Friday, August 8, 2014

Life at Storage Station, 11White Road, West Milford, New Jersey

It has been almost a full year since I started here at Storage Station.  It has taken some time, but I am a lot more in tune with the daily, weekly and monthly goings on such as sales, customer service, payments, reporting and the meetings that are needed to insure that all are operating properly.  Learning how many size and type of units we have; familiarizing myself with the different size boxes and how many packaging supplies we carry.

I have also gotten to better know the people that work here.  All the managers and associates are interesting people from all walks of life.  Now I better understand why they have been here for so many years; it is very easy to be comfortable with the great people!

There isn’t a day that goes by that I am not learning something new about the self-storage industry.  At the end of the summer, people who had just bought a new home and moved into the area needed space for their items.  In the Fall, the influx of boats started.  As each person would take their boat off the lake or bring it back from the shore, the facilities’ outside parking started to get full again.  It is interesting to see the different items that can be stored at self-storage facilities.  Prior to working here, I never fully understood the many ways that people use self-storage facilities.

I am responsible for the daily schedule of the maintenance people.  Boy, are there ever lots to do before the winter kicks in.  There are fall clean-ups of the landscaping to get done; we need to check and replace any weather stripping that has faltered.  Review the current salt status to make sure we can make it through the first snow fall.  And in the past few years, that has started as early as mid-October!  Business tenants getting ready to rotate their summer items with their winter items.  Making sure that the boilers and heaters are all maintained and ready to work!

Then the winter from hell started and it started early!  The first snow fall came and the real work began.  The logistics of snow plows and snow removers can be quite a daunting task.  Phone calls at all hours of the night and day to ensure that the properties are properly taken care of and that tenants are able to reach their units unhindered.  Keeping up with the melting snow that then turned to ice and then back to melting snow was something I’ve never had to deal with before.  I learned when to remove the snow and when to salt; when to wait and what do with all the snow that was moved.  Helping tenants who couldn’t make it to the facility due to the winter vortexes that hindered their movement.

This past Winter didn’t seem like it would ever end!  Trading travel horror stories with business tenants who do work all over the State of New Jersey.  Helping new and existing tenants who had flooding and damaged roof issues.  We even had to replace part of our roof which was damaged!  Thank goodness the snow let up long enough to replace the roof without losing any working business hours!

Then Spring finally came and Mother Nature brought the world back to life!  That brings along with it other tasks that need to be addressed.  Sprucing up the outside of the facilities to make them inviting; cutting back all the unwanted brush and weeds that have been exploding due to the rain we received.  Tenants getting their RV’s ready for their long trips across this great country of ours.  Tenants coming to the facility weekly to take our their “babies”, their cars that are housed with us during the winter and then taken out to the many car shows that New Jersey is fantastic for!  It’s great to see those machines that were so lovingly taken care of shared with others.

Summer has just started and now starts the influx of people who are moving to the area or just need some extra self-storage space for their items.  Along with Summer, comes keeping the facility looking its best!  Painting, landscaping, general cleaning, ensuring that unit doors are operating properly.  Review and inventory of the packaging supplies (i.e., varying sized boxes, tape, bubble wrap), dust covers, mattress bags, chair and sofa covers, moving blankets, dollies, hand trucks, tarps and locks.

It’s a great time to meet new people and have a chance to show them how we can help them.  Recently I was asked to show a gentleman a climate controlled unit.  He seemed a little skeptical about why we suggested a climate controlled unit for the items he described to us that he would be storing.  Once he looked at the unit and realized how convenient this particular unit was, his demeanor changed and was much more relaxed during the rest of the visit and signing the documents.

I recently had the pleasure of helping with a rental for a couple that were moving back to north Jersey from Pennsylvania and weren’t sure what size self-storage unit they would need.  But then again, since renting is done on a month-to-month basis, a change of units is not an issue and can be done very easily.  We have tenants who will take two units of smaller sizes until the larger one they need is available.  We do our best to keep our tenants happy; to make the tenants feel comfortable with us helping them store their priceless items.

As I review what I have learned over the past year, it has been a pleasure to be able to help tenants in whatever way I can; with everything from watching their dog while they go into their units, to driving from one facility to another to meet with a prospective tenant to show them a unit.  I enjoy the personal contact I have with tenants and the appreciation I get for a job well done.  I hope to continue to learn the business end and to further hone my customer service abilities to handle the day-to-day life of a self-storage facility!

Come visit us at 11 White Rd West Milford NJ or give us a call at 973-846-4402 with any questions.

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Life at Storage Station, 11White Road, West Milford, New Jersey brought to you by : Storage Station Self Storage and Storage Blog

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