by Mark Lusky
If you've checked Costco lately, you may find some relatively low-priced merchandise that can beef up your security or lighting in a high-value way. Between the closed security camera systems and plethora of LED lighting lining the shelves or listings in their website, Costco is one of a growing number of retailers offering these types of deals.
Even if you're planning to upgrade with a commercial self-storage vendor, you can use these retail offerings to establish critical points of comparison and augment their products and services as warranted. If you're budgetarily challenged at this point, the retail option may serve as a starting point, as part of a more expansive, expensive upgrade program done later in concert with your commercial vendor.
Perhaps you're thinking about tidying up and decluttering the front office. IKEA, the Container Store and other retailers can serve as great idea-generators to see how you might handle this most efficiently. IKEA in particular is known for its model showrooms demonstrating just how much stuff you can stuff into an attractive, clean configuration.
Depending on what type of storage solution you need, you might even take the concept further and develop your own "model showroom" that tenants may find useful for their own storage challenges. Monetize this by developing a promotional tie-in with one of the aforementioned retailers or possibly a local office/home organizing company.
Together, you can create a co-branded service for tenants, offering both storage design and product solutions. If you're so inclined, you can make this highly attractive to tenants (and encourage their loyalty) by providing a price break over retail models and/or make this another potential source of revenue.
Or, maybe it's an overall property spruce-up that you want to consider. Go to a local Home Depot, Lowe's, Ace Hardware for other improvement center to gather ideas and insights about the most efficient way to proceed. With the plethora of free advice about the how-to's and a dizzying array of products and services to help make the task go further faster, you likely will find inspirations and ideas that are worth pursuing now or down the road.
Again, as with security or lighting, this search and research can form the basis of a more pinpoint, efficient discussion with a self-storage specialist if/as warranted. It can save you time, and make your vendor experience more targeted and productive because you already will have done some legwork.
Whether or not you decide to buy, leveraging information both about processes and products through local retailers can be extremely helpful when you are ready to proceed.