Record Keeping in your Self Storage Facility
Keeping current and accurate records at your self storage facility is the backbone to successful operation. However, it's often easier said than done especially if you're still doing it by hand! Below we have some tips on the types of records you should keep as well as methods to do so.
This one is obvious, but we're listing it here anyway. It's crucial that you have up-to-date copies of all leases at your facility. Ideally, these should be digitized as well if you're still having each customer sign a paper copy. We also highly suggest that your facility use some cloud storage service such as google drives, drop box, etc. to back up all of your important records as well as storing copies of your leases. Many of these cloud storage services are available for an extremely low monthly rate making the security they provide a no-brainer.
Your rent roll is the backbone of all of the records that you should be keeping at your facility and should provide basically all the information you need to get a snapshot of your facility at any time. Your rent roll should include the following information, but can include more if you so choose. This is typically created in a spreadsheet if you're not using a management software that will create on for you: Unit Number, Tenant Name, Size of Unit, Occupied/Vacant, Current on payments or delinquent, Lease Start Date, Lease End Date, Current Rental Rate. You can also include optional fields such as Price per Sqft, Difference between current rental rate and "street rate," and when the Rental Rate was last increased.
If you're considering selling your self storage property, every buyer will want to see your current rent roll, but its most important function is helping you run your business. Make sure it contains the fields you need in order to get a good idea of what's truly going on at your facility from the rental side.
Every facility should create a site map if you don't already have one. A sitemap is basically an overhead view of your facility that lays out the buildings at your self storage facility and the unit sizes. This is often a part of the "set up" when you use a management software, but if you're still managing by hand, you'll need to have a site map.
A vacancy report gives you a status on each unit at your self storage facility. This will allow you to see which units are vacant and which are occupied. In addition to showing the vacant units, it should also show which units are ready to be rented, which units need to be cleaned out, which units need to be checked, etc.
A delinquency report will often be a product of the Rent Roll, but is vitally important nonetheless. This report will show you not only which customers are late, but also how late they are (i.e. 1-30 days, 30-60 days, 60-90 days, 90+ days). This will help you track the notices that you need to send out to customers and also track auction dates, etc. If you're interested in selling your self storage facility, this is one report that prospective buyers will be very interested in as it gives them a good idea of how well your self storage property is functioning.
Do you have a self storage property that you're considering selling? We'd love to discuss it with you! Give us a call today at 717-687-1883 or contact us here.