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  • Tell me I am wrong

    It seems that almost every day, not every day but almost, that one of us here has a story about being treated with disrespect, cursed at and/or threatened, entitled tenants that want to and try to and sometimes do, get away with what we all know is covered in the lease that they initial and sign that they will agree to follow all rules regulations and policies and then none of them do. This is a pattern that is evolving and exploding all over the US of A and we are only hearing about it here or where we are locally. I react strongly to it and know some of you do too but some of us just let it go and that creates more of it or some of us just don't know how to react or are held back by the owner or district reps that don't have to put up with it on the front lines. I don't go to the self storage shows and get togethers but I would bet that they still try to cover what I am talking about in a cookie cutter fashion. One size fits all, that is bull****! Some of us are in danger where we work at. Some of us don't look forward to work each day because of what we may have to deal with and we have no way to protect ourselves. This is not my hard core conservative self talking, it is my hard core "I will protect myself" talking. The stories here get worse as the days go on. They get more vile from the entitled tenant point of view. Renting to anyone that fogs a mirror is part of this and lots of us, not me fortunately, are trapped because of what is expected of us. I know I am now going to be accused of stirring the pot and causing trouble but I already have told all of you that I will never put my head in the sand. I am proactive to a fault and COUNT on running in to tenants that think they will tell me how it is going to run here. Those of you that want to slam me for what I am saying, do it in a message if you feel you can't say what you want to call me here on the forum. This discourse has to start somewhere and if it starts here and goes to messages because the mods think I am just too strong in my opinions, then so be it, but know this and remember this, I am saying this because I fear for what is to come and if you don't, well there is a sand trap near you somewhere. If the show fits.

    This whole thing is all about protecting us and not me wanting to cause a problem. Sometimes the strong edition of what needs to be said, does need to be said.
    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

  • #2
    Pac I think and hope it may be more of a West Coast Thing. I have been in this business in plain old Iowa for 25+ years now, and I don't really see much of an increase in issues.

    I have had issues of differing variations every year. This year has been a new class of problems, but that is due to me closing my office and relying on online rentals. Delivering information to tenants in a format that they will read has been difficult. With that said this has been a great year. Increased rentals have allowed increased street rates, which has decreased the amount of problem tenants. Also the fact that we are not taking cash has shifted those rentals elsewhere.

    I don't disagree with much of what you have said, we just aren't seeing it to the effect that you are in Oregon. Which isn't to surprising.

    With all that said there is no shortage or stupid customers, we all experience them every month. Perhaps I am shielded because my office is closed and I am not dealing with many customers face to face.

    Comment


    • #3
      https://www.selfstoragetalk.com/foru...t-this-morning

      This a a prime example of what I am talking/warning about. RMRSS was worried about what to sat to this person, will not call her a lady, for fear of a boyfriend or husband coming after them. Why should we be afraid of that and if we do have to worry about that then why can't we be prepared to defend ourselves? That tenant gets to say vile and accusatory things and talk down to us and we are expected to take it? Again, tell me I am wrong.
      "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by RandyL View Post
        Pac I think and hope it may be more of a West Coast Thing. I have been in this business in plain old Iowa for 25+ years now, and I don't really see much of an increase in issues.

        I have had issues of differing variations every year. This year has been a new class of problems, but that is due to me closing my office and relying on online rentals. Delivering information to tenants in a format that they will read has been difficult. With that said this has been a great year. Increased rentals have allowed increased street rates, which has decreased the amount of problem tenants. Also the fact that we are not taking cash has shifted those rentals elsewhere.

        I don't disagree with much of what you have said, we just aren't seeing it to the effect that you are in Oregon. Which isn't to surprising.

        With all that said there is no shortage or stupid customers, we all experience them every month. Perhaps I am shielded because my office is closed and I am not dealing with many customers face to face.
        But you equate the amount of money taken in and rentals with a success and having the same amount of problems. I am talking about the way things are trending. I know it can be worse in different parts of the country because, again, it is related to how liberal the area is. What you said backs up my point. The more liberal the area, the more a-holes you run across and the bigger the threat. People will not even vacation in certain areas anymore because of the libs allowing the homeless/criminals to take over and justifying it all as the conservatives crying wolf or blowing it all out of proportion. How does that make sense as to what is accepted? It should not! The front yard theory takes place here and everywhere. You can't even let your kids play in the front yard or the neighborhood anymore without a fear and/or watching intently over them. You can't leave a door unlocked or a porch unwatched or your back not protected, no matter where you are. Where it starts and then spreads is happening and no one can rightfully or truthfully deny it.

        West coast thing? Really? Not happening in Chicago area, not happening in NY area, not happening in many other areas?

        So please, come up with a better explanation for me being wrong because that does not fly.
        Last edited by Amy_ISS; 12 January 2021, 05:44 PM.
        "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by pacnwstorage View Post
          https://www.selfstoragetalk.com/foru...t-this-morning

          This a a prime example of what I am talking/warning about. RMRSS was worried about what to sat to this person, will not call her a lady, for fear of a boyfriend or husband coming after them. Why should we be afraid of that and if we do have to worry about that then why can't we be prepared to defend ourselves? That tenant gets to say vile and accusatory things and talk down to us and we are expected to take it? Again, tell me I am wrong.
          I wasn't "worried" about what to say to her. I would have LOVED to tell her to take her $xx.xx she stole from us (in effect) and go F herself, but that would be totally unprofessional and needlessly provoking, not to mention she'd just hang up in my face before I could get that sentence out anyway. Instead, I immediately texted her to tell her "no deal" for the moveout prorate and that she is banned from this facility. What else did you want me to do? Pay her a visit at her house to cuss her out in person so she can't hang up on me? I'm not going to put my life or job at risk over some stupid hood rat. And as I'm sure you know, you put yourself at great legal risk if you end up shooting somebody in a confrontation YOU started, even if it's in self-defense. The number one rule for gun carriers is to AVOID confrontation, not pursue it.

          Comment


          • #6
            I never mentioned guns and shooting anyone. But I have before in an extreme instance and this story did not rise to that level as you told it. I also agree that the number 1 thing about owning a gun is to ALWAYS try to diffuse a bad situation and back away and I have said that here before on this forum and meant it. In no way shape or form was I telling you to do anything like that. I also understand about the being professional, TO A POINT. When it goes as far as she took it, the equivalent of backing away with a gun is what you did, you did not respond back in the same low brow way she did and then texted what was happening now after what she said. If the conversation is on a phone, I hang up. If the conversation is in person, I let them get it out of their system unless they get personal or confrontational. Then and only then would I stand up to my full 6'4" and tell them to leave or defend myself if needed. We all have a breaking point.

            I did not say you should have done something different and sorry if you thought I did. I was pointing out that your story is all too common now days and it is getting way out of hand and unsafe for you and us, to the nth degree. I know you are not gonna put your job at risk or your personal safety but you did say that you were worried about a boyfriend or husband or some male person coming back at you and that is in and of itself what I am talking about. You should not have to worry about that for just doing your job and standing up for yourself or the facility.

            Please remember to take what I am saying in the context it is meant and don't feel that I am picking on you. Your story struck a chord with me. I am sick up and fed with reading how we, you, are being attacked at least verbally for doing our jobs.

            What is happening CANNOT be swept under a rug. It IS happening. I am being proactive by heavily screening my tenants. I am known in the area as the safest facility in town and have been told that by the police and tenants and new tenants that come in and say they were recommended for just that reason.
            Last edited by Amy_ISS; 12 January 2021, 05:45 PM.
            "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by pacnwstorage View Post
              I never mentioned guns and shooting anyone.
              That's usually what people mean in America when they say they are "prepared to defend themselves" in the context of responding to an angry person coming to start trouble. And my point is I don't want to be the one who provoked that situation by being needlessly inflammatory (not just doing my job).

              I appreciate your clarification on the rest!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RMRSS View Post

                That's usually what people mean in America when they say they are "prepared to defend themselves" in the context of responding to an angry person coming to start trouble. And my point is I don't want to be the one who provoked that situation by being needlessly inflammatory (not just doing my job).

                I appreciate your clarification on the rest!
                Using a gun to "Prepare to defend themselves" is an extreme and your story/situation never came close to that at all. I have read here time and time again about how we are berated, cussed at, lied to and even threatened and the stories are getting more abundant and more aggressive and frankly I am tired of it happening to the good people I know here. Tell me how safe you feel walking down any street and I know there will be caveats said because there is never an answer to that where you always feel safe. That in and of itself is wrong. NOT a chance in hell will I ever accept that but they are planning on beating you down where you will accept it. At 68, I am not tired of fighting back. I am not tired of fighting for what is right, no matter which side of politics you are on. Right is right and safe is safe and comfort is comfort and should be universal.

                No one in their right mind, the drug culture sees to it that you won't as well as the ones in power that say you should just accept what is happening and buy in to their talking points and lies, should look ahead and expect that it is all gonna be ok if we just stand back and let it happen.

                That lady that cussed at you expects you to take it and accept that you cannot do anything about it because she is damn well one of the entitled masses and she has many many many behind her and they keep growing. It isn't me that will see the worst that is yet to come. I will be gone. It is the young ones that have been TRAINED to accept and will be the ones who suffer for it.

                Yea, I know Amy is going to give me grief about this and may kick me off the forum but remember this, these stories are more frequent and getting more and more out of hand. If warning people of this and standing up for people like RMRSS gets me kicked off the forum then so be it. But that is just head in the sand justification and HIDING the truth. A forum where it is all butterflies and unicorns is not realistic and a disservice to the members here that depend on info shared between us to run facilities and above all TO BE SAFE! Mock me or cuss at me if you want but "the truth hurts" and that phrase was used long ago by older and wiser people we all know as FAMILY! What RMRSS had to deal with and the coming problems we have to deal with are no joke and worth the drama if any warnings can make us more aware.
                Last edited by Amy_ISS; 12 January 2021, 05:47 PM.
                "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Along with storage units, I also own a couple car washes. I have to say I have had more confrontations at the car wash than the storage units. People don't respect anything. They come in and wash roof nails, screws, mass quantities of mud, mulch you name it out in the bays. If I am there I either tell them they can't do it or just clean the bay when you are done depending on how bad it is. I have had lots of customers go off the deep end when I tell them this. I usually get the reply, "this is a car wash isn't it" to which I usually reply, "yes its my car wash and if you don't like it you can go somewhere else". The other problem is everyone brings their trash to the wash and dumps it in the trash cans and drive off without spending a dime. These people also get belligerent. Everyone thinks if you have a business you owe them something. No one has respect for other peoples property anymore. In the storage business you get lied to all the time. People call and give an excuse and say they will pay in a couple days. I find these people who call and tell you they will pay at a future date rarely do. If your not going to pay, why wast my time with a phone call. You can't go into business and be a nice guy. They will walk all over you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    From when we started 6 years ago with 35 units at one location, to now 7 operating locations and in 5 towns; things haven't gotten worse; we changed. Yes we run into the people your talking about, but we have about the same number of issues when we were at 100 units as we are now at 800 units. When we go to do auctions we always start with about 25 accounts and by the time its auction time, we are usually around 5 units. Whether we were at 100 or 800 units. We changed our operations.

                    After I got burned and finally got tired of calls and excuses we took the following actions as I grew in my understanding:

                    a. Lock sooner. Used to wait till 3 weeks to lock. Now we lock out in 1 week. That way more "good" stuff is there and you have more leverage.
                    b. Moved more and more to Autopay. This takes out the lag time for Check is in the mail. Our new locations, we only do Autopay. Most of our bad customers in the past came through Cash payment. We now lock in 3 days for accounts on Autopay.
                    c. Auction faster. Used to let people get 2 to 3 months out. Now, start at 5 weeks.
                    d. Escalation. If customer is continuously late or a problem. Move to Autopay. If they won't or can't, then evict. If they won't move out, then we increase their rent significantly, and when they don't pay, move to auction.
                    e. We cut the lock sooner, to see if anything is in there. If the people are not responding.
                    f. We are always responsible. In questionable items, we always take the customers point. Whether, I forgot to tell you, I moved out and you charged me a month. We refund. My boyfriend was supposed to take over my lease and send in a new contract. As long as cleaned out, we will refund. Just not worth the internet hassle. "You got me" lets move on.


                    The key point above is to cycle through the bad customers. I say when your starting up a new location, you have to go through 3 customers to get to a good customer. As the good customers "stick" and you cycle through the bad customers, your overall customer base gets easier to deal with.

                    Sparkey

                    As @ Sparkey mentioned on Car washes. My buddy has a car wash that I use. Would definitely rather do Storage than a car wash, when it comes to people breaking equipment, dumping mud, trash and being abusive.


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As you said, prevention is key and weeding out the bad tenants. But what I am talking about is the tenants and even the non tenants that are getting increasingly combative and nasty and threatening. Plus I also said, it depends on where you are at in the country. You did not offer that info. I would bet you that the seminars at the conventions are not addressing this, if they even bring it up at all. Like I said, no "cookie cutter" prevention seminar will address this.
                      "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        In the last few years as occupancy has had a sharp rise, what I can see is that we are dealing with more and more customers, meaning that the odds of someone doing off the deep end are higher. What we do to combat this issues is:

                        (A) ALL staff knows the lease inside and out, and explain the lease to the customer at move in the same way so that regardless of what employee rented the unit, the customer got the same info so that when the customer asks their question, they get the same answer from everyone. Now if a customer is listening or paying attention at move in, not our problem. A prime example, a manager was going over the lease and the customer spaced out, so she went on this weird rant of how to get to the unit, you had to make a u-turn at the sun, left a Jupiter, and so on. The customer just nodded and said yeah ok got it.

                        (B) Make sure that all staff know the policy, we put together and operations book and follow it to the letter, it's all based around the lease. If someone is unsure, they can review policy, now here and there, there will be weird issues, but we cross that bridge when we come to it.

                        (C) Signage with the policy, we don't plaster our policy all over, but in the office we have the TV's that display the camera's and one TV set aside to play a video on loop (pretty much any and all TV's do this now and we used windows picture program to make a simple and good looking video) that has our policies - rent due date - vacate policy - payment options - gate hours - office hours - and then some marketing items - auto pay - refer a friend - etc.

                        At the end of the day, we tell customer's policy is policy, we reviewed at move in and that all customers can get ahold of someone 24/7 (text message / call / voicemail / email / after hours emergency) so there is no excuse, they can get ahold of no matter what and we will not bend the rules for one customer, all customers and staff follow the same rules. It's what fair and what their lease says.

                        Still we have "those" customers who are a pain in the rear and we deal with them as they come - generally rate increases for wasting our time and patience . Usually doing this will get them to leave on their own, or we get a really great rate for their sized unit. When someone vacates with a balance, we let them know that the balance will be sent to collections and on their vacate receipt has a charges table that says "Any balances - reflected below - must be paid with in 15 days or will be sent to collections". The collections threat works 50% of the time.

                        Bottom line, we in the customer service business, some days are good, others, not so much. On the average, we mostly have good days, and just those bad days saps the life out of us and with everything on lock down, people are more edge and have more stress than they normally would (including us)
                        Thanks!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sparkey View Post
                          They come in and wash roof nails, screws, mass quantities of mud, mulch you name it out in the bays. If I am there I either tell them they can't do it or just clean the bay when you are done depending on how bad it is. I have had lots of customers go off the deep end when I tell them this. I usually get the reply, "this is a car wash isn't it".

                          Reminds me of the one time I told a tenant at our dumpster, who was on his 3rd or 4th pickup truck load of trash, that he was not allowed to put that much in the dumpster (because we have hundreds of other tenants who may also need to use it as well as the office), and he says to me, "Well it looks like you're not really prepared for your business then, are you?" To which I replied, "We are in the STORAGE business, not WASTE DISPOSAL." That shut him up.
                          Last edited by RMRSS; 11 January 2021, 07:34 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Clarkstoragellc View Post

                            a. Lock sooner. Used to wait till 3 weeks to lock. Now we lock out in 1 week. That way more "good" stuff is there and you have more leverage.
                            ...
                            c. Auction faster. Used to let people get 2 to 3 months out. Now, start at 5 weeks.
                            ...
                            e. We cut the lock sooner, to see if anything is in there. If the people are not responding.
                            ...
                            I'm sure you know this, but just in case people new to storage are reading this, obviously check your state self-storage laws before determining how soon you do these things, so you are not in violation of your state's laws. For example, some people on this forum live in states where apparently you're allowed to lock out after day 1, but our state says we can't until after day 7. I'd jump for joy if I could lock out on day 2, but we are bound by state law not to.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              RMRSS
                              Thanks for expanding.

                              Comment

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