When I was a kid, summer was ceremoniously ushered out the door with the annual fall-preview shows broadcast by the major television networks. It was always fun to see clips from the new lineups and speculate about which programs would be must-see TV. Together, they helped coat the sting that came from the end of a carefree summer and having to go back to school.
Consumer choice has long since made those shows obsolete, and altered how and when shows are aired. With television production shuttered thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, many viewers have been left to wonder when their favorite programs will find their way back to the airwaves or online.
The health crisis has similarly disrupted our annual product-release schedule for the Inside Self-Storage (ISS) Store. Typically, the annual ISS World Expo would be followed by a full slate of video releases from the event’s education program. The cancellation of this year’s conference scuttled our spring plans and forced us into a holding pattern. Though ripple effects from the pandemic continue to impact many aspects to business operation and home life, we’ve been working on several items we’re excited to bring you this fall.
With the 2020 ISS Virtual Event slated for Sept. 29-30, I’m excited to announce that all 12 of the traditional education sessions that will be broadcast in the virtual theater will be available for purchase in DVD and on-demand video format from the ISS Store. The seminar lineup will cover a host of timely and relevant topics, with industry experts tackling everything from weathering the recession to exploring the virtual-management model. In addition to individual seminars, four discount packages will be available for DVDs.
We’re also in production on nearly 30 more education sessions covering the full gamut of self-storage building, investing, operations, ownership, customer experience and technology. Those recorded seminars will be available for pre-order during the virtual event, with product availability in October.
Add to Your Library
In the meantime, we released a new book yesterday that you’re going to want to add to your library. Written by AJ Osborne, co-founder of Bitterroot Holdings/Keylock Storage, “The Investors Guide to Growing Wealth in Self Storage: The Step-By-Step Playbook for Turning a Real Estate Asset Into a Thriving Self Storage Business” teaches readers how to identify investment opportunities, allocate capital, and leverage management expertise to turn a mom-and-pop asset into an income-producing venture.
Osborne co-founded Bitterroot/Keylock in 2012 and helped build a $100 million portfolio with 12 properties across the Northwest. Topics covered in the book include why self-storage is an attractive investment, valuation and finding deals, financing, revitalizing assets, reducing risk and more.
The author has an inspiring story. He was struck by sudden paralysis and placed on life support two years ago due to Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare disorder in which a person’s immune system attacks his nerves. He remains partially paralyzed today but has maintained financial stability thanks to his investment smarts.
Industry Movers and Shakers
One of the projects that was unaffected by the pandemic was our annual Top-Operators Lists, ranking the industry’s top 100 facility owners and top 50 third-party management companies by net rentable square feet. The annual release is a valuable resource for self-storage investors, developers, owners and suppliers. The lists include facility and brand owners, independents and property-management firms. The data also features contact information, expansion plans, and each company’s number of locations and units.
Though available in multiple formats, the robust ISS Store package includes both complete lists in Excel format as well as a 20-page PDF companion comprising a three-page analytical report of the list results and a full representation of the rankings in easy-to-read format. The lists feature data on owned vs. managed self-storage facilities for companies that do both, with breakouts for number of facilities, units and square footage for each.
The report portion of the PDF analyzes growth, decline and general movement among this year's final list participants. It identifies companies in aggressive growth mode, notable portfolio declines, and up-and-comers in the business. It also tracks activity by the industry’s six largest players, putting their numbers in context with each other as well as the larger rankings. Previous lists for 2012 through 2019 are also available for purchase.
Fall Is Coming
Though I can’t tell you when we’ll be able to resume life as we once knew it or if Jim Hopper will return in the fourth season of “Stranger Things,” I’m thankful we’re able to continue to bring valuable industry resources and education to you. These are unusual and trying times that can test even the savviest self-storage operator. Arming yourself with expertise and professional growth will position you well for the many plot twists and cliffhangers ahead.