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  • California Self Storage Community to See Drastic Lien Notice Amendments
    By admin on October 6, 2010 | 93 Comments93 Comments  Comments

    The state of California is, among many other things, known for its proclivity to enact sensible, meaningful changes to its laws and business regulations. Such was certainly the case on September 30th, 2010, when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a new bill amending the lien laws that affect California’s many self storage facilities. What seemed like “common sense changes” to many self storage owners required the combined efforts (and, well, funds) of the California Self Storage Association (CSSA) and the larger national Self Storage Association (SSA).

    But what, exactly, are the changes that they have made? A great question, and one that can be broken down into rather simple terms. First and foremost, the bill changes the manner with which a facility can send out its lien notices. In the past, self storage owners were required to use certified mail (a somewhat costly option, but one that presented owners with proof that their lien notice was not only sent, but received by the customer, who had to sign the notice upon receiving it). Now, facilities can simply use a certificate of mailing—a receipt that proves that the mail was received by the post office. If that sounds like a bunch of jargon, feel free to think of it this way: storage owners stand to save around two dollars per lien notice mailed. With 3,890 self storage facilities freckling the landscape of California, and ten lien notices sent out per month, the industry savings come to a staggering $1,867,200. That’s quite a lot of green!

    Also changed were the regulations surrounding the “Declaration of Opposition” provision. In the past, lien disputes could only be settled in superior court, which often took a great deal of time and money. As it now stands, lien disputes can be settled in small claims court—a much faster and much more cost effective way to resolve disputes. Facilities and storage owners stand to benefit quite a lot from this change. Baseless disputes can be dismissed at a much faster pace, meaning that legal fees will not continue to pile up throughout long, drawn-out superior court battles. With estimated savings at nearly $2000 per store in California, the industry is looking forward to $7,780,000 in savings. Perhaps that last part merits some repeating: that’s nearly eight million dollars that the industry saves in attorney fees and lost rent.

    When you crunch the numbers, you can see that California’s self storage community is set to save around $10 million through these two “common sense” changes. This leads me to a very obvious question: how, exactly, is all of this money going to be spent? Are we going to see these savings reinvested into properties? Might we begin to see single-property owners turn into multiple-property owners? Might we see the larger companies not only expanding their empires, but improving upon the properties that they already own? Are we going to see more advertisements hitting television, the internet, and our favorite magazines? Are these industry savings going to translate into savings for the consumer? Will these changes make tenants take their rent payments a bit more seriously?

    Surely, the following weeks and months will resolve some of these questions for us. With any luck, we will find that both self storage owners and customers stand to benefit from these changes.

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  • Best Practices of Self Storage Facilities
    By admin on September 8, 2010 | 24 Comments24 Comments  Comments

    I have become quite familiar with the best practices of self storage over the years, and I would not have it any other way.  I mean, if you are going to be paying your money to a self storage facility, you truly have to be sure that you are doing what it takes to get the most of it.  That much being said, you are going to want to bear a few things in mind when you rent your first self storage unit.  This article, here, is going to point a few of these things out.  Hopefully you will find it helpful.

    First and foremost, reader, you have to be sure that you are not renting a unit that is too big for you.  This, believe it or not, is how the majority of people waste money when they rent a self storage unit.  Of course, you can avoid all of this by getting a solid feel for how much space your belongings are going to require before you start calling around for prices.  IF you can, stack up your belongings in a spare room in your house and see how much space they take up.  Take a few rough measurements, and do not allow yourself to be bullied around when you are asking about sizes and prices.  If you come to the table with some knowledge of what you are going to need, then the chances of you getting ripped off are much, much lower.

    Of course, you are also going to want to remember that you can stack your belongings when they are in your unit, which is going to save you quite a bit of space as well.  If you have large, bulky items, then you are going to want to move them into your unit first, thereby guaranteeing that they have enough floorspace.  Next, move your littler objects in, stacking them on top of the larger ones when this is possible.  IF you have a little bit of extra money, then you might choose to install some shelves in your unit, which will help you keep your smaller boxes and items out of the way.  A little bit of work can go a long way when it comes to maximizing your storage space.

    Finally, reader, you are going to want to be sure that you are making full use of the moving specials that are at your disposal.  Always remember to ask your property managers if they are willing to match prices, and be sure to ask them if they have any moving specials to offer.  If they do happen to have a moving special, then you are going to want to write it down in an organized fashion, guaranteeing that you are not going to run into any problems when it comes to comparing your options at the end of the day.  This is going to start sounding a bit like homework, but if you are ready and willing to commit to a bit of research, then you are only going to end up saving yourself money.

    It is a little bit of work to maximize the power of your dollar when it comes to self storage, but you are going to find that the extra work almost always amounts to massive savings.  Get out there and explore your options.

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  • Comfortable and Safe Working Environments
    By admin on September 2, 2010 | 1 Comment1 Comment  Comments

    Are you worried that your workers are falling victim to work related injuries?  Are they engaged in a bit of repetitive motion?  Are they at risk for things like carpel tunnel and cramps?  If so, then you are going to want to be sure that you are providing your workers with a few, quick, and simple fixes.  No, you are not going to have to worry about getting sued or anything like that, but giving your workers the things that they need in order to stay comfortable is a very powerful way of telling them that you care.  Sure, your office is all about professionalism, but it never hurts to make sure that all of you are on the same page, here.

    The first thing that you are going to want to do, here, is be sure that you are equipping your workers with some super comfortable chairs.  I mean, let us face it, reader.  Your workers are going to be getting a lot of mileage out of their chairs.  If your office is anything like my office, then your workers are pretty much sitting down all day long.  Of course, by providing them with nice, comfortable chairs, you can rest assured that they are not going to become angry or irritated throughout the day.  A comfy chair is perhaps the most important thing that you can buy for your workers when it comes to showing them that you care about their wellbeing.

    Moving on, here, you are going to want to be sure that you are buying ergonomic products for your workers.  Ergonomic keyboards, for example, have been proven to combat the dreaded carpel tunnel syndrome, which is actually much easier to develop than you may think.  When your workers are sitting there typing away, they are actually putting their fingers and arms through quite a bit of stress.  By buying them some ergonomic keyboards, you are going to be able to guarantee that they are not hurting themselves too badly.

    Of course, you are also going to want to be sure that your break room is nice and comfortable, too.  When your workers take their breaks, they should be able to relax fully and regain their morale.  As such, your break room is going to have to be equipped with the sorts of things that your workers need to relax.  Stick a nice, comfy couch in there, and for the sake of morale, do not make it against the rules to take a little cat nap in the break room.  Also, be sure that you equip your break room with a TV, so your workers can take their minds off of their projects for a few minutes at a time.  While these all seem like small changes, they are going to make a world of difference when it comes to keeping your workers happy and efficient.

    I have written several blogs on the subject, now, so you should be able to tell that comfort is a pretty important issue when it comes to the overall morale of your office.  If you do not take comfort seriously when you are designing your office, then you are going to see your mistakes reflected in the faces of your workers.  And when it takes so little to make them happy, why not follow through and make sure that you are doing it?

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  • How To Keep Your Employees Happy
    By admin on August 25, 2010 | 138 Comments138 Comments  Comments

    Sometimes, it is hard to figure out how to keep your workers happy.  I mean, your company is not about having fun, per se.  Your company is about producing results, right?  You have a job to do, and you would like to make sure that your workers are doing that job well.  Even so, there are a few small things that you can do to make sure that your workers do not have an eternal case of the blues.  Granted that you are willing to take a breather for a few minutes every couple of weeks, you are going to be able to keep your workers perfectly happy.

    One of the best things that you can do for your office is host an occasional potluck.  I mean, when you let all of your workers take a break and enjoy some great food, you are going to see their morale improve rather dramatically.  They get to talk to each other and sample a ton of different foods, and you are hardly going to have to pay for a thing.  Just be sure that you stress the importance of bringing a dish, and you are going to have nearly all of the food provided for free.  Set the date on the calendar, make sure everybody knows by sending a mass email, and you are good to go.  Before you know it, your workers are going to be enjoying themselves tremendously.

    Of course, if you would really like to improve their morale, then you are going to provide them with a lunch free of charge.  And really, there are several ways that you can go about doing this.  For one, you can call a catering company and have the food brought to your office.  This is going to guarantee that you are not going to lose much work time, as your workers are not going to have to leave the office to get their lunch.  IF you want to get fancy with it, though, you can take the office out on a little field trip.  You can treat them all to lunch at an actual restaurant and make an afternoon of it.  If you choose to go down this road, then you are going to find that your workers are working a lot harder from then on.  I mean, small perks can go a really, really long way when it comes to improving the overall morale of your office.

    Finally, reader, you are not going to want to forget about birthday parties.  While you do not have to fund all of them on the company’s dollar, you are going to want to be sure that your workers are getting the acknowledgement that they deserve.  Send out happy birthday letters, and be sure that you are open to the idea of having a cake in the break room for that day.  A little bit of a party is going to make that worker feel special, and that is always a good thing.

    Sure, some of this stuff may seem like a stretch, but if you are not giving your workers an occasional treat, then you are, simply put, a terrible boss.  You do not have to be their best friend, but you should treat them like real people.  They need some acknowledgement once and a while, and you are in charge of giving it to them.

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  • Improve Your Sales Presentation
    By admin on August 19, 2010 | 78 Comments78 Comments  Comments

    Are you sick and tired of losing your sales?  Do people step all over you when you are giving your sales presentations?  Do you feel that with a little bit of extra practice, you might be able to significantly improve your sales success rate?  If so, then you have arrived at the right article.  Here, I am going to provide you with some really great strategies for improving your sales figures, whether you are just starting out or you have been working in the field for quite some time, now.   While some of this advice might seem kind of simple, you are going to want to bear it in mind when you head out on your next sales call.  The simple things are the things that you forget the easiest, after all.

    First and foremost, reader, be sure that you are not falling victim to the stalls that your customers are going to deliver.  Most of the time, you  are going to catch them in the middle of their shopping process, which means that it is going to be somewhat hard for you to get them to put the phone down and reserve with you.  This, however, does not mean that you should not be trying to get them to do precisely this.  Enumerated, here, are several of the stalls that your callers are going to use, and the ways in which you should ideally respond to them.

    If you caller tells you that he or she has to wait for their significant other, then you are not going to want to be too pushy with them.  Chances are that you are going to offend them if you go too far.  Tell them, here, that your concern is the availability of your units.  You are concerned that if they do not reserve, then you are going to run out of them before they get the chance to make it in.  If they insist upon waiting for their significant other, then there is nothing else that you can do.  Try to get them onto your property for a tour as soon as possible, but do not press the issue any further.

    If your customer objects to the price and insists upon calling around, you are going to want to do what you can to be sure that your price is not without its context.  If your caller seems overly concerned with how much he or she is going to be paying when they are at your property, simply explain that you have the best security features that are in the area, and that they are going to be getting a lot of valuable services in exchange for those few extra dollars that they are going to be paying.  If you can make them feel as though they are getting a bargain for their money, then you have essentially guaranteed the sale.  Truly, reader, it is just as simple as that when you really sit down and think about it.

    Improving your sales skills is not exactly going to happen overnight, but that does not mean that it is not going to happen, period.  If you are ready and willing to do a little bit of research and practice your objections, then you are going to find that you are able to close many more sales, and that you are not as nervous when you are talking to a nonplussed customer.

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  • 13 Tips For Maximizing The Space In A Self Storage Unit
    By admin on August 18, 2010 | 31 Comments31 Comments  Comments

    Putting stuff in a self storage unit isn’t really rocket science. Rent unit. Stuff unit. Lock unit.
    But, in order to get the most out of self storage, there are a handful of things renters can do to maximize the limited space they have. There’s a lot that can happen to stuff when it is locked away for months on end… and once you find something bad has happened, it’s likely too late.

    Of course, there’s the basics when choosing a self storage location that you’ve probably already considered like location, square footage, access, etc. Once you have the unit rented, of course, you will want to make the most of it. Remember, every unused foot of space is money wasted.

    Below are 13 tips for getting the most out of that self storage unit you are renting… or about to rent. The tips are even broken down into storage layout, furniture tips, and equipment tips.

    STORAGE UNIT LAYOUT TIPS

    1. Place items you’ll need often at the front.
    2. Create a center aisle for access to all items
    3. Use pallets or skids to allow air flow around/under items.
    4. Climate controlled self storage should be utilized for any items that are sensitive to weather changes.

    STORAGE TIPS FOR FURNITURE

    5. Treat wood surfaces before storing.
    6. Storing tables/furniture, remove legs and store on end.
    7. Place dressers and tables top-to-top
    8. Cover mattresses and store flat.
    9. Keep photos flat. Place between cardboard pieces. Tape together.
    10. Use wardrobe boxes for blankets, drapes, or dress clothes.

    STORAGE TIPS FOR OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT

    11. Drain gas and oil from anything stored with a motor.
    12. Use trash cans to store outdoor maintenance tools.
    13. Wipe metal surfaces with some machine oil to avoid rusting.

    Hopefully these tips are helpful when moving day arrives. Following them should leave you with peace of mind while your belongings are in storage… as well as a well packed self storage unit, making sure you get the most for your money.

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  • Make More Of Your Work-Day
    By admin on August 10, 2010 | 2 Comments2 Comments  Comments

     

    Are you sick and tired of feeling tired at the end of the work day?  Do you wish that you could give yourself a little bit more energy without drinking all of that coffee throughout the day?  Do you wish that you could get more into your work so that the time would pass faster?  Boy, do I know what you are talking about!  That much being said, I would like to offer you some advice as to how you can make the time pass a little bit faster when you are at work.  Do not worry, reader.  None of these things are going to get you in trouble!

    First and foremost, you are going to want to figure out if you are any good at multitasking.  That is, you are going to want to figure out if you get distracted easily.  If you are not concentrating on your work, and if you are not getting very much work done, the time is going to pass much more slowly.  By keeping yourself active and engaged in your work, you are going to watch the hours fly by when you are at work.

    Of course, it never hurts to appeal to a little bit of outside entertainment.  If you are not distracted easily, then you can put on some music to help you get your work done in a timely fashion.  One of my favorite things to do when the work day is dragging is put on a nice, entertaining classical station.  I find that classical music helps set the mood for working, and dually, it does not offend any of my coworkers.  If you have never tried this before, then I would suggest that you do so.

    Now, if you know that you are REALLY focused, and that you are REALLY hard to distract, then you may trying listening to a podcast while you do your work.  These, of course, are going to be a lot more distracting than something like classical music, because people are going to be talking in your ear all day long.  If, however, you know that you are going to be able to handle it, and that it is not going to distract you too severely, then by all means, give it a shot.  I really love listening to podcasts while I work, personally.

    Finally, reader, remember that it is very important that you take breaks throughout your work day.  Do not take more breaks than your employer permits, but take them when you need them.  Especially if you are doing a lot of typing or data entry, it is important that you get up, stretch, and rest your fingers for about fifteen minutes every two hours.  This is a medical fact, reader.  Just ask your doctor and he will tell you the exact same thing.  If you do not abide by this rule, then you run the risk of developing repetitive motion injuries.

    As you can see, reader, it is not all that tricky to make your work day fly by.  You just have to keep yourself in check and be sure that you are doing all of the little things that keep you happy.  Once you commit to this kind of routine, you are going to find that your work days are flying by faster than you ever thought possible.

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  • Sell More Self Storage
    By admin on August 5, 2010 | 1 Comment1 Comment  Comments

    Are you sick and tired of losing sales?  Do you feel like you have to be doing something wrong, like there has to be one simple thing that you could fix to drastically improve your sales?  Lucky for you, that is most likely the case.  Time and time again, I write about the simple things that salespeople do wrong, the things that they can change to see the improvements that they are really looking for.  Thus, if you know that you are looking to make some of these improvements for yourself, then you are going to want to be sure that you are paying nice and close attention to this article.  By the time you finish reading it, you are going to have a much better idea of how to improve your techniques.

    The first thing that you can do, here, is make sure that you are not giving yourself away from the very start of your conversation with your customer.  In other words, you do not want to come across as a cold, hard salesperson.  To the contrary, you are going to want to make them feel as though you are their friend, and that you are simply trying to help them solve one of their problems by selling them your product.  If you come across as wanting to get into their wallet, then you are not going to make the sale that you are looking to make.  Really, it is just as simple as that.

    Second of all, you are going to want to be sure that you sound nice and happy to be on the phone with your caller.  If they do not think that you are happy to help them, then they are not going to end up trusting you enough to spend any money.  And no, I am not advocating that you inspire false confidence in your callers.  I am merely saying that if you want them to trust you, you have to earn it.  Show them that you care, and show them that you are willing to help them find a solution to their problem.  If you can do that, they you are not going to run into many problems when the time comes to ask them for their credit card.

    Moving on, here, you are going to want to be sure that you are giving them the best deal that you can.  When they see that you are ready and willing to fight for them when it comes to the cost of your product, they are going to begin to trust you quite a bit more.  It is when you beat around the bush and do not offer them you special until the last minute that you begin to make them angry at you.  And trust me, you do not want to let your conversation get to that point.  The minute that you do, you know that you have lost them for good.

    At the end of the day, reader, you are going to make sales the same way that you make friends.  You are going to have to be somewhat persistent, but not off putting.  You are going to need to control conversations without bulldozing.  You are going to have to be able to deliver information strategically.  That much being said, though, if you are ready and willing to do it, then you are not going to run into any problems when it comes to boosting your sales figures.

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