A Texas self-storage operator who has embarked on a campaign to ban all aggregator websites from the self-storage industry has now formed the Self Storage Anti-Aggregator Alliance.
Two weeks ago, Randy A. Smith, director of operations for Another Closet Self Storage in McAllen, Texas, launched what he called “a war on the aggregators." He not only launched a website, NoStorageAggregators.com, he circulated a controversial video message to thousands of industry professionals and released a whitepaper, "Dancing With the Devil: How the Self-Storage Industry Is Selling Its Soul to the SpareFoot.com’s of the World and the Hell We Are About to Reap for Doing So."
Smith said the response to his message exceeded his expectations. “Self-storage operators recognize the threat, and now they know a multitude of others feel the same way. Most operators asked the logical next question: ‘What’s the next step?’ Well, the formation of the Self Storage Aggregation Alliance is the response to that question.”
According to Smith, the alliance has a five-fold mission:
- Educate self-storage operators about the threat posed by online aggregators
- Encourage operators to adopt a "non-use of aggregators" policy
- Share online/offline marketing strategies that are good for both the operator and the industry
- Make the aggregator business model so unprofitable through non-use that the aggregators have no choice but to abandon the industry
- Petition storage associations to redefine the meaning of "vendor" to exclude those who compete against facility operators
Membership in the alliance is free. Information can be found at SSAAA.org. In addition to the information on the website, Smith plans to send educational newsletters to members.
Smith's goal is to see at least 100 facility operators join the alliance within the next couple of weeks. He said experts from various industry segments have volunteered to educate members, including those in SEO, Web design, reservation technologies, radio, TV and social media.