Are Aggregators the Real Problem?

January 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

The debate over aggregators is heating up in the self storage industry. Clearly, a healthy discussion is underway.

As I think about it however, I wonder if the real problem is not aggregators, but what I would like to call a “culture of discounting”. With the growth of excess capacity, coupled with the sluggish economy, operators have increasingly turned to discounting to rent units. In much the same way as foreclosures and short sales have disrupted the real estate market, discounting has disrupted ours.

We have become a nation of consumers where “price is king”. Think Walmart. They dictate price to such a degree than China has difficulty competing. Yet, this begets a vicious cycle where prices are expected to be increasingly discounted. Self storage has, unfortunately in my view, been caught in this cycle.

Whether operators offer discounts directly or through third party aggregators, the result is largely the same — less money.

Self storage operators need to market VALUE not just price.

Think about how you can sell the VALUE of your facility, rather than succumb to the knee-jerk habit of discounting.

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