

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