Top 5 Mistakes found in a Self Storage Audit

self storage audit Jan 10, 2018

To make sure your business is financially sound, you should have a random facility audit performed on a regular basis, ideally quarterly. Self Storage Audits should be performed by someone outside of daily management, either a professional consultant or an owner. Letting your manager audit her own work is the same as letting a student grade her own test. What are the chances she’d get less than an A+?

When I perform a self storage audit, here are the top 5 mistakes I find:

  1. Overlocks performed incorrectly

Every facility should have a policy on when overlocks are placed on late units. This usually happens on the 6th of the month. No matter what day you pick, late units should be overlocked on the same day of each month, and locks should be placed on all late units. When I perform a facility audit, I check that all late units are properly overlocked, to ensure late tenants can’t simply open their unit and move out of your facility without paying their rent. When I first...

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What should I expect during a self storage audit?

self storage audit Nov 23, 2017

“Audit” is a scary word. I am hesitant to even use it because it makes me feel like the IRS coming to get you. I promise, I’m not scary, but I am thorough. So what should you expect during a self storage audit?

I use audits as a tool to find the errors in your business and fix them.

The point of an audit is to make the manager’s job easier and to give the owner a sense of comfort that his multi-million dollar investment is being run properly.

An audit isn’t about beating managers over the head for little mistakes. It isn’t about telling managers how to do their job. It isn’t about coming into a business as the all-knowing diva and pouncing all over their hard work.

I was once a manager of a self storage business. I know how hard the job is, and I truly believe that most self storage employees are honest, hard-working people, who want to do a good job for their boss and make their tenants’ lives easier. It’s true that some people...

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2 Types of Self Storage Audits

self storage audit Nov 14, 2017

The audit process depends on what type of audit you choose. I offer two types of self storage audits:

  1. Facility audit
  2. Operational audit

Audits are best done when management doesn’t know ahead of time. I coordinate with the owner to pick the best day to perform an audit before going onsite, to the facility. Here is a quick summary of each type of audit. A detailed overview can be found here. Facility Audit When I perform a facility audit, I am looking for certain key things:

  • I check daily deposits from your storage program to make sure all the money was deposited into your bank account.
  • I look at each individual self storage unit to make sure every unit matches the self storage system. Here are a few things that I check for:
    • Every unit that should be rented has a lock
    • Every unit that should be vacant has a company lock
    • Every unit that should be overlocked has an overlock
    • Every unit that should not be overlocked only has a tenant lock
    • Every unit that is in auction has an...
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Top 4 Self Storage Unit Pricing Mistakes You Must Avoid

revenue management Jul 21, 2017

How much should I charge for my self storage units?

This is a question that I get asked most often. Even once owners settle on their self storage unit pricing, they still need to increase rates on a regular basis. I have been helping owners set self storage rates and raise self storage rates for years and here are the top 4 mistakes that I see when it comes to pricing self storage units.  

Mistake 1: Keeping Up with the "Joneses"

When I discuss self storage unit pricing with most storage owners, they talk about price shopping their competition and little else. If you are just keeping up with your competition and not digging into the supply, demand, customer needs and other data, you are losing money.

Owners that are followers look over at their neighbor and price the same way that he does. You aren't a follower. You are a leader in the industry. You want to gather information and run your business the best way that you can. Do better than just keeping up with the Joneses!...

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10 Steps to Price Self Storage Units with Confidence

revenue management May 07, 2017

Pricing your self storage units is both an art and a science.  I like to use a 10 step approach when teaching people how to price with confidence. Once you master the steps, you will easily make more money with your storage units and increase the value of the property. If you are still calling the competition and matching rates,  you may be leaving money on the table.  Going through all the steps will position you to dominate your market and give you the confidence you need when you set street rates and raise rates on current customers.  Sleep easy at night knowing you are doing everything possible to make your self storage business a Perfect 10.

Step 1:  Prepare yourself

If you are you mentally ready to raise rates, you will not have success.  Attitudes show up in numbers and owners who believe that raising rates will cause them to lose business will see lower numbers.  Taking the time to listen to the stories that you are telling yourself will...

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