The qualities of an effective self storage manager

The qualities of an effective self storage manager

A good manager is essential to the success of a self-storage business. If you’ve been in the storage business for a while, you know that employees can prove to be effective and not effective.

What needs to be checked daily before opening the self-storage park

Mornings are normally busy and it’s important for managers to get most of their daily responsiblities done prior to the self-storage park opening. Things like checking who entered the park during working hours and checking the video footage, inspecting customer areas, counting cash, and following up on emails and phone calls can all be done prior to the gate getting unlocked. If a manager doesn’t do this work in advance they may find it difficult to complete these duties in between helping customers during the day. And customer service should be your top priority during the day.

Customer Service

Getting new customers and keeping them storing with you is the most important objective of any self storage company. But this is easier said than done for many managers. It is intimidating and uncomfortable to dealing with customers. But even these people can be trained to become effective in their role as a storage salesperson.

The key is to ask questions and listen to the answers. “What will you be needing to store with us?” “How long will you be needingstorage?” “Who will you be using to move your household or office?” Asking questions, creates conversation without much difficulty. This conversation normally reveals a ton of information about the customer and their reasons for needing storage. It simultaneously creates a connection between the manager and the future customer, whereby the customer feels like there is some integrity on the part of the manager. Now the manager knows quite a bit about that customer and can call to mind all those previous conversations when chatting to the customer again, creating a relationship.

When Things are Slow

There are times when the phone just isn’t ringing and inquiries online are down.  While there are plenty of things to do around a storage facility including tasks like cleaning, maintenance on locks etc, employee training, and other duties, a good manager should be doing things that can have a meaningful impact on the bottom line.

A good example is making follow-up phone calls from previous reservations. While this should be standard practice, too many managers don’t do it. Or if they do follow-ups it will be just one phone call. If that customer isn’t reached it’s considered a dead-end. Instead, it’s imperative to continue reaching out to these customers until you have an answer to what they decided, even if that means they rented somewhere else. Depending on how that customer found your company, the marketing cost that went into creating that lead might have been substantial. By not valuing it appropriately, you’re just wasting marketing Rands.

Handling Conflict

Dealing with conflict is very difficult for many managers. They don’t like it and will do or say almost anything to avoid it. In the storage business this can lead to some very bad outcomes. Good store managers will allow an angry customer to talk, to release their frustrations and calm down. Managers should be empathetic showing that they understand their customer’s issues.  In the process of solving their issues, it’s important to keep personal opinions out of the conversation. Don’t become disagreable and defensive with the customer. Try and show them that you understand their message and interested in resolving their problem with them. This creates an atmosphere of working together. Try not to talkover the customer, let the person complete their sentence and wait for silence before saying anything. Take the time to offer a solution to their problem if you can.

Security

Security is incredibly important at self storage facilities. Customers need their belongings are safe. There are basics that all managers need to do—reviewing their camera system video footage and gate log every morning, doing daily lock checks, and walking the property routinely.

The unforseen

A good manager is probably great at management skills and multi-tasking. With all things that a manager must accomplish during each day. Much of this comes with experience, but even some experienced managers don’t manage well of this arena. Managers know that creating daily checklists of the things that need to be accomplished during the day are essential to keeping the team running optimaly and keeeping on top of responsibilites and not letting things slip through the cracks when things get busy.