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My Top Ten Pet Peeves for Self Storage Managers


My Top Ten for Self Storage Managers

 I was sitting on an airplane a couple of days ago and the person behind me apparently was fancying himself the next great Las Vegas blackjack dealer because he shuffled, reshuffled, and shuffled again that #%&#%# set of playing cards until I wanted to scream ‘STOP DOING THAT!’ But I didn’t; I suffered in silence.

I get that same urge to scream ‘STOP DOING THAT!’ at many self storage managers. Here we are in the highly competitive 21st century yet many managers are still acting like we’re still driving around with a horse-and-buggy and still use an outhouse. We ALL really need to transport ourselves into the 21st century and start managing these multi-million dollar assets like the big businesses they are.

So, what do many self storage managers need to STOP DOING to join the 21st Century? Here’s my Top Ten List:

1. STOP Asking 'What size do you need?' Lame, lame, lame. You are asking the customer how to solve their own problem. That’s why you are there.

2. STOP Asking 'Do you want climate control?' See #1.  It’s your job to find out their needs and then make in informed recommendation.

3. STOP Using Hand-Made Signs. Do you know how cheap and easy it is to get professionally made signs on the internet? No more copy paper and a Sharpie pen, k?

4. STOP Accepting 'I'll be in when I can' from past due customers. WHEN I CAN! How about if the company started paying you 'when they could'? You MUST get a firm date and time for payment commitments and follow-up immediately when the customer breaks their promise. 

5. STOP Never asking for a prospective customer's name or phone number. Please, be professional and at least pretend that you care! When adults have conversations with other adults they exchange names. Get the name, get the phone number and write them down so you can follow-up.

7. STOP Using caller ID to get a phone number. It's a cheap and unprofessional way to get a phone number. What if they are calling from work where a 1,000 people work? You will never find them again. Or, what if it's a woman trying to get away from her abusive boyfriend and you call back and he answers the phone?

8. STOP Remaining sitting when a customer walks in the door. STAND UP! That's what professional, mature adults do. They don't keep sitting, checking their FaceBook, texting, whatever...they stand up, shake hands, exchange names and numbers.

9. STOP Asking 'do you want insurance?' or 'do you want any boxes?' or 'do you want to rent a truck?'  STOP asking yes-or-no questions! It's 'yes-or-yes'! 'Do you need $2000 or $5000 in coverage?' 'Do you need one bundle of boxes or two?' 'Do you want to rent the truck tomorrow morning or tomorrow afternoon?' 

10. STOP Asking 'Do you want to sign-up for auto-debit?' Instead say 'Our customer’s love the convenience of our auto-pay program; would you prefer to use VISA or MasterCard?'

AND, no unsightly stretchy pants, no beer bellies showing, no eating at your desk, no pets in the office, no smoking in or anywhere near the office, no trash in the parking lot, no lights burned out in hallways, no disorganized desks, no dirty restrooms, no weeds, no dirty floors...

There is far too much money invested in your self storage facility for you to manage it in any way less than professional. 'PLEASE STOP DOING' all of these things TODAY and set yourself apart from your competition!



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