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The ISS Blog provides a series of insightful, industry-relevant posts to help readers keep abreast of the latest trends in the marketplace as well as premium content and educational offerings. Read the thoughts of the ISS content team and other industry experts on issues related to self-storage challenges, news, operation, development, marketing and much more.

Teri L. Lanza,
Vice President

Tony Jones,
Contributing Editor/Store Manager

Amy Campbell,

Summer School in Session at the Inside Self-Storage Store

By Teri Lanza Comments

School may be out for summer, but when you run a business, you can't afford to stop learning or keeping up with industry trends. Summer is a busy time for self-storage facilities ... Folks changing residences while their kids are out of school, people vacationing and storing their boats and RVs, college kids heading to their new homes and storing stuff on both ends ... So it gets tough for facility operators to make time for reading and education. Don't get left in the erudition dust or allow your skills to rust! The ISS Store can help.

Yeah, I know. At the end of a long and busy day, who wants to read a work-related publication or watch a webinar, especially when the grill is calling? You want to crack open an ice-cold brew, slather butter on a hot ear of corn and sink your teeth into a juicy steak, right? Maybe take a dip in the pool or just chill on the back patio. It sounds great, and no doubt you deserve it. But don't you also deserve the satisfaction of doing an excellent job? To compete with other self-storage operators in your market, you have to be at the top of your game.

Don't believe me? Think I'm just making this up to get you to buy stuff? Hardly. Let me tell you what I see when I travel to industry tradeshows throughout the year. I see owners and managers who are smart, professional and ambitious. I see seminar rooms packed with operators who are asking questions, taking notes and sharing information with peers and presenters. These folks mean business, and they're not joking around.

Even if yours is not a particularly fierce market with several competitors, your customers expect more from you. More knowledge, more professionalism, more advice, more assistance.

Pop quiz:

  • Do you know the five best ways to deflect customer objections to storing with you?
  • Do you know all the steps to take when initiating lien proceedings against a delinquent tenant?
  • Do you know how to use social media to promote your business?
  • Do you understand the difference between economic and physical occupancy and what each means to your bottom line?
  • Do you know what to do if one of your tenants passes away and someone requests entry to his unit?
  • Do you know how to avoid discounting to get customers to rent with you?
  • Do you know how to execute a successful rent increase?
  • Do you know how to properly update your rental agreement and get existing tenants to acknowledge any changes?
  • Do you know how to conduct a proper self-storage auction?
  • Do you know how to manage your facility's online presence and maximize the use of free online marketing?
  • Do you know what to do if there's a negative event such as a fire or theft at your facility?
  • Do you know how to properly maintain and repair your self-storage doors?
  • Do you know how to get a caller to come in visit with you? What about converting that visitor to a renter?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you're a good student! I suspect there are very few operators out there who know all the answers, which means there's more to learn. The Inside Self-Storage Store is dedicated to helping industry professionals get the information they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford. If you have questions about starting or operating a self-storage business, the store contains training courses, digital magazines, webinars, video and many other resources that will provide the answers you seek. The best part is it's all on demand. You buy it, and you can immediately access the information through your "My On-Demand Library." There's no waiting for an industry event, no waiting for a package to come in the mail.

The ISS Store was launched in March, but we're consistently adding new products. Just last week we added a series of 20 new audiocast packages, based on popular education content from the recent Inside Self-Storage World Expo. Topics include add-on profit centers, marketing and advertising, financing, development, staff management and much more. Each package includes an MP3 recording of the seminar as well as a PDF companion manual containing the presenter's PowerPoint slides.

We've also just added the digital edition of the ISS August issue, which contains our annual Buyer's Guide. If you're looking for information about self-storage suppliers, products and services, you won't find a more comprehensive resource.

I grew up on the East Coast, and when I was a kid, summers meant two very important things to me: family vacations on Cape Cod and fresh summer vegetables from our neighbor's garden. If you've never tasted a native beefsteak tomato fresh from the garden, sliced and drizzled with olive oil, well, you haven't lived. But while summers were often filled with wondrous and delicious experiences, my brother and I weren't allowed to slack off. My parents insisted on some educational activities as well, so we'd keep our minds sharp for the return to school in the fall.

Keep your self-storage knowledge fresh this summer with on-demand resources, and put your newfound skills to use in the busy months ahead. If there's something in particular you'd like to learn about, please post it on the blog. We're always open to ideas for new seminars and store products.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July. And for the love of all that's holy, find yourself some native beefsteak tomatoes.


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