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Styles of Property Management for Self-Storage

posted Wed, Dec 02, 2015

For such a simple business, self-storage is highly deceptive. It looks like a real estate. It trades like real estate. It is taxed as real estate. However, the value of self-storage has little to do with real estate; the value is created through sales, just like retail. There are three fundamental methods of managing this retail component of self-storage: 1) The“we don’t really know what we do” approach; 2) the System approach; 3) the Grassroots approach.In the first approach, the owner runs it like they have always run it. They really don’t know why they do what they do. They just keep doing it. This method works until it doesn’t, and frequently, it has stopped working long before the owner is aware of the failure. The second approach is implemented by the larger operators in our industry, and there is ample evidence of the success of this approach. All staff, e.g., call center operators, desk clerks, regional managers, are completely interchangeable. When one person quits, another one is in place the next day. Sales are conducted by script, and on average, this is successful. This model works best when you are averaging the productivity of dozens or hundreds of facilities. For this to work, owners must treat employees and customers alike: always replaceable and completely interchangeable.At Grow Your Storage, we utilize the grassroots approach to property management.Each facility is its own operation, and we develop a unique approach for every facility.The property managers are the key to our strategy, and they thoroughly understand and utilize our simple approach: connect with your customer. Our managers represent, promote, operate, and care for each of our properties. We provide the initial and on going training so that our property managers know how to convert contacts into satisfied customers. We measure success of each property individually and we constantly work to improve the return at each facility. In self-storage, success is a moving target, and our objective is to consistently evaluate our performance so that we let go of strategies that no longer work and initiate new actions that give us a chance at increasing our success and give our customers the best storage experience in every market where we operate.