Division Vice President Sergio Arredondo has dedicated 20 years to Extra Space Storage! Though he began his self storage career with a competitor, he ended up at Extra Space a few years later and never looked back. He spent several years in Atlanta and Miami, and now oversees about 170 stores in Tampa and the surrounding area. He appreciates Extra Space’s emphasis on promoting within and advises future leaders to be themselves, uphold the company culture, and prioritize work-life balance.
How did your career path lead you to Extra Space?
I started my career in retail management. My District Manager at the time was recruited by Public Storage and suggested that I transition from retail to storage for a better work-life balance. I took the opportunity and worked for Public Storage for three years. Later, that same District Manager was recruited by Extra Space, and again, suggested I join him. I didn’t make the change immediately. At the time, Public had over 1,000 stores and Extra Space only had less than 200. But after my colleague shared how much he was enjoying it and how much potential there was for growth, I decided to make the change. That was in 2003 and I’ve been loving it here ever since.
What do you like most about your current position?
I appreciate the ability to make an impact on the business while assisting others within the organization. In the Division Vice President role, you get to look at the business from a high level and identify trends that, in turn, drive performance for the company. I also enjoy the mix of responsibilities in the role. I have days in the office where I’m reviewing reports and analytics, but then have the opportunity to venture out into the field and engage directly with local team members, evaluate properties, and make recommendations.
What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?
The best advice I’ve received in my career—which I believe came from our former CEO, Spencer Kirk—is to always be yourself, regardless of the circumstances or who’s present. Don’t try to mimic someone or act in a way that isn’t authentic to who you really are. Additionally, he emphasized the importance of maintaining work-life balance. Without it, work performance will eventually suffer.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your career?
I mentioned coming to Extra Space for the growth opportunities, so it’s ironic that one of the most challenging aspects of my career has been growth through mergers and acquisitions. Specifically, our merger with Smart Stop in 2015 was a notable challenge for me. Although I had experienced other acquisitions in my time with the company, I took the Smart Stop merger for granted, thinking my experience would easily guide me. I was a District Manager at the time, and that merger humbled me and shaped my future leadership style. I found it difficult to merge into different markets where each company had its own opinions, operational styles, and desired procedures. Balancing and integrating different work approaches and opinions is challenging when merging two companies.
What has been the most fulfilling aspect of your career?
The most fulfilling aspect of my career has been the ability to mentor and guide others to reach their goals. It has brought me great fulfillment to observe team members grow within the company.
What advice would you give to future leaders?
I would mention a few things. First, I come back to the importance of just being yourself and being humble. Also, be transparent and create an environment where asking questions is encouraged. Sometimes we think, as leaders, we should know everything. That’s not the case. There are gaps in knowledge at every level, and the only way to learn what you don’t know is to ask. I also think having a positive attitude toward constructive feedback is so important. And when you’re giving or receiving feedback, always treat each other with respect. Finally, protecting the company’s culture is vital. That’s a critical responsibility for anyone in a leadership position.
Looking to grow and advance your career? Learn more about leadership opportunities and other jobs at careers.extraspace.com.