Archive for

How to Find, Hire, and Train an Amazing Self Storage Manager

In businesses the most important thing is the people who run the business. If you are a fortunate business owner then I would suspect you are not doing the day-to-day tasks and delegating those to others who can likely, if trained properly, do the tasks better. Doing so frees up your time for family, friends, or fun.

When I bought my first property, I needed to learn how to run the business so I could teach my manager the correct way to do things. It is always good to teach your managers how to do tasks like you would do them. When you are not around your employee will act as an extension of yourself and not as an employee. Before you buy your first business or storage facility, I would recommend reading up on the management of these properties. Even if you do not want to run them yourself and want to hand it over to a management company, you must have the experience to teach someone else to run it or this could be a loss for your company.

The key is to train your manager to think like you do. We can go into that in our next lesson but first you have to find a manager. Without someone who is able and willing to manage your property, your business will suffer. Whenever I am about to purchase a business, I always look at the current employee situation. Are there current employees capable of finishing the tasks I want them to do? Are they currently not performing up to my standards? If the answer to the second question is no then you need to ask yourself, why they are not meeting your standards. Were they not properly trained? Are they not getting the correct support from the owners or are they just lazy and do not like the field they are in?

I specialize in buying underperforming properties being poorly managed. In some cases it is the owner’s fault who is not giving the manager what he or she needs to be successful and sometimes it is purely the manager’s fault. I like to look for combinations that have both then here you find the upside. I have found tremendous upside in properties from them simply being poorly managed.

I have found a few notable items that are necessary with managers of my business. They must be hard workers. Lazy people get nowhere in life and accomplish only the bare minimum to survive. If they are not a hard worker with motivation, then they need to be replaced. Motivation is the key to a successful manager because if they are not motivated in his or her life, he or she will not be motivated at work. They must strive for something in their lives that they want and usually their work helps them get there. If they have motivation in life to become better, most likely they will have motivation to be successful at their job.

The third thing that I look for is someone who is willing to learn. In all my properties we do a large amount of teaching. In most cases 90% of what current managers were taught is wrong and the other 10% have not been taught the correct way. This is why the majority of current managers must go because they are unwilling to learn new things and are stuck in bad habits. A willingness to change and be taught, motivation in their lives, and hard work is what I look for. If you can find these three traits, I would say you have a good start. I also look for people who I simply like and could develop a relationship with because I find that people will work harder for a boss they like as opposed to working for a boss he or she does not like.

Now how do you go about finding these people to run your multi-million dollar businesses? The first and easiest way is referrals. I always know the top brokers, bankers, and city employees in each city I tend to do business with. Due diligence is the key and you should know them all well. I like to send them out an e-mail letting them know I respect their opinions as successful and knowledgeable people in the city and if they know anyone who fits the criteria to please bring those individuals to my attention. I have yet to ever have to go outside those few contacts to hire any managers. Honestly, I have had too many people who were very qualified that could have fit the bill easily. If you cannot find someone from those contacts go introduce yourself to more well respected individuals in the community and get more referrals. The chamber of commerce meetings do wonders for this stage in the hiring process.

One you get that referral and you find yourself someone who has integrity is a hard worker, motivated in life, and willing to learn new things then it is time to start them off on the right foot. I know when I walk into a job I am more comfortable when I know what I am doing. I remember umpiring for the first time and just got thrown out there. I was nervous and blew many calls. I then remember my first meeting with investors to ask them for money to invest in one of my deals. Was I nervous? Yes, a little, but I had training from someone who has been there before and I was much more comfortable and loved my job. Managers want to be trained and they will appreciate the training because they will not feel like a fish out of water on day one.

I suggest give them a short self storage book written by Tom Litton. It is a very easy read for a self storage manager and the information from his books is readily available on the internet. Every business owner’s time is valuable, but the time you take to correctly train a new employee is well worth the time you save having to constantly retrain new employees. I would start the training process a week before they start to be sure not to give them information overload too quickly. I would give them a day or two to read these books and report to you with questions, comments, and concerns.

Many storage companies and businesses use management software. The easiest way to foul up records is to fail to have the proper knowledge on how to use the products. On my storage facility I use Site Link web edition. Site link has training videos, webinars, and manuals that explain everything in detail. I give my employees a solid day to review all of Site Link’s materials so when day one comes he or she feels very confident on how to use the software. Once again you have no real involvement and require him or her to come to you with questions, comments, and concerns.

Many other training materials that are put on by inside self storage and the national self storage association will compliment your own training tactics. If you are serious with your employees, you can have them take the QSM or CSSM courses through each medium. I am qualified in both and they are a great way to get started. I recommend that you take these for your own educational purposes and then pass your knowledge along to your managers.

The final step in the training process is to do mystery shops, mystery calls, and other role playing on events that happen at a storage facility. I would spend an entire day role playing with your manager. I would do everything from doing pretend calls with customers interested in renting a unit, current customers unsure about the new management, and collection calls to delinquent tenants who are behind on rent. I also do pretend customers who walk in to rent a unit, walk-in people that make a payment, walk-in people who are behind on rent and try to negotiate, and so on. I want to be sure that the majority of the situations that could occur, my manager have seen the situation from me first. Once we are done with a single role paying situation, we always go back in our heads on the positives, negatives, and improvements to be made. We also record some of our phone calls so we can let managers listen to them themselves.

The lifeblood of your company is the people who run it. I know I do not want to run my own company on a day-to-day basis as I am out there buying more properties. However, before you before you focus on buying another property, take the time to make sure the one you just bought is being managed properly. Trying to acquire your next deal, you need to learn the business yourself. It will give you plenty of a return on the investment of your education and I promise you, whatever you invest in your managers’ education, you will be paid back tenfold. Treat your manager like you want to be treated, be honest with them, deliver realistic expectations, and praise them in public and criticize them in private. Respect your managers and do your best to care for them as people, not just an employee and he or she will do their best to treat your business like it is his or her own. I know everyone cannot have a personal relationship with his or her employees but I care for the people who work for me and I am successful because of him or her. I want to extend a special thank you to my friends and managers Ron Harris, Amber Rowe, Natasha Redding, Ruben Rodriguez, Teri Williams, Linda Davis, Theresa Voyles and many more. They have definitely made my life happier than ever.

The Education and Roles of an Electrical Contractor

Becoming an electrical contractor takes years of experience alongside an experienced electrician as well as some education. As a professional, the electrician fulfills many responsibilities. He installs new systems, maintains and repairs individual problems, and occasionally replaces wires and appliances when they malfunction.

Educational Requirements for the Qualified Electrician

An electrical contractor doesn’t require a college education, but it does require the completion on a high school diploma along with some education from a technical school or community college. You’ll also need to spend a good amount of training time with an experienced electrician.

Apprenticeship Requirements for the Qualified Electrician

The majority of an electrician’s training is obtained on the field with an experienced and qualified electrician who has already been successful in his own business. Aspiring electricians can join apprenticeships through local electricians’ unions or brotherhood, or they can contact an independent electrician about a possible internship. The Bureau of Labor Statistics averages that the average electrical contractor obtains about 2,000 hours of practical on-site training along with 144 hours of classroom study.

Licensing Requirements for the Qualified Electrician

Once education and apprenticeship requirements have been completed, the student can work on becoming a licensed professional. The electrician will begin gaining even more experience as he begins to work in both industrial and commercial settings. Before he can obtain a license, he must also have liability insurance that covers a certain amount mandated by the state in which he plans to work.

Possible Business Education

If the electrical contractor wishes to begin his own business in the industry, he will probably want to gain some business education. Courses or a degree in business management will be helpful. He may also choose to take some construction management courses which will enable him to become an overseeing contractor for some jobs.

The Responsibilities of an Electrical Contractor

An electrician is a necessary part of any construction crew. Whether a new home is being built or a skyscraper office building, electrical wires, outlets, lighting and other appliances will need to be installed. During the building phase, the electrician is the one to install the wiring, lighting and outlets based on the blueprint he is provided. He’ll also label the breaker box so the building owner knows part of the building each breaker affects. Once everything is installed, he’ll test the wiring to be sure it’s all working smoothly and safely.

The electrician will also be on call for any problems that may develop in the electrical systems in a house or place of business. There are many possible problems that can occur. The electrician will communicate with the homeowner or business manager to figure out what’s going on, then diagnose and solve the problem as soon as possible.

Occasionally, a house will be remodeled or repaired after fire or water damage and an electrician will be needed to do some rewiring throughout the house. During remodeling projects, extra outlets may be added or new lighting fixtures. Whether new work needs to be done, old work needs to be redone, or current work needs to be repaired, the electrician plays an important role.

Pursuing an Education and Career in Game Art and Design

The video game industry has a large global market, which creates numerous career opportunities. The work completed to develop and design a game takes numerous professionals focusing on the aspects that make game play possible. To enter this field students will need to obtain certain skills that can only be obtained through higher education. Pursuing an education and career in game art and design can easily be done by first researching the available options.

The optional programs that students can enter include several concentration areas and degree levels. The primary options that can be completed inside vocational colleges are at the certificate and associate’s degree level. Within training students can work through programs that focus on game art and design such as game software development and video game design. Each area although highly interconnected explores a wide range of topics and skills associated with the industry to prepare students for careers. Educational programs train students to understand the techniques used to implement the base codes and the graphic design features utilized to design games. Students should consider all educational options to ensure the programs completed help them reach their career goals. Possible career options include becoming:

  • Level Designers
  • Video Game Programmers
  • Game Interface Designers

Students can enter jobs that pertain more to the programming side of the industry or focus on obtaining positions related to the creative side of the field. Both reward students with lucrative careers in this continually growing field. Programs develop the knowledge of all the key areas that need to be mastered. Students that start their educational training in vocational colleges will graduate with the knowledge to understand the latest techniques and technologies.

Video game and development programs provide entry-level knowledge in programming, software engineering, and multimedia design. Students gain the ability to develop games using multiple computer environments. This often includes using digital media and different desktop software. Programs are concentrated on making students confident when using digital graphics and design principles. To establish career skills and confidence, programs incorporate numerous courses dedicated to the technical side of the field. Students work through courses that cover interactive multimedia, web animation, C++ programming, and 3D modeling. The concepts of game development are explored when students learn about the theories of game play, artist collaboration, and intricate storytelling. Students that step into programming careers will write the codes that make game play possible. The work completed can include storyline maps and character composites.

The more creative aspects of the industry are explored and learned inside video game design programs. Students receive practical training that provides them in depth education in digital animation, scriptwriting, and character development. The technologies of the field are used to prepare students for careers. Animation software packages and scripting languages are major areas studied within a program. Computer skills are essential in this industry and students will explore the different components of the field through specific courses. Topics may include level design, photo editing, and game texture mapping.

Further training in game art and design can be pursued at the bachelor’s and master’s degree level. Training is crucial to professional success so students should begin learning about how to create video games by enrolling in accredited college programs. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (http://nasad.arts-accredit.org/) and other agencies, are approved to qualify game art and design schools and colleges that offer a quality education for full accreditation.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.