Prepare Your Self Storage Facility Managers for the Busy Season
The self storage busy season is just beginning. If you haven’t thought about it already, now is the time to make sure that both your seasoned and new managers are ready. Facility managers need to be on track to tackle the ever-changing landscape of the industry. Each year brings new challenges, and managers should be updated on best practices and technologies. The best way to keep everybody current is an annual training program, but it’s not advisable to “do it yourself.”
Unless you, as an owner, have been through a rigorous training program yourself, it’s not a good idea to take on this task. There are plenty of options that you can use to ensure that your facility manager is ready to take on the upcoming season. Here at Pinnacle Storage Properties, we can steer you in the right direction for manager training.
Explore Your Facility Manager Training Options
Webinars: Self storage training webinars are convenient, affordable, and not as distracting to daily activity as in-person training. They can provide a comprehensive look at self storage fundamentals or an advanced education with tools and strategies that will make your manager and your business more successful.
Self Training: If your manager is a self-starter and a motivated, independent learner, there is a wealth of material available. Books and downloadable videos are cost effective and can be used to enhance the experience of a seasoned manager.
Conferences: State and industry conferences are another source of training opportunities. Your state self storage association typically offers training sessions for owners and managers. You can keep the cost down by taking advantage of a local conference.
Professional Training Service: In-person self-storage manager training can be specifically tailored to your business needs and done at your facility or a local hotel with a larger group. This training typically covers a broad range of topics and keeps your managers not only educated, but motivated. Nevertheless, there are pros and cons to hiring a professional trainer:
- Trainers are updated and knowledgeable on industry best practices.
- Managers indicate more job satisfaction with proper training.
- Skilled managers do a more effective job of running a profitable business.
- Customers prefer to interact with competent managers.
- There is less job turnover with a trained manager.
- Professional training can be costly. There are options available, but most require an initial investment.
- Not all professional training programs deliver on their claims. Get references and check reviews.
- Communication is key. Be sure that you and the trainer are on the same page with preferred methods and best practices.
Guidelines to Follow if You Choose to Train Your Manager Yourself
If you feel you are qualified to train your self storage facility manager, here are some suggestions to help you along the way. Remember to keep the training as clear and concise as possible. As a result, the training will flow smoothly and the new manager will have fewer questions.
- Emphasize customer service. The most critical element of the job is the tenant and the tenant’s impressions. Your tenant will most likely share their feelings with friends, family, and in online reviews. Take a look at Hostingtribunal.com to see 67 statistics as to why reviews are so important. As you will see, this is why your manager needs to understand the importance of customer service.
- Train on site. On-site training allows the manager to become familiar with the environment and the workflow. The manager can decide if changes need to be made.
- List duties to be performed. List duties and details that are the manager’s responsibility. After each duty, list related tasks and check the boxes as you move through the training. For example, a new manager needs to understand the procedures that are entailed in leasing a unit or opening the store.
- Role play. Have the manager perform practice rentals with people that need different types of storage. Educate him or her on how to handle delinquencies, ask for a sale, and upsell insurance or moving supplies.
- Clarify maintenance tasks. Confirm that the manager understands any maintenance tasks to be performed. If he or she is unfamiliar with a particular task, have a subcontractor assist.
- Discuss administrative reporting. It’s important that your manager understands the types of administrative reports necessary for day-to-day operations. Most reporting software is internet based; but, if that’s not the case at your facility, the manager will have to provide you with necessary reports.
- Focus on performance goals. Expectations should be clearly explained. Your new manager should know the goal for the number of leases and the acceptable delinquency rate.
- Be Supportive. The first few weeks in any new job can be stressful and intimidating. It’s impossible to cover every situation in training. Be available to answer questions and offer support when needed.
Don’t take it for granted that your managers are up to date on all of the newest self storage trends and technologies. Offer regular self storage training for current managers and comprehensive instruction for new store managers. Holding them to a high standard and rewarding continued excellence will help you to retain quality employees.