Are Hiring Couples A Thing Of The Past?

Sue_C Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
I've noticed fewer and fewer facilities with on-site apartments. Could this be indicative of a shift from the more traditional couple managers to a single full-time employee who lives off-site? What are you seeing in your markets? 


  • BlacksburgSS
    BlacksburgSS Registered User ✭✭
    There is a definite trend in that direction. Simply because the cost associated with building an apartment and maintaining those costs far outweighs the benefit of having an on-site manager. Our managers are on call in the event of an after hours emergency which is very rare.
  • Drew
    Drew Registered User ✭✭✭
    Everything is going automated nowadays. While the onsite manager offers an added sense of security, is the overhead worth it? Kiosks and call centers are available to take care of the grunt work while costing less than a manager that is only mediocre at closing deals. It almost makes sense to upgrade the camera and dvr system to be completely remote, too. Even then, I very rarely have to check the tape - it's merely a selling point!
  • AZStorageGuy
    AZStorageGuy Registered User ✭✭✭
    Our company is testing the waters on that, thought we're still predominantly couple-managed at the larger properties (like ours). 

    Customers like the added security they feel with on-site managers.  I regularly have people tell me that.

    But there's no question that as off-site management becomes more cost-effective and technologically doable, this will become the new model.
     William McBride
  • StorageKodiak
    StorageKodiak Registered User ✭✭
    My wife and I have been resident managers for the last 15 Years, and while the "trend" my be to get rid of on site resident managers with newer facilities I personally feel that this is a Monumental Mistake. Properties without resident managers are often a more appealing target for break ins, and other illegal activities. Just because some number cruncher thinks they can save a couple of bucks, doesn't make it the smart thing to do. (Think Lemming s) I have said this to More than one owner " This business isn't Rocket Science, Hire Managers you Trust and let them Manage your Property, If You Don't Trust Them Fire Them and Hire Someone You DO TRUST. It really is that Simple" Not every Trend is necessarily the Smart way to go. Like the Ridiculous  behavior on our Universities with trying to Silence opposing ( Conservative ) Viewpoints, Not the sharpest tools in the shed.  
  • Orkocean
    Orkocean Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    As part of a resident manager couple for 5 years i've seen the trends going away from it. My former company is going away from it as we were one of the last couples they hired. I see arguments for it both ways, but I think it's more about the "right" couple than just any couple. With us living on site we always think of the property as "ours" and treat it as such, just because the day has ended and we're off the clock doesn't mean we don't keep an eye on the property or take care of issues if need be. At one of my properties we stayed at in Florida we even had our own security camera system set up and fed to a TV in our living room above our main TV so we could keep an eye on the property since it was known to have issues. Caught quite a few problems before they got escalated thanks to those cameras.
    LADY_DOES_A_LOT Registered User
    I agree, there should be management on property. I have had one theft on property since I opened this place in 2004(it was in inside job-tenant gave his code to all of his friends). My first unit we called police on 4 people. We have a 40 something inch monitor for the camera's upstairs as well. We all have our problem children as we call them. I don't care how good camera's are. They do not cover every inch of property. We remote, the downstairs computer, up stairs as well and can here when someone comes and goes. I do treat this as my home and my tenants know it. They also know that I will not tolerate funny business. As an owner, we are tax deductible. Tenants ask me all the time if someone lives on site. Some us of think we are to automated these days. I hope that you continue with property managers.  
  • Doc
    Doc Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭

    My first job in the storage industry was as a resident manager with my sons (not a couple) and I living in the apt above the office. I ended up being there for 13 years. Sometimes that factor alone influences prospective renters when they are shopping for a safe secure facility. From my apt I could sit in my LR and from one window see who drove in off the street & through the access gate and from the other window approx. where on the property they went. How much would that kind of security cost an owner? In those 13years, I never had a break in or theft. No one ever got assaulted or robbed on or near my facility. If no one had lived in the apt the utilities would still have been on so that was not an extra expense. I always considered the apt as the best amenity of the job but I was also always paid very fairly from my employers.

    I agree that not everyone is suited to live on property and not every family situation works for that.

    Draw back: You have to be strong enough to insure that the tenants understand that residence on the property doesn't mean you are available 24 hrs. a day. It does mean that you are available faster for a real emergency though.

    Also, the climate in storage has changed and facilities are more & more being bought by "investors" who then hire management companies to manage their investments. Often these management companies bring in their own facility, usually without warning you are informed that you are jobless and homeless.

    Caution: Make sure you have something in writing outlining how much time you are given to vacate. Some companies will tell you 48 hrs. to move out. Luckily, I had a signed agreement giving me a week.

    Ok, my two cents worth on the subject. Have a great day!!  :)


    ;) Let your efforts rise above your excuses  
  • Sue_C
    Sue_C Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hey Doc! We're glad you added your 2 cents worth, that's what we're here for :) Happy posting!
  • Climateguard
    Climateguard Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified ✭✭✭
    We still believe in face to face business where Im at. I have never been too much for the automated industry with the "no accountability" mentality should a customer need to have something addressed.
  • CoquitlamManager
    CoquitlamManager Registered User
    I honestly don't know how you on site managers do it. Knocks at the door all hours of the night, never having the life/work separation, not to mention random inspections by your district managers. I live off site and we have guards on call if there is an issue or I can get a call to my work cell and tap into the system from home if someone needs help with access code not working etc. Which rarely happens. I can leave work and forget about work for the night. My customers know the site is safe, there's no need for anyone to live on site. 
  • rhiphelps
    rhiphelps Registered User ✭✭
    I would LOVE to have a free apt and have no commute to work. Work with my hubby? Is this for real?!

    ..I left 10 years in retail management (retail store fronts are going bye-bye... The number of malls will fall drastically in the near future thanks to internet business) and came to the storage industry just over a year ago. It makes sense to me that automation and off-site managers is the way to go for the future. It's the old-school thought that we need to be face to face these days. It's unfortunate, but it's the future. To stay in business,  you must have the competitive edge. Cutting unnecessary costs is #1. Having peace of mind that an onsite manager is present is a nice selling point.. but not necessary at all. The two properties I float between are both off-site. Managers leave at 6pm and tenants have access till 9pm. 

    I won't lie, we have had a few situations that could have been helped by having an on-site. Flooding from a rainstorm in one building. Theft in another. However, the true cost to the company from these issues is minor. Protection plan! All that money goes into an account that takes care of claims and such. Not to mention, with camera and gate code activity, it has been very easy to track down any problems and get rid of them quickly.

    Why do you think there are more self-check outs?
    Why do you think the new Amazon Grocery Store is the way of the future? (Google it, awesome)
    Why are automated kiosks popping up all over?
    Why does Cinnabon buy their dough and icing instead of making it by scratch like they used to?
    Why are companies hiring less full-time and more part time?
    Why did my last company that I worked for (big national chain about to go international) train all associates to teach customers to shop online vs in store? Create their own labels instead of buying from real brands?


    One last thing.. I'm suprised that on-site couples are even hired... What happens if they split? Conflict of interest much. Sounds like a nice thing but what if **** hits the fan and Mommy/Daddy split up? Or Daddy is treated unfairly compared to Mommy? Sounds like an invite for lawsuit. Just my opinion.

  • Sue_C
    Sue_C Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks @rhiphelps for your insights. You might want to check out the robots in self-storage discussion also.
  • danashelton57
    danashelton57 Registered User
    I've been a single manager for 30 years now, weather it's a 300 unit property or 600+, which is what I operate now. I've been very lucky to work for a company, that's allows me a Asst. Manager and a Relief manager.
  • reception
    reception Registered User
    I think the move to "investors" and "management companies" is a sad trend. It's hard to be part of the community when there is no personal connection. Some customers don't care, but many still do. 
  • tonyja26
    tonyja26 Registered User

    Im relatively new to this industry and do maintenance and relief manager. In the brief time that I have been doing this I can say that with absolute confidence that on site management is the best way to draw would be customers. Everyone knows that you cant go a mile down the road these days without being on 50 different security cameras, which may eventually aid in catching anyone doing wrong. But with an on site manager the customer has the added security of an actual person there that will aid in protecting their treasured items. Same thing goes with would be perps, they see not only cameras but know that there is someone who might hear and see them in action. Just my opinion.
  • JamesStorage
    JamesStorage Registered User ✭✭✭
    My facility is off site management with a relief manager. I've had a few tenants store with us solely because of that. They don't feel they can trust the facilities with on site management as some of them have had serious theft issues. I can see both sides of the argument though.
  • Orkocean
    Orkocean Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    On or off site either way i've heard of "inside" jobs being done for theft, i've never had customers prefer off site management because of it though. Sadly that is a reality of the industry, especially with mom and pop type places with lower scrutiny on audits and knowledge of what to look for when they do check in on the property and their staff.

    I had first hand experience seeing it be done with my first job in the industry. I was an assistant to a guy who thought it was fun and even bragged about a previous site he ran how the owner did everything by hand written ledgers and how he could make money go into his pocket whenever he wanted. Took me a few months to get enough evidence put together of current shenanigans he was doing to get the owners to finally believe me and get him booted.

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