|The Inside Scoop|
Feeling the Love in Self-Storage
Every time we turn around, it seems someone in the press is loving all over the self-storage industry. Last week it was David Ferrell, writing for the Orange County Register. The first installment in his two-part article, "Self-storage industry keeps on keeping," summarized the business as "one of the remarkable stories of American commerce." It included interviews with several industry shakers who spread their own breed of self-storage love via knowledge and useful resources. See if you recognize these folks:
- R. Christian Sonne, the executive managing director of the Self Storage Industry Group of Cushman & Wakefield, which offers facility valuations, industry analyses and investor surveys. Sonne is a regular contributor to ISS magazine and a scheduled speaker of the upcoming Inside Self-Storage World Expo in Las Vegas. His most recent article, "The Self-Storage Appraisal Process: Understanding Valuation Approaches Used Today," addresses three primary valuation approaches that have evolved to help determine facility value. His expo seminar taking place on April 3 will teach self-storage owners how they can benefit from the performance guidance of the industry real estate investment trusts as well as how to track the performance of their own facilities. Sonne's company is also a partner of the Inside Self-Storage Store, to which it contributes an excellent series of industry performance reports available on a local, regional and national level.
- Rachel Greenfield, marketing manager for SpareFoot, an online marketplace that streamlines the rental process for self-storage customers. The Austin-based company is full of energetic go-getters interested in educating the public about storage and providing useful resources for the industry including:
- Greenfield's article on do-it-yourself video marketing, published by ISS
- An ISS-produced slideshow on consumer trends in self-storage
- A quarterly report on industry rental and consumer trends
- Multiple articles addressing online marketing for self-storage operators, such as "5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Self-Storage Facility’s Pay-Per-Click Effort," authored by Craig Barrett, SpareFoot's director of search marketing
- A "Bust-a-Move-In" self-storage pin-up calendar for 2013
- Lance Watkins, CEO and founder of Storage Outlet Self Storage, which has 15 locations throughout California. Watkins is also the conceptualizer of StorageTreasures.com, a website for self-storage auction hunters, and co-founder of Charity Storage, a national network of storage facilities that collect donations of goods to be sold at storage auctions, with the proceeds directed to various charitable organizations. That's self-storage love of another kind!
While I don't agree with all of Mr. Ferrell's observations and conclusions of our industry, I appreciate the effort he took to capture the complex and multi-faceted nature of the business. Though I suspect self-storage auctions were the primary impetus behind the piece (with the second installment devoted exclusively to the concept of self-storage treasure hunting), he assembled a more accurate account of the industry's history and status than other similar articles I've read in recent years. And he managed to call out a few notable industry personalities in the process.
As I mentioned, Sonne will be speaking at the ISS Expo, so if you're planning to join us there, you can benefit from his many years of expertise. SpareFoot will be present, exhibiting in booth 310 on the show floor; and I believe members of the StorageTreasures/Charity Storage team will also be in attendance.
Now for a sweet deal: The early-bird registration discount was extended through tomorrow, Feb. 15. After that, it's gone for good, so don't miss your chance to save $305 on the Premium Package, $155 on the Education Package, $50 on the Expo-Hall Package, and $160 on each of the show’s four add-on intensive workshops. It's just a little more love for you from the team at ISS.
Enjoy the rest of your Valentine's Day, and whether or not you acknowledge the holiday, maybe you can do your part to spread some more self-storage love today. If you do, let us know about it!