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Success in Self-Storage Real Estate: It’s Who You Know

Neal Gussis and Aaron Swerdlin Comments
Posted in Articles, Development
Continued from page 1

A Different View

It’s no different on the sales landscape. Finding the right buyers for a facility during an economic slowdown requires a solid network of contacts. With these connections, you’ll not only know who is in a position to potentially buy a property, but who is willing to negotiate in good faith and has the financial wherewithal to close the transaction. Similar to the financing market, a credible intermediary with a strong network of contacts can facilitate the process, improve the odds of securing a favorable sales price, and help you close the deal.

Investment firms are no different than self-storage when it comes to expanding lists of clients and business relationships in the storage industry. They build and expand contacts through such avenues as speaking engagements, trade organization memberships and sponsorships, educational programming, referral alliances, and advertising and media relations techniques. They then diligently translate the resulting contacts from these efforts by providing "what they know" to clients, which in this case is financing and real estate solutions.

In the past, investment companies recognized that referral networks could be used as a powerful tool to providing real estate and financing options to clients. That view bore proof that networking can be a true key to success. The networking and contact building between financial services firms and direct capital sources will not only continue, but flourish, providing another example of "it’s not only what you know, but who you know."

How about you? What do you know about the business of self-storage? Can you take that knowledge to the next level by extending working relationships and creating valuable alliances? Make a list of who you know and plan to get to know them better. Your business and the relationships you foster will thank you. 

Writers Neal Gussis and Aaron Swerdlin teamed together to provide both this month’s article and a working example of the success that can be realized through networking. Gussis is a principal with Beacon Realty Capital and can be reached at 312.207.8240; e-mail Swerdlin is a senior managing director at Holliday, Fenoglio, Fowler, formerly Storage Investment Advisors, and can be reached at 713.376.3326; e-mail

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