I bought my first piece of real estate last year, but unfortunately, it lacks something, a certain set of luxury items I swore I would never be without, a certain fundamental convenience no home should lack--a washer and dryer. And since there always seems to be a more immediate financial demand for items such as mini-blinds, curtains, paint, carpeting, tile, etc., Sunday evenings will oft find me decked in my most shamefully ragged sweatwear, hauling a hockey bag of dirty laundry down to the local coin-op.
You'd think I'd dread this menial task, but aside from the accompaniment of a good book, there's something else I treasure about these excursions, and that's the unexpected yet refreshing conveniences: The coin-op not only offers the standard equipment, but you can buy laundry detergent and fabric softener from a vending machine. There's an ATM machine. You can purchase long-distance phone cards and stamps. And, let's not forget the coffee machine that offers both lattes and cappuccinos, and the ice-cream machine, complete with Klondike Bars and Drumstiks. It's nice when a chore can be lessened by some simple perks such as these.
Now, imagine I'm a storage customer renting my unit. I'm likely not looking forward to the inconvenience of packing, moving, loading and unloading, not to mention organizing my items in a 6-by-6-foot space. Imagine my pleasure at finding I can purchase everything I need to accomplish the job at hand--from boxes and tape right down to a rental truck--right there at the storage facility. Now imagine you're the operator reaping the added profits from the sale of these items. Are you liking where I'm going with this?
Storage managers all over the country are discovering the benefits of offering ancillary products and services to their customers, from both a financial and service perspective. It could be a simple but effective way to boost business.
But as an operator, profits aren't your only concern. You need to keep on top of all your management responsibilities, such as routine maintenance, rentals and collections. This month, Rick Dodge shares suggestions for the upkeep of one of your facility's most important construction features: your roof. Read how to create an effective rental agreement--one of your most important management tools; then follow up with Carlos Kaslow's article on delinquencies, collections and liens. Also in this issue you'll learn how to handle those occasional irate tenants, participate in virtual records management and file an insurance claim.
We hope you enjoyed the Las Vegas Expo and returned home with plenty of ideas and resources to make your operation run smoother and more profitably. And if those don't work, I'm telling you, get your hands on that coffee vending machine...
Teri L. Lanza
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