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.

Issue link: http://digital.insideselfstorage.com/i/1090015

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 28 of 93

Protect Your Investment and Theirs As a business owner, you want a long-lasting, low-maintenance building to invest in. Mini-storage facilities by industry-leading Morton Buildings will deliver just that. Morton works with you to create the number of units and size of those units that best fit the needs of your customers. Our interior options, exterior features, and exclusive Energy Performer® insulation package provide you with a building that is safe, energy-efficient and easy to maintain. © 2018 Morton Buildings, Inc. All rights reserved. A listing of GC licenses available at mortonbuildings.com/licenses. Ref Code 687 800-447-7436 • mortonbuildings.com #2500 happy customers by any means, even if it means waiving $1,000 in late fees each month. Just remember, you can provide great customer service without giving away money! You can be sympathetic to a customer's situation while upholding your company policy. Explain the late-fee policy again so there's no confusion, and then offer to sign him up for autopay. Think about it this way: To waive a fee, would you be willing to take the money out of your pocket and put it in the company's bank account? Your owner is paying bank loans, property taxes, flood insurance and your paycheck. Keep this in mind the next time a tenant asks you to waive a late charge. Managing Collections Hand-in-hand with late fees is collections. A good manager teaches tenants to pay on time, every month, and doesn't give much leniency. When you start bending the rules, you're asking for trouble. I've heard managers say, "Rent is due on the first, but you have until the fifth before we charge extra." Guess what? They just taught their customers to pay on the fifth. It matters how you handle rent payments, late fees and collections, and how you discuss them with tenants. Your actions teach them how to treat the business and tell them how seriously you take your responsibilities. Being firm about policies will make your job easier and your boss much happier. Knowing When to Spend As a good self-storage manager, you must know when to invest money in the business. I once knew a manager who wouldn't perform maintenance on the golf cart because he didn't want to spend the money. This was harmful to the business because it forced customers to walk around the property rather ride in safety and comfort. Another manager ran out of locks and didn't buy more because she felt she'd spent too much that month. But we make money reselling locks! One manager wouldn't stock up on supplies in advance, which inevitably led to last-minute store runs. This left the site unmanned, plus the products cost more that way. It's your job to keep office supplies and retail shelves properly stocked. You also have to keep up on facility maintenance. Knowing how to spend money to make money is the mark of a good manager. The self-storage industry is getting more competitive, which could lead to lower rental rates. That means fewer dollars going into the business bank account, so each one counts. Keep this in mind when making decisions about discounts, late fees, collections, and purchases or repairs. There's a phenomenon called "other people's money" in which we're bolder when we're playing with money that isn't ours. Be aware of this and make the best decisions possible for your facility. Magen Smith is a former self-storage manager turned certified public accountant (CPA). Her company, Magen Smith CPA LLC, helps storage operators understand the financial side of their business. Services include monthly financial management, bill-pay functions, revenue management and strategy. She also offers a curb-appeal checklist available for download and has created an online revenue-management course complete with checklists, cheat sheets and guides. For more information, e-mail magen@selfstoragecpa.com; visit www.selfstoragecpa.com. April 2019 I ISS 27

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Inside Self-Storage - APR 2019