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As a self storage manager, you're juggling a lot of responsibilities - customer service, marketing, sales, operations, and everything else. What does it mean to be a successful manager? In this Session, we'll discuss ways you can grow, how to handle common manager problems, and processes you can implement to make your life easier.
Aired: June 17, 2021
If you don't have time to watch the whole Session, here are some of our favorite parts:
We asked our experts: What are the key qualities or skills that make a great manager?
"I'm always looking for a sales-focused individual! Someone who's confident with a great attitude. I want my staff to understand why a customer is there. I want to hire for attitude and train for skill. If you have a staff with the right attitude, they'll be able to get the job done. Sales acumen is essential, great customer care, and a really positive attitude are the biggest qualities we look at." - Mark Skrzypczak
" I'm looking for integrity. I need to be able to trust you. I can't keep an eye on everyone 24/7, so I need to depend on you. In this industry, there's not enough coverage to go around, so I need dependability from all my managers." - Terri Wood
Ideal Self Storage Manager Checklist
Atlantic Self Storage KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
Tracked with a daily/weekly tracker in excel.
Atlantic Self Storage Manager Incentives
Managers are the core of a successful self storage facility. And, their job isn't easy. They're the first impression, the front lines, sales, marketing, customer service, onboarding specialist, admin, and everything in-between. Although it's hard to sum up what makes a great manager, both our panelists agree one has to have the right mix of positive attitude and work ethic. Managers that want to succeed in their roles need to have a "get it right" attitude, from customer service to how clean the facility is. Managers who want to grow, need to be looking for ways to always be learning, improving, and seeking out ways to diversify their experience.
Gabfocus Sessions are virtual workshops for self storage owners, managers, and operators. Brought to you by the team behind Gabfest: StoragePug and Affordable Storage Guys Management.
Each session features hand-picked industry pros who will dive deep into relevant topics surrounding our industry, share best practices, and explore trends in the market. It's our hope that these sessions help you navigate your self storage business better during these uncertain times.
Want to learn more about self storage? Join us on select Thursdays for Gabfocus.
Our panelists will be happy to answer any questions you have. We hope you enjoyed this Gabfest Session. Talk soon!
“Once your operation is in place, you can become more dynamic with your pricing, but that requires data. You need some method of being able to record the data that you need to know whether your price is in the right place - whether you need to move it up or start giving some concessions.” - Warren Lieberman
“I never want to downplay to what someone else is doing. I'm better than they are, then I'm going to be worth a higher price. That's what value is. If you go out to a restaurant and get really good service, would you go back? Yes! What if it was pricier? You'd still go back because you got better service and a better product.” - Jim Mooney
"It's good to be informed on your competition. I don't want to ignore them, but I don't want to respond too strongly to them either." - Warren Lieberman
"We did a survey of 10,000 facilities on their pricing. We found out that two-thirds of those operators didn't change the price of a single unit of the course of a month." - Warren Lieberman
“Rate increases and value pricing are the number one ways to grow your revenue.” - Jim Mooney
"Tenants in more convenient units tend to be less price sensitive." - Warren Lieberman
"The size of the unit is only one aspect of what people are willing to pay for." - Warren Lieberman
Lease up marketing strategies:
Your average customer value
Find the average stay length of all tenants. Next take your economic occupancy and divide by how many units you have. That will tell you what the average customer pays.
Multiply the average length of stay by what the average customer pays, and that's the average value of a customer.
For example, if a customer stays for 12 months and pays $100 per month, then their value is $1,200.
Your average lead value
Figure out your closing rate (or conversion rate) i.e. how many leads do you turn into tenants? Multiply that by your average customer lifetime value to figure out what your leads are worth.
Pro Tip: see which lead sources are converting the best. It may be that certain sources have a higher conversion rate, so those leads are worth more to you than a source that barely converts.
Typical Lease-up timeline
According to our panelists, it's typical to see a 3-4% increase each month, putting your facility at 36% after the first year, and 72% after the second.
Alternately, you can look at your lease up goals through the lens of your units, aiming for 20 units rented per month.
For Nick and StorageMax, they pro forma their economic occupancy at 85% with their sweet spot at 92%.
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