The Role of Today’s Self-Storage Manager

There are many hats for a facility manager to wear, so be sure you hire someone who is versatile in skillset and experience.
Self-storage facilities have options when it comes to management. As facility owner, you can manage the facility yourself, hire a resident manager who lives on the property, hire an on-site manager who comes + goes to supervise the facility, or bring in someone from a third-party management company. Whatever you decide, it’s important to be clear on what this role entails. Your self-storage facility’s manager is the first impression of your business. This is the person who runs the day-to-day physical operation. Often times, this is also the person who maintains the online presence of your facility. 
There are many hats for a facility manager to wear, so be sure you hire someone who is versatile in skillset and experience. With today’s technology, your facility manager should be proficient with a computer and software for marketing, communication, online payments and smart entry and locking systems. It’s important to provide your manager with the necessary training and marketing strategies.
What is the role of today’s self-storage manager? This person will answer phone calls and emails, give tours, explain pricing and options, write leases, take payments, clean units, maintain grounds, pay utilities, track surveillance and market the facility – to list a few things! This role will also be the face of your business and point of contact for customers. Depending upon the size of your facility, you may have more than one manager. This way, you’re sure to have someone taking care of things 24/7, especially if you do not have a resident manager living on site.

Here are the top 5 responsibilities for today’s self-storage manager:

1. Interaction with Customers

Self-storage managers are the go-to person for tenants renting units and new customers that are looking for a unit to rent.  Whether it’s the initial email inquiry or phone call, this first point of contact with your facility is important. Is your manager a people-person? Hope so. They’ll be the ones giving tours once the phone call/email turns into a site visit. Your manager needs to be ready for questions about the facility, hours of operation, unit sizes, pricing, leasing terms, locking and entry systems, etc. 

2. Rent Collection

One of the most basic responsibilities for your manager is collecting the rent from the tenants. They can collect rent online, through the mail or in person. Of course, customers are getting more and more comfortable doing all their monetary transaction online, so be sure your manager can arrange for that. You can streamline how you keep track of customer leases through management software. You can also organize contracts, reminders, late fees and rate adjustments online.

3. Facility Maintenance

Your manager will check and maintain all facets of your facility. Is the security system working? How is the keyless entry system? Are all the lights operating? They will also be in charge of keeping the facility clean — either themselves or by hiring cleaning support. They could also be responsible with handling the facility’s taxes, overhead costs, and the salary of the other employees.

4. Supervision of Staff

If your facility has a staff of employees, your manager will be in charge of supervising and monitoring them. They should be able to guide them in doing their job well and manage all their concerns. This, in addition to the litany of managerial tasks, can be daunting for some managers. Be sure to mentor and help out when needed.

5. Marketing

Like most other industries, self-storage relies upon websites and online communications. Each facility has its own website with contact information, hours of operation, location, photos, rates, etc. The more avenues for a potential customer to find your facility, the better! Managers will market the facility online through the website and social media. Texting is also an efficient way to send rent reminders and promotions. 

Regardless of how you choose to run your facility, the self-storage manager’s role is key to the success of your business. Often, owners and operators will take on the task themselves and find out that it’s a very demanding position.  Have first-hand experience is always a good idea! As long as your manager is keen on technology, super friendly, organized and energetic, you’re good to go!  
Here is a related article in Mini-Storage Messenger which discusses whether or not third-party management a good option.

At Boxwell, we pride ourselves on providing customers with the highest-quality storage containers on the market. We set out to reinvent storage and prove that a great product can be created through innovation and perseverance. As a team, we strive to evolve with our ever-growing industry!

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Our products include drive-up self-storage unitsrelocatable self-storage units, portable storage containersresidential storage containersmoving containers, and restoration containers. Intended to help you increase your business’ revenue-generating space, our portable containers and relocatable self-storage units are flexible, stackable, and beautiful! Boxwell is here to ensure that our products help you achieve your business goals.

Work with a Boxwell representative to decide on an ideal, moveable storage unit mix, custom colors, door configurations and more. Once you place an order, we deliver and install your Boxwells so they’re ready to rent.

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