For Immediate Release
P.O. Box U
Columbia,, MO, 65203
The PhoneSmart Call Center and Off-Site Sales Force announces its tenth anniversary.
PhoneSmart's first employee, Director Tron Jordheim, arrived for his first day of work on December 1, 2000. Jordheim spent the first week learning about the self storage industry by observing and helping out at the Storage-Mart location on Rangeline Rd in Columbia, MO. On December 7th, PhoneSmart took its first phone calls for the existing 12 store StorageMart portfolio. By December 15th, PhoneSmart had hired current call center manager Dana Shields to work a day a week so Jordheim could have a day off.
PhoneSmart was founded as a brainstorm by the StorageMart executive team. They were planning on building StorageMart from a 12 store portfolio to a much larger portfolio. They had other friends in the business that had similar goals. It was clear that a call center would boost store revenue and asset value. With a commitment from two other operators to sign on as clients, StorageMart started the subsidiary based on the technology platform build-out developed by StorageMart's Chief Technical Officer, Monte Ellis.
PhoneSmart's original purpose was to capture phone calls missed by self storage and other rental properties' site staff and turn them into rentals by creating reservations, setting appointments and scheduling site tours. By February of 2001, PhoneSmart had not only begun taking on new clients from various other storage ownership groups, but also clients in the multi-family apartment field and the commercial real estate sector. The same goals and protocols put in place to serve as the sales back-up for self storage businesses applied beautifully to other real estate rental projects, too.
PhoneSmart now has served over 1,000 self storage, apartment and commercial real estate projects across North and Central America with call center and training services provided in English and Spanish. PhoneSmart has helped its clients create additional revenues estimated to be over 450 million dollars.
PhoneSmart's guiding principals were and still are to provide great service to its internal and external customers while making money hand over fist for its clients and its stakeholders. Although the recent economic challenges have caused margins to become razor thin for service providers, PhoneSmart's clients continue to experience returns on investment in the magnitude of seven to ten times revenue created to service fees paid. In order to accomplish this, PhoneSmart created and continues to develop a corporate culture based on great selling and customer service skills.
PhoneSmart is not an answering service with a price list; nor is it in business to take names and phone numbers. PhoneSmart sales reps are tasked with helping callers talk themselves into renting with the storage facilities or apartment communities they called. It has never been enough to just be friendly and helpful. PhoneSmart sales reps must be friendly and helpful while taking callers off the market by creating confirmed reservations, appointments and site tours. When others answering the phones for rental properties give up when a caller expresses some hesitation or reluctance to make a commitment, PhoneSmart sales reps go to work talking through the caller's needs and situation in order to help people realize the best course of action is to make a reservation or set an appointment with the location they are already expressing some interest in with their phone call.
PhoneSmart spends enormous amounts of time, energy, focus and resources in training, monitoring, coaching and retraining its sales reps. PhoneSmart has already re-invented and re-tooled its sales processes and protocols four times in its ten years in order to account for changing consumer behavior, developments in the real estate rental markets, and the challenges posed by ups and downs in the economies of various micro and macro economies in North and Central America.
PhoneSmart, as a sales and marketing organization, has experimented with, adopted, perfected, and even abandoned many tools and practices along the way. PhoneSmart was an early adopter of call recording, ad tracking, search engine marketing, chat support, e-learning and distance learning, email marketing, web based management systems, VOIP communications, mobile advertising and marketing, text campaigns, automated call services, event-based promotions, social media marketing, speech recognition systems and other interesting technologies and processes.
PhoneSmart continues to take all of its calls for apartment communities and self storage facilities in Columbia, MO, the seat of the main campus of the University of Missouri. PhoneSmart's director Tron Jordheim has become a leading figure in the self storage industry, sharing his insights and experiences as a presenter for conferences and seminars. More information about PhoneSmart can be found at http://www.phone-smart.info/.