Busy season for self-storage owners is no joke (even if our bad pun might be). Before April 1st, there are abandoned units to clear out, new tenants to sign, customer service inquiries to handle and a million other things to think about on a daily basis. The best way to survive the busy season and come out on top is to start preparing now! Here’s what you will want to think about to get your facility ready.
Repairs and Upgrades
The first thing to consider regarding busy season is the status of any repairs and upgrades you have planned for the year. As April quickly approaches, make sure any contractors you plan to hire are scheduled to come before the 1st. Touch base with contractors already hired for on-going projects to ensure they are on-target for your timeline. Now is also a good time to contact your current tenants and update them on the state of any repairs or planned construction and how it will impact their access.
Typical repairs and upgrades that we see owners working on in anticipation of the busy season include:
Steel is the new black… Upgrading your roof to steel when it’s aged enough to need repairs is the best way to ensure longevity and improve curb appeal.
No one wants to be bumping and thumping their way into your facility. If you can’t afford a full replacement, consider getting any potholes filled and setting a budget plan to save up.
New locks/security system
Depending on your current set-up you may consider updating the standard locks you offer and/or the security systems you use. We have a special partnership with Janus to offer discounts to owners with certain security clearance. Showing your tenants you care about their safety during a high-volume turnaround time can help put them at ease and can be a deciding factor to put your facility at an advantage.
Outdated and damaged doors should be addressed before they lose you a full occupancy rate.
Fresh Flowers, clean cut grass, a dozen bags of fresh mulch… cleaning up the entrance for your facility shows current and potential tenants that you are maintaining your facility.
If you’ve got Netflix or the internet in general, chances are you’ve stumbled upon a certain Marie Kondo and her series Tidying Up. The organizational queen’s focus is on helping your home ‘spark joy’. But her methodology and mindset can be applied to your office setting. Here are several areas we recommend owners tidy up:
Re-organizing your office
From filing cabinets to desktops, now is a great time to de-clutter. Bust out the shredder and get rid of old and unnecessary paperwork. Consider using drawer organization system to keep things off the desk. Have an organizer for fliers, countertop merch, and other handouts so your countertops don’t look cluttered.
Deep cleaning the facility
If you don’t have the manpower to perform a deep clean as part of an overtime schedule hiring professional cleaners to come in and deep clean the office, keeping up any big items. This also includes having an inspection done on any appliances like furnace and HVAC units.
Checking on pest control
If you hire a pest control service, check-in and ensure they are scheduled for their next visit. If you are handling pest control yourself, make sure you prep for the spring spray and check traps that need replacing.
Evaluate your hiring process
More than likely you plan to hire seasonal employees to cover the extra influx of tenants. Make sure you’re finding the best talent you can. Take a critical eye to your hiring and training process and make sure that it’s optimized!.
Cleaning out your computer systems
Going digital means there’s a lot of files stored on your hard drive, make sure you are cleaning it out, making room for this year’s content and keeping things ship/shape and organized on your desktop, not just your desk’s top!
Find out what else needs cleaning
Interview your operator/manager to find out what sticking points they have or hard to get to places that need cleaning or re-organizing.
With new tenants comes new risk potentials. Start thinking about risk management right now! Things like ADA compliance will need to be verified and potentially updated. Consider risk management for your tenants as well. Download our free printable to hand out to tenants or hang in your office.
Restocking Add-On Products
Restock your in-office products before busy season hits. Use LY numbers to update the estimated amount of items to stock up on. Talk to your managers about what items were most requested recently. (especially If they were there last year and can speak to the interest of past tenants). Consider partnering with a moving company to maximize your networking and profitable opportunities.
Is your current software working for your team, or against them? There are numerous software vendors available and you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the best one for your business: Domico, Sentinel/Winsen, Center Shift/Yardi, Sitelink, Syrasoft, Easy Storage Solutions, StoreEdge, Empower/Storage Commander, QuickStor and more… Check out each option and consider the impact, ease of use, and cost factors.
You may also want to look into task management and time management applications and software to help keep your team running on all cylinders. Here’s a comprehensive list of the top 24 apps for time management and task management on the market.
Finally, the best place to look for optimization opportunities is the team you have now. Interview your current management and operators, ask them to identify sticking points or long tasks that are cumbersome in their daily workflow. Then see what you can do to break it up or make it easier to keep up.
Re-Double Your Marketing Efforts
Do you have a comprehensive marketing plan to reach your target audience right where they’re at? Update your digital marketing strategy and social media presence can go a long way in keeping your facility full not just during busy season but even after it ends. Consider partnering with Best of Business marketing vendor and TPP’s long-standing marketing agency of choice: Michaels Wilder. They know digital marketing, social media, and the self-storage space.
Take Care of Your Managers
“Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” –Stephen R. Covey
We’ve saved the best part of our survival kit for last. If you take care of your team, they’ll take care of your tenants. From the small gestures like free snacks, breaks, well-planned shift trades, PTO options, and vacation requests to bigger things like fair pay and benefits.
Hang on for the ride!
At TPP we’re all about preparing for the worst and expecting the best. We earned the title ‘best of business’ for our compassion, efficiency, and quality service. Offering Tenant Property Protection plans at your facility is one of the easiest ways to go above and beyond for your tenant. But it’s also one of the easiest ways to earn more profit. There’s never a better time than now to see how much you could be earning simply by offering your tenants a better protection plan.