Self Storage Management and Operations Articles



Stage now for selling in the New Year

by Mark Lusky

Getting homes readied for sale often means staging them for maximum buyer interest. This ranges from formal staging of homes to seller do-it-yourself efforts to tidy up and enliven their properties. While real estate agents can work with sellers to help them accomplish varying degrees of home-sale readiness, you can augment seller awareness and knowledge while boosting your on-site traffic and hopefully revenues. Start a "home staging center" at your facility this winter-and start building now for the spring selling season.

SpareFoot award offers insights to employee happiness

by Mark Lusky

Austin, TX-based SpareFoot, online self-storage marketplace, is an evolving advertisement for how to treat employees-as well as customers, suppliers and other self-storage stakeholders. This year, the Austin Business Journal named SpareFoot one of its 20 finalists in its "Best Place to Work in Austin among Midsize Employers (51-250 employees)" category.

Balancing high tech and high touch

by Mark Lusky

Let's face it: Automation is increasing. From highly sophisticated robots to self-storage rental kiosks, the stock of non-human capital is rising.

Match marketing to buying habits

by Mark Lusky

An informal review of your tenant profile may yield substantial information about what you can do to attract and keep more business. For example, millennials may seek basic, inexpensive shelter for their stuff if they can sign up readily via a mobile device. Depending on their station in life (e.g., college singlehood versus professional familyhood), 24/7 access may or may not be of paramount importance.

Pillars of profitability

by Mark Lusky

While a daily onslaught of new information and insights provides more intel than ever about how to conduct business profitably, it's overwhelming for many businesses such as self-storage to absorb. Not surprisingly, a common response to this "big data" environment is to go deer in the headlights and not absorb much, if any, of it.

Meaty vs. Measly charity

by Mark Lusky

SpareFoot's offer of up to $100 toward a month of storage within 75 miles of Boulder, CO to help flood victims demonstrates a substantive show of support. It stands in stark contrast to paltry giveaways that show a company's desire for positive press-and not much else.

How can being so positive be so negative?

by Mark Lusky

Being overly enthusiastic, aggressive and positive can spoil a sale. At first glance, this may sound whacky. But think about it. I did upon coming across an article by Denver-based Leadership Connections entitled, "Is Being Too Positive and Assumptive Hurting Your Efforts?"

5 ways to lose prospects

by Mark Lusky

While keeping good tenants can be challenging depending on economic conditions and other factors affecting the self-storage industry, keeping them from becoming tenants at all is quite easy. Here are 5 ways to slam the door on prospects:

It's time for man caves!

by Mark Lusky

Football season is upon us, further heightening awareness of the concept of the "man cave." Spouses, siblings and other home inhabitants will ramp up their objections to seemingly endless football marathons and everything that accompanies these events-from belching buddies to high-decibel opinions, observations and profanity.

Yet MORE reasons self-storage grows

by Mark Lusky

Periodically, it's prudent to read the tea leaves of business trends, demands, wants and needs to see if/how you might change your self-storage marketing. Here is some food for thought on three fronts:

Deciding to do a facelift

by Mark Lusky

For brainstorming purposes, periodically re-evaluate your self-storage facility to determine if you want to expand, renovate and/or do a cosmetic facelift. Those who explore and discover new opportunities may advance their profits, while those who stand still in their space may get left behind as more progressive competitors advance.

Want to sell self-storage units?

by Mark Lusky

Self-storage is no longer limited to rentals. Along with development of higher-end properties for specialized storage, office/warehouse use and home-away-from-home options such as man caves, some owner/operators are selling units.

Have a COW: Portable storage units create buzz in Abilene

by John Mangalonzo

Container on Wheels or COWs, is rapidly creating a buzz around the area, due mainly to its creative paint design that displays dairy cows.

Is it selling space or service?

by Mark Lusky

Is self-storage about selling space or service? There are many opinions on both sides of the discussion. And there are those who would answer "yes" to this question, indicating that it's both.

Success requires thinking beyond the norm

by Mark Lusky

Much like thinking out of the box, self-storage success depends in part on thinking outside of yourself and the routine that resides inside the gates of your facility. Here are some secrets to success from influential bloggers:

Of data mining, common sense and courtesy

by Mark Lusky

In this day and age of "data mining," companies constantly seek to discover more and more and more about customer buying habits, preferences, and profiles-as well as cataloging individual customer interactions, history, and the like.

Our survey reveals growing, progressive industry

by Mark Lusky's 2013 Economic Survey results are revealing that self-storage operators are optimistic, growing and progressive in their marketing approaches. Almost two-thirds of respondents reported that their facility gross revenues climbed 5-10+% over the previous year; another 22% said revenues stayed about the same.

UK self-storage trends ripple in the US

by Mark Lusky

Developments across the pond are providing some insights and ideas for US self-storage owner-operators. One of the most dramatic is the industry impact of a 20% value-added tax (VAT)-think sales tax-imposed last October. With more and more states in the US legislating or contemplating sales taxes tacked on to self-storage rentals, the UK's experience to date offers a sense of how new or increasing sales taxes here might impact the marketplace.

Promote property curb appeal

by Mark Lusky

When it comes to self-storage "curb appeal," the further away you get from the stereotypical concrete jungle image, the better. While some tenants could seemingly care less about the aesthetic appeal of their self-storage facility, few would argue that beautiful beats out unsightly any day.

Treat customers with TLC, not contempt

by Mark Lusky

This is a tale of two cities. Recently, I helped a friend move from Louisiana to Texas. I was struck by the complacency of the truck rental agency in Louisiana; and the seemingly calculated rudeness upon reaching the truck rental dropoff/self-storage facility in Texas.

Stay Cool - Rate Your Climate-Control System

by Jennifer LeClaire

Climate control

Sales tax impacting self-storage?

by Mark Lusky

If your state already charges sales tax on self-storage, there may be efforts afoot to increase it. If no sales tax is currently charged in your state, be alert to possible changes.

Retail browsing spurs upgrades

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.

Long-term rentals guide marketing

by Mark Lusky

A recent Sparefoot blogpost authored by John Egan detailed trends toward longer term self-storage rentals. Self Storage Association study findings identified by Egan included, "46 percent of self-storage customers are long-term renters, up from 38 percent in 2007. Meanwhile, temporary renters now make up 44 percent of the market, down from 54 percent in 2007."

Review credit card processing options

by Mark Lusky

What do a Philadelphia cabinetmaker and the Better Business Bureau((BBB) have in common? Advice to do your homework when it comes to finding the best and most affordable credit card processing.

So micro-dwellers, where are you going to store your stuff?

by Mark Lusky

The Today Show recently aired a segment about New York micro-living. Profiling units as small as 250 square feet, the report examined ways to multipurpose: "Fold-away beds, moveable walls, and coffee tables that expand to seat 10 for dinner are just a few of the clever touches that transform these shoe boxes into veritable mini-mansions...'The main idea is to get double, triple, quadruple use from every space,' Graham Hill, founder of the sustainable living site and the design company Life Edited [said]."

Bilingual kiosk speaks to many needs

by Mark Lusky

Phoenix-based OpenTech Alliance now offers a plug-and-play "bilingual office assistant" called the Insomniac 50 for self-storage companies. According to an Inside Self-Storage article, "Customers can use the wireless, interactive, touchscreen computer to rent units, make payments, buy tenant insurance, access their accounts and more...

Self-storage icon blazed your path to success

by Mark Lusky

Self-storage trailblazer Don Temple, 85, has died-but his legend and lessons will live on. Temple established Los Angeles county's first self-storage facility in 1968, and is considered one of the industry's top 50 pioneers. By reputation and report, he was known as a hardworking humanitarian who followed his passions, embraced innovation and mentored others to be successful. He never finished college, demonstrating that much entrepreneurial success resides in one's dedication and drive versus a bunch of degrees.

Corral confusion about Obamacare

by Mark Lusky

What can you do that's relatively fast, easy and reliable to get your head around what's coming in healthcare? First, go to industry sources with a vested interest in providing accurate, complete information-essentially entities whose survival hinges on it.

'Green' is about more than marketing

by Mark Lusky

"Green" is both a buzzword and a way of life. However, if you're going to tap into the buzzword, practice the lifestyle as well. That way, your efforts to go green will appear authentic and ultimately earn you much more credibility than just using it as a marketing ploy.

Self-storage owners face legal uncertainties

by Mark Lusky

Just because it's seemingly lawful doesn't mean it will stand up in court. A recent report in Inside Self-Storage sums up the challenge: "Legal quandaries are among the biggest headache producers for owners and managers of self-storage facilities. Some operators simply aren't familiar with industry and state legislation; others don't understand it. Even when they are and do, the laws can change, and you can't always predict how they'll be interpreted by customers, judges and juries."

Auctions Drive Marketing & Revenues

by Mark Lusky

Popularity of self-storage auctions is at an all-time high. Jack Ballentine, founder and President of Florida-based Hammer Down Auctions, Inc. notes, "As a self-storage owner or operator, you are well aware your tenant lien process is one of the most volatile parts of your business. Every step of this process must strictly comply with your respective state's lien statutes. If non-payment continues, the end result is a self-storage auction."

Move forward instead of getting mired in muck

by Mark Lusky

Teddy Roosevelt said, "In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing." Every economy offers opportunity as well as challenges. Through the difficulties of the last few years, enterprising entrepreneurs of all stripes and sizes have thrived by finding the sweet spots in a sour situation.

Self-storage tax changes for 2013: How to reliably discover what you need to know

by Mark Lusky

When it comes to tax advice, consider the adage, "Don't take too much advice; you could wind up making other people's mistakes." Too often, that's what happens when entrepreneurs, self-storage owners/operators included, look solely to the Internet, media reports, or other "single source" for information.

Budgeting Guidelines for Multi-Story Self Storage

by Caesar Wright

Ballpark Costs to Build Multi-Story Self Storage Facilities

Periodically inspect your facility

by Mark Lusky

Running a self-storage business can feel daunting. First, there's a sizeable amount of space to lease, manage and maintain. And, while renting space itself is a simple business model, you're involved with personal possessions--an issue near and dear to many.

Hiring/keeping good people

by Mark Lusky

Online reviews are filled with customer complaints about rude, incompetent and incomplete service. Reviews, good and bad, are an excellent litmus test of how well or poorly your people are performing. On the plus side: Six reviews of a self-storage facility in the San Francisco Bay Area yielded 100% "excellent" ratings, with consistent positive comments about great people and management. On the minus side: Four reviews of another self-storage facility in the same area yielded 100% "poor/fair" ratings, with consistent negative comments about the demeanor and attitude of the people.

Thwart thieves this holiday season...and beyond

by Mark Lusky

Thieves are an opportunistic bunch. From recent stories about self-storage facilities being targeted by existing tenants to repeat break-ins, there is no doubt that wrongdoers are looking for vulnerable pickings. Help your tenants and yourself by beefing up security so that thieves will go elsewhere to do their dirty work.

Cost Effective Ways to Add Capacity to Single Story Self-Storage

by Angie Guerin

Low Risk, High Growth Opportunities to Expand Single Story Self Storage Facilities

Tap into New Year resolutions while they're hot

by Mark Lusky

In between the holiday shopping, cooking, entertaining and eating, most of us devote some time to that most noble of traditions--New Year resolutions. This year, be a go-to resource when people resolve to de-clutter, organize, or downsize the contents in their homes. While many people want to accomplish one or more of these goals as part of a New Year fresh start, time challenges often subvert the opportunity.

Avoid legal and accounting logjams

by Mark Lusky

As with preventive medicine, practicing preventive law and accounting can spare self-storage owners many hours of headaches and heartaches--not to mention dollars. Costs of litigating or defending a legal claim or tax issue can skyrocket quickly.

The Importance of Conducting Regular Self Storage Audits

by Bob Copper

No owner would consider not rotating the tires on their car or getting the oil changed but those same owners never consider doing the same 'maintenance' on their self storage properties.

Using Effective Time Management Skills

by Bob Copper

Those managers that utilize effective time management skills get more done and do it better than those that don't. Learn how to get it all done!

Managers DO Matter!

by Bob Copper

The onsite self storage manager is the most important person in the industry. Their skills and personality have a great deal to do with the success or failure of a self storage facility.

The Importance of Implementing an Effective Training Program

by Bob Copper

Well trained managers far outperform those managers who receive no training. Learn how to create and implement a great training program.

What the Heck Does That Mean?

by Bob Copper

Far too many owner/operators do not know how to read their management software reports. Be more effective by learning how to read those reports!

PDF slides for Your Company Meeting

by Bob Copper

This PDF document was printed from a set of PPT slides used for a Self Storage Company Meeting

Using Price Stalls to Rent More Units

by Bob Copper

Most managers quote prices too quickly and never have a chance to offer any features or benefits. The use of effective Price Stalls will allow the professional manager to tell his or her value story.

Effective Collections Tips and Techniques

by Bob Copper

The abiilty to maximize collections is one of the most important skills a self storage manager can have. This hand out list some of the tools and techniques a manager can use to collect more money.

Creative Management Techniques

by Matthew Van Horn

Over the last few years self storage markets have become more competitive than ever before. With these conditions hanging over the head of a number of self storage facilities, the efficient management of your facility has never been more important.

QR codes provide ample avenues for cost-effective PR, promotion

by Mark Lusky,

As technology opens up new cost-effective promotional routes, from social media to mobile marketing, consumer demand for 365/24/7 convenience and access is becoming more commonplace. Self-storage is a primary example of an industry where companies that make it easy to recruit and retain customers will thrive.

Promote self-storage 'mixed uses' to spur sales

by Mark Lusky

By now, most self-storage operators know about some the more creative uses of space--climate-controlled wine storage being one current favorite. But, in an industry where imaginative uses can often find easy expression, the list of novel uses is growing by leaps and bounds. Those leaps and bounds may present a valuable promotional opportunity for forward-thinking self-storage operators.

Self-storage owners weigh Cloud-based operations

by Mark Lusky

While growing pains around moving operations to cloud-based operations centers will continue for some time, there is little question that it is the wave of the present-and future. Especially for operators with more than one location, the Cloud can offer a level of organization, accessibility, and affordability unparalleled by on-site solutions.

Raising Rents: Determining Your Best Strategy

by Mel Holsinger

It's time for some good news! As the economy slowly improves, we have observed an increase in rental rates and occupancy of self storage properties around the country.

Spotlight on security: Let there be light...but not TOO much

by Mark Lusky

Self-storage owners interested in beefing up security typically think about lighting. Lighting improvements are the single most cost-effective safety and security measure a facility owner can make. New technology and findings reveal that not just any type or amount of light will do.

Common-sense property security tips

by Mark Lusky

Self-storage owners can radically reduce the number of crises related to security just by following a few straightforward, relatively inexpensive guidelines.

Energy-Efficient Lighting for Self-Storage Facilities

by Daniel Henderson

Reduce Expenses. Improve Security. Go Green. Nationally, more than 41% of electricity used by self-storage facilities is for lighting. Industry reports state the high usage for storage facilities is due to outdated High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Metal Halide (MH) lighting. Simply said, energy inefficiencies in lighting are wasting electricity and producing a poor quality of light.

Case Study: Tempe Storage Company LED Lighting Upgrade

by Daniel Henderson

Controlling operating costs is a top priority for self-storage owners and operators. Every dollar saved in operating expenses goes directly to the bottom line, improving profitability and the value of the facility. Selfstorage owners also know that appearance matters and that people expect a facility to look good in the day and at night. Safety and security is a major concern as tenants are trusting you to safeguard their valuables.

Innovations in Self Storage Management

by Empower Software Technologies Inc.

When choosing facility management software choose one that expands with your company's ever-changing needs. Storage Commander has always been the technology leader in te self storage industry.

Net-Pay Flyer

by Empower Software Technologies Inc.

Net-Pay is another companion product designed exclusively for the Storage Commander self storage management system.

Introduction To Uncle Bob's Management

by Uncle Bob's

For more than 25 years, Uncle Bob's has helped hundreds of thousands of customers with their storage needs. In the process, we have grown to become a recognized leader with more than 375 locations across the country. Our experienced people employ advanced technologies to drive new business and turn every customer inquiry into an opportunity for owners like you.

Don't Forget About Your Thresholds

by Maggie Bahrmasel

With the many different aspects of owning and managing a self storage facility, it is easy to forget about the ones that aren't staring you in the face every day. Thresholds play an important role in preventing issues in your business

The Modern-Day Self Storage Keypad: Versatility, Durability, Features and Much More

by Russell Fike

Access denied! Depending on who receives this message, it can either be a source of great frustration or relief. A delinquent tenant will grimace, but when it comes to vandals, thieves or another unauthorized presence, self-storage operators breathe a sigh of relief when access is denied. Launches New Blog as Modern Educational Resource for Storage Operators

by Rachel Greenfield

The Storage Facilitator blog is for self-storage operators seeking to understand and master web marketing strategies and new technologies to better their businesses. The blog boasts some of the highest-quality writing in the industry, and features original content from leading self-storage experts.

Retail Product Sales Strategies

by Mark Petro

Most storage operators want to be the best at what they do. Often they hire the best in the industry to develop their business plan. It's interesting, however, that many fail to apply this approach to the sale of retail merchandise at their facilities.

Finding a Management Company

by Matthew Van Horn

With reasonable interest rates and quality returns, the self storage industry has become an intriguing real estate investment. The lure of these returns has spawned a new generation of self storage owners. With the emergence of this remodeled industry the question becomes "what is the best way to manage this new self storage asset?"

Manager Motivation

by Matthew Van Horn

In the current market as a self storage owner, investor, or operations manager you are facing a number of obstacles: a battered economy, a weak real estate market, an increase in delinquencies, decreased occupancy, decreased NOI, and more competition than ever before.

Improving NOI through Auctions

by Chris Hitler

With the increasing popularity of lien sales in the self-storage industry many state selfstorage associations are in the process of modifying their lien law to include internet posting as a form of notice to take advantage of the cost and time-saving benefits. In this article, Chris Hitler, an experienced self-storage owner and broker explains how new internet resources can help to improve the value of your self-storage property by increasing your revenues from lien sales.

5 Things to Consider When Selling Your Property

by Ben Vestal

It has been a long time coming, but we are beginning to see transaction volume increase as the overall value of self storage properties has returned to a respectful level where both buyers and sellers are agreeing on a fair price. As the market continues to improve, the prospect of selling your facility may become a more feasible option and it is important to make sure you are fully prepared.

Marketing Self Storage to the Next Generation

by Argus Self Storage Sales Network

They are referred to as "Millennials," "Generation Y," and "Echo Boomers" and they make up the second largest generation in US history. These children of the Baby Boomers, born from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, are over 70 million strong and will soon replace their parents as the nation's most influential group of consumers; a group that interacts with the world in a very different way than past generations.

A Checkup You Can't Afford to Miss

by Argus Self Storage Sales Network

No doubt you've heard that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" and that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." While these cliches strike a chord when thinking about our physical health, I propose that applying the same concepts to your business will help keep your storage facility running smoothly for years to come. In these uncertain economic times, a facility checkup is a crucial exercise to ensure a healthy future for your business.

Welcome to the spot for management and operations articles for self storage owners. If you own a self storage facility and are looking for management and operations tips and advice browse the articles above. You will find articles from the top management and operations vendors in the self storage industry.

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