Throughout the centuries, those who would believe--whether out of simple curiosity or basic desperation--have sought forbidden glimpses of the future. They would hold out telling palms to those who could read them or weave stories in tea leaves and porcelain cups. They would thumb the tarot, laying down the cards of their destiny. Let us not forget the spellbound myth of gypsy women in scarves and gold, bearing crystal balls and prophecies.
Cynicism has not defeated us. New Age bookstores thrive, infomercial psychics lack nothing in the way of success, and not a newspaper with half a name lacks a horoscope column. We are still fascinated. And at the turn of every new year, there is whisper of predictions that bolster us for the unexpected or generate hope. In either case, there seems no end to this human curiosity, this need to know the unknowable. The question is whether the tempting of fate prepares us for the inevitable or becomes self-fulfilling prophecy.
Where the business of self-storage is concerned, participants wonder: Where are we headed in 2002? Will development continue or wane? Will financing continue to be available, and to whom? How will political events affect the economy? These questions and others are addressed in this year's "State of the Industry Report," including predictions of industry insiders from the fields of development, finance, consulting and marketing. Read what they see in the self-storage future beginning on page 20.
Regardless what events take place across the world and in our industry, businesses strive to maintain the status quo. They all make their best attempt at luring what few consumer dollars are available for spending. Many will do this with discounts and dealing. Jeff Kinder explains why this is may not be an effective strategy for self-storage in "Competitive Pricing," page 30. Also in this issue, you'll read how to qualify for conduit financing ("Conduit Lending") and how changing technology is propeling self-storage into a new and necessary era.
Next month we will host the Inside Self-Storage Expo in Las Vegas. Each year, this tradeshow grows at a phenomenal rate, and we hope to outdo ourselves again in 2002. I don't profess to be clairvoyant, but I see a great show--and promising future--ahead.
Happy new year,
Teri L. Lanza