Some days you just wake up on the wrong side of the bed. You hit snooze, stub your toe on the way to the shower, accidentally hit ‘reply all’ to an email, and feel mentally stuck while trying to get started on your projects. Other days, you’re on fire. Everything clicks, you’re ahead of the clock, productivity soars, and you feel awake and energized. If you’re having more of the former than the latter, maybe it’s time to switch to the other side of the bed.
An easy way to make your mornings consistently better is with routines. By creating morning habits, you’ll be able to put your day on autopilot, avoid that draining “mentally stuck” feeling, and get more things done. If you’re looking to supercharge your a.m. self to help your self storage business run like a dream, you’re in the right place. Check out these pre-lunch hacks and routines to make your mornings brilliant:
First things first, check your business’s pulse. Well, maybe brush your teeth first. But then, it’s time to brew something strong and log in. Fire up your facility management software dashboard from your phone or home office to see who has called or checked out your business online, which tenants have accessed their unit overnight, what your managers are working on, who’s moving in today, and more. Create a routine around looking at day-to-day overviews for your business so that you’re always on top of business performance and you never miss important rate changes and lead follow-up. With the right technology mix, you can listen to the latest sales calls, monitor gate access, manage electronically signed leases, and even move new tenants in right from your home office over your morning coffee.
Being your own boss means that your responsible for motivating yourself. With the craziness of daily family life, business management, and property maintenance, sometimes the big picture can fall by the wayside. Remember why you’re doing this. Maybe your ultimate goal is to become financially independent and retire early, or you’re hoping to grow the family business and leave a legacy for your children. Whatever your reasons for running a self storage business may be, the morning is the perfect time to reflect and get inspired. Listen to an episode of your favorite investing podcast while checking emails, read a motivational article (like this one from Forbes!), or look at your vision board and start knocking things off your to-do list.
Great self storage owners don’t leave their managers hanging. If you want to be a great boss and build a team of self-reliant, confident leaders, start by being a great communicator. You can help your facility managers solve problems with difficult tenants and learn to manage the business by simply answering emails and phone calls in a timely manner. The morning is the perfect time to set up weekly check-ins or one on one time with your property managers. Create routines around communication with your managers and you’ll always be in the know about what’s going on at your properties.
Online reviews are your small business’s lifeblood. Establish a daily routine to get online and see if any new reviews came in for your business across major sources like Google, Bing, Yelp, and Facebook. In a perfect world, you’d only get amazing five-star reviews from satisfied customers, but it’s always smart to be prepared for a (hopefully) rare negative review. Respond to unsatisfied customers in a timely manner without getting defensive, and do thorough follow up to find out what went wrong, how your business can improve, and how you can prevent the next tenant from having a negative experience.
Your business’s data tells the story behind all of the hard work you’re doing to manage your online presence, boost leads, increase economic occupancy, and become a positive presence in your community. Keep your business afloat and thriving by keeping a close eye on important business metrics and analyzing your facility’s revenue via your software’s business intelligence tools. It’s easy to set up daily, weekly, or monthly reports to automatically be delivered to your inbox. Start your morning off right by digging into your self storage business data and finding opportunities to maximize efficiency and grow your business.
Successful investors from Mark Cuban to Bill Gates swear by the “eat the frog” technique. If you’ve got a lot on your plate for the day, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Willpower is a skill just like any other that takes practice to develop. Kill your procrastination - start your day by tackling the big nasty project first. After that, everything else will seem easy and manageable. Dive into your work headfirst and you’ll see tons of benefits, from increased productivity to feeling more relaxed at the end of the day.
Tap the Stocks app on your phone or pull up Google Finance to see what’s happening in the market today. While it’s not healthy to obsess over every twist and turn the stock market makes, it’s good practice to keep a pulse on the economy when you’re investing - whether you’re putting money into real estate, stocks, or both. Add your favorite publicly traded self storage REITs to your watchlist to get a broad indicator of what’s happening in the self storage market nationwide, or simply watch the S&P 500 to tap into the trend of consumer spending, investing, and business economics nationwide.
Whether you’re a night owl by nature (like me), or you were born to rise with the sun, the best way to hit the ground running and get after your day is to rise early. Little things like your morning routine, sleep habits, and alarm clock can have a huge impact on your productivity. So get up and at it and chart your day. Slowly and surely, you can train your body to become an early riser. You might grow to love the zen of early mornings, find time for a new workout routine, or at the very least, be able to get started on your daily to-do list earlier.
What’s the point of being your own boss if you can’t live a little? Enjoy the freedom of being a business owner by taking a little time to do the things you enjoy most in life. If your day is jam-packed, just start small. Take a few minutes to throw the ball for your dog, make yourself a home-cooked breakfast, or walk your kids to school. Eventually, you can work up to incorporating more of what you love into your day, like fishing, golfing, cooking, personal development, or training for a marathon. Take a break from your phone and enjoy a long cup of coffee, go for a jog around your neighborhood, or mentor a new-to-the-industry real estate investor.
Get out of the office and jump in the car to do a quick drive through of your properties. If you manage multiple facilities, you may not be able to hit all of them. You may not even be in the same time zone! However, if it’s possible to get out of the office and swing by one of your storage facilities, take the opportunity. Say hello to renters, check on the integrity of buildings and gates, and view your property like a new renter would. How’s your facility’s curb appeal? Would you rent from you? Don’t be afraid to step back into the shoes of a tenant or future tenant who is driving by - it just might help you identify the most important property improvements you need to make to really wow your renters.
Thanks for reading! If you liked this blog post, you may also like: 15 metrics every storage owner should be tracking, How to boost your revenue with moving truck rentals, and How to choose the right self storage contractor for your new build.