Inside Self-Storage

APR 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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The preferred Vertical Pivot gate in the Storage industry! Visit us at ISS World Expo, Booth # 1106 been able to reach her by phone, e-mail or mail, and I had to tell her the unit had been sold. I'll never forget the shocked look on her face and her demand to speak to my supervisor, who told her that if she changed her contact info and never notified the office, there was nothing she could do. I never saw her again. The Love for the Job I absolutely love what I do. I work for an incredible company. It's family-owned, and each employee is treated like family. The relationships I've built with customers, coworkers, supervisors and office personnel have benefited me more than any amount of pay. I can't wait to get up in the morning and arrive at the office! People from all walks of life come through my door to rent units, buy merchandise or make a payment. I've met folks from several countries who've rented because they're in the military, attending the local university or moving to find a better life. My customers have ranged from age 19 to 95. I've also had great mentors, and now do what I can to pass knowledge forward to new employees. I've had the opportunity to travel to Kansas City, Mo., and Minneapolis to help new and current managers learn about the business. I've even attended a corporate retreat. All in all, I wouldn't trade a thing about my job. No matter how long you've worked in self-storage, take in all the information you can. Learn from your peers, supervisors and even your competition. Build relationships. Show up every day ready to absorb something new. Not every day will be the same, and if it is, only you can change that. Here's my final advice: Be honest with your customers. Be fair and be consistent. As one mentor told me many years ago, "Tie your shoes every morning so you won't get tripped up by the small things." Results don't always come right away. Be consistent, and they will. Kevin Lanning has been a facility manager for StorageMart since 2014. Founded in 1999 and based in Columbia, Mo., the company operates more than 200 self-storage properties across Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Kevin lives in Omaha, Neb., with his wife, Krystal. His outside interests include photography and woodworking. For more information, visit www.storage-mart.com. • Ask for regular meetings with your boss. • Ask questions. • Don't take on too much, too soon. • Focus on understanding the culture. • Introduce yourself (be social). • Ask for feedback and admit mistakes. • Find a mentor. Source: Northeastern University, "7 Things You Should Do the First Week of a New Job" There's always a list of things to accomplish at my facility. In one recent week we painted the bollards, rented a few units, cleaned vacated units, vacuumed the hallways, wiped down the unit doors and even created a couple of new units. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that there's always something to do! The Laws That Govern There are laws that protect self-storage customers and those that give facility operators the right to enforce a lien and hold a public auction of delinquent units. The first time I had to witness a lock-cutting due to nonpayment, it was extremely heart-wrenching and emotional. I remember going home in tears because I felt I was ruining someone's life. I thought we were invading his privacy, taking pictures and documenting items to place an ad in the newspaper. Then came auction day, which was even harder. Just a few days after the sale, the customer came to the office to make a payment and get a wheelchair out of the unit for her brother. We hadn't Tips to Start With a Bang 7 22 ISS I April 2019 www.insideselfstorage.com

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