Top Tips from Georgia’s Self-Storage Manager of the Year
Donna Johnson had no prior self-storage experience when she joined Boardwalk Storage in 2019. But with a desire to learn and a willingness to take on new challenges, Johnson took to the industry immediately.
Johnson would often go above and beyond the call of duty, meeting customers on weekends as late as 10 p.m., and fielding calls 24/7. Last October, Johnson’s hard work as property manager at Boardwalk’s Loganville location paid off when she was recognized as Manager of the Year for 2021 by the Georgia Self-Storage Association.
Storable recently caught up with a very busy Johnson to learn her tips for fellow managers looking to make an impact in 2022.
What do you do when business is slow?
“This is a good time to put in place a good marketing strategy,” Johnson said.
Johnson suggests reaching out to assisted living facilities, subdivisions, local schools and daycare centers in the area.
“These are great resources for storage and people are moving or relocating everyday,” Johnson said.
What is an effective way to motivate employees?
Johnson said Boardwalk has a huge support team. The company has an awards program in place that offers little rewards for employees that get the most reviews, POS sales, U Haul rentals and reservations, and so on.
“Some of us are very competitive,” Johnson said.
What is one overlooked mistake or bad business practice that you seek to eliminate?
“Communication is key always. Lack of or bad communication can be detrimental to daily operations,” Johnson said.
What types of tools or technologies do you find to be effective?
Johnson emphasizes the need to train your staff to use data to make decisions.
“We provide employees a secure way to access our daily operation forms or guidelines that help us to run our properties efficiently. This may include reports, schedules and a way to communicate with other teammates,” Johnson said.
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