When a tenant moves out of a storage unit and has unwanted items, they often face the following questions: What do I do with this stuff, and how can I arrange transportation for all of it? Security Public Storage recognized the need to provide tenants with an easier option to dispose of unwanted items. Their participation in the Charity Storage program helped fill a gap in their facility services, enhance the tenant experience, and support the communities where they do business at the same time.
“We have been in the Charity Storage program for three years now,” says Charles Ruiz, facility manager at Security Public Storage – San Francisco. “We give tenants the ability to not have to go to Goodwill or Salvation Army. It is an easy load off their hands to just leave the items they do not want to keep at our facility. My customers really appreciate it.”
Ruiz goes beyond the call of duty when it comes to the customer experience, and the 12 years he’s spent with Security Public Storage have shown that. “I enjoy interacting with customers,” he says. “Many times they do not know what they are looking for when it comes to storage, so I just make sure I do not oversell them. It is always about making sure I get them the right fit and the best price. It is important to have that trust element with your customers.”
He continues, “I know my customers by their first names and know the daily ins and outs of their lives. A lot of my customers here really trust my opinion and how I manage the facility; they have peace of mind that their things will be taken care of. That is what separates us from other facilities.”
Ruiz notes that it goes a long way when your customers know that you are looking out for them and want what is best for them. This personal touch is part of what has helped Security Public Storage stay among the top 10 fundraisers for Charity Storage since their enrollment.
“The way my building is situated, when a tenant is moving out, they go right past me,” says Ruiz. “I will take a look at their things and let them know that if they have anything they want to donate, we can take care of it for them on site. When I have an empty unit, I just direct them there with their items in tow. I really just do it to help the customer. The profile of our tenants here is younger, and many are in transition quite a bit and do not want to take everything with them. They are grateful to not have to go through the trouble of figuring out what to do with items they do not want anymore.”
Ruiz mentions that one way to raise more funds for your unit is to make it as presentable and organized as possible. “The things that I keep for the unit are normally all quality items,” he says. “I want to have the reputation that if you are going to buy a charity unit here, you are not going to get broken down things or low-quality stuff. So I make sure that the items that are donated are either barely used or newer items. The success of the charity unit at our facility is all from word of mouth.”
Ruiz reiterated that one of the biggest benefits of his facility’s enrollment in the Charity Storage program is for his customers. “At the end of the day, this program is really for all my customers,” he says. “Charity Storage helps remove the stress of moving unwanted items.”
To learn more about Charity Storage and the benefits the program can have on your facility, visit charitystorage.org.
About Security Public Storage
Security Public Storage (SPS) operates 51 self-storage facilities throughout California, Oregon, Nevada, Maryland, and Virginia. Since the opening of the first Security Public Storage in 1983, SPS has been a provider of the highest quality self-storage service in the industry. The SPS philosophy puts the customer first, which means keeping its customers front of mind at all times so that they have the most positive storage experience possible.
About Charity Storage
Charity Storage was conceived by Lance Watkins, who had first-hand experience with the storage industry and with the reality television show “Storage Wars.” The late Barry Hoeven, founder of Westport Properties, co-founded Charity Storage, bringing many years of self-storage and philanthropy experience to the endeavor. Today, Charity Storage is an independent 501(c)3 national self-storage industry nonprofit that is supported by many self-storage owners, operators, management companies, industry associations, organizations, and vendors. Ninety percent of all funds raised are distributed to qualifying charitable organizations (60 percent to the charity chosen by the operator/facility, 20 percent to Kure It Cancer Research, and 10 percent to the Self Storage Association Foundation [SSAF] Scholarship Program).
Charity Storage utilizes existing storage facility operations to raise funds to support charities throughout the United States. Donated and abandoned items are placed into a vacant unit and the contents are auctioned off on site or online via StorageTreasures.com or other online auction platforms. Operators online with StorageTreasures.com can opt-in via their account dashboard today and start selling charity units immediately.