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  • SPAREFOOT VOTED “BEST ONLINE DIRECTORY” SECOND YEAR IN A ROW
    By Joel on August 16, 2012 | Comments Off  Comments

    For the second year in a row, SpareFoot has been awarded “Best Online Directory” in the Inside Self-Storage Best of Business reader-choice poll. Launched in 2011, the poll solicits online votes from industry professionals, who elect their favorite vendors in about 30 categories. SpareFoot will be honored with a profile page in ISS magazine as well as during a special ceremony at the ISS World Expo in Las Vegas in April

    “It is awesome to be chosen for Best Online Directory for the second year in a row. Our clients and friends in the industry made it happen, so we thank them for their vote and ongoing support,” SpareFoot CEO Chuck Gordon said.

    About SpareFoot
    SpareFoot is the world’s largest online marketplace for consumers to find and reserve self-storage units, with comparison shopping tools that show real-time availability and exclusive deals. We also offer web marketing solutions for storage facility owners and operators. Our AdNetwork tool helps facilities modernize their marketing and win new tenants online. SpareFoot AdNetwork listings get more traffic than any comparable directory, featuring software integration and ROI-proving analytics. This fun and cool tech startup is headquartered in Austin, TX.

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  • SpareFoot Finds a Sporting Way to Raise Funds
    By admin on February 21, 2012 | 10 Comments10 Comments  Comments

    The self storage industry as a whole prides itself on the long-standing relationships companies and facilities have formed in their communities with various charities and non-profit organizations.  SpareFoot, an Austin-based startup company known in the self-storage industry for their leading web marketing solutions, is no exception to that trend.

    Recently, SpareFoot employees participated in the Austin Startup Olympics.  The first-ever (but soon to be annual) event of its kind in the Austin area, the Startup Olympics invited eight local startup companies to participate in a series of “sporting” events to help support a local charity of their choosing.  The event was designed to promote not just community fundraising in the Austin area, but innovation as well.

    In placing third overall, SpareFoot employees raised $250 for Kure It Cancer Research.  The company then doubled that amount to increase the donation to $500.

    “When I heard about what Kure It [was] doing, I wanted to find a way to help,” Mario Feghali, SpareFoot Co-Founder and COO, said.  “They’ve kept a focused effort on a big problem. For those who have lost a loved one to renal cell carcinoma or any type of cancer, it’s easy to feel helpless and lose hope. But I know that our contribution to Kure It will help those families and individuals dealing with kidney disease.”

    The five-hour competition included fun-filled games/activities like Foosball, Flip Cup, Ping Pong, Connect Four, Darts, Shuffleboard and Pop-a-Shot as well as featuring an obstacle course; making the day fun for all while raising much needed funds for Kure It to continue its research in kidney cancer and other under recognized (and underfunded) malignancies.

    “We’re excited to share Kure It’s mission with a new audience, and grateful to SpareFoot for including us in such a unique fundraiser,” said Kure It Founder Barry Hoeven.

    “The support Kure It receives through our self-storage partnerships plays a key role in our efforts to fund research,” added Kure It Director Karen Jones.  “We hope this event will not only get the word out about Kure It’s mission, but inspires other companies and industries to participate in similar clever fundraising efforts.”

    About Kure It

    Kure It is a non-profit organization whose mission is to raise money for research specialists conducting innovative projects to better treat and ultimately cure kidney and other cancers.  Founded by self-storage industry veteran Barry Hoeven after his diagnosis with kidney cancer, Kure It has raised over $1 million, and currently supports research being done at Cedars-Sinai and City of Hope. www.kureit.org

    About SpareFoot

    SpareFoot is the world’s largest search engine for consumers to find, compare and reserve self-storage units online. The company also offer a suite of web marketing tools to help storage facility operators effectively reach modern customers. These include effective advertising network listings, a local SEO solution and a complete website builder. http://sparefoot.com

     

     

     

     

     

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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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  • Vital Statistics of the Self Storage Industry
    By admin on August 22, 2008 | 366 Comments366 Comments  Comments

    Self storage industry has been found to be the fastest growing new industry in the commercial property sector that has emerged in the country over the last three decades. The estimate has been made on the basis of the registration of new companies, setting up of new facilities and the amount of total square feet of area added for the purpose. The number of companies whose prime income is from providing storing facilities is phenomenal and it is still growing. The amount of gross revenue in the year 2007 has crossed 20 billion dollar and the per-facility revenue has been over three hundred thousand dollars.

    Self storage industry has gained from the popularity of the concept and it has grown so fast that in the last twelve years the use has grown from one in every seventeen households to one in every ten. Converted to percentage growth it comes to sixty-five. The concept of self storing has caught on so fast and the revenue generated has been so lucrative that many companies have joined the fray tough the primary income of these are from other sources. There are almost nine thousand such companies operating in the country. These statistics are based on the actual figures that are available to the authorities. The actual size of the industry is larger and there are many facilities that are lying beyond the record of the authorities.

    Self storage industry has a variety of members. There are companies who have multiple facilities all over the country and there are some that end in themselves. There are quite a few operators who just operate a single unit and it is the source of primary income. Of the large companies that are doing business in the country, the top five operate about one facility in every ten that are operated in the country. The rest are operated by over thirty thousand companies spread all over the country. An estimate provides that the current area available for self storing in the country is over two billion square feet which converts to about six square feet per person.

    The users profile has shown that the self storing facility is quite popular among the military personnel and the usage near the domestic military bases grows higher with sometimes the military personnel using almost all of the available storing units. The self storage industry values the military personnel and the associations of self storing facility operators often provide discounts and incentives like discounts on rental rates, free period of usage, gift certificates, and no change in rent during overseas deployment, waiver of deposits and fees, etc.

    The competition within the self storage industry is hotting up with a survey saying that the market is overbuilt at almost every level, local, state or national. The industry has confessed that at every instance a self storing facility has to compete with anything between three to twenty facilities to get customers. This is the urban scene. The rural scene is not very different as each facility has to compete with three to ten facilities. The rapid growth in the self warehousing industry that was seen during the late nineties and early parts of the new millennium has slowed down considerably though it has not stopped altogether. The last two years has added fewer facilities that what was added in the previous years.

    Boat Storage in Kansas City

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  • Canadian Self Storage Industry Has Room To Improve
    By admin on June 18, 2008 | 3 Comments3 Comments  Comments

    There is a great difference in the self storage industry of the United States versus the self storage industry of Canada. While the United States has seen growth in this industry over the past few decades, Canada is comparatively in its infancy and just beginning to see the growth that the U.S. has already experienced.

    The positive influences of American business persons who are offering advice about what they have seen work and what they have seen fail, is, in some parts, creating a more rapid growth in the Canadian self storage industry . The growing pains of the American market can certainly be a lesson to the Canadian, and other markets beginning to develop the storing market.

    The supply and demand ratio in the United States has caught up in many rural and urban markets. Storing facilities are typically anywhere from 75 to 90 percent full, depending on the region and the season. Whereas, the demand still largely outweighs the supply in Canada and rural and urban facilities alike are commonly enjoying the luxury of having their facilities 85 to 95 percent or more full.

    Perhaps the difference in occupancy is a contributing factor to the vast difference in customer service between the American and Canadian industries.

    In a study conducted in May, 2008 by a self storage industry call center in Columbia, Missouri, an astonishing 94 percent of Canadian store room facilities did not ask the customer for a phone number and only 18 out of 63 facilities asked the customer for his or her name. This is either indicative that the Canadian market is doing a very poor job or a very great job. Perhaps a very poor job because the lack of asking fundamental and imperative questions such as this could indicate a deeper sales and service problem rooted in complacency or inexperience.

    Perhaps a very great job because asking for a name and phone number is unimportant, for now, to the Canadian market because they are experiencing great success with the occupancy of their businesses. Why ask for a name and number when you know the unit will be rented out within the week? This may be their mind frame. However, they should take a cue from their neighbors to the south and keep a close eye on how the market is changing.

    The self storage industry is no secret to business owners looking for property in Canada. Like the American industry, soon enough, Canadian owners will find themselves battling with competition and looking at their sales and customer service practices to get an edge over their competitor.

    Already, in cities like Okotoks, Alberta the market has a cluster of storing facilities within a short radius of one another. And while larger cities like Toronto can easily host a handful of storing facilities, the guarantee of filling up after the first few weeks of your grand opening is narrowing as likeminded business men and women are opening their own facility.

    Competition is what morphed the American storing industry from a few metal sheds crafted from wobbly aluminum and chicken wire to top notch steel constructions equipped with individual alarms and video surveillance. It would benefit a new business owner in Canada or the States to learn under the wings of well established storing associations and business persons.

    Columbia Storage

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  • Does Mobile Storage Threaten Self Storage
    By admin on May 31, 2008 | 63 Comments63 Comments  Comments

    Self storage companies and their owners have been asking a lot of questions lately. How will the threat of recession affect the storing industry? Will rising gas and food costs mean people cut out the extra cost of their store room unit? And now a new question has posed itself. What about those mobile storing guys, are they going to take away business?

    Depending on who you ask and where their experience is in the storing industry, you will hear different answers. Some will say that a housing slump means people will stay in their homes collecting clutter and needing a place to store it. Others may say that a lull in the housing market is bad for the storing industry because people are not moving.

    No doubt about it, rising gas and food means families have less money on discretionary funds. Just how that filters down to local storing facilities remains to be seen.

    The truth of the matter is that self storage companies have not seen as great a moving season as it has in past years. The typical busier months are not over yet, and it could make a comeback, but if the past few months are indicative of the coming months, this year will be less than the growth the industry has seen in the past, with 10-20 percent less rental volume than last year.

    So what about the newest face of moving? Mobile storing pods advertise to be a quick, easy answer for families who are relocating. While they romanticize the idea of moving or relocating, they do not disclose the ugly side of the business. It is often hard to get the units delivered to your doorstep the same day or even the next day, especially if you live in a densely populated city. Mobile storing companies usually deliver 2 units and the cost of bringing you more than that begins to add to your bill. Additionally, there is a high cost to deliver the unit upfront. Moreover, there are more costs to redeliver your box to a new location or back to your existing home. Add to that, the monthly rental cost, per pod, per month. In some cases, there are extra costs for accessing your box in the warehouse where it is kept and it usually takes 45 minutes or longer for the company to get it down and ready for you.

    No matter what the dark side of mobile storing is, customers do draw to the convenience that these companies advertise. If a customer phones the mobile storing company to inquire about prices and the sales associate is any good at all at his job, then self storage companies have just lost a tenant.

    So what can self storage companies do to battle the new kids on the block? Well, if your facility is in a rural area, you are not likely to be affected, by these mobile companies, yet. No matter how your local business is feeling the affect of mobile storing, there are things you can do to attract renters and impress them once they call or stop by your facility.

    For starters, you should make sure the store front appearance is neat and fresh. Peeling paint or missing siding only indicates to a prospective tenant that you do not maintain the facility well.

    Also, when customers call your self storage companies , they should be impressed with the friendly service and even more impressed with the informative and helpfulness of it. The managers of your self storage companies should guide the customer to the best unit size, based on their needs. The manager should offer the caller choices and get agreement from them. Selling the amenities and security features is also important in helping your facility stand out from all the other self storage companies and mobile options. And most importantly, your managers should be great at closing the sale and reserving a unit on the phone.

    The idea of mobile storing is hard to combat, but perhaps the self storing industry has lucked out a little bit with a lull in economy. If moving families already have less money to spend because of gas and food and rising interest rates, then paying expensive delivery, redelivery, monthly and hidden fees may be out of their price range.

    But make no mistake, mobile units are not going anywhere in the long run. So, as they say, if you can not beat them, join them. Exploring the cost and profitability of adding a mobile service to your self service facility may be worth a look.

    Kansas City Storage

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  • Starting A Self Storage Business
    By admin on March 26, 2008 | 181 Comments181 Comments  Comments

    Have you ever thought about starting a self storage business? A self storage business has a lot to offer your community and yourself financially. A business such as self storage, if done correctly, could benefit all the people in the area that did not know that such a thing existed. There is a lot of need for self storage these days, why not take advantage?

    The first thing you do if you want to start a self storage business is pick up a pen. A pen you say, why a pen? Well, you pick up the pen and write down what you are expecting out of this business. You write down your goals and your aspirations. No business is successful without proper planning. Make sure you plan correctly and before you jump into it, you know what to expect.

    After you have written down your goals, aspirations and dreams to start a self storage business, you have to do some research. You have to take some time to find out about the area in which you want to put a self storage facility into. These are some questions that you should ask yourself:

    • How many other self storage companies are in a five to ten mile radius of your area?
    • Will your potential location be easily accessible to most residents that could use your facility?
    • Based on the population, how many units (and sizes) do you need to have on your property?
    • How much should you charge per unit that you have?
    • How much staff do you need to hire in order to care of your customers?
    • What should your security look like? Will you have door alarms, a fence, etc?

    As you see, the questions above are some of the necessary questions that you need to ask yourself if you want to start a self storage company.

    The questions above are just some of the questions, and the questions are the easy ones to answer. You can find those answers after doing some research for a couple of days to a week. The harder questions still need to be answered such as:

    • How will you get the money necessary to start a self storage company?
    • Which construction company will you use?
    • What time of year do you begin?
    • Do you have collateral if your company does not succeed (if you take out a loan)
    • Is the area in which you want to build appreciating?

    It is not easy starting a self storage company.

    Understand one thing. No one has the secret formula to starting a self storage company. Many people have tried and many people have failed. On the other hand, many people have succeeded. Everyone goes through their rough patches, but they press on to achieve their goals. You have to be that one, which will stop at nothing to get to where you want to be.

    A self storage company can be profitable to whoever decides to take on the responsibility. It would be smart to hire someone who can run the day to day operation of the facility. You can choose to do it yourself but at the same time, do you have the time to do it? Make the right decisions when it comes to starting a self storage company. As you see above, there are many questions that you need to ask yourself.

    Self Storage

    Kentucky Self Storage

    Kansas City Storage

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  • Free Advertisement!
    By admin on February 29, 2008 | 159 Comments159 Comments  Comments

    Anyone who is at all involved in the Internet Age knows about the online community forum revolution. It is a simple classified ad site that reaches millions. Customized to hundreds of different cities, it allows users to conduct a lot of real world transactions with a click of a mouse. From real estate to musical instruments, many different products and services are being purchased, traded, and rented. Rented, you say? That is right up our alley, right? Why not use this forum, which reaches over 30 million people per month, to reach those looking for self storage? A lot of bright self storage facilities are using that to their advantage and offering information this way about renting.

    Not to mention, to list self storage online in this forum is free. And who does not love free advertising? A lot of money goes into marketing to consumers. There are pamphlets, flyers, and postcards to print, commercials, radio, and print ads to produce, and phone book ads to create. It has to be a breath of fresh air to find something that reaches so many people and only takes a few creative words, a good special, and a click of the mouse to post.

    Speaking of specials, many self storage facilities go as far as offering an exclusive online special, in addition to the special that the store is currently running. Something as simple as a free lock or a coupon for a few free boxes more than compensates for the free advertisement that self storage facility has received. Furthermore, the typical person that is on a classified ad forum is a bargain shopper. Telling them that they have received an exclusive special makes them feel accomplished, as if they have caught the bargain in the chase to find a good deal.

    Crafting your ad is probably the most crucial element in luring that customer in to your self storage facility. The ad title is probably the most important, because if they pass by your ad, you never get to tell how great your self storage facility is. Your ad needs to stick out and set you apart from the rest of the ads. A title like Free Self Storage!!! would be great because it peaks the readers interest and they just have to click on your ad to see what you have to offer. When they actually get into the ad is when they see that you are offering a self storage unit with one month free or half off the first months rent. That is still free storage, right? In the actual body of the self storage ad, you have to be sure to give enough information, but not too much. Your goal is to get them to call you for more info. Giving information on a special, a few of the security features, perhaps a website address, and a phone number should suffice. When you actually get them on the phone, that is when the actual sale starts.

    Hopefully, after reading this you will realize the appeal of advertising online in free classified ad forums. It can be a great tool to use to reach those who choose to scour the Internet for bargains first. The Internet is the first stop in shopping for anything and that is increasingly becoming the case in this day and age. Why not move self storage into the 21st century?

    Texas Storage Units

    StorageMart Excelsior Blvds Hopkins, MN 55343

    Storage

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  • What Global Warming Means For Self Storage
    By admin on February 22, 2008 | 1 Comment1 Comment  Comments

    Climate controlled self storage and global warming actually have something to do with each other. Our call center services self storage clients in major markets like New York, Chicago, Miami, Oakland, Austin, San Antonio, Kansas City, Fort Lauderdale, Brooklyn, Queens, New Jersey and others. Most of these self storage facilities have climate controlled self storage units. If the temperature averages edge up a degree or two, the summers will become even more hot and humid than they already are in many of these markets. This means more people will want to store their belongings in climate controlled self storage. This means less business for people who own or manage non climate controlled self storage and higher occupancies and profit levels for people who own or manage climate controlled self storage.

    However, it will also mean higher costs. If energy costs continue to rise and if it takes more power to cool and dehumidify climate controlled self storage facilities, then rents will need to increase to keep up with the rising costs. There may be a point where the cost of renting a climate controlled self storage unit puts climate controlled self storage out of reach of the average self storage consumer. However like most purchases, climate controlled self storage is a purchase of perceived necessity. If you think you need a climate controlled self storage unit, then you will figure out a way to pay for it. You might not stay as long as you would if it was priced lower, but you will use it if you think you need it. As more baby boomers retire and down size, they will be passing their nice furniture and the furniture of their ancestors down to the next generation. All this furniture will need to go into climate controlled self storage while the next generation figures out what to do with it.

    There are other unexpected costs associated with global warming that will impact both climate controlled self storage and non climate controlled self storage. Our call center is headquartered in Central Missouri. Historically our winters have brought more snow than ice when we get precipitation. But global warming is changing the flow of gulf moisture and the power this flow has. This winter we have gotten many freezing rain and ice storm events because the powerful flow of warm moisture from the Gulf of Mexico has ridden over the top of cold arctic air. In years past, the warm flow would not have been as powerful and these precipitation events would have brought snow. Snow is much less costly than ice and freezing rain from every perspective.

    The cost of salting and cleaning up ice on a self storage property is far higher than dealing with a few inches of snow. Ice causes car wrecks, electricity outages and lost work time. A few inches of snow has very little impact on self storage or other businesses.

    However, one cannot anticipate how changing weather can impact costs, consumer behavior or forecasting a return on investment. This may be where the next group of mathematical geniuses and actuarial wizards will create huge wealth. The forecasters who can help companies and governments anticipate and manage changing cost structures and new events of financial consequence will put their organizations in a powerful position. Those who go to work everyday thinking that things are as they always have been may wake up one day so far in the red that hey have to sell off assets at bargain basement prices or just close the doors and walk away.

    MI Storage Units

    StorageMart Scenic Hwy Lawrenceville, GA 30045

    Furniture Storage

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  • The Self Storage Blind Spot
    By admin on January 30, 2008 | 1 Comment1 Comment  Comments

    Where the Self Storage Industry Is Missing It

    An article written by the president of a storage marketing firm recently appeared on a well known self storage media web page. The article gave self storage owners a healthy dose of the reality of how competitive the current self storage market has become. The article told the story of how self storage owners that once had effortless profits are now in a crowd of other local self storage facilities because supply has caught up with demand. Future tenants use Yellow Pages and more increasingly, the Internet to search for storage. Competition has created innovative marketing plans as self storage owners are all vying for higher occupancy in the same pool of tenants.

    The article inspired self storage business owners to get their head in the game by aiming towards high profit and occupancy by understanding competition and implementing a strong marketing campaign. This could not be more right! The self storage industry has been found out by business owners and investors looking for profitable business. There are now more rentable square feet in the United States than ever before and the cost of renting that square foot is rising.

    The article also offered some marketing insight by stating that more than 29.5 million consumers used the Internet to find self storage in 2007. It is also reported that 43 percent of consumers search online to find a local merchant. The text went on to advise that beginning guerilla warfare-like marketing strategies would bring out the top dog in the self storage industry by undermining his competition. It suggested innovation was the way to win the game.

    Again, they could not be more right. Any self storage owner who plans to stay in business knows the importance of drawing consumers and advertising to their target market. The  article began with a bold statement.

    Here is yet another bold statement. Self storage marketing campaigns are being undone and wasted by a huge oversight on the part of the owner or operator!

    Spending thousands of dollars on just one year of Yellow Page ads is like a penny in the bucket for many self storage companies. Those one-inch ads are like a security blanket for us, and then we put a little play money into online ads or other marketing avenues.

    Let us pretend for a moment that for every dollar you spend advertising your facility, one customer contacts your facility. (Yes, it is an unrealistic pretense, but that is the beauty of pretend. And it makes the math easier.) So now all your hard work has paid off and you have customers lining up outside your door for the chance to rent an empty 5×5 space.

    The game is not over yet. You have not won. There is more work to be done. Who has that moment of truth with your customer? Who puts a face to the fancy web page or full-page phonebook ad? Your on-site managers do!

    When it is all said and done, the most expensive marketing campaign is only as good as the manager behind the counter. What have you invested into their success? Have you trained them how to sell your storage facility? Do they know how to build agreement and gain commitment throughout their conversation in order to lead the customer to signing the dotted line? This is the blind spot in the self storage industry as a whole.

    In order to make each advertising dollar worth the investment, your staff should be worth their weight in gold to your business. The only way to guarantee marketing success is to be ready to answer the phone and greet customers walking through the door. Sales training programs are the wisest investment a self storage owner could put into his business.

    While that article suggests innovative marketing plans, may we suggest going completely outside the box and hitting your competitors where it really hurts, by training a fierce sales force.

    StorageMart Bird Rd & SW 99th Ave Miami, FL 33165 (866) 748-6951

    Self Storage

    Storage Units

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