Are you interested in a self storage job and the tasks that go along with it? Or, maybe you just want to peek “behind-the-curtain” and see what it’s like being a storage manager. Either way, I have some great information for you.
Storage companies are split into two groups, in my mind. The “Mom & Pop” operator has a handful of stores, while the bigger operators have something like 15 or more stores. It is important to acknowledge the difference and choose which is the right fit for you. Our blog post Getting a Job at a Storage Facility show some of the differences from the standpoint of benefits but this is more about what you do on a daily basis depending on what kind of group you’re working for.
Storage management may look easy. Maybe it seems like you sit behind a desk and just wait for customers. Or, you just cruise around on the golf cart looking for a shade tree to doze underneath. Then boom, 5 o’clock you go home! But, there’s a lot more to it than that though.
The job description with smaller companies can vary greatly, as the owner dictates what must happen. Be sure your potential employer puts in writing what they are expecting of you. You don’t want to accept a management job and then discover you are also a landscaper, responsible for maintaining 20 evaporative coolers, and power-washing the driveway every week, etc.
The job description or daily routine with larger companies might look something like this.
- Turn on the computers, then make sure the software is booted up for the day
- Retrieve phone messages and return calls as necessary
- Disarm the alarms, unlock facility as needed.
- Verify the monies in the office
- Update the list of vacant units and pricing
- Call on new reservations / online rentals that came up overnight – did they reserve at the location they really wanted or were they confused? (Don’t laugh, it happens all the time). Do they know when to arrive, where the unit will be located, and the type of lock that they will need? Make sure any new potential customer has all their questions answered
- Get out the golf cart and/or company truck
- Paint the curbs
- Take a look at every lock on the property – is everything locked? Verify all hand carts are accounted for. If you are missing one, then you need to go find it or review the video surveillance to determine what happened
- Pick up trash throughout the facility, including debris in the bushes
- Sweep the hallways. Yes, all 300 feet of them
More Storage Manager To Do Items
- Sweep out, wipe down the walls, spray pest control product, clean up any stains, and secure any units that vacated the night before
- Spray those tiny weeds before they get big.
- Call the folks whose rent payment has slipped their mind
- Call the folks that came by yesterday or last week and were thinking they might get a storage space, but haven’t come back in yet
- Sell some boxes and tape to someone getting ready to move
- Restock the box display in the office
- Order more boxes
- Review the gate log; does any behavior strike you as odd? If so, check the security video.
- Inventory the office supplies, place an order for more forms, brochures and envelopes.
- Go to the hardware store to restock on air filters, pest control products, weed control products, trash bags, rope for garage doors, lubricant for the gate and a thousand other little items
- Process the mail, post payments, forward invoices/bids to the appropriate people
Physical stuff you may need to do around the site:
- Repaint some yellow bollard poles
- Reset the exterior light timers
- Change light bulbs
- Check the water pressure gauges for the fire suppression system.
- Change the a/c filters
- Oil the chain on the gate
- Wipe down any dirty storage unit doors
- Wash the windows
- Wipe smudges and smears off the hallway walls
- Get the chewed bubble gum off the parking lot
- Clean the bathrooms
More Tasks you May Need to Complete on Any Given Day
- Maintain the golf cart batteries on the golf carts.
- Maintain the battery in the company truck, monitor fluid levels, and perform safety inspections daily
- Reset the flat bed carts at the entrance doors
- Take a walk and look at every lock on every unit again
- Walk through the RV yard. Is everyone in the appropriate place? Is someone parked illegally?
- Locate any misplaced or abandoned property on the premises. Review the security video, check the gate log, and call the person that left it. Was it an oversight? It usually is an oversight, secure the item until they can come down and retrieve it.
Some Tasks Take Place Off Site
- Go to the post office, go to the bank, go to the Chamber of Commerce meeting, go to the grand opening and ribbon cutting for local businesses, visit local businesses that might need storage in the future
There’s still lots to do on property though…
- Help someone find their unit. Yes, it happens. Sometimes if you haven’t visited in months you may have memorized the unit number wrong, or the wrong building number
- Help someone understand how to use their gate code.
- Call someone who didn’t lock their unit properly
- Help a customer who lost the keys to their unit
- Talk a walk and look at every lock on every unit again. Walk through the RV yard again too, and pick up trash while you are walking. – Nope the golf cart does not fit inside the hallway – you have to walk a lot of the property
- Order supplies for cleaning and stocking the bathrooms
- Order supplies for the office
- Review last week’s lease and verify everything is accurate for when the auditor visits
- Count the retail inventory to make sure the computer reflects an accurate count
- If there is a free move in truck – did you dispatch it, and clean it when it came home?
- Wash and wax the golf cart.
Answer the phones when people inquire about:
- Renting a storage space,
- How tall is the door clearance,
- How tall is it inside the unit,
- Can a 75’ truck get to my unit?
- When is my rent due?
- How much do I owe?
- How do I pay online?
- My boyfriend stole my storage key last night, what can I do?
- Can I bring my POD onsite to unload it? Where can I park it?
- What are the gate hours?
- Did you get my payment?
- My fiancé is moving in with me, I need more space! Should I get a bigger one or add a unit? How close together are they? Which route is cheaper? Where would the other unit be? What is the cost? Can she come down and see the unit?
- I lost my key, now what happens?
- My ex-wife stole my motorcycle and put it in storage and I want it back!
Just a Few More Tasks to Complete Your Day
- At the end of the day, read the notes from the call center and make sure any issues were resolved
- Verify the monies balance, create bank deposits
- Secure all company equipment
- Lock and secure facility, activate alarms.
- Go home and repeat it all tomorrow!
Ready for a Storage Job?
So, if you are thinking about getting a storage job, or any job, be sure the scope of the job is well defined in writing. Make sure the pay and benefits are equally well defined. Get everything in writing including the bonus plan, the benefits, when the benefits take effect, the pay schedule, the days off, vacation time, and the work schedule. You want to make sure that the job requirements suit you, and that you aren’t biting off more than you can chew. You may find that some jobs entail more than you thought they did.
We hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes peek at a storage manager’s job! Was there anything here that surprised you? Do you think this might be the right job for you? If you like to keep busy, and want the day to go by fast, then there is plenty for you as a Storage Facility Manager.
If you are interested in working for Storage West and love working with people then check out our Career Page and see what openings we have available!
Storage Facility Manager
Storage West Surprise