Inside Self-Storage

OCT 2018

Inside Self-Storage (ISS) is an information source for industry owners, managers, developers and investors covering news, trends, facility operation, finance, real estate, construction, development, marketing, technology, insurance and legality.

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Ocean Storage, Norfolk, Va. (Photo courtesy of Storage Asset Management) Asset Management) Mountain Shadows Storage, Greeley, Colo. Mini U Storage, Austin, Texas StoreSmart Self Storage, Columbia, S.C., (Photo courtesy of Reliant Real Estate Management LLC) We asked self-storage operators, "How is your company attracting/retaining quality employees?" Here are the secrets they shared. "Customer experience is the only sustainable competitive advantage in the service business today. While there are many easy ways to 'surprise and delight' by offering free water, coffee, cookies, supplies, etc., it ultimately boils down to setting expectations and meeting those expectations from the first interaction throughout the entire customer journey. Whether your daily commute takes you by our facility; you meet one of our managers at a community event; you pick out our logo on your child's Little League jersey; you happen across a company post, picture or advertisement on social media, or a review on Google or Yelp … You're formulating expectations about our brand experience in advance. When the need for storage arises, it's these expectations, coupled with information actively gathered from friends and family, on the Web, on the phone, and as you walk up to and into the office that codify into a brand promise. Consistency is critical in customers' interaction with our brand—in online and offline materials, messaging, and in all manner of human interaction. All companies measure and report on operational data, but we have taken this a step further and implemented several programs to collect experience data. This allows us to identify gaps and opportunities in the experience we provide. When layered in with operational data, it has the potential to provide new pathways to achieve optimal revenue." —William Stephens, Vice President of Marketing, Morningstar Properties LLC "We consistently strive to provide 'value-added services' or synergies that make sense with the self-storage industry. In addition to the obvious partnerships with truck-rental agencies and insurance providers, we offer other great amenities. Select facilities offer other services including paper-shredding, post offices and carwashes. —Michael Wachsman, Director of Acquisitions, Andover Properties LLC 10 Federal Storage, Graham, N.C. "We've worked really hard to build the organization around our core values. Employees are encouraged to take risks and problem-solve in unconventional ways, which provides a lot of employee satisfaction. When hiring, our goal is to find top talent, provide all necessary support/ resources and get out of their way." —Seth Bent, CEO, Red Dot Storage "We've had to engage in more lengthy and detailed training more often. Benefits help; however, the opportunity for upward mobility within the company has been our most attractive incentive to employees. We implement a 'hire from within' policy, and the employees love it." —Gregory M. Ellsworth, President, Self-Storage Consulting Group LLC 14 ISS I October 2018

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