1. What is your name and what is your position?
Darren Marshall, General Manager for Kennards Self Storage.
2. How/Why did you first become involved in self-storage?
In 2003 I was successful in gaining a role as an Operations Managers with Kennards and I’ve worked for the company ever since.
3. What do you think has been the biggest change to self storage since you first entered the industry?
Technology is the first thing that comes to mind, but on further reflection there has been an enormous improvement in the quality and presentation of Self Storage Facilities; a far cry from the simple shed with a door. I see the quality of new self-storage builds improve visually and with the customer in mind. A nice retail space, no longer just a simple office, and the provision of conference rooms, better finishes and brighter more inviting spaces have meant we have been able to shed the warehouse feel and make it a more pleasant experience for the customer.
4. What is your best tip for managing staff in self-storage?
Staff is a terrible word, an archaic term that implies I pay you to do a job. I think we have moved on from this concept. Our people look after our most prized possessions the customer and our facility. Treat your Team with the trust and respect they deserve. Treat them well and they will treat your customers well.
5. What is your message to members of the SSAA.
The SSAA is a wonderful resource for members to use, I once heard an individual who was from outside the industry and attended their first SSAA conference, say they were amazed at how open and honest everyone was about their business, unusual in today’s competitive environment. So ask the question and you might be pleasantly surprised with the answer.
6. What do you see as the biggest threat to, or competition for self-storage?
New Operators entering the industry for the first time without completing thorough due diligence. It’s not always as easy as it seems. They operate their facilities with no science or understanding of the industry. I would prefer they do their homework and become successful operators, the industry as a whole will also benefit.
7. What do you think are the opportunities for growth in self-storage?
I believe the general population has very little understanding of the ways and benefits that they could use Self Storage. This is our opportunity to explore.
8. If you could look into the future, what do you see for self storage?
I believe the future is bright for our Industry. As the population continues to grow and expand there will always be a place for Self Storage.
9. Describe your ideal holiday destination.
I love any travel so it’s hard to pick a favourite, I do tend to lean more towards an action holiday that involves, surfing, skiing, MT Biking or Hiking… you get the picture. But my wife says anywhere with her!
10. Finish this sentence – “Nobody likes.…
Dealing with a Big EGO.
11. What is your favourite meal?
I don’t have a favourite meal, I just love food.
12. Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Probably a Dog person, currently there are no Cats or Dogs in our Family much to the disappointment of my two children. We’re never home and I think it’s cruel to have a pet under those circumstances.
13. What ‘life advice’ would you give to a younger version of yourself?
Be grateful and don’t take anything for granted.