ISS BLOG - Self-Storage and the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon: How the Industry Is Seeping Into My Daily Life

If you’ve ever thought about buying a specific car and then suddenly—poof!—you’re constantly seeing that make and model on the road, you’ve experienced the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, also known as the frequency illusion. I’m experiencing it lately myself, only with self-storage. Here’s how the industry is infiltrating my life.

Ron Matejko

May 31, 2024

2 Min Read

While you’ve probably never heard of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, there’s an excellent chance that you’ve experienced it. It’s also known as the frequency or recency illusion. It’s when something that’s newly come to your attention suddenly seems to appear everywhere, like when you plan on buying a particular vehicle and you think you’re constantly seeing that make and model on the road while you’re driving around. I’ve been experiencing this phenomenon myself of late, only with self-storage. 

Ever since I began my position as associate editor with Inside Self-Storage (ISS) in late March, my eyes are suddenly drawn toward every storage facility as I drive by. Business names that I’ve become familiar with through my work are now popping off of buildings, when in the past I didn’t take notice of them at all. 

The June issue of ISS Magazine includes feature articles that showcase the evolution of facility design. This is something I’ve noticed subconsciously as well. I now find myself giving a quick mental critique to the exterior of self-storage buildings as I pass by. Considering that I’ve just completed two months with ISS, this seems as ridiculous as thinking I can criticize a Michelin star-winning chef after I’ve eaten at a high-end restaurant. 

During those split seconds when I’m passing a facility, I find myself taking mental notes about whether it’s single- or multi-story, the cleanliness of the property, whether the units are climate-controlled or drive-up, colors, landscaping—more than I should be paying attention to while driving. This shift in mindset shouldn’t come as a surprise to me, though. During my initial job interview, ISS Vice President Teri Lanza warned me that to truly excel in this position, I would need to eat, sleep and breathe self-storage. I’m not dining on packing paper or sleeping on bubble wrap, but the industry is occupying my thoughts much more than ever before. 

I’m not only noticing more self-storage facilities out in the world, either. From podcasts to YouTube videos to news stories about big industry players on local stations, my ears perk up when I hear references to the business. It’s as if the universe is sending me a message about my new career path. With every article I read, each piece of new information I absorb and every conversation in which I engage, I find myself more deeply entrenched. These experiences also bring me that much closer to my mission of educating myself, so I can decide if I want to pursue self-storage as a real estate investment venture. 

As I navigate through my days, the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon reminds me of how my personal and professional lives interconnect, which I’ve found intriguing, refreshing and amusing. The combination of passion and purpose keeps pushing me forward and fuels my enthusiasm to learn more. Moreso, it reinforces my decision to join the ISS brand and dive deeper into the world of self-storage.

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter
ISS is the most comprehensive source for self-storage news, feature stories, videos and more.

You May Also Like