The mighty self storage operations manual

operations Oct 22, 2018

Last summer I went to a self storage facility to do an audit. The facility had one employee who had been there for eight years. The owner trusted her, but he knew one of my other customers and wanted to make sure that everything was running smoothly.

I arrived at the self storage business at 8 am for the audit. I walked into the office and printed the site map and two other reports. The manager went upstairs to her apartment, called the owner and quit.

It was 8:15 am on a Thursday, and the owner found himself with no employees. He had no operations manual, no passwords, and no idea how to run his business.

What is an operations manual?

A self storage operations manual is not a corporate document written in an ivory tower. It's not filled with human resource legal language that is unreadable and unusable.

An operations manual simply a written version of what to do every day and how to do it.

A well-written self storage operations manual is a living roadmap for running your business.
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6 Steps to More Freedom in Your Self Storage Business

operations Mar 07, 2018

Do you want more freedom in your self storage business? Do you find yourself working at your self-storage business more than you expected? If you have a manager, do you wonder if he or she is keeping you fully in the loop?

Do you want to be able to relax, knowing that your business is taken care of? Do you want the freedom to take extended trips and not worry?  

Here are a few ways to achieve more freedom in your self-storage business:

  1. Have procedures – You need company procedures on basic operations: answering the phone, start of day, end of day, how to show a unit, renting units, collecting payment, making deposits, cleaning schedule, policy on refunds, policy on waiving late fees, etc.
  2. Have a manual – If you don’t have the procedures documented and gathered in an organized way (like a manual), and then you are basically letting your employees guess how you want your business run.
  3. Hire Quality People – There is no replacement for a good manager....
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How to rent more storage units

operations Feb 07, 2018

What do you do if you need to rent more storage units? How do you get more move-ins?

Let say a self storage business owner, we’ll call him, “John,” built a self storage facility, thinking that it would fill up within a year. Two years later, he was stuck at 45% occupancy. His manager and weekend employee were nice enough, and the phone rang every time he was in the office, but John wasn’t seeing the results he wanted.

John decided to start tracking the number of phone calls his office received, compared to the number of his move-ins, and he realized that he was only converting 15% of his calls to move-ins. He didn’t know what the problem was. He had already cut rates, run ads, added specials, and put new banners in front of his facility. But how could he convert more phone calls to move-ins? How could he rent more storage units?

If John were my customer, I would coach him through implementing the 5 steps to a good self storage phone call. It’s...

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5 simple ways a self-storage manager can quickly rent more units

operations Jan 12, 2018

Do you need to increase your occupancy rate? Use these 5 easy tips to rent more self storage units.

1) Give the move-in price, not the monthly rate

When potential customers call your facility and ask for the price of your 10x10 unit, instead of simply answering, “The monthly rate is $99,” differentiate your facility by starting a conversation.

Manager: “When would you like to move in?”

Tenant: “Saturday”

Manager: “Your rent for this month would be $39, then $99 each month after that. What is your name and phone number so that I can hold a unit for you until you can sign the rental agreement?”

Most storage software has a pro-rate feature built in to easily calculate the pro-rated move-in rate. If your software doesn’t, simply use the move-in feature to get the rate, and then cancel the move-in.

2) Ask for tenants

Do you have a referral program? Offer your tenants a free month if they refer a friend. Referral programs are an easy...

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