At the Inside Self-Storage World Expo in Las Vegas, March 1-3, you can make a little bit of money go a long way toward renewing and improving your self-storage venture. The industrys largest conference and tradeshow provides three full days of seminars, workshops, product/service exhibits and networking opportunities.

November 30, 2009

8 Min Read
Compete and Excel in a Challenging Self-Storage Market: ISS Expo Education

It’s a new year, and like everyone else, self-storage professionals are hoping to see the clouds of economic woe disperse and the sunlit rays of cash flow shine in. We’re all waiting for operational and financial rejuvenation, but in the meantime, how do we keep our businesses successful? If you own, operate or invest in self-storage, the answer lies in industry education.

At the Inside Self-Storage World Expo in Las Vegas, March 1-3, you can make a little bit of money go a long way toward renewing and improving your self-storage venture. The industry’s largest conference and tradeshow provides three full days of seminars, workshops, product/service exhibits and networking opportunities. The ISS Education Package is not only a tremendous value, it gives you access to 36 classes, taught by leading experts in the fields of self-storage management, marketing, legal issues, finance and much more.

Join us at the Paris Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas, and get the learning you need to compete and excel in a challenging self-storage market. Want to know more? Following is a sample of the seminars you will enjoy as part of our four-track education program. 

Register by Jan. 8, 2010, and save up to $300!

Track 1: Facility Marketing & Sales

The importance of self-storage marketing cannot be understated, and ISS has built a track that addresses traditional methods as well as the most cutting-edge developments in this field. You’ll learn about building a self-storage website and e-mail database, strategies for using social-media marketing, and ways to tailor your messages to different generations of customers.

Renowned industry trainer Brad North will present two complementary seminars that pack lots of punch. In “Cost-Effective Marketing Strategies for Self-Storage,” he’ll share more than 30 marketing and advertising ideas that will help you create a steady stream of referrals into your facility while increasing the profit of your operation. Then in “Igniting Self-Storage Profit Through Super Sales,” you’ll learn how to become more proactive in developing a sales approach that works. You’ll hear techniques for turning more callers and walk-in customers into renters, and get practical steps to overcome objections, out-compete your competition, and turn your differential advantages into income.

Get the industry's most comprehensive marketing information!

In his seminar titled “Maximizing Free Online Advertising Opportunities for Self-Storage,” David Wolf will help you identify free online listings and business profiles in search engines and Internet Yellow Pages portals such as Google, Yahoo, MSN,, and John Traver will teach you how to overcome your competition, sharing four secrets used by top companies. You’ll also get “Keys to Converting Leads to Rentals” from executives of

Read more about these and other marketing seminars at

Track 2: Day-to-Day Facility Management

In a market full of fierce competition, what you need are tried and true operational strategies that will help you streamline your business, trim expenses and maximize profit. Our management track is full of this essential know-how.

Begin with learning how to analyze and minimize your self-storage expenses with Mel Holsinger, president of Professional Self Storage Management. He’ll teach you how to set up a budget for a self-storage property, distinguish between fixed and variable costs, and minimize operating costs without sacrificing service or quality. You’ll discover how to create an ongoing strategy to improve your facility’s overall cash flow and increase its value.

Next, learn how to manage your rental rates, staff and costs to increase revenue. Husband-and-wife team Steve and Tammy Ross will help you examine your rental rates and competition to determine if you’re getting the most income from your property. They’ll look at different ways to staff a facility for success, and which operational expenses can be reduced.

If you’re a facility owner, John Roser of USA Storage Resource will help you figure out what makes your managers tick during “From Mediocre to Magnificent: The Making of a Motivated Manager.” He’ll teach you what it takes to re-energize a mediocre manager, and how to inspire a good manager to greatness. If you’re a facility manager, learn how to step up your role in the self-storage business, taking greater ownership of an operation, from Gina Six Kudo, general manager of Cochrane Road Self Storage in Morgan Hill, Calif. She’ll give you tips for working with ownership and taking your career to the next level.

In this track, you’ll learn other essential skills: how to reinvent an older self-storage business to compete with newer properties, comprehensive facility maintenance, how to choose and work with a third-party management company, tenant screening, crime prevention, dealing with the media, and more! 

Track 3: Construction, Development & Green Initiatives

Though industry development has slowed in the past year due to the challenges of financing, smart owners and developers are taking advantage of the slowdown in construction or priming themselves to build at the turn of the market. You can get the information you need to develop or buy a successful project in this inclusive track. In “Now Is the Time to Build Self-Storage,” Bruce McCardle of Mako Steel discusses the pros and cons of building in today’s economic climate.

Go GREEN with your self-storage business!

For those seeking the right self-storage location, industry expert Jim Chiswell guides you through the self-storage feasibility study, providing a checklist of the critical steps and decision points you’ll face in the process. If you’ve already chosen a site, Jamie Lindau of Trachte Building Systems will help you create the most effective site design and layout, one that will maximize your land and meet the market’s needs.

Looking for alternative ways to enter the business? Andrew Hyde will teach you how to make money with self-storage conversions. He’ll discuss how to find and evaluate potential facility locations, detailing the cost and construction process. He’ll give you the top five site-selection criteria for conversions and show you how to use them. You can also learn about self-storage acquisitions from Scott Meyers, who will share secrets about how to find great self-storage deals using little to no cash out of pocket.

Those of you who are green-minded will be pleased to see several seminars in this track pertaining to environmental sustainability. The team from iParkSolar and Baja Construction will present a two-part seminar on using solar energy in self-storage: how to do it, what it costs, system components and more. They’ll share detailed case studies from existing projects including potential revenue streams and return-on-investment analysis. In addition, Buster Owens of The Rabco Corp. will share information about Green Building Certification for self-storage builders, and Barry Keyes will teach you how to create on onsite recycling center at your facility. 

Track 4: Finance, Insurance & Legal Issues

The risk side of self-storage can be intimidating to many owners and developers. The ISS Expo is here to help with an education track that addresses the ins and outs of self-storage financing, the most pressing legal issues, and details about insurance coverage.

Neal Gussis, principal of The BSC Group, provides an overview of the capital markets and the challenges self-storage professionals face today. He’ll discuss how our industry is faring as an asset class, who is lending, and how to best position your business when seeking finance alternatives. In a separate session, he’ll participate in a panel on “Managing Your Financial Future,” where experts will teach you about current sale trends and strategies you can use to protect your investment.

If you’re looking to sell a self-storage property, an affiliate of the Argus Self Storage Sales Network will help you lay the groundwork for a smooth, successful transaction and avoid the pitfalls that leave so many buyers and sellers wondering why a deal didn’t work. But before you sell, know what your facility is worth. Self-storage valuation expert Charles Ray Wilson will provide you with data illustrating the performance trend of thousand of facilities nationwide as well as information you can take home to evaluate your own market conditions compared to national, regional and local trends. He’ll also provide you with an easy-to-use valuation tool.

Some of the most challenging aspects of running a self-storage facility are the legal pitfalls, the quagmires you can fall into when tenants get disgruntled or don’t pay, or you fail to follow state law to the letter. Don’t miss the legal sessions provided in this track. Legal expert Jeffrey Greenberger will teach you how to steer clear of trouble during self-storage lien sales. Scott Frank addresses the issue of tenant or corporate bankruptcy, providing answers to your most common questions.

If disaster should strike at your facility, make sure you and your tenants are covered. Not sure what you need? Our insurance experts will make it plain in seminars that address business liability, tenant insurance and more. You’ll learn risk-management techniques that will save you money, details about specialized self-storage coverage, options for tenants and more.

The education provided at the ISS Expo is affordable and unbeatable. Seize this chance to improve, protect, expand and market your business! Get going to Las Vegas and get the resources you need to succeed.

To view a complete expo agenda and read more about the event's educational lineup, including full seminar descriptions and speaker biographies, visit the website at

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