After decades of working separately in self-storage insurance and marketing, Harry Sleighel creates a new insurance offering for the market: Storage Property Protection, with a focus on marketing, training and advertising.
Harry Sleighel's self-storage career began when he was hired by MiniCo Inc. in 1985 to manage the company’s Customer Storage Insurance (CSI) program. His primary responsibility was to revitalize the program that, though an industry leader, was faltering. He conducted focus groups and face-to-face meetings with hundreds of self-storage managers and owners in Arizona, and hundreds more nationwide by phone.
Once the data was collected and analyzed, it became apparent that marketing would be invaluable, and new brochures and posters were devised. To recognize the managers on the front lines, MiniCo instituted the “Be a Star” program. These changes led to immediate and long-term success, resulting in Sleighel’s promotion to vice president of marketing, a position in which he continued to market and promote CSI. Before leaving MiniCo, he was promoted to executive vice president, responsible for day-to-day operation, which included the insurance division.
In 1989, Sleighel and a partner, Michael Zervas, started a new ad agency, American Ad Management, specializing in Yellow Pages advertising. As the company grew, so did the need for new, relevant products. Recruitment advertising and interactive divisions were soon added, and the company’s name changed to Michaels Wilder.
In 2001, the buyout of Sleighel’s partner opened the doors for even more growth opportunity. Four years of grooming allowed Sleighel to hand over the keys to CEO Shelly Little, leaving him with some extra time on his hands—and a new business venture.
A consulting experience in 2008 re-sparked Sleighel’s interest in tenant insurance. Was there a niche for a better product in the marketplace that would be superior for customers, managers and owners? It was déjà vu.
Sleighel hired David Rose, a program manager at U-Haul International Inc., where his responsibilities included working with thousands of self-storage facilities. His understanding of the operational side and his keen insight into the manager's world were a perfect fit for Sleighel’s new venture, Storage Property Protection (SPP). Rose was named executive director, responsible for day-to-day operation.
“David brings 17 years experience with a self-storage giant and unique self-storage operational viewpoint to our new operation,” Sleighel says.
SPP’s objective is to partner with self-storage owners, operators and managers to provide a win-win environment for them and their customers. Focus will be placed on marketing, training and advertising.
“We want to be the best, not the biggest,” Sleighel says. “That’s our mission statement and, by following it, growth will follow.” The new focus has already produced a unique actuarial component to the self-storage mix, Storage Property Protection’s Rate Optimizer.
On March 2, Storage Property Protection will conduct a seminar titled “Creating Profit and Peace of Mind With Self-Storage Tenant Insurance” as part of the Inside Self-Storage World Expo in Las Vegas. Visit www.insideselfstorageworldexpo.com for details.