A Reason to Rejoice
Generally speaking, February isn’t a month of great note. In fact, it’s rather dreary. What’s there to do in the wasteland of time between holidays? Past civilizations knew how to live right—they had a festival for almost every occasion. If we lived during Roman times, for example, we could celebrate Lupercalia on Feb. 15, which (among other things) commemorates the Lupercal, the grotto where Romulus and Remus were suckled and raised by a wolf, and grew up to found the nation of Rome.
Technically, there are some festivities this month. There’s Groundhog Day, a couple of president’s birthdays, and let’s not forget the most Hallmarkorific of them all: Valentine’s Day. But perhaps all is not lost. I’m going to give you two gifts. The first is a story that should help rekindle your appreciation for the day most associate with absurdly expensive chocolates, teddy bears and flowers. The second is a whole new reason to rejoice in the month of February.
Not many people know the true legend of St. Valentine, but it’s actually rather romantic. In the years 268-270, Roman Emperor Claudius II experienced acute difficulty in convincing his subjects to join the army. To help generate compliance, he passed a decree banning all engagements and marriages. I guess he believed if men couldn’t make headway with their women-folk, they would seek another outlet for their aggression and join the ranks. In reality, however, many continued their pursuit of the opposite sex, and sought to marry in secret.
Valentine was one of the few Roman priests willing to flout the emperor’s ban and perform clandestine marriages; but he was eventually caught, arrested and sentenced to death. In sympathy and thanks, many of the locals sent him flowers during his imprisonment; and the jailer’s daughter took particular care to keep him in good spirits. Before being put to death on Feb. 14, he sent the girl a note, signing it “With love from your Valentine.” In 496, the Pope declared him a saint and made the anniversary of his execution a national feast day.
Anyway, now you’ve had your story, and I’ll deliver on my second promise: a cause for revelry. In fact, I’ll give you two. First, you should celebrate your involvement in an industry that continues to outperform other businesses in the REIT world. Self-storage topped the list of sectors that finished 2005 on a high note, with performance up nearly 30 percent. As you’ll read in this issue, the new buzz is about interest rates, how they’ll behave in 2006, and how they might affect the storage business. It’s good to know outlooks remain positive, and our experts continue to encourage healthy acquisitions and sales.
Reason No. 2 is even better: the ISS Expo in Las Vegas, Feb. 28-March 3. Not only is this the largest trade event of the year, it’s the most comprehensive in terms of education, network-building and vendor participation. No matter your level of expertise or involvement in self-storage, you won’t want to miss this opportunity. Come learn some new things, see a show and try your luck at whatever table suits your fancy.
Self-storage is often a labor of love; and as our authors will tell you, it takes hard work and proper planning to make the most of a venture or—if exit is your strategy—a sale. This month, remember the romance behind your investment. What made you fall in love with storage? Would you do it all over again? If not, take some of this issue’s sage advice and consider selling. If you’re in a committed relationship with your business, explore what you can do to increase value over time. And if you’re a tenderfoot ready to be wooed, come to Vegas and see what chances lie in wait.
Teri L. Lanza