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  1. #1 Guest

    Default Hiring a New Manager....Need Help Please


    I am closing on my first facility later this month and need some help with hiring and managing the manager. The property has 254 units, 28,000 sq feet, and is located in Illinois.
    I live about 4 hours away from the facility so I need to have an on site manager. I have made some good contacts in the community and have been recommend a lady who is looking for employment. She doesn't have any experience in self storage but some in sales. I talked with her the other night and have an interview set up Monday. I have a good feeling about her after our initial conversation. She is in her 50's, has experience in sales, and as she put it really bored.
    The property grosses about $115,000 a year. Currently the management is off site which is a hassle for the tenants. The property has a 10 x 20 office that needs to be renovated. Is this a big enough office? I am sure I could make it bigger with knocking down a wall or to. The competitor who is next door has a on site manager 6 days a week. That property is very similar in size, has a worse location, and a much smaller billboard on the main road. That property however is making more money because of the onsite manager.
    I plan to change the name of the facility, use site link software, and have all of my tenants due on the 1st of the month which they are now due on the 10th.
    I know that management is the most important thing with a facility and I am really unfamiliar with the best way to set this up. I mentioned to the lady I am looking in the $9 an hour range with no benefits but possibly some bonus opportunities. What are some of the things the potential manager and I should discuss on Monday? I am thinking of putting the office hours from 9-5 or 10-6 to start until the property becomes stabilized under my ownership. I have a management plan that is about 9 pages long. This goes through the job duties of the manager and task associated with being the manager. I have some good marketing strategies that I also would like the manager to put in place.
    Management is the most important thing with any facility and want to be sure that when I am not there I have everything taken care of . What are some things that I need to look at in this process. Thank you all so much for the help.

    Casey Cavell
    574 527 5122

  2. #2
    Autodoc's Avatar
    Autodoc is offline Mod eMeritus
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Jamestown, ND


    This may be just me, but I would not even consider working there for $9.00/hr with no benefits!

    Remember this person is in charge of your most valuable asset - your property!

    This is just my opinion, but you should bump the pay a bit and offer at least health insurance! Also come up with a generous bonus program - there are several threads on here concerning bonuses - check them out.

    the better you treat your manager the better the job they will do for you!

    Just my .02c

    Good Luck on your new property.
    Jamestown, ND

    All arguments can be resolved ... with high explosives and Humor!!!

  3. #3
    Lisa T's Avatar
    Lisa T is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Happy to be in Myrtle Beach, SC!!!


    Well you had a couple of questions Casey. You can make do with a 10 x 20 office, you'll just have to decide if you want to sell packaging/locks, and if you do so, you'll need more space. I would keep a couple of boxes of locks to sell anyway somewhere in the office, poeple will need them, even if you don't sell all the rest of the smorgasboard of moving/packing supplies.

    Secondly, I HATE the word sounds like the manager is being given something.... like a pat on the head. I prefer the words Incentive or they are being paid a percentage for what they sell or earn for you and the facility...which is much more accurate.

    I would go with 10-6, and maybe 9-4 on Saturday. We don't do much business during the week before 10 am, and we do a good bit of business from 5 to 6 pm. Saturdays are different because more people are off of work on Saturday and are eager to get an early start.

    Your words: Management is the most important thing with any facility.

    I agree....and you have a marketing plan you want the most important person at your facility to implement....

    so you are going to pay her $9.00 with no benefits? That's the starting wage at McDonald's here....which may be ok, since she has no experience in storage...but I would give her a really good INCENTIVE program to get your units rented and money collected. The more money she has the opportunity to make, then the more money you will make.

  4. #4
    JulieA's Avatar
    JulieA is offline Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    It is a good idea to start pay low and raise it. It could be called probation period or something. Raise it gradually as the property stabilizes.

    You can alwasy raise pay-- it is hard to lower it.

    I do feel you have a good argument since she doesn't have experience and you are starting a new business. I would make sure she has strong organizational skills, computer skills and customer service. Is she a problem solver. Being great at sales is good and having people skills is good-- but there is a whole lot more to it.

    And I would think you should be planning on spending a lot of time there for a short while!

    Good luck-- glad you are moving forward! Julie

  5. #5
    Gina6k's Avatar
    Gina6k is offline Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Morgan Hill, California

    Default Got your email Casey.

    Okay, I've been in both places. Taken for granted at less than you are suggesting paying, and making money for my company which results in a very nice 'profit-sharing' type incentive for me.

    There are many threads on this forum that touch on a lot of topics that concern you. Just go through and read, then read some more. There is a lot of great information here.

    As you mentioned, you believe you have funds to make it through for a few years and that's great. What I will suggest is that you determine what motivates the lady you are considering hiring. Then work out an incentive program for her that suits her desires while making her your partner in building a successful business.

    Deep pockets can only go so far, you and your management have to believe in your product and be willing to do what it takes to sell it effectively.

    There are tons of articles, seminars and the like to give you enough numbers and ideas to make your head swim. Stick to good old common sense, respect those around you, only surround yourself with people who are good for you and everything will work out. Just don't get in so deep with a place or a person that your vision is clouded.

    Keep a clear perspective on what is happening around you; be willing to change what is not working and the last thing I would suggest is to find yourself a really good business mentor. I know you have a plan on paper, but the best resource is from people who have walked in your shoes. Learn from those more experienced, cull ideas from them, ask for an opinion if you are willing to listen. Try contacting your local Chamber, they may have something worked out with retired executives like SCORE that can be an invaluable asset.

    Good luck and we're all here to help you out along the way! Let us know when things are finalized. We'll throw an online party for you!
    Gina 6k
    Cochrane Storage dot com
    Morgan Hill, California

    My profile photo is a Blue Star flag meant to be displayed by families with active duty service members.

    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!
    I am not an attorney, just an experienced manager who is willing to share what I have learned. Your thoughts, practices or opinions may vary and neither of us may be right.

  6. #6
    hellishhelen is offline Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Talking all is good but the pay.

    It is good to see you on here asking very important questions, you are correct, on site managers are the front line, the ones the customers see, talk to, and rent from. We handle the complaints. the nasty tenants, the whole shabang. 9.00 an hour?
    we were offered employment at a site at a whopping 18 thou a year, when we turned it down we were told by the owner well with so many people out of work we can get someone for 18 thou a year. Yes you can but will they care? will they work thier butts off? Will they answer the phones on thier day off? Stay open late to catch a customer? Treat your employess well and they will serve you greatly. I personally do not care for bonuses or incentives(although we won a cruise for highest income of last year) I do a good job all year long and I love my job. So I will do my very best not because I am offered a bonus or incentive. But because its my job, all year long. And my pay should reflect that. There is nothing wrong with a 90 day training period and if she works out well, let her know, pay her well and you wont have a large turnover with management.

  7. #7
    BeeStor is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Default Incentives

    I agree that a training/probationary period pay is a good idea. I'm an assistant manager here; I work about 39 hours a week. The resident manager's girlfriend works elsewhere so here I am. My training pay was $8.50 and lasted about 2-3 weeks. After that it was bumped up to $10. We also had a stable facility but definitely consider raising the pay rate after some time.

    It would be a good idea to offer a per move in bonus to help drive her to get all the rentals she can. Something as small as $5 per. I get that. It's a good incentive. When will you start setting your quarterly goals? If we make our goals (revenue, pos, move-ins, etc) we get a nice bonus. It started small, something like $200. The better we did for the facility, the better our bonuses got. That's a driving force for us. quarterly goals. Helps us focus on each day to make it there.

    I also had no experience in storage and was hired on at 19. I am on here a lot reading the forums, I read all the articles on, and I tune in for every webinar. I'm loving the learning experience because I want to own my own place some day. Have her do the same things. Frequent the forums, check out the articles, and watch every free webinar. She'll learn, grow, and work hard towards a higher pay. In return, you'll get to mold you're own self storage manager how you want.

    Best of Luck!

  8. #8
    geraldine1051 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    She's in her 50s and has experience in sales... I say $9 per hour is too low. Don't underestimate her sales experience: customer service, problem solving, handling cash and credit cards, cranky customers, etc., etc., etc. That kind of experience is a good fit with self storage. Yeah, I was in retail sales, and the sales experience was extremely helpful when I started this job, still is. Now, instead of selling jewelery, furniture and dishes, I am selling empty spaces...


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