ISS Blog

Is Your Self-Storage Facility Failing or Thriving?

It's easy to spot a successful self-storage operation, but what about a failing one? Getting industry education can help managers keep their facilities on top.

Its pretty easy to spot a successful self-storage operationat least from the outside. The facility is likely well-kept, tenants can be seen moving about several times a day, the manager appears to be organized, upbeat and content. But what could be lurking under the surface? Is the roof leaking in one building? Are more tenants moving out than moving in? Is the manager putting on a happy face just so he has a home and job? How do you determine if a facility is close to failing?

The question was put forth by Self-Storage Talks Community Manager John Carlisle a few weeks ago. John asked SST members whats the criteria for a troubled facility? Is it simply declining revenue? Complaints from tenants? A manager under too much pressure? A silent phone?

SST members chimed in with their take on the question. Some said it was lack of a proactive owner, manager or both. Repeated customer service complaints can also be a clear warning sign.

One thing is for certainin todays competitive market, all hands must be on deck. That means managers must be on top of marketing, sales, maintenance, bookkeeping, abiding by the law when it comes to lien sales, customer service and more. Self-storage is no longer a place for order-takers. Todays managers are tech savvy, smart and have a strong desire to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

Earlier this week, Stephanie Tharpe, a self-storage manager and SST moderator, blogged about the many ways managers can be their best. Id like to add somethingseek education.

The Inside Self-Storage World Expo is just around the corner, March 14-16 at the Paris Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas. Theres no better place to learn, network and grow than the industrys biggest show. The ISS expo features four education tracks comprising with 36 seminars covering everything from enhancing curb appeal and understanding lien sales to new tool technology tools and boosting your online visibility.

If your boss doesnt think youll get much from the show, show him the website or the show planner, which mailed with the January issue of ISS. Talk about the seminars and how theyll help you make his business better. Dont let your facility become a troubled one. Instead, be the facility with a waiting list.

To learn more about the Inside Self-Storage World Expo and register, visit

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