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Annapolis Self Storage to Open on Moreland Parkway

The Morrell Cos. began construction on a $7 million project in Annapolis, Md., that involves renovating the former Earle's Moving and Storage Co. on Moreland Parkway into a three-story, climate-controlled self-storage facility. Annapolis Self Storage is expected to open in December with 500 units and will be managed by United Stor-All Management Co.
 
Morrell Cos. acquired the Earle’s parcel last year along with a second parcel belonging to an existing storage facility formerly known as ABC Self Storage. Annapolis Self Storage will operate on both parcels.
 
The self-storage project is helping to breath new life into the Moreland Parkway corridor, which has fallen into disrepair since build in the mid-1970s.  
 
Source: Annapolis Capital, New road, refurbished buildings dress up Moreland Park area

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Amerco Real Estate Proposes to 'Green' U-Haul Center of Coralville

Amerco Real Estate Company (AREC), parent company of U-Haul Center of Coralville in Coralville, Iowa, submitted a sustainability-improvement proposal to the city. The proposal included ways to increase sustainability by reducing the facility's carbon footprint, enhance the appearance of the facility, and provide one-stop moving and storage convenience for the community. To date, the city has not responded.

The U-Haul Center of Coralville is a first-generation facility. Its services and products include shared use of moving van and trailer rentals, 100 percent biodegradable packing peanuts, moving pads made from recycled denim and the Take a Box/Leave a Box display, which allows community residents to drop off unwanted used boxes for others to use for free.

In 2007, the company began exploring updating the Coralville facility, including the addition of shared-use self-storage, permeable ground cover and reimaging of the current facility.

Source:  Ajax World,  Amerco Real Estate Submits Sustainability-Improvement Proposal to City of Coralville; No Response From City Officials

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Safeguard Self Storage Opens Coconut Grove Facility

Safeguard Self Storage opened its sixth facility in the Miami, Fla., market on Oct. 1. The Coconut Grove facility has 398 units and amenities including climate control, a covered loading area and parking, computer-controlled and recorded access, video surveillance, and individual door alarms. The site managers are Jose Fernandez and Anthony Rodriquez.
 
Headquartered in Atlanta, Safeguard was founded in New Orleans in 1989. The company has more than 55 locations, a dozen of which are clustered in the Broward County, Miami and Tampa, Fla., markets.

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Why Should They Hire YOU? Tips for a Wannabe Self-Storage Manager

With so many people out of work these days, many would happily try their hand at managing a self-storage facility, even though they may know nothing the job. But it can be daunting for employers to sift through all the inquiries, interviews, background checks and paperwork involved in hiring.

Although staffing is the most important aspect of the job for a management company or facility owner, finding the right person to fit the team can be overwhelming.

If you are looking for employment in self-storage, here are some tips to get you noticed and start off on the right foot with a potential employer.
 
The Résumé

It’s not unusual for employers to get hundreds of résumés and inquires for one job opening. Your résumé needs to catch their attention immediately. Write your cover letter or e-mail so that, as screeners wade through the applications, yours gets pulled and examined closer.

On the initial pass, employers are looking for a reason to eliminate each candidate rather than keep him. They want to narrow the number of people who are qualified, serious and meet the job criteria. In most cases, it takes the computer longer to open the résumé document than it does the employer to scan it and decide whether to look closer. Your résumé needs to catch his attention quickly.

If the employment ad reads “Please send résumé,” then attach one. Employers are not going to respond to a request for more information about the job. An inquiry without a résumé is the first indication that an individual doesn’t take direction well. Why should a busy employer waste his time? If you’re truly interested in more information, send a résumé that tells an employer why you should get a call.

In self-storage, the goal of answering the phone is to get the prospect to visit the facility. When sending a résumé, the goal is toget the potential employer to call you! Your résumé will do that for you. In one brief look, an employer will determine how well you present yourself.

Are you meticulous or sloppy? A hand-written résumé will not fly in a computer-run world. This says you’re not technically efficient. Do your writing skills appear to be at the level needed for the job? Spelling, grammar and punctuation all count.

While employers appreciate the brevity, if you send a résumé that looks like a text message, you won’t get a call. Are you detail-oriented? Specific dates of employment for your previous positions are important.

If you’re too lazy to do a good job on your résumé, you won’t make the cut. Your résumé is your first chance to make a good impression.
 
Is Your Objective Their Objective?

If the opening of your résumé states you want a rewarding career in healthcare, computer-software design or interior decorating, you probably will not get a call. Unless your objective matches the job offered, don’t bother to respond. Blasting out résumés to every ad posted might get you a job somewhere in the short term, but not in self-storage.

If you’re serious about getting a job, take the time to get the right job. Customize your résumé for it. Make an effort to get noticed. Target your search to jobs in which you’re interested, where your skills can be used to their fullest. Maybe your background isn’t a perfect match, but if you can explain how these skills are just what a self-storage operator needs, that might get you into the short pile.
 
Is There Stuff to Your Fluff?

If you’ve let someone else write your résumé, it will be very apparent to the employer soon enough. Your résumé should reflect who you are, not the impressions of your best friend, spouse or anyone else. If you don’t live up to what you’ve represented on your résumé, you might get the job, but you won’t keep it.

Expect that you will get a call or interview and prepare for the questions that could be asked. If you have self-storage experience, be prepared to talk about occupancies, delinquencies, insurance and merchandise sales. Know your numbers. “How many units did your property have?” is not a trick question. Show the employer how your experience will be translated to this particular position.

Be prepared to provide examples of how your input brought value to your former employer. Also be prepared to explain why you left a job and what you’ve been doing with your time since. “Just looking for a job” is not a good answer. If you have time in between jobs, make sure you’re using it wisely. Learn a skill or hobby, take a class, volunteer, etc. Do something that shows you’ve filled the gap in a way that is meaningful to you personally or professionally.
 
Differentiate Yourself With Specifics

Maybe you’re a “people person.” So is everyone else. And they’re quick learners, too. You need to bring more to the table. What are the skills and responsibilities you’ve learned from being trained on someone else’s dime? Be clear about your specific job duties at past positions. Show how these skills and training led to results.

General candidate traits don’t vary much from résumé to résumé. Characteristics such as “highly self-motivated,” “team player” and the usual buzz words regularly appear and don’t really tell the employer anything about you. “Interfaced with clients” also doesn’t say much. Tell the employer specifics, such as you “increased sales 18 percent by greeting, building rapport and fulfilling needs.” That will get you into the short pile!
 
Sweetie, I Just Need a Job!

An employer is looking to fill a position quickly, with the least amount of time and expense. As a candidate, you’ll have more success when you disclose what you can do for him and not the other way around. Times are tough and you may have a family to feed, but the best way to get a job is to get the right job. Otherwise, you’ll be looking again in three months.

The fact that you need a job doesn’t fill any of the employer’s needs. He is wasting his time and effort unless you want the job that’s open. “Why do you want a job in self-storage?” is one of the first questions an industry employer will ask. If you don’t know, he doesn’t either. Don’t apply for a job in which you have no genuine interest.

Also beware the question, “What questions do you have for me?” This is a trick. If, given the opportunity to speak freely, your first question is about pay, benefits, bonuses or the onsite apartment, you’ve just blown it. How you respond to this question tells an employer much more about you than you think. This alone can determine if you move on to the final round—the really short pile.
 
It’s All Sales

If you’re looking for employment, use your résumé as a tool to get in front of the prospective employer.Don’t take it lightly. Take the time now to present yourself well so you can answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”
 
Linnea Appleby is the president of PDQ Management Solutions Inc., a Sarasota, Fla.-based company specializing in the management of self-storage properties and offering complimentary services such as operational consulting, new facility startup, property audits and the “Income Finder Service.” Ms. Appleby is a regular contributor to industry trade publications and a frequent speaker at tradeshows and events. For more information, call 941.377.3451; e-mail [email protected]; visit www.pdqmanagementsolutions.com.

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ISS Blog

ISS Expo: A Huge Success!

The Inside Self-Storage World Expo in Washington, D.C., wrapped  up Thursday after four days of amazing seminars, a lively self-storage Q&A, a packed cocktail reception and two days of exhibit hall action. Nearly 1,000 registered participants from around the globe gathered at the beautiful Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.

Attendees came from all facets of the industry—owners, investors, managers, builders, brokers and more. The expo also drew people from a number of countries, including China, Australia, South Africa and even Russia.

The Gaylord—a true destination hot spot located right on the Potomac River—was a wonderful backdrop for the show, which focused on marketing, new development, self-storage management and more.

In the exhibit hall, there was much interest in self-storage management and security software, new development and new products. I spoke with dozens of people who were either looking to get into the self-storage industry, or who had recently purchased an existing facility. One woman who had recently taken over her parents' self-storage facility was excited to learn more about the industry.

Another hot topic was marketing. The marketing seminars had standing-room only, and it was the theme of the opening session. Education attendees also clamored for more information about online marketing.

There was also buzz on the tradeshow floor about the next expo, March 1-3, at the Paris Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas. In the coming weeks, the ISS team will bring you the entire agenda, including add-on workshops, new seminars and more. Check the expo website regularly for updates.

LeRay, N.Y., Self-Storage Developers Battle With Town Over Setbacks

Decisions regarding two self-storage facilities in LeRay, N.Y., have been made by the local planning board. Last week, the board reached a compromise in a setback dispute with one storage-facility developer, but told the developer of another facility that he will not be allowed to display his rental trucks along Route 11.
 
The board offered Walter VanTassel a compromise on setbacks for his proposed three-story self-storage and truck-rental facility. Originally, 25-foot setbacks were required, and the issue created a long-running legal dispute between VanTassel and the town. In negotiation, the setbacks were changed to 20 feet on the eastern property line and 12.5 feet on the southern property line.
 
In a separate dispute, facility developer Gaetano Javarone was told he cannot display his rental trucks along the highway because of a 150-foot setback requirement. Javarone, who wishes to build a self-storage, truck-rental and auto-service facility, argued that the requirement should apply only to buildings and not to other aspects of the business.
 
Javarone is currently displaying trucks along the freeway to advertise an existing truck-rental business in another location. He received a temporary variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals to so, but the planning board unanimously voted that continued display will not be allowed in the setback area.
 
Source: Watertown Daily Times, Decisions reached on two LeRay storage facilities

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U-Store-It to Release Third Quarter 2009 Financial Results

U-Store-It Trust, a self-storage real estate investment trust, will release its financial results for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2009, on Nov. 5. An accompanying conference call will be held at 11 a.m. ET on Nov. 6.  To listen to the call, U.S. callers should dial 800.860.2442, international callers should dial 001.412.858.4600. A live webcast of the event will be available on the “Investor Relations” page of Ustoreit.com.
 
After the live webcast, the call will be available on the U-Store-It website for 30 days. In addition, a telephonic replay of the call will be available until Dec. 6, accessible by dialing 877.344,7529 (domestic) or 001.412.317.0088 (international). The reservation number for both is 431540.

U-Store-It provides self-storage in all 50 states through its 384 company-owned facilities and the U-Store-It Network, which consists of approximately 263 third-party locations.

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Self-Storage Facility's Maritime Mural Draws Attention

Canadian self-storage owner Cliff Piercy tapped renowned artist Bill Maximick to produce a single, elaborate painting to cover 1,700 square feet of Driftwood Self Storage in Courtenay, British Columbia. Maximick is known in the community for his West Coast maritime scenes.

The painting, commissioned 18 months ago, stretches 145 feet long and 12 feet high. The forefront of the picture includes an expansive and colorful view of Baynes Sound to Denman Island from the Inland Island Highway, with the Buckley Bay ferry halfway across the water.

Maximick also worked self-storage into the painting, adding four open storage doors and themed unit contents.

Piercy, whose family has ties to Denman Island, was pleased with the painting, and has received numerous compliments.

Source:  Canada.com,  Massive Mural Is Artist's Biggest Work

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Shepherd Self-Storage Center Offers Space for Health Fair and Other Events

The Shepherd Event and Self-Storage Center in Boardman, Ohio, will host a Health Fair on Oct. 10. Free to the public, the fair showcases local healthcare vendors who will pass out free samples, provide tips for a healthier lifestyle, and conduct free blood-pressure, eye, ear and stroke screenings. Giant Eagle will administer flu shots. The Bad Habit Monster truck will be on display, with the driver passing out free vitamin waters. There will also be multiple giveaways and drawings.
 
Formerly occupied by Sam’s Club, the 108,000-square-foot center opened in November 2007 and is owned by Joe Sylvester Jr. of Cleveland and a small group of local businesspeople. Approximately one-third of the building was converted into self-storage units. The remainder is used for long-term and seasonal vehicle storage.
 
Since the seasonal section of the facility is often vacant during the summer months when people use their vehicles, Sylvester uses the space for tradeshows, conventions and fundraising events. In May, the center will host an event for the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber as well as a rib fest. Plans also are in the works for a pet exposition, a beer and wine event, and possibly a Go-Kart race.
 
Source: Youngstown Business Journal, Shepherd Event Center Hosts Health Fair

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