THE NITTY-GRITTY OF FACILITY UPKEEP: Cleaning Vacant Storage Units

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    When it comes to customer service, the first impression is often the deal maker or breaker. This is why it is crucial to create a positive impression for every customer who enters your self-storage facility. A tenant’s first impression of your facility typically forms after their initial telephone or in-person inquiry, however their impression could change instantly when they arrive at their unit to move in. “Tenants shouldn’t have to clean before they move in,” says Tom Litton, president and owner of Lodi, Calif.-based Litton Property Management. “It’s like a hotel room; you freshen it up and make sure it’s clean before they move in.” Although the unit doesn’t need to be immaculate, its condition shouldn’t startle the tenant either.

    Educate And Mandate

    Keep this saying in mind: First impressions are lasting impressions. This adage is especially true when it comes to how you, as a self-storage manager and/or owner, care for your site. “It really involves tenant education,” says Stuart Wade, director of business development at AAAA Self Storage Management Group. “If you take a lax attitude to the way your treat your property, the tenants will pick up on that. If the tenants see you picking up trash and keeping the outside of the doors dusted, and the facility is in good overall condition, that sends a message. The tenants will take the lead from that.” It’s a classic case of “monkey see, monkey do;” therefore, the best thing that you can do for your facility is to show both existing and potential customers that you care about the cleanliness of the site. “If you tolerate a sloppy exterior, and the tenants see that you could care less about it, that’s leaving a message to the tenants that they don’t need to care about it either.”

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