Over the decades, the industry has cultivated state-of-the-art software packages, security technologies and building systems, making them readily available to self-storage developers. Now, with the help of the Self-Storage Training Institute (SSTI) and a computer, cultivating quality management skills is also readily available. In fact, a Qualified Storage Manager (QSM) designation is within arm’s reach. Just what does that mean for the industry ... and for you? Read on ...
SSTI, owned and operated by Inside Self-Storage (ISS), has worked diligently to create an online, broad-based curriculum of essential self-storage management courses covering four core components including general self-storage information, fundamentals of operation, management and legal issues. Within each component is a series of specific courses that enrollees in the QSM program can complete within their own timeframes and around their personals schedules. In short, it’s a convenient, easy and affordable route to a quality education, provided by ISS, an organization that’s been in the self-storage industry for more than 17 years.
“Providing cost-effective education for owners and managers has been a problem for our industry since its inception,” says Jim Chiswell, an industry expert who has partnered with SSTI to launch the QSM program. “Even when you consider all the national, regional and state meetings, seminars and conferences that have been held over the past 40 years, the vast majority of owners and managers have never been in attendance. This is especially true for the small entrepreneurial owners who are the heart and lifeblood of this industry.”
Next month, thousands of self-storage owners and operators will travel to Las Vegas to participate in the largest expo in the industry, the Inside Self-Storage World Expo, Jan. 26-29. The conference has garnered a reputation for bringing the finest and most qualified industry experts to speak to audiences of all levels of self-storage experience. The education opportunities of attending such a tradeshow are abundant, but the price for attending can sometimes be too high for some small operators, who would have to close down operations for several days to participate.
“To me, SSTI and all online self-storage learning can never replace a live class or a tradeshow, because the interaction and the camaraderie are quite different,” begins Jeff Greenberger, an attorney and member of the QSM core faculty. “However, for those who want to seek a designation, or who cannot close their store for a few days to go to another city and take classes, the SSTI and its new QSM are a real breakthrough development.
“All classes are short and can be taken in one sitting, without closing the business, and you can pause them if the phone rings,” Greenberger continues. “To top it off, you learn from the best people around, the same people who would be speaking at the tradeshows.”
In this sense, for those seeking an education in self-storage management, the QSM program is like bringing the best conference in the world right to their desks. No plane tickets, hotel rooms or conference fees. Instead, enrollees can pay as they go, downloading course materials when time allows, and learning the tricks of the trade from the most knowledgeable in the field.