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Self Storage Mastery DVD 5 Pack: Staffing

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  • Self Storage Mastery DVD 5 Pack: Staffing

    Worth the purchase price of $129 for 5 DVDs of recorded sessions from Inside Self-Storage World Expo? We were unable to attend, so thinking this might be a worthwhile investment. What other resources have been invaluable for identifying quality candidates/hiring/training and otherwise being the best employer option to attract quality team members (and then KEEP them)?

    We had to let our hire go, recognized that many of the mistakes were from our end in failing to correctly set expectations from the start, so are really looking to improve ourselves before we start the job posting/interviewing/hiring process again.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    HI Corinn,

    Qualities you want in a new hire? I would look for someone experienced in the industry that has impeccable references- but you should remember you get what you pay for. You want them to stay? Pay them and treat them well. On the other hand, someone new who has a desire to learn as they go, the ones who are teachable? Those employees are nice to have too. Even if they occasionally make mistakes, they will learn like we all have had to.These ones take more hand holding and longer training-( the thing about storage is you can go months without a scenario popping up that needs someone who knows what they are doing- those oddball events that are not an everyday occurrence around most facilities). Set the example by learning the rules for your state regarding storage, and make it clear they should not go forward on any action they don't know the answer to without checking with you first. Then, be willing to be available to them in the event they need guidance on a situation.
    Good Luck!
    You Laugh, I laugh. You cry, I cry. You take my coffee...may God have mercy on your soul....


    • #3
      I did a lot of hiring for my last two facilities. I placed a pretty detailed ad of what we were looking for. Weeded out the people who #1 didn't read the ad, or #2. meet the requirements set out in the ad. Then I'd go through the rest and send out invitations to interview right away-if people are looking for jobs, most are needing it right away, not a few weeks down the road. ~Don't dither~.
      Then I talk to them about expectations, ask questions, give them a couple of scenarios. Right after I spoke to them I'd call their references and my boss, and we'd discuss if we should hire them on the spot. We got ghosted a couple of times, but mostly ended up with excellent employees. We generally hired people with self storage experience and gave them the co. handbook and trained with them for a couple of weeks-but also made sure they could call anytime with questions. I STILL get questions from the gal who replaced me, and I'm okay with that.
      Even duct-tape can't fix stupid. But it can muffle the noises.

      WA State


      • #4
        Hiring is always an overwhelming task. Last week I posted a part time position on Indeed. I just needed someone one day a week and every other Saturday, for 8-16 hours per week. I had over 70 people apply. I am not kidding!

        How do you weed out 70 applicants and narrow it down to your top ten, then your top three, and then offer the position to the person you hope is the best choice?

        The first thing I do is read every one of them. I am looking for the best matches for my requirements. I am also looking for punctuation, grammar and if they followed the specific directions to apply. Here are the questions we have them fill out at the very beginning.
        1. How many years of relevant experience do you have?
        2. What is the highest level of education you have completed?
        3. Do you have the following license or certification: State Issued Driver's License?
        4. Are you authorized to work in the following country: United States?
        5. Are you willing to undergo a background check, in accordance with local law/regulations?
        6. What about the role excites you and motivated you to apply? Please describe your interest in working with us
        7. When are you available for an interview or phone screen? Please list 2-3 dates and times or ranges of times.
        8. Please list at least one professional reference and include their contact information and your relationship to them.
        The next thing I look at is their experience. It doesn’t have to be self-storage. Leasing agents, retail workers, rental car agents, and service industry experiences can all carry over beautifully into the self-storage world. These people know how to take care of customers. They also work weekends and evenings and self-storage business hours will typically appeal to them very much.

        Then I narrow them down into two categories: Interested and Maybe. Then I send the applicants a personal email from me. I thank them for applying and tell them we have had an overwhelming response, and could they answer a few more questions? My favorite question to ask them is what they like to do in their free time? The answers can be great and insightful. You learn their likes, hobbies and interests. One might say I like to work out, or I like to read books, or I volunteer at such and such.

        What is interesting is that I sent that email to seventeen applicants and only six replied. That made my job much easier. Of those six, I scheduled phone interviews. Out of them, I scheduled only two for face to face interviews.
        Of course, I want to know about their computer skills and customer service experience but what I really want to talk about are questions like these.
        • Why are they interested in the position? I want to hear this in person, not just on an application.
        • Have they ever used self-storage before? If they have, they know the customers’ perspective. Tell me how you felt as a customer.
        • Since applying for the position, have they noticed storage facilities around their community? It is funny when you are in our business you see facilities everywhere. I think this is a great ice breaker because all of them say yes.
        • What self-storage experience do they have? If the applicant has experience in our industry, I want to hear about it! I want to know about occupancy levels, delinquency accomplishments, ancillary sales, auction procedure knowledge, and community involvement.
        • Do they have any awards or professional affiliations they would like to share? By me asking that question they can share important milestones such as employee of the month or ongoing education and certifications.
        • Issues they have had with past employers (Not feeling appreciated, gossip, low pay, etc.). This is extremely important. I never want my employees to be unhappy and I care about what is important to them.

        In the last 8 years I have overseen hiring, I can tell you that sometimes you simply click with people. I love it when an interview goes well, and an applicant is proud of their accomplishments and confidant in their abilities. I also love to hear them say that they have researched our company and our reviews are wonderful. They think our properties are beautiful. I had one applicant that even researched me, had read my self-storage articles he found online, and was convinced that he “had to have this job”!

        ALWAYS do a background check. Always put your offer in writing. And always dedicate a minimum of two weeks of training.

        Hope this is helpful!
        Last edited by MusicCity Gal; 12 November 2019, 03:26 PM.
        Stephanie Tharpe
        A+ Management Group, LP
        Nashville, TN

        TNSSA Board of Directors


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