When I was four, the nursery school I attended put on a production of Jack and the Beanstalk in which I played the part of Jack's mother. At that age, I hadn't yet learned the concept of stage fright. Any attention was glorious, and I think I was pretty brilliant for a small-fry widow whose son sells off her last cow for some magic beans. But later, in sixth grade, mandatory auditions were held for my elementary school's "senior" production, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Three lines into Aunt Polly's opening soliloquy, I first froze, then ran off stage in terror. Thereafter, I retired my greasepaint and opted for a behind-the-scenes role. The spotlight just isn't for everyone.
For others, however, it is just the place to be. Back in August, ISS identified 116 of this industry's most successful players. In this month's issue, we've highlighted the top 10 of those companies so that operators new and established can read about the history, philosophies and sure-to-win business strategies of hard-hitters such as Public Storage, Shurgard and Morningstar Mini Storage.
You'll find as you read through their profiles, several elements contribute to the success of these companies. One of those elements, of course, is customer service, including the provision of amenities, such as ancillary products, truck rentals and customer-storage insurance (CSI). According to Alice Cravens, CSI is one of the most valuable services a manager can offer tenants. Read about the basics of tenant-insurance programs and how to make them work for your facility. For further information, you can refer to the one-on-one interview with Bob Bader, where he addresses some popular misconceptions about insurance programs as well as pay-with-rent options.
Tipping the spotlight in our direction for just a moment, you'll notice this month that Inside Self-Storage has taken on a new logo and a new look. We're excited about our more contemporary image. Let us know what you think.
One final note: On page 83 you'll find a form calling for nominations for the annual ISS Magazine Awards, which will be presented at the Inside Self-Storage Expo in Las Vegas in February. Please take this opportunity to recognize people and facilities doing extraordinary things in this industry. Give those who deserve that moment in the spotlight their due.
Wishing you success,
Teri L. Lanza