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October 1, 2000

2 Min Read


Welcomemat for the front door: $8. Plant for the office counter: $12. A box ofpersonalized pens, complete with your facility name, to distribute toprospective tenants: $300. Framing your first dollar earned: Priceless.

We've all seen the popular MasterCard campaign that capitalizes on the valueof life's precious moments. I've even received a few interesting e-mailrenditions highlighting some not-so-precious moments I certainly wouldn'tpublicize. But the campaign makes a poignant observation on the dichotomybetween items whose value is tangible and concepts or experiences whoseimport cannot be rightfully measured.

So it is with the self-storage product. We can itemize costs of development,construction and operations, but can we logistically place a price tag on thecommodity itself? More than just a safe place to store property, self-storagerepresents a solution to a dilemma. For this reason, operators can justify theirrents, which include not only space to keep one's belongings, but security,climate control, convenience--in short, peace of mind.

Buthow is value determined when you contemplate the sale of your business? Afterall, you're relinquishing more than a lot full of metal buildings and a set ofkeys. Ultimately, you're peddling your years of hard work, a steady income andyour customers' trust. For some of you, the decision of if and when to sellrepresents a crisis of sorts, especially if you started the operation from theground up, have many long-time customers or lived on site. But eventually, theright offer may present itself, or you'll hear the sirens of retirement callingyou. To assist with this dilemma, real-estate expert Burt Gay explains how tobest value, price and sell your facility on page 18, while Mel Holsinger helpsyou determine when is the best time to sell (page 28). Whether you evercontemplate selling your "baby," it's always wise to be aware of itsvalue in the current market.

This month we've also included part two of Michael Parham and Victor Lopez'sdiscussion on "Space-Age Designs," found on page 34, as well as achecklist approach to staying on top of daily facility maintenance, presented byMaurice Pogoda. A final note: You'll read in this issue about a recently passedlaw that could have a direct impact on you as a facility owner. The ElectronicSignatures in Global and National Commerce Act was designed to validateelectronic contracts entered into over the Internet. What this ultimately meansfor our industry is that potential tenants, when renting self-storage over theInternet, can be asked to click a button or check a box indicating theiracceptance of the terms of your rental contract, creating a legally bindingagreement. This will open the doors of e-commerce to several industries. Isuggest seeking legal counsel to determine how this change in policy mightpersonally benefit your self-storage operation.

Best regards,

Teri L. Lanza
[email protected]

For a complete list of references click here

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