Here at Lockaway 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 San Antonio team member Jake Medrano, who is celebrating his 3-year anniversary with Lockaway Storage this week.
Jake is the manager of Lockaway Storage – Boerne.
Peter: I’ll just jump right in, how did you get started in self storage?
Jake: I was just getting out of high school and my mom had previous experience in the storage industry, so she was with Lockaway, I believe, at the time and they had some openings, so I was able to squeeze in here. It was a while back, about three years ago. We didn’t have nearly as many stores in San Antonio. I started out as an assistant manager and I went to three or four places and just bounced around.
Peter: Have you always lived in the San Antonio, Boerne area?
Jake: Yeah, that’s where I was born. I was here until they offered me the manager position up north, so I lived up there for a bit and managed a store. At one point I needed a position that had an apartment, so I was with a different company for a bit working as a resident manager and then Lockaway offered a resident manager position up north, so I took that and I managed up there for a bit. Then they moved me to another place before moving me back to San Antonio.
Peter: I bet it’s good to be home.
Jake: Yeah, I was happy when they announced it by email that we were coming back to San Antonio.
Peter: After three years, you’ve probably had some interesting experiences. Do you have any interesting stories?
Jake: I always like the stories where the managers are doing something to help the community. Things like that. You have some stories where a tenant is down on their luck and they need just a little bit and you cut them a break here or there and that’s what they needed to get back on their feet. Those are always the best stories. I remember one gentleman who was always behind for one reason or another. At one point he was homeless and just needed a place to put his stuff. He would be late, but slowly catch up. First it was my mom helping him get back on track with his payments and everything. Then I took over the store and I did the same thing.
Peter: I think you make a really good point. With self storage, it’s a service that is so much more personal than most other types of services, because you’re dealing with people’s belongings. And it’s anybody and everybody who needs self storage for all sorts of reasons.
Jake: Yeah, exactly. I appreciate that we have the leniency to make the judgement call to give a couple days here and there or help out where we can.There are some companies where you’re late on the tenth and every day afterwards, so they just pile it on there and they aren’t open to any sort of negotiation there and that’s it. I’m glad our company is pretty gracious and that they give us the latitude to help customers out.
Peter: I think that speaks to the kind of company that Lockaway Storage is. They do care about their tenants. They do care about the communities where they operate.
Jake: Yeah, absolutely.
Peter: Do you live on site now?
Jake: Yes, I do.
Peter: I hear that’s a pretty sweet gig, but I would think you would get bugged by tenants when you’re supposed to be off the clock.
Jake: I do, but it’s not as bad as at some other facilities I’ve worked at. I had one that was first floor and the door was outside the gate and the door was directly in my living room, so people would be knocking all the time. This one we’re a little more removed. There’s a stairway between that door and we have a separate apartment door. Still, if my gate locks people out at night at 9 p.m. and also locks people in.
Peter: That’s hilarious. It’s good that is not such a drag, but I would still feel like I was always at work.
Jake: No, it’s not too bad. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t mind it. If somebody needs help, I routinely give out my cell phone number to customers if they need late access or if they need to rent a unit after hours, they know they can call me. I don’t mind honestly.
Peter: You’re much better at customer service than I am. I can already tell.
Peter: So, you’re not always at the facility. Do you have any hobbies that the people at Lockaway Storage may not know about yet?
Jake: I do play a lot of games. That’s probably the main thing that I do. Currently me and my buddy, this is something that just developed over the last couple days, we’re going to attempt to make some sort of videogame. I’m looking into getting into photoshop and graphics and things like that.
Peter: Nice. What kind of games do you play nowadays?
Jake: Basically all kinds, from sports to dungeon crawling games to shooting games. I play most of them.I’ve been lucky enough to build my own PC this past year. I have the current game systems as well, so I’m able to try a bunch of different games. Another hobby for me could be buying games and just not playing them. Sometimes games are on sale, so I’ll pick them up and never touch it again.
Peter: Do you use Steam?
Peter: I bet I know what your library looks like, hahaha.
Jake: Hahaha. Unfortunately I have, like, over 150 games on there and a lot of them are from Steam sales. Like, it’s the Steam Summer Sale right now, let me buy a bunch and, oh man, I have so many games to play, plus I have a Play Station 4 to play games on and it’s a mess.
Peter: That’s a good problem to have in my book. That sounds great. So, you grew up in the San Antonio/Boerne area. As a local, is there anything out there that I should know about for the next time I come through?
Jake: Yeah, if you go down Main Street there are a lot of local antique shops that sell memorabilia, neon signs, stuff like that. There’s one restaurant we go to quite a bit. It’s a Chinese restaurant called China Bowl. There’s a historic town between us and Fredericksburg where a lot of people lived during the Civil War. It’s a pretty nice place to go and take a walk down along the river.
Peter: That does sound cool. At the end of these interviews, I like to ask if there’s anyone at Lockaway or at the home office that you would like to give a shout out to. Is there anyone that comes to mind?
Jake: Well, it’s definitely got to be my family, haha. We’ve got a whole team of Medranos here. We’ve got my Mom and my Dad right now and my sisters might eventually come and, who knows, eventually work at the stores, so shout out to all the Medrano family that we have here. Hopefully you’ll see more of us here soon, haha.