Hiring and Managing Managers

Published in SSA Globe, May 2009 – Quotes by John Gilliland

Some quotes from John:

To start with, what traits do companies look for in hiring new managers?

“We try to find managers with great personalities and sales experience,” says Gilliland. “It’s not difficult to teach them about the industry or what our procedures are, but it can be difficult to teach someone how to sell and communicate well with customers.”

Gilliland thinks his managers can use their own creativity and talents, but within a structure.

“Most software packages offer some flexibility in the functions store managers can use,” Gilliland says. “For instance, you should be able to limit the number of late fees waived for a customer in a year, remove the ability to move a tenant in at a rate lower than the street rate or limit the types and amount of promotions used. We try to give our managers enough room to do what they need to do to close a sale, but measure and track what they are doing every day. That helps us manage by exception. If we find a property with too many waived fees, we can coach that manager on the topic and adjust the settings in the system for that site to help avoid that from happening going forward. We track key statistics daily, and have monthly financial audits and comprehensive quarterly audits done at all the stores we manage.”

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