The self-storage turnstile has been spinning continuously the last several years as a mix of new investors and developers have joined existing operators in a rapidly evolving marketplace. Heightened exposure and increased competition have risen the stakes for those new to the industry as well as seasoned professionals trying to maintain or expand their business.
The simple truth is everything is more complicated than it was a few years ago. For investors and developers, it’s more difficult to find viable, vacant land as well as existing facilities that offer enough value-added upside. There are new challenges designing facilities to meet municipal requirements, along with a host of supply-chain, budgetary and other construction concerns. In the meantime, day-to-day management and maximizing revenue and value have become more complex thanks to a slate of new technological tools and strategies that demand operators adapt to stay relevant and on course.
As such, the ISS Store has released a new series of Mastery video sets focused on these areas of the business. Similar to past bundles, these “greatest hits” packages assemble some of the best seminars from recent Inside Self-Storage World Expo and other ISS educational events to drill down on requested topics of interest, while also offering significant savings from buying education video titles individually.
The 2022 series includes two packages focused on building and investing as well as two addressing important aspects of operation.
On the development side of the business, it’s never been more costly to take a misstep, particularly for those new to self-storage. Figuring out the best project type for a particular property is key as are avoiding common building mistakes and making sure you’ve got a strong strategic foundation with regard to budgeting and materials. The five seminars included in the Building Basics package provide insight to project types, costs, budgeting, materials, timelines, mistakes to avoid and more. They are:
- What Should I Build? Choosing the Best Type of Project for Your Self-Storage Development Site
- Straight Talk About Self-Storage Construction: Materials, Timelines and Budgets
- Don’t Bungle in This Jungle! Escaping Common Self-Storage Building Mistakes
- Smart Strategies to Reduce Self-Storage Building Costs
- Build to Your Budget: Using a Design/Build Construction Approach in Self-Storage
Those same important themes permeate throughout the Advanced Investing set. Today’s approach to market dynamics and sourcing capital requires a mixture of discipline, know-how, keen analysis and creativity. The five sessions in this bundle offer insight to financing, structuring deals, off-market transactions, growing a portfolio, pro forma planning and more. They are:
- Don’t Be Basic! Pushing the Limits of Self-Storage Financing With Creative Capital Options
- Advanced Self-Storage Deal Structures for the Current Lending Climate
- Unlisted Bliss: How to Find and Make Money Through Off-Market Self-Storage Deals
- Is It Time to Become a Multi-Site Self-Storage Operation? Why and How to Grow Your Portfolio
- Finessing Your Self-Storage Pro Forma: Honest Examples and How to Reach a Real-World ROI
On the operational front, the business has changed rapidly, with more tools and resources available to increase efficiencies, manage costs, leverage technology and elevate the customer experience. In many cases, managers have transitioned into remote roles overseeing multiple properties from afar, while countless operators have learned the importance of leveraging virtual services and smart technology to strengthen customer service and meet new consumer expectations. Thus, the five sessions included in the Innovative Operation set offer insight to automation, the customer experience, smart tools, contactless rentals, virtual trends and more. They are:
- Transitioning from Traditional to Automated Self-Storage … It’s Easier and Cheaper Than You Think!
- The Culture of Virtual Convenience: Customer-Experience Innovation in Self-Storage
- Technology Trends to Welcome in a Progressively Virtual Self-Storage Landscape
- Can’t Touch This! A Thorough Exploration of the Contact-Free Self-Storage Rental Process
- Making the Leap: Taking Your Small Self-Storage Operation From Tech-Free to Tech-Savvy
Of course, the name of the game is to maximize operations and realize a handsome return on not only your initial self-storage investment but also the resources and expenditures you allocate to improve the business. To fire on all cylinders today requires diligence and skill from facility managers as well as the implementation of a well-rounded, carefully crafted revenue-management program. Thus, the five sessions included in the Revenue Growth set address budgeting, rental rates, occupancy, add-on sales, discounting, expenses and more. They are:
- The 5 Levers Every Self-Storage Manager Must Pull to Maximize Facility Revenue
- Building and Refining an Operations Budget: The Financial Plan You Need for Self-Storage Success
- Changing the Psychology of Self-Storage Rentals: A Tiered-Value Approach to Unit Pricing
- Optimizing Your Self-Storage Rental Rates for Higher NOI and Facility Value
- A Manager's Guide to Self-Storage Revenue: Rental Rates, Discounts, Expenses and More
The self-storage sector emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic energized with a modern outlook and unprecedented propulsion. It also faces very real challenges due to sustained levels of interest from new investors, contraction, tightening markets, municipal wariness, economic volatility and competitive operational sophistication.
Whether you’re just entering the industry or an operator with years of experience behind you, now’s the time to master your segment of the business by sharpening your focus, broadening your knowledge and strengthening your ability to execute with precision and confidence.