Like many of our clients, we are sure you have a lot of questions. That's fantastic! Feel free to ask away! Here are a few answers to help you get started.
YOU HAVE THE QUESTIONSWE HAVE THE ANSWERS
HAVE A SPECIFIC QUESTION?
We would love to answer it for you! Let’s Talk!CONTACT US
What does a third party self storage management company do?
A third party self storage management company is an ideal choice to handle the day to day operations of your self storage business.
When you partner with Atomic, we handle it all for you. From marketing, revenue management, training, financial reporting, staff training, legal, software, and everything else you can think of! It doesn't matter if you are just starting a new site, considering switching from another management company, or building a new self storage property, we will manage your self storage property to create profits and provide amazing results.
How long is your self storage management contract?
Our standard self storage management contract is one year. We believe in earning your business, every day, so there is language in the contract to cancel early if we are not performing our obligations. We like to work with people we like and work hard to keep our customers happy. If you have any questions or thoughts during our management, we are responsive and available.
When should I hire a self storage management company?
Anyone who wants to own storage without dealing with the day to day of actually owning storage. We work with owners that previously hired REIT management, owners that are building their first, second or third location, and owners that managed themselves until hiring us. Our management is for anyone who wants their property run well, their customers happy, and a profitable business. We step into your shoes and make the right decisions for the property, every day. We manage each property how it needs to be managed.
Do I have to use your brand?
Nope! Our brand is “The Storage Advantage” but you are free to use any name, color scheme, and logo that you like. Some of our properties are managed under our brand and others never know we are involved at all.
How do I choose a self storage management company?
Selecting someone to manage your business is a big decision. Ask questions and make sure you are comfortable with their methods and results. Are they responsive? Do they manage by process or by experience? Do you like them? What are their results? The right self storage management company will answer all your questions and make you feel comfortable with the process.
Is my site too small for third party management?
This is a great question. The size of the site does not matter as much as your goals and how we can help you accomplish them. Our management results in increased revenue which offsets the cost of hiring us. Our goal is always to pay for ourselves quickly.
Will you help me develop a self storage site?
Yes and no. We will offer consultation through the development process regarding unit mix, office layout, signage, and operational questions. We do love to get involved and help our customers with the development part, but we are not engaged as the developers of the property.
When should I look for a self storage management company?
If you are developing your first property, engaging a management company 90 days before opening is ideal. However, we like to get involved as soon as possible. Getting started sooner allows us to help with unit mix, office layout and all the other aspects of site design.
Would you buy my self storage property?
Yes. We cannot think of a better win-win situation for the parties involved. We have investors who love the self storage industry and are able to close quickly on deals we are presented with. If you are interested in selling your self storage facility, give us a call.
How much does full-service third party self storage management cost?
Our goal on every new property is to pay for ourselves within three months. We charge the greater of our minimum fee or a percent of gross revenue. Unlike other management companies, we do not nickel and dime you to death. Our fee structure is very transparent. We do not charge for travel, we split insurance plan revenue, and we do not charge mystery “marketing fees.” Our goal is to make you money and keep you as a customer. All of our management services are included in our monthly fee.
Do you have daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and bi-annual checklists to track all the other activities aside from sales, customer service, cleaning bathrooms and standard daily tidying up and record keeping?
Yes, we have all of those checklists, but what we have found over time is having those systems built-in, and having the employee plan it during the day works best to ensure it gets done. We provide every employee with a planner to be used during the day to accomplish their tasks. Using a planner helps the staff personally and professionally. They learn how to build better habits and take responsibility for their day, doing the right thing at the right time. We also use mystery shoppers to be our “eyes” when we can’t be on site.
What are the benefits of hiring a smaller management company vs a REIT or larger management company?
Atomic is a smaller management company by choice. We like to work one on one with our clients and manage each property with attention and experience. There is no “red tape” so we are able to move faster and make adjustments as we go. We are better at managing revenue because we pay attention and don’t rely on an algorithm to do our job. We don’t believe in charging hidden fees and having mysterious costs. Everything involved in our management is fully transparent and open to our owners. People hire Atomic because we are responsive, actively engaged in the day to day management, make their facility more profitable, and care about the results.
What are the disadvantages of hiring a smaller management company vs a REIT or larger management company?
We have limited capacity so we can’t work with everyone. Our goal is not to be the biggest management company. Our goal is to provide outstanding results to amazing people and be a partner for the long run. We have proven that we are able to rent more units at higher rates than REITS and be more responsive than larger management companies. For owners that want their property given the attention it deserves, to be one of a few, and to matter, we are the right choice.
Do you have daily, weekly, monthly reports that site managers must submit for accountability and tracking? How do you verify their accuracy or truthfulness?
We do. Self storage managers must have demand ready each Monday and report on the property operations overall. We have our partner call before this meeting, so we are well in tune with the progress of the property and whether we are on track with the goals for the month. Each week, they are to report on the operations and project progress for that week. We can quickly identify if they are not truthful, and we have very specific conversations with the individual, then move forward. If we see the behavior again, then it is not the type of person who fits with our values, and we would let them go, with counsel from our HR team. We try to hire and fire towards our values.
Essentially, how do you audit the managers and track the accomplishments associated with established goals?
A combination of consistent conversations, meticulous attention to the numbers, tracking demand, and reviewing key reports on a weekly basis.
What kind of marketing goals do you set for a facility that is essentially always 97% occupied?
Marketing in storage is like throwing grass seed on the lawn in that it takes time to see results. No matter if we manage highly occupied properties or those in lease up, we track every demand event and manage our revenue with a scalpel, not a sledgehammer. We regularly review customers for rate increase opportunities, based on the demand data. We know that we can replace those customers with higher paying customers, so a consistent marketing strategy is the same whether a site is 10% or 90% full.
Do you have a bonus structure for employees?
Yes. We have 4-5 metrics that we bonus on. Each metric gets a part of the bonus, so most stores get something each month. It consists of rental goals, insurance goals, retail sales, and one matrix we change to keep our managers motivated. The total bonus amount is set in the budget with owner approval.
Assuming we sign an agreement when you come to visit or soon thereafter, what would be your timeline for starting?
Whenever it works best for both of us! We have been on a plane the day after signing due to the owners needs and also waited a year before we started because of construction delays. We are flexible and work around your needs, as best as we can.
Do you wait a specific amount of time between initiating the onboarding of new properties so that each receives its due attention?
At the end of the day, this business is about our work/life balance. We don’t want hundreds of properties and constant stress. We want to work with people we like and take the time to do a good job at the projects we accept. We don’t have a hard and fast rule about what that looks like, but we are careful of overloading our plate with too much work and not being able to honor our commitments.