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  • INFOGRAPHIC: Self-Storage Explodes As Hidden Giant Of Real Estate
    By Sarah Little on June 14, 2012 | 239 Comments239 Comments  Comments

    The Surprisingly Interesting Facts About Self Storage

    AUSTIN, TX – June 14, 2012 – SpareFoot has released an infographic presenting surprising statistics about the self-storage industry. Having doubled its footprint within 5 years, the niche self-storage segment is the “hidden giant” of the real estate industry.

    The increase in self-storage real estate demonstrates the rapid increase in consumer demand, particularly in the United States, which makes up nearly 86% of the global self-storage market.

    The infographic also highlights how self-storage is a segmented industry. The data supporting this argument is jarring: As of 2011, 90% of all self-storage companies were owned by small business entrepreneurs. Less than 9% are owned by the four largest publicly traded REITs.

    About SpareFoot
    SpareFoot provides web marketing solutions for storage facility owners and operators; the AdNetwork tool helps self-storage businesses 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 for storage facilities. This fun tech startup is headquartered in Austin, TX. Visit SpareFoot.com to learn more.

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  • Penske Truck Rental and SpareFoot Team Together for Moving Season
    By Joel on May 24, 2012 | 197 Comments197 Comments  Comments

    READING, Pa. (May 23, 2012)— Just in time for the busiest moving weekend of the year and the start of moving season, Penske Truck Rental and self-storage startup SpareFoot are teaming up to bring do-it-yourself moving and storage into the 21st century.

    The collaboration launches ahead of Crazy Tuesday, the self-storage industry’s unofficial biggest day of the year, which falls right after Memorial Day. Through this relationship, customers of either company can now easily find and reserve a storage unit and moving truck together, in just a few clicks or via one phone call.

    “This collaboration with SpareFoot will make for a more convenient moving experience for our customers,” said Don Mikes, Senior Vice President of Rental for Penske Truck Leasing. “We’re looking forward to beginning work with this innovative company.”

    DIY movers regularly rent both moving trucks and self-storage space to facilitate their moves. But until now, there was no way to book both services in one simple place online. Penske is now able to cross-promote storage at more than 6,000 properties across the U.S.— more locations than all of the largest storage operators combined. SpareFoot’s self-storage comparison shopping platform now makes this possible.

    “Penske’s tradition of offering the best trucks and the best service combined with SpareFoot’s exclusive deals and intuitive online user experience will add value to both brands, for our storage facility partners and for customers,” SpareFoot CEO Chuck Gordon said.

    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. Customers can easily make reservations online or over the phone. SpareFoot also provides web marketing solutions for storage facility owners and operators; the AdNetwork tool helps self-storage businesses 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 for storage facilities. This fun tech startup is headquartered in Austin, TX. Visit SpareFoot.com to learn more.

    With one of the newest fleets, Penske Truck Rental provides do-it-yourself movers with clean, well-maintained and reliable trucks as well as moving equipment, packing supplies and accessories. Penske also offers military members discounted truck rentals.

    Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P., headquartered in Reading, Pa., is a joint venture of Penske Corporation, Penske Automotive Group and General Electric Capital Corporation. A leading global transportation services provider, Penske operates more than 200,000 vehicles and serves customers from more than 1,000 locations in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Product lines include full-service truck leasing, contract maintenance, commercial and consumer truck rentals, used truck sales, transportation and warehousing management and supply chain management solutions. To learn more about Penske’s products and services please visit www.GoPenske.com and our “Move Ahead” blog.

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  • SpareFoot Launches New Tool For Self-Storage Companies Without Websites
    By admin on December 1, 2011 | 12 Comments12 Comments  Comments

    AUSTIN, Texas – Dec 1, 2011 – SpareFoot, provider of leading web marketing tools to the self-storage industry, announced the launch of its newest product, SiteBuilder. Designed to simplify everything about creating and maintaining an effective self-storage company website, SiteBuilder helps storage operators compete to win increasingly web-dependent consumers.

    Facility clients get a customizable, easy-to-update website that’s proven to convert visitors into tenants. Users upload their facility logo and photos, and customize brand messaging. SpareFoot’s intuitive content management system (CMS) makes it easy to make changes anytime, without having to call in the expensive web developer or designer. Storage companies may even point a new or existing custom domain address to their SiteBuilder page.

    SiteBuilder websites feature all the details consumers are looking for when they search for storage on their computers and smart phones. The tool integrates seamlessly with storage facilities’ existing management software to keep unit pricing, amenities and available inventory up-to-date. With complete performance analytics, facilities can track website visits, phone calls and online reservations. Self storage companies can even listen to raw feedback from local consumers through recorded calls and complete call statistics.

    The tool joins GeoPages, SpareFoot’s local search supplement for facility operators who already have websites. The company’s flagship AdNetwork product grants facilities highly visible, search-able listings on SpareFoot.com, SelfStorage.com and over 50 other high-traffic partner sites that serve storage and moving needs.

    “Every self-storage company needs a website, an online headquarters,” SpareFoot Co-founder and CEO Chuck Gordon said. “Our web experts designed SiteBuilder to be the best affordable turnkey solution. It modernizes your business, so you can reach and convert new tenants.”

    Through its products, SpareFoot aims to evolve the storage industry by making the world of web marketing more accessible to facility owners and managers. Learn more about SiteBuilder here: http://www.sparefoot.com/business/facilities/sitebuilder.html.

    About SpareFoot:
    SpareFoot is the largest online marketplace for self-storage, making it easy for consumers nationwide to find, compare and reserve storage units online. The company also offers a suite of leading web marketing tools for storage facility operators. SpareFoot is an Austin-based start-up backed by Silverton Partners, FLOODGATE and Capital Factory. For more information, please visit http://www.sparefoot.com.

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  • Best Self-Storage Marketing Idea Contest: Learn From Peers, Win a Kindle Fire
    By Sarah Little on November 11, 2011 | 20 Comments20 Comments  Comments

    AUSTIN, Texas – Nov. 11, 2011SpareFoot, provider of leading web marketing tools to the self-storage industry, has launched a social media contest for storage operators though its SelfStorage.com partner social media accounts. The Best Self-Storage Marketing Idea Contest aims to encourage operators to share their most creative marketing ideas and get inspired by other entries from industry peers. The entrant with the most-voted idea will win Amazon’s highly anticipated new Kindle Fire tablet.

    The contest is deliberately open-ended, to invite a wide range of marketing ideas or strategies that self-storage owners and managers could use to drive more tenants to their facilities. Operators are invited to contribute anything from a crazy concept they’re tossing around in the back of their minds, to a tried-and-true effort that’s been successful in the past.

    The public has access to read and comment on entries, which are being accepted through the Self Storage Inc. Facebook page and through an openly accessible micro-site from now until November 28. At that point, a jury of SpareFoot marketing experts will review all entries and select five finalist ideas. On December 1, finalists will be announced and public voting will open up. Anyone may vote for any idea once per voting period, which concludes December 21.

    “The goal is to inspire storage operators to recognize social media as not only a consumer marketing channel, but also as an ideal platform for sharing ideas and learning from peers in the industry,” said Rachel Greenfield, SpareFoot Marketing Analyst and coordinator of the contest.

    The idea with the most votes wins on December 22, and the entrant behind it will score the Kindle Fire, an exciting new tablet that officially hits shelves next week. SpareFoot pre-ordered one specifically for the Best Self-Storage Marketing Idea Contest winner, so he or she may use it to execute their next great self-storage marketing idea, or just to play Angry Birds.

    SpareFoot Logo

     

     

     

     

    About SpareFoot:
    SpareFoot is the largest online marketplace for self-storage, making it easy for consumers nationwide to find, compare and reserve storage units online. The company also offers a suite of leading web marketing tools for storage facility operators. SpareFoot is an Austin-based start-up backed by Silverton Partners, FLOODGATE and Capital Factory. For more information, please visit http://www.sparefoot.com.

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  • Kenny Pratt and SpareFoot Co-host Industry Twitter Chat
    By Sarah Little on August 23, 2011 | 20 Comments20 Comments  Comments

    AUSTIN, Texas – Aug. 23, 2011 – To celebrate the growing numbers of self-storage professionals active on Twitter, two social media mavens are joining forces to host the first ever industry Twitter chat, known as #StorChat. Twitter chats are online conversations in which relevant users gather at a specified time to discuss certain topics related to an industry or hobby. Chats are held weekly, with a new topic of discussion set each week. #StorChat will be held Wednesdays from 3-3:30 CST, starting Sept. 7.

    #StorChat is hosted by Kenny Pratt (@SellingStorage), President of Crescendo Properties and Editor-In-Chief of Selling Storage, along with Rachel Greenfield (@SpareFoot), Marketing Analyst at SpareFoot and Editor-In-Chief of the Storage Facilitator. The hosts will ask three questions relating to the topic at hand over the course of thirty minutes, and everyone participating is encouraged to answer, discuss and exchange ideas and opinions via tweets.

    “The great thing about a Twitter chat is it brings users together from all over country or world to a place where they can interact in real time, rather than communicate in a delayed manner as they might through email or forums,” Pratt said.

    Many self-storage operators currently use Twitter as a promotional tool to reach potential customers, but #StorChat hopes to demonstrate there’s more to the platform. It presents a progressive opportunity to meet new connections and learn from knowledgeable peers on anything and everything self-storage business. Twitter chats have been popular and successful in a variety of niche industries, from real estate to multi-family housing to blogging.

    Social networks like Twitter can feel overwhelming, so #StorChat offers self-storage professionals the chance to cut their teeth with a group of supportive people they can relate to. Everyone in the industry is encouraged to join in, learn and socialize with their fellow smart and creative storage owners, investors, managers and employees.

    The first #StorChat on Wednesday, Sept. 7 from 3-3:30 CST will cover the use of social media marketing in self-storage. To participate, simply sign up for a free Twitter account on Twitter.com (or log in to your current account), then follow the hash tag #StorChat by searching for it in the Twitter search box. Be sure to type the hash tag “#StorChat” at the end of every tweet you send during the chat. Get more tips, advice and details about #StorChat here: http://sellingstorage.com/self-storage-twitter-chat-unleashed-september-7th/

    About SpareFoot:
    SpareFoot is the largest online marketplace for self-storage, making it easy for consumers nationwide to find, compare and reserve storage units online. The company also offers a suite of leading web marketing tools for facility operators. Across multiple properties including SelfStorage.com, Apartments.com and others, the SpareFoot Ad Network helps facility owners and managers find new tenants— all through an entirely pay-for-performance model. SpareFoot is backed by Silverton Partners, FLOODGATE and Capital Factory. For more information, please visit http://www.sparefoot.com.

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  • SpareFoot Launches Largest Free Self-Storage Auction Directory
    By Sarah Little on August 8, 2011 | 213 Comments213 Comments  Comments

    AUSTIN, Texas – Aug. 8, 2011 – Self-storage auctions are more than just reality show fodder, they’re an actual reality in the $22B self-storage industry. SpareFoot, the online self-storage marketplace, launched a new nationwide auction directory website that lists more upcoming auctions than any other free service of its kind.

    SpareFoot observed that people had little choice but to check local print newspaper listings to discover upcoming auctions. A disruptive three-year-old start-up company that aims to make self-storage easy for consumers, SpareFoot built a live searchable database of auctions. Users can sort local search results by distance from zip code or by how many days away auctions are.

    The immense recent popularity of storage auctions, sparked by hit TV shows Storage Wars and Auction Hunters, helped inspire the project. Customers frequently call and email SpareFoot’s support team with questions about auctions. Tony Emerson, SpareFoot’s SEO Analyst, found search volume for the phrase “storage auctions” rivals that of broad search terms like “self storage” and “storage units.”

    With all this growth, SpareFoot isn’t the first to enter the auctions directory space. Competing sites either require facilities to pay a fee to be listed, or feature limited functionality and limited inventory for free. SpareFoot Auctions is the most comprehensive free storage auction list available. A major benefit of the effort is that it will help drive web traffic to the company’s website and make a branded impression on these visitors.

    Of the approximately 10,000 abandoned storage units auctioned off nationally every month, SpareFoot Auctions lists between 35-50% of these, and that reach will only expand. Plans include adding a Notes section to provide unit descriptions and number of units up for sale. SpareFoot will also integrate back-end functionality so facility owners and managers can easily add and promote their auctions on the site.

    “We’re going to keep building this and making it more functional,” Emerson said. “We eventually want to serve as a resource to help facility operators improve the auctions process to the point that they look forward to having one.”

    About SpareFoot:
    SpareFoot is the largest online marketplace for self-storage, making it easy for consumers nationwide to find, compare and reserve storage units online. The company also offers a suite of leading web marketing tools for facility operators. Across multiple properties including SelfStorage.com, Apartments.com and others, the SpareFoot Ad Network helps facility owners and managers find new tenants— all through an entirely pay-for-performance model. SpareFoot is backed by Silverton Partners, FLOODGATE and Capital Factory. For more information, please visit http://www.sparefoot.com.

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  • SelfStorage.com Launches New Blog as Modern Educational Resource for Storage Operators
    By Sarah Little on July 12, 2011 | 89 Comments89 Comments  Comments

    The Storage Facilitator blog is for self-storage operators seeking to understand and master web marketing strategies and new technologies to better their businesses. The blog boasts some of the highest-quality writing in the industry, and features original content from leading self-storage experts.

    As consumer habits evolve in our Internet-driven world, new opportunities to market self-storage facilities abound. SelfStorage.com launched a new blog that empowers storage operators to learn and embrace these opportunities. The Storage Facilitator is positioned as an educational resource on web marketing and other topics. Managed by the SpareFoot editorial team, the blog features high-quality writing and original guest posts from well-known industry experts like R.K. Kliebenstein, Carol Krendl, Kenny Pratt, Matt Van Horn and M. Anne Ballard.

    Since its soft-launch in late March 2011, the Storage Facilitator has covered topics including social media marketing basics, search engine optimization, and website best practices. Now publishing two new posts weekly, coverage is designed to be approachable and accessible to all users, regardless of web experience or comfort level.

    “Keeping up with Internet and technology trends can be overwhelming,” said Rachel Greenfield, the blog’s editor-in-chief. “Our goal is to demystify the most useful tools and strategies available, to help self-storage operators pursue smart marketing efforts that grow their bottom line.”

    Another goal is to foster an open forum for sharing ideas and connecting with peers through the Storage Facilitator. Readers throughout the self-storage community are invited to contribute guest blog posts on any topic of expertise. Editors also accept nominations for the Manager of the Month feature, which spotlights a facility manager’s exceptional customer service skills or creative marketing prowess. Of course, feedback and questions are always welcome in the comments section of each post.

    The Storage Facilitator is for everyone who touches the storage industry— owners, managers, investors and staff. To contribute, suggest a blog post idea or nominate a manager, email blogs@sparefoot.com or tweet @SelfStorageInc. You can also find the Storage Facilitator on Facebook.

    About SelfStorage.com:
    As “the first name in self-storage,” SelfStorage.com is more than a leading online consumer marketplace that lists thousands of storage units nationwide. The site also provides resources for storage operators, including the most prominent “online trade show” community in the industry. Vendors are invited to list their product and service offerings in the community to reach thousands of facility owners. The Storage Facilitator blog is an authoritative educational resource, covering web marketing topics and more for modern operators. SelfStorage.com is now powered by SpareFoot.

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  • Start-up SpareFoot Makes Self-Storage Fun
    By Sarah Little on June 21, 2011 | 5 Comments5 Comments  Comments

    AUSTIN, Texas – Jun. 21, 2011 – SpareFoot, the online self-storage marketplace, launched a unique project and blog series called Adventures In Storage, designed to familiarize employees with their product in the most entertaining way possible. The new mixed-media “reality series” documents the start-up’s 18 employees as they experience the process of renting and moving into and out of self-storage units.

    CEO Chuck Gordon coordinated the nine-week project, in which duos of employees moved a growing pile of possessions from one storage facility to the next around Austin, adding their own creative items for the next teams to discover and move. Each duo was responsible for finding storage near one teammate’s home, with or without the help of the company’s own self-storage finder site.

    All employees – from developers to salespeople to marketers – booked units, signed leases, obtained locks and optionally rented trucks to cart the pile around town. Moving forward, every new employee to join the SpareFoot team will pick up where things left off and complete the task themselves.

    The idea sprang from Gordon’s realization that most SpareFoot team members had never personally used self-storage, but he wanted them to understand the challenges storage customers face. He hopes Adventures In Storage inspires improvements to SpareFoot’s website that will make finding, reserving and executing self-storage easier than ever for everyone.

    “To speak intelligently about anything related to the consumer experience, everyone at SpareFoot should have personal experience renting a storage unit,” Gordon said. “Everyone will learn what it really means to rent storage, and see how much of a pain it is. This should help guide everything we do to make the process easier for consumers.”

    The project was documented through filmed interviews with each duo at SpareFoot’s office, and some scrappy video footage taken at the storage facilities. Weekly blog posts will unfold the story in a narrative style similar to that of a typical TV reality series. A short video, featuring interviews and photos, will accompany each written post. New blog “episodes” are released every Monday for nine weeks at 6 p.m. CST, starting June 20.

    In tandem with the June 1 release of a teaser trailer for Adventures In Storage, SpareFoot is running a social media contest whereby the first three people to correctly guess one item in the final storage unit win $100. All in all, the series should reveal a lot about how a fun high-tech start-up staffed by a team of smart, nerdy personalities operates. It will also be an experiment in pushing the social media reach of a niche industry. Follow along on Twitter @SpareFoot with hash tag #adventuresinstorage.

    About SpareFoot:
    SpareFoot is the leading online marketplace for self-storage. With more than 5,000 self-storage facilities listed nationwide, SpareFoot offers consumers the most complete comparison shopping experience in the storage industry. Across multiple properties including SpareFoot.com, SelfStorage.com, Apartments.com and many others, SpareFoot helps storage facility operators find new tenants— all through an entirely pay-for-performance model. SpareFoot is backed by Silverton Partners, FLOODGATE and Capital Factory. For more information, please visit http://www.sparefoot.com

    Sparefoot Adventures In Storage Teaser.

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  • SpareFoot Partners with SelfStorageFinders to Create Largest Advertising Network in Self-Storage
    By Sarah Little on May 4, 2011 | 19 Comments19 Comments  Comments

    AUSTIN, Texas – May 3, 2011 – SpareFoot, the online self-storage marketplace and industry solution provider, announced it now boasts the largest advertising network in the industry— larger than all of its competitors’ combined (Compete.com, March 2011). This benchmark follows SpareFoot’s recent agreement to power SelfStorageFinders.com.

    The partnership with SelfStorageFinders.com was finalized earlier this month, effecting a major change in the way the site serves both facilities and consumers. It previously utilized a subscription model, whereby self-storage facilities paid monthly for listings without any guarantee of performance. On the SpareFoot Network, there are no monthly fees, and listed facilities only pay when a new tenant moves in— guaranteeing ROI.

    SelfStorageFinders.com will benefit from an improved user experience to drive more transactions, and a much larger database of storage facilities. The overhead spent on managing facility advertising subscriptions will also be eliminated, simplifying their business overall.

    “As key players in this milestone for SpareFoot, we’re excited to be a part of what is now the largest online marketplace for self-storage, said Matt Price, owner of SelfStorageFinders.com. “Through this partnership, we will generate even more exposure for our listed storage facilities. Meanwhile, it’s easier than ever for our consumer visitors to find and compare all of the best storage options in one convenient place online.”

    SelfStorageFinders.com joins SpareFoot’s rapidly growing list of partners, which already includes leading sites like SelfStorage.com, Apartments.com and uShip.com. Sites in the SpareFoot Network enjoy more web traffic than all other independent storage directory and listing sites combined. The three-year-old company, led by CEO Chuck Gordon, is committed to developing a diverse suite of products that offer the most straightforward, effective online marketing solutions for self-storage operators.

    “This milestone is incredibly exciting, and we’re eager to take our ideas and products even further in the self-storage industry,” Gordon said. “As self-storage consumers increasingly turn to the web to research their options, our goal is to help make their search for storage as simple as possible. And in doing so, we can help storage facilities improve their online visibility and generate more tenants through smart online marketing.”

    About SpareFoot:
    SpareFoot is the leading online marketplace for self-storage. With more than 5,000 self-storage facilities listed nationwide, SpareFoot offers consumers the most complete comparison shopping experience in the storage industry. Across multiple properties including SpareFoot.com, SelfStorage.com, Apartments.com and many others, SpareFoot helps storage facility operators find new tenants— all through an entirely pay-for-performance model. SpareFoot is backed by Silverton Partners, FLOODGATE and Capital Factory. For more information, please visit http://www.sparefoot.com.

    About Self Storage Finders:
    SelfStorageFinders.com is committed to aiding customers in finding self-storage quickly and easily. The site provides location and contact information for facilities nationwide. Prospective tenants can search through listings on the site to find the best storage solution for their needs. The company offers unique opportunities to storage owners in addition to prospective renters. SelfStorageFinders.com generates exposure for its facility clients by offering premier visibility on major search engines. For more information, please visit http://www.selfstoragefinders.com.

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