The audit process depends on what type of audit you choose. I offer two types of self storage audits:
- Facility audit
- Operational audit
Audits are best done when management doesn’t know ahead of time. I coordinate with the owner to pick the best day to perform an audit before going onsite, to the facility. Here is a quick summary of each type of audit. A detailed overview can be found here.
When I perform a facility audit, I am looking for certain key things:
- I check daily deposits from your storage program to make sure all the money was deposited into your bank account.
- I look at each individual self storage unit to make sure every unit matches the self storage system. Here are a few things that I check for:
- Every unit that should be rented has a lock
- Every unit that should be vacant has a company lock
- Every unit that should be overlocked has an overlock
- Every unit that should not be overlocked only has a tenant lock
- Every unit that is in auction has an overlock and unbroken company seal
- I look at the rent roll to see if there is any variance between what tenants should be paying each month and what they are actually paying each month.
I recommend that facilities audits be performed quarterly.
An operational audit is a 360-degree view of your company, starting with your goals, areas of concerns, and what you want to accomplish. Each assessment is customized to ensure that you are getting the best value and results. Operational audits are best performed annually. Below is some of what you get with an operational audit.
- I will give you feedback on the appearance of your facility, your management, and the move-in process. It is impossible for your team or yourself to view you facility with fresh eyes, but I can show you have a new customers sees your facility—their impressions when they call the facility, visit the website, and move in—to show you how your facility and staff is represented.
- A facility audit is performed to make sure that all money went to the bank and all units are rented correctly.
- I will check the following items:
- Inventory – Does it match your storage software?
- Petty cash – Is the money in the drawer accurate?
- Sample of leases—
- Is more than one tenant listed?
- Do signatures match the name on lease?
- Do lease dates match the computer?
- Do you have a copy of the tenant’s ID?
- Is the tenant information sheet filled out properly?
- Change of address forms—Do all address changes have proper documentation?
- Credits and discounts issues—Are all credits and discounts properly authorized?
- Log on history—Are employees logging in when they arrive in the office? Are the logging out at night? Is anyone logging on in the middle of the night?
- Exceptions reports—Are all exceptions properly authorized?
- Visual inspection of the facility—gutters, building, concrete, overall appearance, landscaping, keypads, signage, hallways, lights, cleanliness, doors, etc.
- Visually inspection are around the facility—concrete, trash, dumpster, fire extinguishers, restrooms, office cleanliness.
- Asses your employees performance—
- Phone skills
- Mystery shop for in-person skills
- Move-in process
- Rental truck—Check licenses expiration, cleanliness, tires, maintenance logs
- Reserved units—How long have they been reserved?
- Damaged units—How long have they been damaged?
- Operational reports—
- Management summary
- Occupied statistics
- Rent variance
- Complimentary units
- Unrentable units
- Vacation spaces
- Exceptions report
- Map of facility
Add on an operation assessment
Both types of audits come with a report of findings, as well as recommendations for improvements, and you can add on an operational assessment. My assessments are designed to see how your facility stacks up against your competitors’ and identify areas of improvement. I factor in website appearance, search rankings, competitor rates, competitor appearance, your rental rates, employee sales skills, ease of renting a unit, ease of finding your facility, and signage at location. I give you a roadmap to the most effective improvements that will bump your facility up to the premier self storage facility in your area.
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