Hiring the right self storage manager is one of the things that can make or break your investment. Consider the property, demographics, physical location, clientele, and overall goals to help you select the right fit for the store. Some properties need a strong salesperson, while others need more of a property manager who can handle projects.
Posting the job ad
Posting a self storage manager job ad is fairly straightforward with lots of options to choose from. We typically post jobs on Indeed, although there are other job posting options. Adding a custom question for applicants to answer is a great way to get insight into how applicants think, problem-solve, and approach their day.
We favor open-ended questions with no right or wrong answers. Consider the main goal your employee needs to accomplish and craft a question around it. Most self storage manager needs to have outstanding customer service skills, a strong ability to communicate and be able to think on their feet and make decisions.
Here are a few sample questions to choose from:
- An upset tenant comes into your office on Monday because their gate code didn’t work over the weekend, although their account was paid. Without knowing the policy, what do you do?
- A tenant needs a second unit, but only for 3 days. Without knowing the policy, what do you do?
- A tenant claims items are missing from their unit. Without knowing the policy, what do you do?
A well-run self storage property will have policies and procedures around each of these issues, but having applicants, who likely know little to nothing about storage, answer, will give you insight into their mindset and problem-solving skills.
Interviewing candidates can be grueling if you don’t have a system in place to handle the various administrative tasks. We use a memorized response in Indeed to request that applicants schedule their own interviews using a Calendly link. This allows us to block our time for interviews and have the applicants do the rest of the work.
We conduct interviews via Zoom so we can feel like we are talking to the applicant as much as possible. It is a great way to see if they are prepared for the interview. Did they find a quiet place to talk? Are they dressed? Are they focused on the interview or are they doing a million other things? I once interviewed someone in the car with their friends while they were going out for the weekend.
Remember, they picked the time! During the actual interview, try to speak as little as possible. Ask: Tell me about yourself. The best self storage managers are people who can connect with people. We love hiring people who are outgoing and personable, who can connect well with others, and make communication easy.
The applicant should be able to take control of the interview and talk about themselves and why they are best for the job. Ask if they have any questions. They are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them. Are they prepared? Do they have a few smart questions? Do they understand the job? We like to ask about applicants’ work habits and how they structure their day? People who plan ahead and follow a plan make good employees. We want to hire autonomous adults who can be self-directed.
Finally, have someone do a second interview. It’s always a good idea to have someone else talk to the potential candidate and make sure they are a good fit for you. If you have the time, having them work in the office for a period of time before you offer them the job is the best case. It’s easy to be on your best behavior for 20 minutes on Zoom, but you can start to see someone’s real personality after an 8 hour day in the office together.
Once you select your best choice, be sure to follow all your state guidelines in offering them the job. Having a good HR onboarding will save you a massive headache if the employee doesn’t work out.