WHILE IT IS TRADITIONAL TO CONSIDER RESOLUTIONS AND EXPLORE AVENUES OF PERSONAL ENRICHMENT around the turn of the new year, I generally find I'm too distracted or worn out by the festivities and chaos of the holidays to focus at that time. But after the decorations come down, the leftovers are gone and the bank account begins to recover, I take a deep breath and remind myself to count my blessings, redefine my goals and basically regroup.
It isn't always a simple process. Assessing accomplishments always carries the risk they will come up short. As you evaluate your personal and self-storage universe this year, use something other than the quantitative scale. You're going to read a lot in this issue about how to determine the value of your business--at least in terms of the real estate market. Some of you may read through these pages and think, "I'm not doing nearly as well as I thought. I have a lot of work to do!" Just remember there's more to any business venture than what you see on paper.
Let me share an anecdote. Just a few short weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a distressed self-storage tenant in Naples, Fla. She wanted insight as to how items could have been stolen from her unit when she had an untampered cylinder lock on the door and a passcode to enter the gate. She said according to records, her unit had been entered five times without anyone using a code. When she explained to the owner's brother--acting manager--that she keeps her key with her at all times, he nastily retorted, "Well, do you sleep with your key?" When she reminded him of her status as a victimized customer, he said, "Oh, isn't that just too bad?" and walked off in a huff.
I don't care what the occupancy of this facility is, nor about its operating expenses, net operating income, etc. With an attitude like that representing the business, the facility, quite frankly, is worthless--to the owner, and certainly to any potential buyer. You cannot calculate the human factor into an appraisal. There is no line item for quality service. But I guarantee, it will affect your bottom line.
On another note, Inside Self-Storage its hosting is annual Las Vegas Expo this month, Feb. 24-26. This show grows exponentially each year, and this time around, it is bolstered by many new features and events. See the summary in "Inside Events" for more details. After you're done with post-holiday regrouping, you may be ready for some new knowledge, novel products or just a plain old good time.
See you on the show floor,
Teri L. Lanza