A major concern for self storage managers is personal safety. Many times the manager is working alone in working in the office, preforming maintenance, and responding to customer problems. Some personal safety issues should include:
- On the first meeting of a new tenant, have them meet you at the main office. Get as much personal information as possible. A copy of the driver’s license is a good start not only for safety, but also for the client database.
- If you have a strange feeling about the tenant, don’t show units by yourself. Ask a co-worker to go with you.
- Always be aware of who is on the property and what they are driving. After a while, you will get to know the tenants well and will be better prepared to recognize if something is wrong.
- As you are showing the units, always have the tenant lead you; this allows the property to present itself and keeps the tenant where you can see them. Make sure they sign-in at the office and if the office does not have the information on the tenant, get it!
- Keep your keys and cell phone close and easy to access. If need be, keys can be effective weapon of surprise. If you have a handbag, keep it with you at all times or locked in the trunk of your car. Know the property, not only do you look more professional, but safer; your tenants don’t know the property as well as you do.
- Take a few self defense classes, as a few minutes head start out of the property means the difference in a safe escape and being trapped. Take the first chance for escape and don’t try to talk your way out; keep your advantage. The more time you spend in a dangerous situation means a diminished chance of a safe exit.
- Let the tenant see that you have contacted someone else and that they know who you are with. It is also a good idea to have a secret code for trouble such as “Pick up dog food” when you don’t have a dog. It is also a good idea to set your phone to vibrate as your client will not know if you are calling or if you are receiving a phone call.
- Make sure your someone has your schedule for the day and that you check in regularly. If you are showing units, make sure you have a registry book for them to sign in. See if you can also include the client’s car description. Tell the client it is just in case they get a parking ticket and you want to document the reason for parking there or some other reason.
Many of these points may already in practice for the profession. Look to these procedures as also a safety concern. These safety tips should become second nature with little thought to be truly effective. Being an agent means sometimes you will work alone. With today’s cell phones and e-mail capabilities and some careful thought, you will be safer and will be in contact with help quicker.