Couple of Newbies to this forum and to Self Storage. Started the industry in last spring in TX. We love the business so far! But, we're finding out we're grossly underpaid, plus we're at a 'B' grade property, and I know we're 'A' grade material. Still, everybody starts somewhere, right? We're learning quickly, how to manage a property and finding out the pitfalls and making notches in our belts. Love the life style and plan to stay in this as long as our health holds out, hopefully for many years!
Right now our biggest challenge is our supervisor who is a micro managing nut case, and how to deal with it. What's the consensus - big company, or single owner? What's best? Comments?
Last edited by DebT; 5th February 2009 at 10:01 PM.
A single owner, or small investor group with a managing partner, gets my vote!
Here's some good advice from someone who's managed/supervised all kinds of facilities:
Make the most of your 'class b' site, in spite of the obstacles. Use your own ingenuity to make it shine financially, operationally, and asthetically. In my opinion, a marginal site which has been improved overall by your own hand looks better on a resume than the 'class a' facility that another manager has simply maintained. Owners will fight over a manager who demonstrates an ability to thrive in any facility environment!
Good luck to you, and be sure to stop in and see us if you get to the gulf!
Great Advice and we appreciate it! My husband and I are so excited to find this site where we can get help from more experienced managers/owners! We've done so much to pull this property back from the edge of ruin and physically have put a ton of our own sweat into making it better! We just had another client stop by our office to thank us for correcting the pest problem that the previous managers had allowed to flourish. Can you believe they actually considered pests to be a part of the package deal when they said 'we assume no responsibility'? Incredible! All it takes is a bit of dedication and a little elbow grease to see and take care of these fundamental issues. We fired the folks who were supposed to be doing pest control and took on the job ourselves, saving even more money for the property. My next question is how to show our increase in good will and management style on the ol' resume? Also, how long do you think we should 'stick it out' before trying to go to a company that pays what we should be getting? We can't thank you enough for the feedback!
Last edited by DebT; 5th February 2009 at 10:02 PM.
Hi Deb! Welcome to the forum and to the storage industry. Since our facility is 6 years old, I'm not sure if ours is a grade A or grade B facility...but we keep it as clean as any grade A, and our customers definitely get grade A+ service!
We work for a company that has 96 facilities nationwide and is rapidly growing, and we feel we are well rewarded for our efforts with excellent pay, benefits, and bonuses.
Send me an email Deb, and I'll tell you how to apply to the company we work for...I would highly recommend them...and we worked for another company for 6 months before they hired us.
Keep a diary of your accomplishments- include increases in revenue and occupancy as compared to earlier periods, etc. Take before and after photos of site improvements and document testimonials and other appreciative comments offered by your customers. Describe your successful marketing ideas and programs and show how they have related to site success.
When you finally create your resume, use a professional template, and provide a synopsis of your accomplishments within it. Finally, prepare a "prospectus" which includes all of the information you have in your diary, arranged in an attractive and understandable way. When you are called for that interview, bring your prospectus with you to really WOW a new owner!
Most wise managers know instinctively when the time is right for a change in facilities. One word of caution... in this present economy, don't do anything on a whim or jump immediately at an offer that seems "too good to be true..."
Good advice John....and one more piece of advice from me...ALWAYS get a job offer in writing, with all pay, benefits, etc in writing. Some friends of ours who worked at another facility with our previous employer, left for another job offer they received over the phone, and when they got there, with a fully loaded U-Haul truck ready to move in, found out that only the wife was eligible for insurance, the husband wasn't.
The HR manager had told them that they were both eligible for health insurance, and when they arrived the same lady was there to greet them and said "oops...sorry about that"...they also were not told that the health insurance was fully paid by the employee at $400+ per month. It took them almost a year to find other employment with insurance and get out of there....and that was the most important thing to them because the husband had had bypass surgery a few years before, and they had specifically asked about it and were not told the truth until after they had quit their job with insurance...so be careful and get it in writing if you do decide to change employers.