What wages are paid to hourly employees, and what salaries are paid to managers? Is there a formula out there whereby labour costs are fixed as a percentage of gross (or net) sales? We are new and want to meet the industry standards in this area. Thanks,
If you are going to attract the sharpest, most innovative and dependable managers for your sites, don't be afraid to offer compensation on the high-end of your market area, and even some additional incentives based upon other performance factors. Our experience shows us that the old adage "you get what you pay for" is largely true for facility managers in the self-storage industry as well.
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"Adventures in Storage"
I have been an area manager, and now I am developing and managing one 1200 unit state-of-the-art facility. So I have experienced both sides of the coin
You can get quality staff at a lower wage, but be prepared for employee turnover. If you demand the same skill set as jobs that pay better, your staff will inevitably leave.
That having been said, careful about over paying staff. Give them specific goals, and let them work for it. If they get really comfortable with their starting salary, they have a tendency to get complacent.
You really have to take a look at your area. Most of the REITs out there do not pay as well as the little operator. But the big factor is the cost of living in your area.
We pay managers a salary and assistants are hourly. Assistants are around $9 an hour and managers from $25,000 to $30,000 a year.
But again, that may be over/under what your market will take.
Does your salary include on-site housing and utilities? I pay full time managers $12.20/hr and give them a furnished on-site apartment with utilities. I am always wondering if I'm over paying or under paying.
All of the above is good advice, however I would like to add one more item. Regarding complacency; part of the responsibility must fall to ownership on that front.
As an owner do you offer the opportunity for learning and advancement to your employees? Or are they just supposed to perform busy work, cold calls and the like and wait for a rental to come in the door? How complacent would you be with the day to day (possibly) low expectations you place on your staff? It can get pretty slow at times in a rental office, which can translate to boredom, aka complacency.
From the time I was an assistant manager at a different facility the partners (whom I currently work for) offered to send me to the SSA conference (&/or any courses of my choice). Twelve+ years ago, I was almost an oddity, no one ever sent their managers to the conference/trade shows. And to be honest, many of the class/seminar presenters were anti-manager so it was hard to sit quietly and take the heat for the bad apples when I was there trying to learn all I could.
Thankfully that has changed so much in our industry! I would say, offer up the opportunity to your staff to continue learning. It doesn't have to be expensive. Even offer to pay for community college or adult ed classes. The courses don't even need to be 'industry-related' as the dollars will transition to a more self-confident employee overall.
Who knows... when your staff tells someone how wonderful their boss is to pay for their education, even if it is learning how to scrapbook it may just bring another customer or two to your door.
A challenged mind is a healthy mind.
On the flip side of the coin to my fellow managers... given the opportunity, go, learn and explore. You might find self-storage education makes your job easier. Besides, more aptitude brings with it the possibility of more job responsibility and more income. I've been fortunate enough to have this happen for me, so I do speak from experience on this topic.
Now days there seems to be no shortage of Mini Storage Managers. I attribute that to the aging baby boomers seeking a way to supplement their income. Having ten years experience my wife and I can be a little pikey when it comes to changing jobs. First of all the Apt (house) has a certain monetary value to it. It does not justify all requests by owners, area managers or district managers. Security costs $25 an Hr and the companies get 12 hrs free security every day. We will not work more than 40 hrs in a week, unless we get overtime. When we started with one of the third largest companies in the USA the District Manager hired us as a team. As a team if one person worked OT so did the other and they were both paid for it. When the company split the new company would only allow one person of the team to work OT. That's fine also. We quit several companies that paid salary and expected both of us to work unlimited OT without compensation. Never again, it's not worth it and the "free apt" still don't make it worth it. We quit one company that works the managers 12 hrs a day, every holiday and pays no OT. If a company don't offer paid vacations we won't work there. We won't lie to customers, we won't do anything illegal at anyone's request and we help law enforcement all the time. The good managers with health benefits, paid vacations, a free apt, and compensation for OT are the cream of the crop. I wouldn't trust an experienced manager that will do anything for the company, that's just wrong. Starting pay $9.00 min for on site managers, $12 min for off site managers. $9.00 for the asst manager no exceptions. You get what you pay for professional management team.
Dear Mister(Dynomite)Jim444: This subject would be a great one for you to take on. There are a lot a variables, i.e., location of store, number of units being managed, etc. Owners and managers would like to see what their peers are paying or being paid...and those variables need to be considered. I get low pay, but have an apartment, paid utilities and even cable + a commission based on income. Whadda think?
There is a growing list out there of really, really bad companies to work for. Me and my wife quit one such company out of California. The following 8 months after we quit the company hired and fired 16 sets of managers. The company wanted us to do illegal stuff. What gets me is we have excellent references and had the facility at over 90% occupancy. Time after time when we leave the occupancy takes a nose dive to the 70%. Another thing to watch for is companies that pretend to be all that but in reality aren't. The big warning flag that your working for a bad company is when they start dangling the "free Apt" over your head. Really super nice apartments rent for around $750 a month and that's better than any storage living we have ever seen. Another thing we have noticed is the companies that pay the lowest have more problems, especially unit break-ins. You get what you pay for. Allot of property owners and company owners think they can walk on water. They talk down to their employees. We also won't work for a company where managers are walking on egg shells every time an owner shows up. I'll never understand the logic of going through 16 sets of managers in 8 months and having their occupancy drop just so they can play god with peoples lives. With hundreds of new storage units going up every month it's getting worse not better to find a good job in storage and it's getting harder for management companies to find good managers. We have seen managers fired for stealing and with-in 30 days their working for another storage company.
Last edited by StorageSecurity; 10th August 2008 at 05:08 AM.