• Will you be in Southern California?
    By admin on June 14, 2005 | 91 Comments91 Comments  Comments

    Welcome to the Self Storage Blog.

    If you will be in Southern California in mid July, you should have lunch with me… Here’s the info…

    Have Lunch and Boost your Profits.

    Rent more space without increasing your expenses

    Find the internal upside in your property…it’s in your phone calls!

    Join PhoneSmart director Tron Jordheim for lunch at
    The Balboa Bay Club’s First Cabin Restaurant
    In Newport Beach, CA. Tuesday July 12 at 11:30 am.

    There is no cost to you. All you will spend is your time.

    Seating is very limited. RSVP by July 1, 2005.

    Current and future clients are all welcome.

    For more information on the Balboa Bay Club

    For more information on PhoneSmart

    Your Profit Partner
    Call center
    Secret Shopping
    Sales Training

    bye for now, Tron

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  • What are callers like?
    By admin on June 9, 2005 | No Comments  Comments

    Welcome to the self storage blog, where we share our experience in the self storage industry. Sometimes people ask us what we think callers want. He is the short version of the answer. Most callers do not know what they need or how to shop for storage. They often assume that price should be the issue, but they don't know what their money is buying. Store features and amenities become a great way to show callers that they are buying more than the cubic footage of storage area.

    Features and amenities also give us a chance to create some value in the property to justify the cost and to differentiate the store from others in the area. Most callers are frustrated with the entire storage shopping experience and are not storing because of a happy situation in their lives. Many shoppers have gotten answering machines, busy signals, unprofessional phone treatment and very little help on previous phone calls. Being able to be helpful while professionally selling a property brings a certain amount of relief and comfort to the caller. Price is usually not the main issue.

    Most callers are far more concerned with convenience of location and with getting a clean, friendly, secure place for their belongings. Price may be the first question out of their mouths. But it is usually number three or four on their list of priorities. The window of need is a little wider than many expect. There are many storage callers who do not need a unit immediately but want to do shopping and decision making now. The window of need seems to be about 4 weeks in most cases.

    Callers often think they need to do comparison shopping to find the right location at the right price. What we usually experience is that a great many shoppers will make a decision “now” if you can satisfy their emotional needs and assure them that the store they are calling will meet their needs and expectations at a fair price. bye for now, Tron

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  • Taking services to ones who need them
    By admin on March 31, 2005 | 5 Comments5 Comments  Comments

    I attended an academic conference over the last couple of days that dealt with the increase in Spanish speaking immigrants to Missouri, our home state. You can look at the conference at . Many people in Missouri have decided the best way to deal with the increasing population of immigrants in general and Spanish speaking immigrants in specific is to be proactive and make the best of it. I took home many interesting impressions. One thing I thought was very interesting is the approach health and social service providers take in getting their services out to those who might need them. I don’t want to debate issues of government or non-profit organizations and their structure and spending. What I’d like you to focus on is how these agencies determine who their “population” is and how they go out and deliver their services. The self storage association and self storage insiders have been studying the self storage business and know a lot about who uses storage, when they use it and how they use it. Or do they? We do not take the same approach as some of the social service agencies, do we? One session dealt with migrant farm workers. This is a difficult population to study and deliver services to, becasue they fly below the radar and stay as far out of the public eye as possible. Do you know how sociologists are able to identify who is a migrant farm family? From school enrollment. Migrant farm families move from place to place following the harvest schedule or going after the next job. Their kids get moved from school to school. School enrollments can be tracked. So the health workers and legal rights advocates, the English-as-a-second-language teachers and the school aid workers target the kids who change schools and determine if they come from a migrant farm family. Then they contact the parents through the kids and go out to deliver their services. This is good sales technique. Yes, many of us sell boxes and rent trucks, so we can be there for people as they are moving and orgainizing. But do we track home sales, paint purchases, subscriptions to remodeling and decorating magazines, trips to the lawn and garden store or college enrollment? I wonder how clever marketers might adopt some of the best practices of social service agencies and start to take our services to the populations that should need them.

    bye for now, Tron

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  • Back from the Phillly SSA conference
    By admin on March 21, 2005 | 2 Comments2 Comments  Comments

    I had a great week last week at the self storage association meeting. We got to see a lot of current clients and made some great contacts for future clients.

    I hope you will enjoy looking at my self-storage blog in the weeks to come. It will give me a chance to share with you impressions and reactions as they happen. I am fortunate to have a lot of friends, acquaintances and clients who are storage insiders. Between their feedback and what we see every day from the phone calls we answer, we have developed an interesting window on the business.

    The host hotel was well set up for an association meeting last week. Almost everyone stayed at the host hotel and when I walked slowly enough through the halls, I bumped into all kinds of people I wanted to see. I read in the SSA Monday News that there were 1400 in attendance. I think I talked to almost all of them.

    We had a good turn out at my Selling Self-Storage Seminar on Wednesday. It was the first one of these I have done in conjucntion with a national event where all attendees were PhoneSmart customers. That allowed us to talk about many ways that PhoneSmart call center reps and store staff can work together to rent to more people.
    We had some very good sales people at the seminar, so we could talk about more advanced sales techniques. We did our seminar in a Hotel that was created in Philadelphia’s first skyscraper, the PFSF building, which went up in 1932.

    The trade show was great, too. DJ Johnson, one of our great call center reps, helped work the booth. We talked to a lot of current clients. It is very rewarding to hear the success stories people share about the call center and our secret shoppng service. We created quite a few promising prospects for new business, too. It will be fun to watch them go throuigh the process of implementing our solutions and reporting back to us with their success stories at a future trade show. We are lucky to be in a service business that is so helpful and so profitable to our clients.

    I found the conference sessions interesting. The SSA is trying to become a leader and authority in self storage marketing, operations and advocacy in a more sophisticated way than in the past. I find it to be encouraging, although some people will be uncomfortable until they see how things develop. The studies in consumer habits and operational and financial characteristics seemed well crafted and of great value. The more our clients and prospects learn about their business, the more they can see the value we create for them.

    I had a fun breakfast while in Philly. My childhood friend from grade school lives in Philadelphia. I hadn’t seen him since graduating high school. It turned out he works in a building about three blocks form the host hotel. It was fun to get caught up with him.

    It was great to get home from my trip, too. It takes your family a little while to adjust after you get home from being gone for a week. I am glad I am not on the road every week.

    I was also very pleased that it took me just a couple of hours to get caught up after getting in the office this morning. The people who help me run PhoneSmart do a great job taking care of business, so I can go out and see clients and create new clients.

    The call volume is looking good today as we expected it might. We have had several good spurts so far.

    Here is a reminder for you for next year. We had forgotten how many people tune in to the March Madness Basketball games. We were looking at call volume for Saturday the 19th and were at first puzzled at how slow it was in comparison to trends. But it was a big basketball day and many people were watching their favorite teams play hoops. Wait until next Monday. You will like how busy it will get.

    Tune in next time for more words from the world of storage blogs. Bye for now, Tron.

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  • Association meeting.
    By admin on March 17, 2005 | 1 Comment1 Comment  Comments

    Currently there is an association meeting in progress. We will keep you up to date.

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