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Amy Campbell

Amy Campbell
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acampbell@vpico.com

What Will the Slow Season Be Like for Self-Storage Operators This Year?

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By Tron Jordheim

Call volume and demand waves have been quite different this year than previous ones for the 850 or so stores I keep my eye on as the director of PhoneSmart. The season started early this year and stayed strong all the way through the beginning of August, when we saw one of the busiest Julys we had ever seen. We would have normally seen a big lull in mid-August, but it was brief and insignificant. The end of August was starting to heat up again. So I don’t know how to call it.

Our approach at PhoneSmart is to assume that the slow season is not coming. We’ve kept hiring, training and making preparations for a long, busy season. In years past, we would have seen a significant slowdown in September and a very quiet November through January. Last year, the busy season took a long time to slow down, and our slow season over the winter was not very slow.

What are you feeling in your business or area? I suspect local markets vary widely and you may be experiencing something completely different than someone on the other side of the continent or even your own market.

It may be that storage has become so entrenched in the North American lifestyle that it’s no longer a seasonal business. It may be that the movement of people has become leveled out as compared to the years when there were busy home-sales seasons each spring.

What trends are you seeing? How have customers changed or stayed the same? Use the comment section below to tell us how the tea leaves in your cup look. Normally, my crystal ball works pretty well, but lately it seems a bit cloudy and I’m not sure I know what I’m looking at. In the meantime, we’ll keep staffing up and getting ready for a busy fall. I hope it turns out to be a good one for you. We’re planning for it to be a good one for us.

Tron Jordheim is the director of PhoneSmart, an off-site sales force serving self-storage owners for more than 10 years. For more information, visit www.phone-smart.info .

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