Where Storage is as Good as Home
Mr. Store It Self-Storage, located on Socastee Blvd just outside the Market Common, is owned by local real estate investors, and has been in business for over thirty years. Penny Tharington is the bookkeeper for Mr. Store It, but wears many different hats as well. She’s worked for one of the company owners for the past thirty years.
Clarice Linkous has been the office manager for fifteen years, and also manages day-to-day operations for the company. She handles questions, inquiries, and customers’ needs. Her son, Dale, who graduated from Myrtle Beach High School, is the property manager and lives on site. Previous to Mr. Store It, he was part of the military police, and has been working in some capacity with security and law enforcement since his teens.
“We treat people like we like to be treated,” Clarice says. “Since being here, we’ve made a lot of friends and met a lot of people who have moved into the Market Common area. We get a number of referrals from other neighborhoods too— people come to us all the way from North Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Island because they’ve been referred.”
To date, Mr. Store It has 1135 storage units, many climate-controlled, to suit a variety of size preferences and storage needs. Storage facilities aren’t just for people relocating or in between housing options.
Many locals rent a small unit, a 5×5 space, in which to store their holiday decorations, keepsakes, or yard equipment. Attorneys and business owners without a home office often require a space to keep their files safe. Those who spend part of the year in Myrtle Beach store excess belongings here. The company also offers storage for boats, cars, and RVs.
“Some people have been with us for 20 years,” Clarice says. “But when a customer comes in, we don’t just rent them a storage unit, we dig deep to make sure they get what they need. We take them out to show them the climate-controlled storage versus the non-climate-controlled. We make sure that they are getting what they need and not paying for more.”
“Mr. Store It has been a real convenience for the Market Common area,” Penny notes, “because many people move here from the North where they have basements; but we don’t have basements here. They find they don’t have enough garage and storage space, and they like that they can get here so easily to get their things. We give them all the information to help make a smooth relocation, and they appreciate that.”
As an additional convenience, Mr. Store It will provide a truck to move you in free of charge.
“The company builds storage units according to what our requirements are,” Clarice says. “And we’re blessed to have owners who stay ahead of what’s going on in our community. We have the property to build more storage facilities if we need them. We started out with less than half of what we have now.”
Mr. Store It hires all local contractors to help maintain their property and keep it in excellent condition.
“Some of the people we hired because we met them when they rented storage from us and we forged relationships,” Clarice says. “We want to help support our community. We’re proud of it.”
Mr. Store It works with a pest control company that visits regularly to ensure critters stay out of people’s things. They also have professionals routinely tend to the air conditioning vents in their climate-controlled units, to make sure that their large duct filtration system, which traps mold and dust, is working properly.
“It’s just like having your things in your home. We’re very proud of the property,” Clarice says. “We treat people’s stuff like we want ours to be treated. And as a result, I think they are very comfortable here. I feel like we have one of the best properties on the beach.”
In addition to its 24-hour on-site management, Mr. Store It implements other excellent security measures that are partly architectural, and partly technological.
“We have 24-hour surveillance cameras all over the property that are linked right back to the office,” Clarice says. “There are no hidden hallways, and there are exits at the end of both main buildings.
“Once, one of our tenants hit our large gate on their way out and damaged it. When I called to speak to him, he denied it. But I had seen him on tape, and when I shared that I caught him on camera, he came right away to meet me and work it out,” she adds laughingly.
When I ask her if there were ever any other security breaches she says:
“We also had a situation where a guy called us and told us his unit had been broken into. When I pulled it up on the security camera, the guy saw that it was his nephews, who had returned later that evening after helping him move all day. They had kept his key and knew his personal access codes. But as far as anything getting broken into, that has never happened.”
Before working for Mr. Store It, Clarice herself was a small business owner. Previous to that, she worked for a large company which kept her traveling and away from her family most of the time.
“When I came into this business,” she says, “it was something entirely different from what I had previously done, and it’s turned out to be the best thing. I feel like I have the best of both worlds. It’s still like running my own business, but I don’t have to deal with all the headaches and the decisions. And I have a wonderful employer who’s a true blessing.
“Really we are a family— with him and with Penny. And I think they look at us the same way. It’s a real joy for me. I can dress simply and come to work and meet new people without feeling pressure. And my son feels the same way.
“I don’t think this is what he at all wanted when he first came here, but just like me he came to love it. And his wife and little boy love it too. So we’re just a happy little family.
“People ask me when I’m going to retire, and I say, ‘I hope not for another 10 or 15 more years.’ Most people are shocked. But I love my work and being out on the lot and making sure it’s clean and running the way I want it. I love what I do. And I’ve got all that I can do.”
“The managers on-site know the business and do a great job,” Penny adds. “They care a great deal about doing a great job. They’re excited to be where they are, and that makes everyone excited to be where they are. It’s just a nice environment. And it’s been a win-win situation for all of us.”