Inside Self-Storage

FEB 2019

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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If you have benches, chairs or porch swings on your patio, keep them clean and in safe working order. Clean sidewalks and windows and working light fixtures continue the positive first impression right up to your front door. You'll need sweep the lights every so often with a broom to remove the cobwebs and bugs that congregate there. Your front door and office are your last lines of defense. Clean, fresh paint, sparkling windows and oiled hinges (squeaky doors are the worst!) are in order. If you're a member of the local chamber of commerce, national and state self-storage association, or other local organizations, display the current stickers on the door, just to brighten things up a bit. Decals that are more than a year or two old should be removed. Rental Office Interior Inside the office, less is more. Reduce clutter on countertops and desks so you look organized. Replace faded artwork and keep framed awards and letters straight and level. Try to keep food odors down, too. Remove that pizza box or leftover Chinese takeout right away and get it to the dumpster so the smells don't linger. A vacuum pump, Air-Pot or Thermos-type of vessel for brewed coffee will help keep the office from smelling like burnt coffee all day. Clean the office space regularly. Wipe counters with cleansing wipes, and mop floors often, even if it's with one of those little spray-type mops just for touch-ups (they smell good, too). Vacuum carpets, and don't overlook furniture. For leather or vinyl, use automotive cleaners like Armor All. For fabric, use a carpet cleaner (spray or foam), and then vacuum. Behind the Curtain Curb appeal doesn't necessarily stop at the entry and office areas. If there are any other places on your property that can be seen from the road or are visible while showing prospective tenants around, these should be on your list for cleaning and maintenance. After all, you don't want any customers to look "behind the curtain" and see a mess. It doesn't hurt to have a friend or relative stop by and look around with fresh eyes and maybe a camera. Since you see the place every day, some things may not be as obvious to you as to a stranger, so have them tell you what they think you missed. Curb appeal doesn't have to be expensive. You just need to keep your property maintained, clean and organized. This effort should generate an interest in your business and project your company's image and policies— safe, secure, clean, good value, well-maintained, etc.—without being too busy or visually overwhelming. If your property needs a spruce-up, it won't get fixed overnight; but if you set a routine and tackle a little at a time between other tasks, you should be able to get your curb appeal under control and looking like the day you opened, if not better! Kevin J. Edwards joined Southeast Management Co. in 2016. He and his wife, Donna, are property managers for Plantation Storage and Plantation Wine Cellars in Bluffton, S.C. To reach him, call 843.815.8000; e-mail pbl@plantationstorage.com; visit www.southeastmanagementcompany.com. February 2019 I ISS 37

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