By John Dunlap for the CSSA
The theme song for the TV comedy “Cheers” might just as easily be the theme song for Samantha Hofmann. And knowing everybody’s name is a top priority for Hoffman, manager of the American Self Storage facility in Palmdale. That attention to making customers feel wanted, as well as understanding the best way to promote her facility, is part of the reason why Hofmann is the California Self Storage Association’s Manager of the Month for February.
“I make it my job to know everyone of my tenants by name,” Hofmann says. “They are always amazed that I know who they are when they walk through that door. Having almost 600 tenants does make it challenging, but so worth it when I see them smile and they know that I care enough to get to know them by name.”
Hofmann also makes a point out of being well organized, understanding what the proper rental rates are for people in the Palmdale area and always having a smile on her face. When she was transferred from the Visalia American Self Storage facility to Palmdale, she realized she needed all those traits to help turn things in the right direction.
“The site itself is beautiful, it has wonderful landscaping and is one of the newest facilities in the Palmdale area,” Hofmann says. “It just needed some TLC and someone who could efficiently manage it.
“It was an A+ facility but numbers were showing otherwise,” she adds. “Helping figure out our marketing strategy was our Number One priority. The street rates that were used by the old company were astonishingly high for the demographic. We were maybe $50-$100 dollars more in street rate than our competitors. We also had really high delinquencies because these people in these neighborhoods just could not afford those rates. Lowering had to be done. Also having the customer service that the previous tenants were not getting was another thing on my list.”
Sandy Reiling, American Self Storage’s VP of Operations, has glowing praise for the work Hofmann has done.
“Samantha is a great asset to have on the American Self Storage team. She is energetic, receptive, and is always looking for ways to improve her facility. Her ability to think outside the box and her great customer service skills turned a struggling facility around in less than a year.”
Hoffman is the mother of a three-year old daughter and loves going with her husband and child to the nearby Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park. In the meantime, she’s making some magic at the American Self Storage facility and gives some credit to the CSSA for helping her stay on top of her business.
“I love being a part of the California Self Storage Association,” she says. “Their online community is a great way to get some insight from other managers and find out what is working for them at their facility…or even to help answer any questions or concerns. The CSSA also provides everyday insight as to how to better my facility even further.”
The Palmdale facility is active in the local Chamber of Commerce and the facility’s office has a table dedicated to businesses around the community (who are free to leave business cards or flyers for tenants). The facility also offers charity units that go to auctions, the proceeds of which go to local charities.
But in the end, it is Hofmann’s unending optimism and friendliness that help take the Palmdale facility to a new level.
”Always getting up and greeting anyone that comes through that office door, have your full attention on them, it makes the world of difference (with a smile of course),” she concludes. “Customer service is key in my everyday life -- having that smile and joy when talking to someone makes them remember you and feel comfortable and secure to want to store their belongings with you. Having that bond with a tenant really helps.”
And it helps that customers know that they can go to a place where everybody knows their name – well, at least Samantha Hofmann knows their name. Cheers!