Here at StaxUP Storage, we know our success is due to our wonderful team. The care they give our renters is unparalleled and we want to highlight their milestones along the way. Below is an interview with team member Tony Allen, who is celebrating his anniversary with StaxUP Storage.
Tony is the Professional Self Storage Manager at StaxUP Storage in Menifee, California.
Colby: Let me confirm this is your second consecutive year being a full time employee, how long have you worked for the company in general?
Tony: Let’s see, so in general I started in July of 2001.
Colby: Okay and you said you were working at the sheriff’s office at one time?
Tony: Yeah, Don let me go and have some fun for a little while and then come back.
Colby: Ha-ha Gotcha.
Tony: It was definitely a good learning experience and I am glad I got the chance to do it and that’s all because Don let it happen.
Colby: Cool, so you are back at doing self storage full time. Can you tell me a little bit about what drew you to self storage?
Tony: Yeah, Jennifer and I started in the industry in high school.
Colby: Oh yeah, so you’ve been at it a while now.
Tony: Yep, we both started part time in high school on the weekends at two different self storage companies back in 1994. When we graduated high school we both went to college but continued to work in self storage. When my second child was born we moved out to Menifee and we have been here ever since July of 2001.
Colby: Gotcha, and you guys run that location as a couple now right?
Tony: Yeah, we were district managers and now we are just managers.
“I consider myself very fortunate for having a chance to work with Tony for the past six months. I value the knowledge and insight Tony has. I don’t know how I can show enough appreciation, to a team member who has been supported, hard worker and who has given me so much motivation. Thanks, Tony for being such an inspiration.”
Monique Quintana-Padilla, StaxUP Storage District Manager
Colby: What would you tell someone who was applying to work in self storage for the very first time? What have you learned over the years at the job?
Tony: I’ve learned that if you are always standing with a smile when a customer walks in they are going to rent a unit.
Colby: Okay, just appearing at the ready and friendly and ready to go?
Tony: Yeah if you’re standing with a nice smile and you welcome them when they walk in. That first impression of you standing and ready to help them is really important.
Colby: I think that is really good advice. I bet that works in more than just the storage industry too.
Tony: Oh, I am sure it would work anywhere you go.
Colby: Do you have any stories that stand out in your mind of maybe a positive experience or something interesting that might have happened in all the time you’ve been working there?
Tony: Yeah, I got a good one. It was in 2003 and we had someone break in and the alarm was going off at about 3 o’clock in the morning. So, I went out there and the door was kind of cracked and I heard noise in there, so I shut it and locked it. Sure, enough there was someone inside who had broken in.
Colby: Oh, so you locked him in?
Tony: Right! I locked him in there. So, I called the sheriff’s office and waited, and it actually turned into a training exercise at the sheriff’s office. I think that’s the time I was like, this is pretty cool I might want to become a sheriff.
Colby: Oh, so that’s how they gotcha?
Tony: Well, I was involved. I had my firearm, and I asked the deputy, “Should I put this away?” He said, “No please just watch my back until backup arrives.” Like I said it became a training exercise because we had about five sergeants and then about ten, and they now train how to physically remove someone from a storage unit as safely as possible. So, yeah that was a fun time.
Colby: Yeah, that is pretty wild actually.
Tony: Yeah it is a fun story.
“Tony, is a dedicated, hard working, loyal, and caring human. He is team member that never has problems, just solutions. He is creative with his solutions, cares about this customers, fellow team members, and SPMI. But Tony is best described as a friend and a husband who loves his wife Jenn and his two amazing sons Forest & Ethan.”
Don Clauson, Strat Property Management CEO
Colby: So, let’s step away from the storage world just a moment here. Tell me a little about you, what are some of your hobbies, what keeps you busy when you aren’t working?
Tony: Well, we own a 15-acre ranch. When I am not working here I am usually working there. I have gardens and trees, but I don’t have any animals. I have a lot of things growing and I tend to that. I also own a weed abatement, so I will sometimes be doing that on the weekend.
Colby: Cool, so what are some of the things you grow out there at the ranch?
Tony: I have apple orchards, and peaches as well. I have basic vegetable garden like lettuce and tomatoes.
Colby: It always tastes a little better when you grow it fresh instead of getting it at the store.
Tony: If we aren’t doing that we go to Glamis and go to the dunes.
Colby: Oh, that sounds like fun. So, you’re at Menifee now. Is there anything interesting going on around town right now that has people talking?
Tony: The Scott Road expansion. A lot of people are waiting for that chaos to happen. People will be passing us a lot more than they were.
Colby: I know that you are growing a lot of good food down there at the ranch, but can you give me any restaurant recommendations? Any good local spots around the facility you recommend checking out?
Tony: There is a place called Giovanni’s, it’s a really good Italian pasta, pizza, and all that.
Colby: Last question, is there anybody that you would like to give a shout out to that has helped you along in the time you’ve been there?
Tony: Well, you know that Don has been my inspiration and my life coach I would say. He has been a great mentor.