Less Stress, More Money in Self Storage, Part 2

November 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

This part may be obvious to many but it is important to revisit from time to time: observe and be vigilant. Know what is going on at your site(s). Be aware. Ask questions. Do not take anything for granted. Do not be afraid to step in sooner, rather than later.

Recently, I became aware of a facility embroiled in legal trouble. They had hired a contractor to replace the site’s roof, The contractor, in turn, hired a subcontractor to do the actual work. The subcontractor placed the roofing material on pallets near the property’s fence. Unnoticed, a piece of the roofing material protruded through the fence into the public sidewalk. A bicyclist traveling on the sidewalk ran into the piece of siding, fell off the bike and was injured. Now, the bicyclist is suing. Is there enough insurance? Hope so. Could this have been avoided? Maybe.

While it is not possible to know exactly what the facility staff was doing that day, one could guess that they were not closely observing what the subcontractor was doing. Had they done so, perhaps the material sticking through the fence could have been moved and the accident avoided.

The point of this is that both owners and managers need to observe what is going on at their facilities and on the lookout for all sorts of problems like the one above.

Consider the longstanding issue of whether or not to have a tenant provide an inventory of property being stored in their unit. Many experts would say “no”, because this might come to bear on issues related to Part 1 discussed in an earlier post (non-bailee status). At the same time, it is completely appropriate for the manager to keep an eye on what a tenant is storing as the goods are being unloaded into the unit. Perhaps, dealing with a large 55 gallon drum of green goo” after the fact can be avoided. 🙂

In a similar vein, how many times has a facility owner discovered financial malfeasance by an employee after the fact? This type of problem could be avoided by being observant and vigilant.

The central theme: owners need to be vigilant of their staff (and facility); managers need to be observant of the goings-on at their site. Know who your tenants are. Know what their issues are.

Being on top of things now will make life much less stressful later.

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