Zack Proser, a facility manager with Storage Kings self-storage in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, has created an online resource to educate self-storage tenants, operators and others about the industry’s auction process. StorageAuctionsKings.com features articles explaining auctions and ways for buyers and operators to make money off these sales.
The site also provides guidance to storage customers who are struggling with their monthly rental payments, providing recommendations to avoid having their items sold. In addition, Proser is working to expand the site to offer more utility and assistance to other property managers and their companies.
The website also offers a newsletter as well as a $1.99 e-book written by Proser titled The Storage Auction Master’s Handbook: The Complete Guide to Doubling Your Cash. Intended for auction buyers, the book explains what buyers should expect during an auction, how to identify winning units, and eBay tricks used by “the pros” to maximize revenue.
Proser’s website was inspired by the increase in auction activity incited by TV reality shows “Storage Wars” and “Auction Hunters.” “I can remember one day when I got about 15 random phone calls back to back, within minutes of one another,” Proser said. “The funny thing was, none of these people were current tenants. They’d never even been to our facility before. They were all auction hunters wanting to know when we were holding our next sell-off of delinquent units.”
Proser eventually found the constant storage-auction inquiries from non-customers to be a drain. “It got to the point where I realized I could actually save time by making a website all about storage auctions and then directing everyone that wanted to know about them to it. Within a few hours, I had a functional site up that would answer most people’s basic storage-unit buying questions.”
What started as a utilitarian venture born of annoyance soon developed into a labor of love. Proser continued to add sections to the site including auction lists, forums and more.
“From a management perspective, these auctions are financial tools to recoup losses a company incurs when tenants fail to make their monthly payments,” Proser said. “Not to mention, selling off someone else’s belongings is the least pleasant part of the job. From where we stand, auctions involve a tremendous amount of work, irritation and tedious self-protection.”