Gabfocus Spotlight: What are some collections best practices and pitfalls?

August 23, 2023

self storage help video quote
2 min

Are you struggling with making collection calls?

Few operators or managers look forward to collections. After all, we'd all be in a different line of work if it was what we really wanted to do with our time.

Unfortunately, you don't always have a choice. Whether because someone forgot to pay or because they chose not to pay, you'll pretty much always encounter people who you need to chase down for payment.

Give a listen as Kevin Mullis and Denise Bowley talk to us about how they try to prevent collection calls and give us expert advice on handling the call when it does happen.

Question: "What are some collections best practices and pitfalls?"

Check out the video clip below to hear their answers:


In this Gabfocus Session: Optimizing Your Day-to-Day, we sat down with Denise Bowley of Self Storage Science and Kevin Mullis of Bob White Self Storage. Their goal? Breaking down the day-to-day management of a self storage facility. They talked about best practices for rentals, move-ins, and more!

Check out the full Session to dive deeper! 

Don't want to watch the clip? Here's what Kevin and Denise had to say:

I require everyone that rents with me to go on auto-pay now.

It's just easier that way, especially if you word it right.

If you word it as, would you like to go on auto-pay today? Who wants to do that, right? So I've learned. As soon as they come in, you ask for their driver's license, ask for a card to put on file for auto-pay. And then just whenever you go on over that lease, just let them know that'll be drafted on the first of each month, and include that as part of your lease that they're signing, agreeing to being able to run that card every month.

I never have any that refuse during the move in process anymore.

If I do, if they're adamant, I will let them. Tell them, you're more than welcome to go online. However, I'm out of the office. I'm out on property a lot. So if you catch me and I'm not in the office, you can go ahead and make that online.

We actually just implemented a new practice as well. It's through SpiderDoor, our gate provider, to where they can call our office, press one, and it'll take the payment for them over the phone without me."

—Kevin Mullis

"Just know who you're talking to.

If you can't reach the tenant, you call the alternate.

Please don't leave a message that you're collecting rent. Follow all of the standard best practices for collections because it can get you in trouble.

If you leave a voicemail and a wife doesn't know that the rent hasn't been paid, you could cause some conflict between a husband and a wife.

One other thing I like to do when we're doing collections is a sense of urgency.

So and so, this is Denise at such and such. I need to speak with you urgently about your unit. If it's someone who does not call back. And they call right back."

Denise Bowley

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