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  • Get Out There With A Conference
    By admin on February 11, 2008 | 3 Comments3 Comments  Comments

    So, it is time to go to a self storage conference again. Traveling to the conventions usually gives one some time to think about business. One thing that seems pretty evident is that the customer service capabilities of most self storage companies are pretty weak. Yes, it is true we are talking about self storage and not heart surgery, so maybe the customer service does not need to be stellar. Yes, many self storage companies have online payment set up or they can do automatic credit card rent payments for customers. Some self storage facilities use a call center to extend the hours when customers can get an answer to a question or new renters can make reservations. But very few pieces of the puzzle work together very well in self storage. Many customer issues cannot be resolved immediately. Many customers have to try several times or go in to the office in person to get something taken care of. And there are many software pieces that do not fit together as far as managing the property, rentals and billing.

    Last week there were terrible storms all across the central and the southern states. Flying from St. Louis through Dallas to get to Las Vegas means when weather is bad in the central states, flights are delayed and cancelled and people often get only half way to where they want to go. Weather can sometimes cause problems for self storage too. If ice and snow are not removed promptly, people have a hard time accessing their units. Storms can cause roofs to leak. Even though self storage facilities do all they can to stay dry, big winds and hard rains can win out over a good roof.

    What response strategies and new protocols do self storage owners use? Self storage owners are trying more self service strategies and are looking for ways to improve. But self storage is still very focused on new customer acquisition and is not paying much attention to current self storage customers, even though surveys will typically say that anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of renters come from referrals or previous customers.

    Airlines are making better progress. Yes, they make a lot more money than self storage and airlines depend on repeat business. The airlines also realize that when travel plans go wacko, things can get very ugly for customers. One airline has added a very nice feature to its customer service and reservation system. You can enter your cell phone number into their system so when you call in, you are recognized and your itinerary is referenced without having to go though any steps. So while sitting on the runway hoping to take off, a traveler can easily call in to the reservation center and rebook connecting flights before even taking off. Although this does not cure weather delays, it does make the whole process of rebooking much easier and far less stressful. It makes getting to a self storage conference a lot easier. I realize most self storage operations do not have the capital to invest in this kind of infrastructure. But the cost of technology continues to drop as time goes by. Maybe we are not far away from a time when self storage companies can offer some very easy and very friendly ways for current customers to solve their problems.

    Alabama Storage Units

    StorageMart Eola Rd & New York Aurora, IL 60504

    Self Storage

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  • The Words Of Mr. Ben Stein
    By admin on September 7, 2007 | 115 Comments115 Comments  Comments

    Yesterday I had the complete pleasure of hearing Ben Stein speak to the Self Storage Association. His wit and humor had everyone laughing aloud. I expected such entertainment, but he was more than a ball of laughs. He reminded us of what a privilege it is to wake up each day in the United States of America- to be free. It was a truth I couldn’t help but take to heart.

    We business men and women have the opportunity to decide our fate, to choose our goals and fulfill our dreams. What an amazing gift; we shouldn’t take it for granted as much as we, I know I, do.

    Mr. Stein also went on to say, Working at the bottom level of a great company is better than owning a terrible company. Everyone gave a chuck as he said it, but it made me think. Mr. Stein showed an enthusiasm for all things self storage- wine storage, boat storage, yacht storage- and discussed the effect the Baby Boomer generation will have on the industry.

    I can see a love for what they do in the smiles of the members, exhibitors, owners, sponsors, patrons and friendly people I met in the SSA. Although I had never met them in person, they welcomed us. They made this experience fun. So thanks to all my new friends!

    Written by Sarah Little, TQA Account Executive

    Thanks for reading our self storage blog. We offer call center, sales training management and secret shopping to the self storage industry.

    Rent storage at 1100 North Point Rd, Baltimore, MD 21222

    Are you moving to St. Paul, Minnesota? Visit our partners at St. Paul, Minnesota moving information center.

    55343 Self Storage

    Find Self Storage at your premier national and local self storage unit finder.

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  • PhoneSmart Rocks Vegas
    By admin on September 6, 2007 | No Comments  Comments

    Natalie and I officially arrived in Vegas yesterday afternoon. This is my first trip to Vegas; when I stepped off the plane, my senses were overwhelmed with the blinking lights and chinkling sounds of slot machines. The city really is as it seems in the movies and on TV.

    I briefly stopped by the Canadian Storage Association’s reception and had the opportunity to meet and greet. The storage business there is not as saturated as it is in the U.S. and there is a lot of opportunity for growth there.

    Then I attended an SSA Reception last night; it was great to finally put some faces to the voices I’ve talked to a hundred times. Just a few minutes after we were in the room, Ben Stein entered. He was absolutely friendly and came right over to us and shook our hands. (I should also mention that Natalie hugged him; she isn’t going to wash her shirt, ever.)

    The agenda for today is a mixture of seminars, working in the booth on the trade show floor, networking and maybe a little luck.

    I am thoroughly enjoying myself here. I wrote today’s blog as I sat near the picture window and watched the sun rise over the mountains. What a great industry self storage is; it offers so much potential and opportunity when you put your effort into it.

    Written by Sarah Little, TQA Account Executive

    Thanks for reading our self storage blog, a diary of life in the self storage industry.

    66203 Self Storage

    Rent storage at 3006 Druid Park Drive, Baltimore, MD 21215

    Are you moving to Kansas City, Missouri? Visit our partners at Kansas City, Missouri moving information center.

    Find Self Storage at your premier national and local self storage unit finder.

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  • Self Storage Association Forum
    By admin on January 4, 2007 | 271 Comments271 Comments  Comments

    Will you be in Orlando on January 8th? The self storage association is hosting a meeting of its Affiliated Associations Council, where all the different state and international associations that are affiliates of the SSA can sit down and discuss the issues of the day. I will be hosting a lunch on January 8th along with our friend Linnea Appleby of PDQ Management Solutions. We will be at the Crowne Plaza at noon on Monday. GO to the link o the right side of the page and click through to PDQ to reserve your seat at the table. We will have an informal discussion with a small group of interested people, talking about increasing revenues, making our operations more efficient and any storage issues people are concerned about.

    Later in the evening the self storage association will hold a dinner meeting for the affiliates. There are some interesting topic to discuss. How can the affiliates work together to create more interest in their areas and to do more to help members. There are always discussions in this group about how the SSA can help the affiliates and how the affiliates can help the SSA.

    I hope to see you there.

    Tron Jordheim PhoneSmart is your offsite sales force and Call Center in Columbia, Missouri. Thanks for visiting our self storage blog; the inside scoop into the self storage industry.

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  • Storage Industry
    By admin on June 27, 2006 | 3 Comments3 Comments  Comments

    Jeanette Puccetti PhoneSmart call center rep relates her experience with self-storage. Welcome to our blog. PhoneSmart gives you a window into the world of self-storage Wanted: Storage Unit for a College Student

    O.k, I’ll be honest with you: when I first started out in the storage industry I thought that paying for storage was a little silly, even a bit excessive. However, due to my own experiences, my viewpoint has changed. Let me explain…

    I used to live in a two-bedroom home with another person, my boyfriend. We broke up soon thereafter, and I found myself squeezing all that I was able to into a moderate sized studio apartment. I packed the closets from top to bottom and utilized the space around the apartment as well as I could. I placed plastic bins under the bed- everywhere- I even built a table using 8 boxes covered with a tablecloth. This took up A LOT of extra space, causing me to stumble around and bump my elbows and hips on hard corners throughout my house!

    I thought about how nice it would be to glide throughout my house easily locating the belongings that are daily necessities. So I finally came to terms with my glaring need for storage. Packing up the stuff that I wanted to keep, but didn’t actually need at my apartment to put into storage was simply freeing. I felt like a huge burden had been lifted off of my shoulders as I lightened my load into a secure, fresh smelling storage unit. I am now a believer. My life is more structured with the excess gone and I no longer hit my funny bone on corners!

    Property Management Blog The ins and outs of property management Secret Shopping Blog Your inside peek

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  • ASSUMING A SALE
    By admin on May 22, 2006 | 4 Comments4 Comments  Comments

    Ronald Smith Phone Smart Call Center Reservations Specialist offers insight on the positive approach to a close.

    Welcome to the PhoneSmart blog, an inside look at self-storage.

    Attitude is everything when it comes to selling a storage unit. When dealing with callers you have to stay positive and treat every call as a new opportunity. It is important to keep your spirits high when the manger calls come faster than the opportunities for a reservation. There are some tips to help keep you consistently getting reservations or hot leads. The one thing that I learned in both telemarketing and storage sales is that you have to assume the sale. There are several ways that you can do that.
    The first thing that I would suggest is to assume the customer is a buyer not a shopper. Assume that they need storage now and they aren’t thinking about storage in the future. If you think of them as shoppers you may not get all of the agreements that you need to make the sale. You should also try to get in the other person’s shoes. Try to think like the consumer. Think of what makes you want to buy things and incorporate that into your strategy and presentation. Assuming a customer rent will help you to stay in a positive frame of mind to move the caller along to closing the sale. It will also help you in obtaining more hot leads.

    Don’t forget the Inside Self Storage Expo in Reno, Tron Jordheim will be offering insights.
    Inside Self Storage Expo in Reno See Tron Jordheim

    PhoneSmart Your Offsite Sales Solution
    Secret Shopping Blog Your inside peek
    Self Storage Search Engine Self Storage in New York

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  • FREE drawing from PhoneSmart for the Chicago SSA
    By admin on March 22, 2006 | 10 Comments10 Comments  Comments

    Come by the PhoneSmart Booth and drop your business card in the hat.

    20 Winners will receive 60 days of free roll-over sales support from the PhoneSmart Call center for one property.

    1 Grand Prize winner will receive… FREE

    1 year of PhoneSmart’s total sales solution for one property.

    Includes:

    Free call center roll-over service for one year

    2 free secret shopping calls per month

    4 free calls to the role-play helpline each month

    1 Free sales training package for Self Storage

    Free Leads from PhoneSmart’s lead generation program for one year

    1 Free Ad tracking/ Call recording number from PhoneSmart’s Foster Accuracy for one year

    Stop by Booth number 523 and enter during the trade show hours on March 30 and 31.

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  • self storage coming to you
    By admin on March 14, 2006 | 16 Comments16 Comments  Comments

    FREE “Sales 101 for Self Storage” Seminar

    And FREE PhoneSmart user forum

    Coming to a location near you!

    9 AM to 11 AM

    9:00 to 9:45 “Sales 101 for Self Storage”.
    We will share the PhoneSmart selling system so you can turn more of your rental inquiries into customers.

    9:45 to 11:00 PhoneSmart User Forum.
    Get the latest updates on PhoneSmart services. Share best practices. Get answers to all your questions. Find out how to make even more profit from your PhoneSmart services.

    March and April Schedule…

    March 28th Tuesday in downtown Chicago, IL

    April 7th Friday in White Plains, Westchester, NY

    April 18th Tuesday in downtown San Francisco, CA

    April 20th Thursday in Los Angeles near LAX, CA

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  • Free PhoneSmart session near you
    By admin on March 10, 2006 | 6 Comments6 Comments  Comments

    Welcome to the self storage blog, our diary of the self storage business.

    Here is an opportunity to get some great sales training for free and to get to know more about PhoneSmart.

    FREE “Sales 101 for Self Storage” Seminar

    And FREE PhoneSmart user forum

    Coming to a location near you!

    9 AM to 11 AM

    9:00 to 9:45 “Sales 101 for Self Storage”.
    We will share the PhoneSmart selling system so you can turn more of your rental inquiries into customers.

    9:45 to 11:00 PhoneSmart User Forum.
    Get the latest updates on PhoneSmart services. Share best practices. Get answers to all your questions. Find out how to make even more profit from your PhoneSmart services.

    March and April Schedule…

    March 28th Tuesday in downtown Chicago, IL

    April 7th Friday in White Plains, Westchester, NY

    April 18th Tuesday in downtown San Francisco, CA

    April 20th Thursday in Los Angeles near LAX, CA

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  • Vegas Time
    By admin on February 22, 2006 | 2 Comments2 Comments  Comments

    Welcome to the self storage blog, our self storage diary for the self storage insider.

    There are lots of preparations going on in the industry to get ready for the big Inside Self Storage conference next week in Lost Wages. I hope you get a chance to come for it. I will be involved in several great sessions, “Maximizing Profits” and “Selling Self Storage”

    Of course you can come by the PhoneSmart booth during the trade show portion and see what is new with us. If you mention this blog, you can get a free purple PhoneSmart shirt. It is pretty nice and worth the effort.

    We will be there talking about our sales support services. If you are not using us currently, you owe it to yourself to find out more. If you are a client, changes are you are not using us to your full advantage.

    See you in Vegas, baby!

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