This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Trying to pitch storage as a sexy career might appear to be a mammoth task. In fact, it's unlikely many would even place the words 'storage' and 'career' in the same sentence, but somehow, the team at Extra Space Storage has managed to do it. They've revolutionized the storage industry, and in the process, made the company one of the best to work for.
The career potential and opportunities are limitless, and they've attracted the attention of, and built relationships with major corporate players like Google and Prudential.
How did they do it? One word, technology!
"Seventy-five percent of our customers will make a purchasing decision within 48 hours of their first search for the self storage, so we try to be in front of that customer with the right price, the right promotion, and at the right time," VP of Human Resources Clint Halverson said. "And so, technology for us, is a huge push and really drives our business."
Extra Space Storage is very active on search engine optimization, Pay Per Click, and are constantly working on creating the right algorithms to help them find the customers they want, and to understand the ones coming to them.
"This marketing is all done by our team located here in Salt Lake City," VP of 3rd Party Management Noah Springer said. "We can take our customers' data and utilize it to make sure we're marketing to the right customers at the right time."
This means modifying pricing, discounts and specials based on demographics.
"So if you are a 40-year old woman in San Francisco, you're potentially going to get a different look and feel on our website from, let's say a 55-year old man in Minnesota," Springer said.
Extra Space's big data environment has won favor with Google, where they have a seat on the tech giant's customer advisory board. Google also allows Extra Space to beta test their technologies, an opportunity not given to several other major online retailers.
Rolling out the latest technology and recruiting math geniuses to develop complex algorithms may seem like overkill for what, on the surface, appears to be 'just another storage company', but these efforts have given Extra Space a competitive advantage and placed them ahead of the pack.
Since opening doors in 1997 with just 12 properties, the company went public in 2004 with 136 properties and have grown since then to just under 1,100 retail locations across 35 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, serving over 600,000 customers.
Of the approximately 125 publically traded real estate companies in the United States, Extra Space is among the top three performing real estate stocks when you consider such factors as stock price appreciation and dividend returns over the past 10 years.
This level of growth, coupled with the technological innovations that take place, make it an exciting and dynamic place to work. Add to that a culture that values work-life balance, integrity, teamwork and offers employees a competitive health and wellness package, and it's easy to see why Extra Space Storage won Utah's Top Work Places Award 2014.
"What we've done is taken a very basic, and potentially boring product – storage, and transformed it from a sleepy business to a very high tech place in the real estate industry," Springer said. "And the way we have done that, through a culture of innovation and by challenging our employees, keeps them interested," he said. "And they have lots of fun doing it."
With 2,600 employees worldwide, Extra Space wants to increase their Salt Lake City staff complement – currently 300. They're looking for new talent to join their technology, marketing, accounting, legal, finance, HR and talent acquisition departments.
But academic qualifications aren't enough. Individuals invited to join the team should also embrace the company's five core values: integrity, excellence, innovation, team players and last, but most certainly not least, the thing you can't train - passion.
"You've got to have that fire in the belly, and that drive for your career," Halverson said. "That's really what we're looking for when we seek out new team members, people who constantly and passionately strive to be their very best."
If you are that person, an employment opportunity could await you on Extra Space Storage's dynamic team. To find out more, please visit their careers page at: http://www.extraspace.com/careers/.