This post is written by Nikola Asambelevski
Most people pass by dozens of self storage facilities daily without noticing them. You might need to pay more attention to self-storage facilities because the self-storage industry is booming. Self-storage is a multi-faceted industry that features job opportunities from a wide array of different disciplines. Jobs at a self-storage company include facility managers, sales representatives, maintenance technicians, software developers, marketing specialists, and many more. We will explore the recent trends in the self-storage industry, the career opportunities available in this exciting field, and how you can start your career in self-storage.
Self-storage industry trends
Did you know that there are approximately 59,500 self-storage facilities across the globe? The United States alone boasts a jaw-dropping 2.3 billion square feet of rentable storage space, which is more than triple the size of Manhattan Island! Can you imagine that?
Meanwhile, our neighbours up north in Canada are catching up with the self-storage wave, with development surging, especially in the bustling Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Vancouver. Ontario’s self-storage industry has been on a roll, experiencing an impressive average annual growth rate of 7.2% over the past five years, according to the Canadian Self-Storage Association.
But what’s fueling this growth, you ask? Well, a couple of factors come into play. First, the ever-increasing population density in urban areas has created a pressing need for storage solutions. As more people flock to cities, the demand for storage space only continues to rise. Second, the explosion of e-commerce has businesses scrambling for storage space to keep up with their growing inventory. So, the self-storage industry is here to stay, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down!
Advancements in the self-storage industry
The self-storage industry in Ontario and across Canada has evolved over the years with the introduction of new technologies and services. For example, some self-storage facilities now offer climate-controlled units, which can help protect sensitive items from damage caused by temperature and humidity changes. Many self-storage facilities also offer online reservations and payments, making it easier for customers to rent and pay for their units.
As the self-storage industry evolves to incorporate more and more technology into its facilities, new job opportunities are created to handle these changes. Self-storage facilities hire software developers to configure their websites to provide a better customer experience. Technical advisors and engineers are brought in to help self-storage facilities upgrade their systems to create a more secure storage environment for their tenants. The self-storage industry is quickly becoming one of the most popular sectors for employees with a tech background.
What does a day look like working in the self-storage industry?
One of the most surprising things people realize when they start working in the self-storage industry is how busy it can get. All types of people going through life-changing experiences need storage. Death, divorce, and moving are some of the most popular reasons why people come in to visit a self-storage facility and inquire about sizes, prices, climate-controlled units, drive-up storage units, and even vehicle parking. Working in a self-storage facility, you will interact with a wide variety of people from all walks of life. Working in a client-facing position at a self-storage company, like a leasing administrator or customer service representative, requires a great deal of patience, empathy, and advanced communication skills.
Working at a self-storage facility also requires knowing the laws that apply to the storage facility, including renters’ rights and the laws about delinquent units. Some laws protect self-storage customers and give facility operators the right to enforce a lien and hold a public auction of outstanding units. Storage companies will do everything in their power to ensure that storage auctions do not happen at their facilities. However, auctions are a natural part of the self-storage industry. To keep units available, they must happen from time to time. It is never fun when a facility manager has to cut the lock of a unit that has become delinquent.
The types of jobs available in the self-storage industry
There is a common misconception that the kinds of career opportunities available in the self-storage industry are limited to general labour jobs- this could not be further from the truth. Self-storage jobs attract candidates from all kinds of different disciplines. Here are some of the most popular job positions in the self-storage industry
- Facility Managers- Facility managers are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the storage facility, which includes managing staff, maintaining the facility, and ensuring customer satisfaction. Facility managers also handle customer inquiries and concerns, set rental rates, and manage the marketing of the facility.
- Customer Service Representative- Customer service representatives provide excellent customer service, handle customer inquiries and concerns, and process rentals and payments. Customer service representatives must have excellent communication and problem-solving skills and be able to work in a fast-paced environment.
- Maintenance Technician- Maintenance technicians are responsible for maintaining the facility and performing necessary repairs. Maintenance technicians must know plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems and be able to troubleshoot problems and make repairs. As self-storage facilities incorporate more and more advanced technologies into their designs, the role of maintenance technicians has become crucial.
- Marketing Specialist- Marketing specialists are responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies to promote the storage facility. Marketing specialists must have excellent communication and marketing skills and the ability to work in a team environment.
- Security Officer- Security officers ensure the storage facility’s and its customers’ safety and security. Security officers must know security procedures and protocols and the ability to handle emergencies.
The self-storage industry offers numerous career opportunities for individuals with different skill sets and backgrounds. Whether you’re interested in customer service, sales, marketing, or maintenance, the self-storage industry has something for everyone. As the industry continues to grow and expand across Canada, there will be more and more job openings in this field.