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  • Wear flowers in your hair
    By admin on October 12, 2005 | No Comments  Comments

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

    Are you going to San Francisco?

    If you are involved in California’s self storage business in any way, you need to be in San Francisco next week at the CA state storage association annual meeting and convention.

    There will be some great presentations. You will get to meet the most active vendors for the state and you’ll get to see me!

    I will be doing a seminar session called “Maximizing Profits”. I’ll talk about strategies and tactics you can use to send as many dollars to your bottom line as you can. My assumption is that the “real” money in self storage is made in the last 10% of occupancy you gain: the spread between 80% occupied and 90%. Here is where you are working on pushing profit to the bottom line rather than just gaining occupancy. If the methods you use to fill in this profitable 10% are all paying for themselves in revenue gains, you are doing the right things.

    Join us in San Francisco. For details go to http://cssaweb.com.

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  • See me in Miami
    By admin on September 20, 2005 | 1 Comment1 Comment  Comments

    Welcome to the self storage blog, our window into the world of self storage.

    I hope to see you in Miami in a few weeks at the Inside Self Storage conference. I will be doing a seminar on sales strategies that will help you rent more units. This Fall Florida conference is a good one. There will be many good sessions to attend and there will be time to visit with vendors on the show floor.

    I think you will find some valuable tools and tactics to bring home from my seminar. One of the great benefits we gain at PhoneSmart is the laboratory effect. We are studying the industry on a day to day basis. Since we are a sales organization, we are also studying selling skills every day. I will share some of the knowledge we absorb each day and put it into a simple system you can take home and plug into your system. Presto…more rentals.

    As an example, we picked up on the effect the higher cost of gasoline was having on shopping habits before the story even hit the news. We developed sales strategies to help people save gasoline by choosing the store we answered for.

    Look for me in Miami.

    Bye for now, Tron

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  • Self Storage Meet
    By admin on September 13, 2005 | No Comments  Comments

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

    I am getting my head back on after being in Las Vegas at the Self Storage Association meeting. We got to talk to lots of clients, acquaintances and future clients. There were about 2,500 people in attendance from all over the place.

    I had the honor of leading two roundtable discussions. One was about how storage operators are using call centers to rent more units. The other was on how consumer demand cycles through the times of day, days of week, weeks and months of the different seasons. Both sessions were well attended and sparked a lot of great conversation.

    I also enjoyed the panel presentations and guest speakers. Carol Shipley from United Stor All spoke at the opening session about her view of the next 30 years in self storage. She was kind enough to let us publish her notes. You will find them in today’s property management blog. Look to the side bar that gives you a link to property management and check out the blog today.

    I have been going to these self storage meetings for 5 years and each one gets bigger and better. It is interesting to see the industry develop. It is also interesting to see that as the REITs and large operators continue to prosper, the small operator continues to do well, too. More stores are being built and improved by the 2 to 10 store sized company than all the REITs combined. Will this trend continue? GE did not fare well with its attempt to conquer and consolidate the storage business. Let’s see how the other players handle themselves.

    bye for now, Tron

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  • self storage years ahead
    By admin on September 8, 2005 | No Comments  Comments

    I attended the opening session of the self storage association convention this morning. Seven pioneers of the industry were inaugurated into the newly formed Self Storage Association Hall of Fame. It was fun to hear the Hall of Famers speak about their experiences.

    Afterwards a panel talked about waht might be coming in the years ahead. . Here is an interestin statistic. 51% of respondends to a self storage use survey had not used self storage but were familiar with it. That is a ton of prospects.

    A suggestion was made that we may become moving and storage logistics coordinators one day. Our abilitity to put all the pieces together for someone moving might really change how we operate.

    We shall see waht becomes of the self storage industry.

    bye for now, Tron

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  • SSA Roundtables
    By admin on August 15, 2005 | 1 Comment1 Comment  Comments

    Thanks for surfing over to the self storage blog, our diary of the self storage business.

    If you are heading to Las Vegas to the Self storage association conference in a couple of weeks, be sure to attend the roundtable discussions. there are always some great topics and some neat people to meet.

    I will be leading two roundtables. One will be on Call Centers: How storage owners are using different business models to make the best of their missed phone calls.

    I have a special offer that should make it interesting for you. PhoneSmart is offering one paid full registration and a night out to dinner for one lucky winner. We will select a winner at random from anyone who can name three different people who have posted submissions to the self storage blog over the last several months.

    Just look through the archives and pick out the names of three people who have submitted items and email the names to me at Tron@phone-smart.net. The deadline for entries is August 17th. If you are selected the winner and you have not registered yet for the conference, we will buy your registration. If you win and have already registered, we will reimburse you for it. And we will treat you to dinner. There will be two dinner times available for you to choose: Wednesdays or Thursday at 8:00 pm in one of the restaurants in Caesar’s. You can transfer your prize to someone else if you won’t be able to use it.

    So don’t delay. Look through the archives and submit the three names to me soon.

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  • SSA show coming
    By admin on August 12, 2005 | 177 Comments177 Comments  Comments

    The Self Storage association’s September convention will be a great one. There will be the first group of people inaugurated into the Self Storage Hall of Fame. It will give us a chance to recognize some of the pioneers of our industry.

    There will de discussions of self storage on military bases. This is a sore issue for those of us who have locations near military outposts.

    You will get a chance to see the on-line demand estimator that can give you some idea of how demographics of a particular area will translate into demand. This should be interesting.

    And of course you will have a chance to see the PhoneSmart crew in our booth.

    I have a special offer that should make it interesting for you. PhoneSmart is offering one paid full registration and a night out to dinner for one lucky winner. We will select a winner at random from anyone who can name three different people who have posted submissions to the self storage blog over the last several months.

    Just look through the archives and pick out the names of three people who have submitted items and email the names to me at Tron@phone-smart.net. The deadline for entries is August 17th. If you are selected the winner and you have not registered yet for the conference, we will buy your registration. If you win and have already registered, we will reimburse you for it. And we will treat you to dinner. There will be two dinner times available for you to choose: Wednesdays or Thursday at 8:00 pm in one of the restaurants in Caesar’s. You can transfer your prize to someone else if you won’t be able to use it.

    So don’t delay. Look through the archives and submit the three names to me soon.

    bye for now,
    Tron

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  • united they stand
    By admin on July 21, 2005 | 179 Comments179 Comments  Comments

    Welcome to the self storage blog, where we open a window for you into the world of self storage.

    Today I attended a meeting of the self storage association of New Jersey. The association is managed by Chris McGrath and his staff of professional association managers. I noticed several things about the group in attendance. Many I have know for several years. There were larger operators and smaller operators. But they are all successful and they are all doing well in their businesses. Is this a chicken and egg sort of thing, you ask yourself? Are they successful because they are active in supporting the association and active in benefiting from the association’s work? Or do successful people support trade associations and unsuccessful people don’t. I think they are successful because they have a good association. In the brief meeting today, there was an excellent module on protecting information we receive from credit reports and other sensitive customer data. There was a review and update on the service members relief act, which could impact many of you. There was a good review of marketing strategies. Several vendors had a chance to talk about their busineses. I found a few of them to be very educational. Nick Malagisi, the self storage broker, talked about some criteria for rating a facility as “Institutional grade”. He raised some good points for stepping back and taking a look at your facility or others. John Gilliland from Real Estate Investment Management talked about how owners can make sure their facilities are being managed correclty by hiring a professional management firm. Why should an owner worry about his investment? Tom Garden from Syrasoft raised some great ideas talking about a new module his staff created to manage automobile and titled vehicle storage.

    If you are not active with your local state group, you need to be.

    bye for now,
    Tron

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  • Financing gets interesting
    By admin on July 13, 2005 | No Comments  Comments

    Welcome to the self storage blog, where we look at the world of self storage.

    Yesterday’s meeting of the CA self storage association was all about financing. It was interesting to see a comparison between loan activity in 04 and 05. Lenders are getting much more creative with how they make a loan happen. More storage owners are taking a closer look at their options before choosing a loan. And based on the number of 10 year loans about to mature, there appears to be a big re-fi boom in the wings. You are also seeing more interest-only loans and more loans with stair-stepping prepayment penalties. Both are indicators that owners plan to sell or re-finance again soon.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when interest rates begin to rise again, as they surely will at some point. Will that put some owners in a negative cash-flow position? When you are talking about the kind of money it takes to make a storage project work, an increase of a point or two in interest changes the game.In the mean time, we will keep trying to help owners gain occcupancy and revenue, so their long term options become attractive.

    bye for now,
    Tron

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  • Hitting the strike zone
    By admin on July 12, 2005 | 1 Comment1 Comment  Comments

    Welcome to the self storage blog, where we keep a diary on our experience with self storage.

    I didn’t get a chance to put in an entry yesterday, as I was travelling. I am in Orange County California for a meeting of the California Self Storage Association. PhoneSmart is a co-sponsor and we hope to talk to lots of clients and maybe gain a few new clients in the process. Our sponsorship involves a few fun things. There will be a very special, very California prize that will be raffled off at today’s meeting. I can’t tell you what it is yet. I was sworn to secrecy, so as to not devulge the nature of a new campaign the California association is starting to gain more awareness from non-members and more participation from members. The state associations play a very important role in helping our businesses and they need support and participation. So go help your local state association.

    The other prize at today’s meeting will be a PhoneSmart night at Dodger stadium for the first game after the All-Star break. It will be Dodgers vs. Giants for a fun north-south rivalry game. So I have been thinking baseball lately.

    Yesterday our calls at PhoneSmart were in the strike zone and there were a lot of pitches being thrown. We actually saw more calls than we had forecasted, as this week of July is generally a little bit slow as people are gearing up for end of the month moving a nd cleaning projects. So this was a good sign. When the calls are busy, we are making money for our clients and for ourselves. And we are helping people who need storage find a great place to store with as little stress as possible. We are in the perfect win-win-win situation.

    I’ll let you know how California is doing in my next entry.

    bye for now,
    Tron

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  • Eat, drink and earn
    By admin on June 28, 2005 | 161 Comments161 Comments  Comments

    Lunch in Newport Beach

    If you are responsible for keeping your properties rented up, you’ll want to come and have lunch with me in Orange County California on July 12th. I will be hosting a lunch at 11:30 AM at the Balboa Bay Club. Seating is very limited. So RSVP ASAP.

    I will be sharing some success stories from our clients. The internal upside in your property is in your phone calls. You can rent to more of the people that are already calling you.

    Thanks,
    Tron

    Thanks for reading the self storage blog.

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