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Managers Corner Featuring Stephanie Skinner

Jan 05, 2015

Empowerment Creates Leaders
​Featuring Stephanie Skinner
Seguin Self Storage – Seguin, TX

I have been in the self-storage industry for two and a half years. I never imagined that I would be where I am today, but I couldn’t ask for a better career.

Before coming to the self-storage industry I was in the medical field where I worked in billing, collections and transcription. I went to college in my thirties and graduated with a degree in psychology in 2011.

After college, I returned to Seguin where I had lived for 18 years. My youngest son was born in Seguin. I just loved this town and everything that came with it. I had planned on going back to college to continue with my studies in psychology, but someone had bigger plans for me. Waiting for the fall semester to begin, I applied for a part-time position at Seguin Self Storage. Almost three years later, I am a full-time team member of an organization I take great pride in. I am now the Senior Property Manager and absolutely love what I do! I am truly grateful for the career that I have and for the connections that I have made along the way.

At Seguin Self Storage, we use social media as a tool to market our facility. We have a great web presence with our fully integrated website. Your current tenant base is the biggest asset you have when it comes to advertising. They’re also a great resource for marketing to prospective tenants. We do a lot of grassroots marketing in Seguin. Getting out of the office and shaking hands with business owners and community residents is how we market our facility most effectively. In a small town you can do that! I am an involved member of the Seguin Area Chamber of Commerce and attend Chamber functions and regularly network with other businesses—many have become great customers.

The biggest marketing challenge that I have personally experienced has been the building of our website and establishing an online presence. It took some time to get it done, but it’s so rewarding when prospective customers call and tell you how much they love your website, and how helpful it was to them. We have established a sense of trust with our community and the local businesses that we serve, all the rest just falls into place with every phone call, handshake, and referral.

If I could share one thing about marketing it would be to get out and meet the managers and owners of the businesses in your area. Establish a relationship with them even if nothing else comes of it, they will remember you. Be active in your community and volunteer your time to help out with certain events, again—people will remember you!

I believe that to be successful, first and foremost, a great self-storage manager must possess superior customer service skills. This is a service industry, why wouldn’t one strive to provide the absolute best service possible to their customers? Secondly, managers need the ability to make decisions on their own. Giving a manager the authority to make decisions based on what is best for the customer, as well as the facility, speaks volumes. Empowerment creates leaders on every level. Lastly, I believe a truly great self-storage manager must be humble, have integrity, and maintain the highest level of accountability at all times.

To stay sharp and current takes practice, you have to want to pursue more in order to get there. I attend conferences, webinars and TSSA luncheons. We, as a company, hold monthly “Think Tank” meetings where all the managers and the owners sit together for the day and collaborate collectively. There is a lot of “give and take” at our meetings—everyone brings something to the table and we always take something that we incorporate into our daily routines.

View the original article in Self Storage News.