When it comes to getting things done, there isn’t much that Becky English can’t do.
English is the Senior Transitions Manager at Extra Space Storage and plays an integral role in the acquisition of new self storage properties for the company, facilitating the entire process from onboarding to offboarding facilities—and everything between.
Her need for organization and her dedication to accomplish the things she sets out to achieve are qualities that have served her well, both in her career and her personal endeavors. “I don’t like things out of control,” English explained. “I like to take control and know what’s going to happen.”
In fact, taking control is exactly how English found her way into her current position.
Taking Control & Figuring It Out
English has been with Extra Space Storage for eight years. Though she got her start with the company doing recruiting work, she’s been developing and managing the Transitions department for the last six years. How does one go from attracting top talent to overseeing the self storage transition process?
Early on, as Extra Space Storage began to grow and add more self storage properties, the need arose to streamline the facility transition process. This then led to a new role being created within the company, and it was a role where English knew she could instantly add value.
“After owning a business and running things like PTA, you know how to start things up, and you know how to find what goes into it,” English said.
English landed a spot on the Third-Party Management team under Senior VP Noah Springer’s direction. After receiving instructions to “figure it out,” she began her journey as Senior Transitions Manager, setting up the foundation for the company’s current onboarding processes.
Figuring out what the process looked like was tricky. English needed to anticipate the needs and obstacles that could come up when transitioning a self storage property into Extra Space Storage’s portfolio. She didn’t know how to proceed for the first few days of this sizable task, but then she realized the information she needed was all around her. She reached out to District Managers and other departments within the company, picking their brains for ways she could create a smoother transition process for everyone.
“When I took on this role, there was no complete process for a transition,” English explained. “I visited with all the different departments that had to complete any steps or tasks for a transition. I collected a lot of information.”
After gathering information from those involved at various points of the facility onboarding, English wanted to get everything organized. She created a comprehensive list of all tasks that had to be completed to onboard a property.
“I was like ‘I’ve got to figure out how to control and manage this,’” English said. “The easiest way was to create tasks and stuff for people to do. I like organization. I like to be able to see the beginning, middle, and end.”
Using Smartsheet, she and her team came up with a template that had more than 100 tasks necessary to complete for each onboarding along with a scorecard that allowed them to report on how these tasks were being completed. By creating this template, English set the standard for the company’s self storage property onboarding, making it easier for the Transitions team to replicate the process for each new store.
“We’ve been able to centralize the process for onboarding so that the field is able to call one place to get problems solved with a new property. We’ve been able to streamline the process and make sure that every step is completed for every property. We believe this enables properties to focus on renting units immediately. We know there was a lag in property performance after a transition, and we believe we’ve been able to tighten this up and allow the sites to increase revenues immediately.”
This onboarding process has been a great success for the Transitions team, and it’s helped organize everything that needs to happen with a facility transition from start to finish. Now that this process in place, English is working on a new process for dispositions to eliminate confusion and help the team stay organized when offboarding a self storage property.
Being Reliable & Helping Others
When English creates processes for her team, she likes to view it as a team race. Everyone is informed of a collective goal, then each person starts working on their part so that everyone can reach the finish line together. This is part of what makes her such a good leader at Extra Space Storage.
English believes the traits of a good leader include caring about employees as individuals beyond their place at work. She says that the best leaders are the ones who are willing to understand what their employees are doing so they can jump in and help. These are traits reflected in her own leadership style at Extra Space Storage, as she rallies her team and other departments to achieve goals.
Her approach to working with others is often described as direct—English is known for coming right out and saying what she thinks. It’s a helpful quality when it comes to setting and communicating goals for her department, as there’s little room for misunderstanding in her direction.
English also values reliability and thinks it’s necessary for both leadership and teamwork. “If I said I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it, whether it’s to be at my grandson’s game or transitioning a property,” she explained. “I really value that in other people—being able to count on them.”
Whether she’s assisting with the transition of self storage properties for Extra Space Storage or running a cookie shop with her son and an e-commerce baby clothing store with her daughter, English strives to be reliable and help others. It’s something she attributes to her biggest role model—her mother.
“Seeing her involved in the community throughout her life made me think of going outside yourself,” English added. “I think you have an obligation to give more.”
Even in moments where English has experienced setbacks in her professional life or her personal life, her top priority is to be there for others and continue moving forward. “As much as I want to control everything, I can’t,” she said. “I can’t control hardly anything, but I can control my response to it and the ways I deal with it.”
When it comes to advising those she mentors on how to handle challenges and setbacks, English thinks of the advice she would have given her younger self: “Don’t sweat anything. Don’t sweat the small stuff, or anything else. I think I spent too many years and hours worrying and trying to control things I couldn’t control. Just give in. I wish I recognized that sooner.”
What’s next for English? A year from now, she plans on celebrating the successful implementation of the dispositions process and the successful transition of more Extra Space Storage properties.
And it will most likely be a good year, too, with English taking the lead.