Less Stress, More Money in Self Storage, Part 9

December 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

As John Dunne famously said, “No man is an island unto himself”. This is particularly true in our inter-connected world today — as well as in self storage, too.

For a number of years I was involved in an unformal, local group of self storage operators known as WASSA or the Washington Area Salf Storage Association. We met monthly for lunch. We typically had a speaker on a topic of mutual interest.

I am sorry that the group is no longer active. Why? Because of what occurred during the luncheon prior to the speaker. We had an open discussion between the members regarding current self storage issues in our area. Occupancy. New products. Managers. Marketing. What is working. What isn’t. Any issue but rental rates (think antitrust here). These discussions were always valuable and I always learned something.

Am I suggesting that you form such a group? Maybe. You would benefit from it.

However, the important thing to do is to reach out to others, including your competitors for information, advice and, yes sometimes, comfort.

Maybe you are experiencing an unexplained loss of occupancy. Wouldn’t it be useful to know if it is just you — or the industry as a whole having the same issue. In short, reach out to your competitors and start a dialogue. You may be surprised at the result.

You can reach out in other ways, too. Join your local Chamber of Commerce. Even if most members are in different businesses, they will have similar problems.

Reach out to your local elected officials. The local police and fire departments. Churches, charities. Start dialogues there, too.

Who have you started a dialogue with? I would love to know.

Learning to open up and end the isolation can mean less stress and more money in self storage.

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