Do you want to start a self storage business and you are wondering what a typical day looks like? If YES, here is everything you need to know in 2021. According to industry statistics, the current self-storage market is incredibly challenging, and the difference between a storage business that succeeds and one that survives is the training and professionalism of its management.

In this age, self storage facility managers are expected to possess effective sales skills, know-how to collect and increase revenue, and have a professional look and demeanour to clearly differentiate themselves from the many competitors.

Note that most self-storage inquiries start with the telephone, but there are still facility managers who do not know how to successfully turn each call into a site visit or a rental. In this modern era, managers need to get back to basics and keep it simple. To be operationally successful in this industry, you have to understand how to do three things really well: how to sell, how to collect, and how to get it all done in a reasonable amount of time.

Have it in mind that a good number of the storage spaces are owned and operated by a team. Interested new tenants are shown the facilities. Applications need to be collected and processed with background and credit checks. Security deposits, key deposits, and the collection of rental payments, all need to be handled properly. Monthly accounting records need to be up-to-date and accurate.

Also note that the self storage facility needs to be kept clean and constantly supervised to prevent vandalism and theft. Rent for any storage space that is past due needs to be collected, and if there is a serious issue with the rental payments, the proper legal processes need to be taken to manage the problem.

This may include turning the account over to collections, filing court papers, giving eviction notices, and/or selling the items left abandoned in storage spaces after the correct amount of time has passed according to the local laws and the rental contract agreement. According to reports, the contents of about 155,000 storage spaces are auctioned each year, for the average price of $425, because of past due rental payments.

Today’s self storage manager must possess effective sales skills, know-how to collect and increase revenue, and a professional look and demeanour to clearly differentiate himself from his many competitors. But even with the variation in day-to-day work, there are still a number of tasks most agents are doing on a regular basis.

Daily Tasks at a Self Storage Business

  1. Administrative Duties

Selling and renting of storage spaces is a legal transaction of property. It simply means there is a lot of paperwork and documentation that goes along with it. These and others are considered the administrative duties of a self storage manager. While they don’t directly contribute to revenus, they are necessary to maintain the business.

  • Drawing up agreements
  • Drafting leases
  • Document submission/filing
  • Creating and updating listings
  • Compiling records
  • Data entry
  • Scheduling
  • Ordering supplies
  • Business mailings
  • Budgeting
  • Responding to emails and phone calls
  1. Research

To be effective, self storage managers are expected to understand and have intimate knowledge about the industry and their competitors. Maintaining this knowledge takes effort and it is one of the primary duties of a self storage manager.

  • Reviewing industry changes
  • Reading and developing market reports
  • Researching the MLS, RPR and other databases
  • Monitoring general economic signs
  • Reviewing legal and regulatory changes
  1. Client Appointments

Self storage is a client-oriented career. There is no doubt about this. Note that much of the day as a self storage manager is spent meeting with clients and showing them the facilities.

  • Showings
  • Follow up
  • Closings
  • Tours
  • Staging and photos
  • Listing preparation
  • Inspections
  • Loan meetings
  • Supervising properties
  1. Career Development/Education

Self storage managers are licensed in some states. It also means there are education requirements to maintain this license. Self storage managers also may pursue a number of designations to demonstrate an expertise in a segment of the industry.

  • Continuing education credits
  • Work toward a certification
  • Work toward a designation
  • Ethics/diversity training
  • Executive training
  • Other specialty courses
  1. Marketing and Lead Generation

Self storage managers make money by selling and renting storage spaces to clients. Payment for these services is typically collected by monthly rental collections, auction proceeds from past due accounts, fees, and sales of related products such as moving supplies and locks.

It simply means to have a steady flow of revenue, self storage managers must have a steady flow of clients looking to buy or rent storage spaces. Development of these clients falls under the marketing and lead generation duties of a self storage manager.

  • Producing marketing materials
  • Marketing calls
  • Posting to social media
  • Content development
  • Blogging
  • Video production
  • SEO
  • CRM software
  • Website/App development
  • Networking

Self-storage used to be so easy that even a caveman could do it. No more. The economic realities of today indicate that mom-and-pop, seat-of-your-pants management is out and well-trained professionalism is in. But keep it simple.

Ajaero Tony Martins