Guest Post: INCREASE YOUR FACILITY VALUE 8 STEPS YOU CAN DO By Kevin Rollings

Minico21) Appeal your real estate tax. 

First, consult with your local taxing authority to find the steps you need to take to get the process started. Don’t expect a lot of help, but they will provide the forms and the process for you. Not sure of the process, you can hire a tax consultant that will do the job for you at about 30% of your savings. The process is not that time consuming or difficult. I did it myself. I don’t want to give away 30% of my savings. (see expenses) File your forms, explain why you believe your tax is excessive and continue to appeal until you have your reduction. It’s important to remember that every dollar you save on property taxes increases your property value. 5,000 savings will increase value 50,000.

2) Operating expenses.

Whether you operate your facility yourself, have a manager or use a property management service, there are ways to keep your expenses in check. I realize you probably monitor your expenses but have you looked at these items? Do you receive quotes from different insurance providers every year? I do and I compare them and let each of them know what their competitor is offering to see if they can match it. How about landscaping and snow removal? Do you have to have the grass cut every week or the snow removal when it only accumulates a couple of inches. What about your marketing? Are you heavily involved in print media, coupon books, yellow pages, etc. Do you have a web presence? In this day and age Yellow pages have become updated, so have coupon books to some extent. Self storage is not something people plan for, it’s usually an immediate need. A web site and a web presence will draw more calls for a lesser amount than the old media types of marketing.

3) Make Repairs.

People will and do judge the security and comfort of your facility by it’s appearance. Make sure your fencing is in good repair. Your doors should work easily when opening and closing. Remove weeds from your gravel or paved areas. Have yearly preventative maintenance done. This will save a considerable sum when a repair does need to be made. Working lights convey safety. Show the pride of ownership in your facility.

4) Ancillary revenues.

Do you sell boxes, locks, tape or other moving supplies? Why not make your facility a one stop shop. Do you offer renter’s insurance? It’s amazing how many people become interested in insurance when it is explained to them. Truck rental? People need to be able to move things, not just to your self storage facility but from one side of town to another. Or they are moving to another city or state. They need a rental truck. Notice how many are on the road everyday? There is a need, why not add that service. Do you have room for a billboard? Check your local laws and see if it’s allowed.

5) Delinquencies.

I know there are some owners out there that love to have people pay late so that they can collect more money. Consider this though, let’s say that your usual monthly delinquencies are 12%. If you reduce this to 5% you will have a manager (or yourself) that has more time to show units, work on marketing and not wasting time chasing money. If they don’t pay, move quickly on your lien rights and reclaim that unit so that you can rent it again.

6) Raise rents.

If you are at least 90% occupied, you should raise your rental rates. A modest increase of 2.00 a month on 400 units brings in another 800.00 a month or 9600.00 a year. Most tenants will not be irked by a 2.00 increase, so the chance they move out is reduced. If they do move out, now you have a unit to rent at the new rate.

7) Expand.

This one is pretty simple. If you have the acreage and are at least 90% occupied, it’s time to expand. If you are not sure about expansion, it doesn’t hurt to go ahead and get the municipal approvals needed so that when you do make the move, this is out of the way for you.

8) Be aware of your unit mix. 

What size units do you rent on a regular basis? Is there a size that doesn’t rent well? If it’s a 5 x 10  that doesn’t rent well and 10 x 10 units always rent, why not move some walls and make those 5 x 10’s into 10 x 10’s. If you expand, it is doubly important to make sure you understand what your potential client is going to want or need.

 Self storage is a fun, interesting business that can be a smooth enterprise providing you take the steps necessary to run your business efficiently.

About Kevin Rollings & Self-Storage Facility Management

Kevin R. Rollings is a Teacher, an Owner and an Operations Manager for Self-Storage Facilities! Kevin has over 25 years rental experience at various levels of management and ownership in the rental niche.

Kevin was the regional supervisor for Scott Meyers, the past owner of Alcatraz Storage’s in the Indianapolis Greater Areas. Kevin was often a speaker at Scott Meyer’s Self Storage Academy as the key speaker for Management 101 and for Self Storage Auctions. His wisdom and excitement for the industry lead Kevin to purchase Alcatraz Storage in Brownsburg, Indiana, moving him from a once manager to a current owner!

For more information, please visit: http://selfstoragefacilitymanagement.com/

Summer Slash

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Over Your Head: Assessing Your Roof For Repairs Or Replacement By Jennifer LeClaire

roofThe roof may not be the sexiest element of your self-storage facility, but if it pours when it rains you’d be better off spending your maintenance budget on re-roofing than on repainting in the sunshine months.

The problem is that often, self-storage managers don’t give much thought to the roof until it leaks. After all, they are busy maintaining the more visible areas of the facility grounds, renting units to eager tenants, and hunting for new prospects. That’s why it is vital to do an annual inspection of the roof before it springs an unwelcome surprise on you and your tenants.

Of course, leaks aren’t the only telltale sign of an aged roof you need to retire in favor of a new-and-improved replacement. Sometimes the flashings have blown off in a windstorm. Other times, the roof is rusted through in various areas thanks to water puddles. Still other times, rusty screws could cause failure.

“Managers usually call us when the roof is leaking,” says Wayne Woolsey, sales manager for Kiwi II Construction, Inc., a Murrieta, Calif.- based design, engineering, and installation firm that caters to the self-storage industry. “Gutters are just full of debris. We can clean it out, but it could also be a more serious problem that demands a new roof.”

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Maintaining Your Security System: Low-Tech Upkeep For High-Tech Equipment By Erica Shatzer

dudeYou rely on it every second of every day to protect yourself, your employees, your customers, and your tenants’ belongings. You use it as a selling point in your
promotional materials and in sales pitches to prospective tenants. Without it you could fall victim to burglary, vandalism, or worse.

It’s your security system, and it is an essential component of your self-storage facility. Your security system is an expensive investment and should be properly maintained to prolong its life span. When installed correctly, most security systems require little maintenance. Nevertheless, there are several components of your security system that do require some attention.

Camera And DVR Care

Cameras are installed to capture the activity occurring on the property. Self-storage managers and owners depend on cameras to record any goings-on at the site that could result in litigation. The footage collected by the cameras can be utilized to avoid lawsuits and convict wrong-doers. Because cameras play a significant part in the security system, it is imperative to ensure that they are operating accurately.

To be sure the cameras are working appropriately, you need to test them. This can be
accomplished by simply reviewing the footage that the cameras have recorded. If you notice any objects in the frames that don’t belong, you should check the camera lenses for dirt, smears, or watermarks.  “Lenses are out there in the environment and they can in fact get dirty,” says Rick Sedivy, director of marketing for Inglewood, Calif.- based DKS DoorKing. “Use a soft, dry cloth to get the dirt off and maybe a little bit of compressed air to get everything off.”

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A-1 Self Storage Proudly Supports Saint Martin De Porres High School, A Cristo Rey Network High School

A1A-1 Self Storage, the premier provider of self storage in California, announced today their monetary donation to Saint Martin De Porres High School in Cleveland, Ohio. The donation is in support of the school’s Building Campaign. Since the school’s inception, they have delivered on their promise to provide students of modest economic means with a college preparatory education aimed at helping young men and women develop the habits of mind and spirit that will enable them to be successful in college, in their careers, and in life. The Corporate Work Study Program, the hallmark of the Cristo Rey Network, is also an integral component of the mission of Saint Martin de Porres High School, which is to transform urban Cleveland one student at a time. The workplace learning that each student experiences will be an integral part of his or her development as a scholar, as a professional, and as a person.

Saint Martin’s welcomes students of all religious traditions and places high value on the ongoing spiritual development of our students. Students are encouraged to engage in the planning and leadership of a variety of faith experiences including school Masses and prayer services.

“A-1 Self Storage is proud to be a national partner of Saint Martin De Porres High School. We believe education breaks the cycle of poverty. Saint Martin De Porres High School and the Cristo Rey Network provide students with a college preparatory education, as well as four years of corporate work experience. That is priceless and a great investment in our communities,” said Brian Caster, President and CEO of A-1 Self Storage.
For more information about Saint Martin De Porres High School, please visit: http://saintmartincleveland.org/

About A-1 Self Storage

A-1 Self Storage is one of the leading providers of car storage and self storage in California, with over 48 locations statewide. A-1 is the Self Storage division of the Caster Companies, a third generation family-owned company headquartered in Southern California since 1959. The Caster Companies specializes in acquisitions, development and management of A-1 Self Storage, A-1 Car Storage, and other commercial properties in California. Its real estate portfolio includes over 4 million square feet in real estate properties. It is one of California’s largest independent self storage and car storage owner/operators.

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AHRN.com Kicks Off Partnership with RallyPoint, SpareFoot & uShip to Better Serve Military Families

ahrnThe Automated Housing Referral Network (AHRN.com), the leading online military housing resource, is proud to announce partnerships with RallyPoint, SpareFoot and uShip, expanding the scope of PCS/relocation and career transition related services available to AHRN.com members.

RallyPoint is the professional military network for both current and former military members, a resource especially helpful during a PCS relocation and/or career transition. AHRN.com and RallyPoint share the same audience allowing members of both websites to obtain access to trusted resources for success in three key areas of military life: career, housing and connections.

“We’re excited to work with AHRN.com because our organizations both strive to serve the sparefootmilitary community. RallyPoint’s reach mixed with the PCS resources offered by AHRN.com should help service members enjoy more fluid transitions. We look forward to working with AHRN.com to improve a piece of military life that has left so many unsatisfied in the past,” says Yinon Weiss, CEO RallyPoint.

uShip.com/military and MilitaryStorage.com (powered by SpareFoot) assist military members in finding trusted movers and local storage facilities. uShip.com and MilitaryStorage.com empower the military member to select the best mover or storage facilitary based on user reviews, pricing, location and timing. In addition, these websites offer military discounts making them a perfect fit for the AHRN.com military audience.

“We are excited to partner with organizations that share the same dedication to serving the military community and providing quality services to military members and their families. These complimentary services provide AHRN.com members with access to resources beneficial during a PCS/relocation and/or career transition, in addition to housing information provided through AHRN.com since 2004. These organizations are committed to assisting military families throughout their military career, from initial entry to exiting the service, including all the moves in between, which aligns with the AHRN.com mission,” says Paul Giese, AHRN.com Product Manager.

About AHRN.com

Founded in 2004, AHRN.com is a thriving online community helping military members and their families lower the stress of a housing transition. The site connects the military community with available housing at over 500 military installations, simplifying the decision making process and easing the burden and costs. AHRN.com has assisted over 1.4 million military members across all Service Branches find housing, while maintaining a 96% user satisfaction rating. For more information, visit http://www.ahrn.com and follow @AHRNcom .

About RallyPoint.com

RallyPoint is the only professional online military community that empowers its members to capture relationships they formed during their service, explore the career paths of those that have gone before them, and gain more control over their career. Founded by former Special Forces officer Yinon Weiss and Army Captain Aaron Kletzing, it is the premier military network run by veterans in the USA. Visit www.RallyPoint.com to learn more.

About MilitaryStorage.com / SpareFoot

SpareFoot makes finding and booking self-storage easy. Our philosophy is simple: Move in and move on. SpareFoot partners with brands like SelfStorage.com and Penske Truck Rental to reach millions of storage customers. Our free marketplace of thousands of facilities lets customers search and compare the largest inventory of storage units in the U.S. while enjoying exclusive discounts. No other website provides more up-to-date information on storage pricing, availability, facility amenities and more. With an award-winning team of storage experts, SpareFoot brings consumers and facilities together to create a convenient and enjoyable storage experience online, offline and via mobile. For more information, visit www.militarystorage.com or www.sparefoot.com.

About uShip.com

uShip is the world’s largest and most trusted online marketplace for moving and shipping services serving the military relocation, freight, household goods and vehicle shipping markets. With uShip, consumers and businesses can compare and book upfront quotes, name their price or receive auction-style bids from thousands of feedback-rated transportation service providers, ranging from independent owner-operators to the largest freight carriers. http://www.uShip.com/military

(via PRLog)

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Guest Post: AN ATTRACTIVE LOAN PACKAGE: PUTTING IT TOGETHER By Kevin Rollings

Minico2First and foremost, a loan package has to fit the lending institution’s appetite. This means it must appeal to the initial underwriter and those that follow. It will need to pass a board’s approval for the final lending authority.

A lender looks for a few key items. Good credit, debt service coverage ratio, a strong NOI (net operating income) and a borrower with a seasoned resume. That resume speaks very loudly about your experience. What does all this mean? They want to be sure you will make your monthly mortgage payment.

What do underwriters look for? They want information. Show them the facility you want to buy is a clean, well kept property. Take pictures of the office, inside and out, show the buildings, long and close up shots. Doors, windows, roofs and interior along with exterior. Now, do these pictures appeal to you? If they don’t, will they appeal to the underwriter? Make sure your photos show clean areas everywhere. Pick up trash, weed flower beds, dump the trash.

What else? They are going to want financials with three years of tax returns, profit and loss statements including a current and up to date P&L. They want a current rent roll. Not hand written but from the software program being used. A business plan for the next five years that includes projected income and expenses along with why you are forecasting these numbers.

A borrower is required to use his credit score just to let the lender know that you are credit worthy, however, the facility income will be the ultimate measuring tool in rate and term. Now spend some time on your business resume. This is where you sell yourself as that responsible business person. The underwriter does not know you, give them an opportunity to learn about you. Your resume will speak volumes. It will tell the underwriter who you are and what you have accomplished.

To acquire financing today does take more time and there are more hoops to jump through. Become familiar with this process, have patience and submit an appealing loan package that meets your lender’s need.

About Kevin Rollings & Self-Storage Facility Management

Kevin R. Rollings is a Teacher, an Owner and an Operations Manager for Self-Storage Facilities! Kevin has over 25 years rental experience at various levels of management and ownership in the rental niche.

Kevin was the regional supervisor for Scott Meyers, the past owner of Alcatraz Storage’s in the Indianapolis Greater Areas. Kevin was often a speaker at Scott Meyer’s Self Storage Academy as the key speaker for Management 101 and for Self Storage Auctions. His wisdom and excitement for the industry lead Kevin to purchase Alcatraz Storage in Brownsburg, Indiana, moving him from a once manager to a current owner!

For more information, please visit: http://selfstoragefacilitymanagement.com/

Summer Slash

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Value Store It Unveils New Drive-up Storage Units in Miami

valueDue to the high demand for easily accessible self storage, Value Store It – Miami has developed 107 of the most desirable drive-up units on the market. This state-of-the-art addition is equipped with a high-tech security system that allows for direct contact with police dispatch and around the clock video monitoring, with up to 24-hour customer access to their storage units.

Value Store It’s new drive-up units are built along newly paved, double-wide, brightly lit drive aisles large enough for commercial vehicles to navigate with ease, making them ideal for electricians, plumbers, and anyone else working in a hands-on profession requiring quick and easy access to supplies or inventory.

In addition to the new storage units, there are also new over-sized parking spots available for recreational vehicles, boats on trailers, company vans and trucks, or car enthusiasts who simply do not have enough space in the driveway.

Value Store It- Miami was already an exceptional establishment with highly protected, climate controlled indoor units. These new additions and improvements show why Value Store It customers are the most satisfied storage users in South Florida.

Value Store It – Miami located at 9101 NW 7th Ave is located right off I-95 making it easy for customers throughout the Miami area.

For more information, visit Value Store It or call (305) 758-4141.

(via PRWeb)

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DBCI Achieves Safety Milestone

dbciRoll-up door manufacturer DBCI celebrated a milestone in July, marking six consecutive years without a single recordable injury. This monumental achievement encompasses over 850,000 hours worked.

“I’m proud of everyone in this organization,” says President Larry Miller, “Safety has become our primary talking point over the past six years, and to go all that time without a single injury is quite a feat. That doesn’t happen by accident; it’s a culture that has to be embraced by every single person here.”

Shipping manager Jucory Moon has been with DBCI over 13 years. “I think the biggest difference between now and six years ago is that now we care more,” he says, “We watch out for each other and talk things through.” What is the biggest challenge to safety? “Getting too comfortable,” replies Moon, “It doesn’t take but one second to slip up. We have to engauge every day.”

DBCI is a leading designer and manufacturer of commercial-grade steel roll-up doors and self storage solutions. Headquartered in Douglasville, Georgia, DBCI also operates production facilities in Houston and Chandler, Arizona.

For further information, please contact T.J. Kuehn at tjkuehn@dbci.com or 678-501-3026.

About DBCI

Headquartered in Douglasville, Ga., DBCI continues as a leader in designing and manufacturing commercial-grade steel curtain roll-up doors and self-storage solutions. DBCI maintains its success by focusing on the key components of business: quality, product development and service.

DBCI has manufacturing facilities for their roll-up doors and self-storage solutions in Douglasville, Ga., Houston, Texas, and Chandler, Ariz.. For more information, please visit: http://www.dbci.com

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MiniCo Publishing Releases “2014 Self-Storage Almanac Supplement” Featuring 10-Year Trend Data

MSM New LogoMiniCo Publishing has published a digital supplement to the 2014 edition of its “Self-Storage Almanac.” The “2014 Self-Storage Almanac Supplement: 10-Year Occupancy & Rental Rate Trends” covers a 10-year span of occupancy and rental rate data for the self-storage industry. Presented in chart format, the data included is derived from past issues of the “Self-Storage Almanac,” a trusted resource for self-storage operators now in its 22nd edition.

The supplement includes over 20 tables and charts including national and regional occupancy, occupancy by market area, occupancy excluding facilities in rent-up, national and regional rental rates, urban rental rates, suburban rental rates, rural rental rates, commercial rental rates, heavy industrial rental rates, and national tenant mix.

“For many in the self-storage industry, the ‘Almanac’ has become an anchor to the industry, allowing them to make educated business decisions based on market-specific research,” said MiniCo Publisher Poppy Behrens. “After many requests and much consideration, MiniCo Publishing has created a new digital supplement to provide occupancy and rental rate data covering a 10-year span.”

The “2014 Self-Storage Almanac Supplement” is available for purchase in a digital format at http://www.ministoragemessenger.com.

About MiniCo Publishing

MiniCo Publishing is a leading publisher of trade periodicals and information resources for the self-storage industry. The company’s flagship publication is “Mini-Storage Messenger,” the leading monthly trade magazine covering the global self-storage industry. Other publications include the “Self-Storage Almanac,” “Self-Storage Canada,” “Self-Storage Now!,” and the “Self-Storage Buyer’s Guide.” MiniCo Publishing is a division of MiniCo Insurance Agency, LLC.

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Guest Post: 5 ITEMS YOU MUST LOOK AT WHEN BUYING AN EXISTING STORAGE FACILITY By Kevin Rollings

Minico21) CONDITION:

The condition of the facility is the key to the future of this facility. What should you look at? Is it concrete, blacktop or gravel? Cracks that need repaired or sealing, or does it need a layer of gravel added? What condition are the doors, latches and roofs in? Do the doors operate smoothly, are the latches rusting out and hard to move? What type of roof? Was it a screw down, seamed? When was it last inspected?

2) COMPETITION

Where is your competition? Down the street or on the other side of town? What is the competition’s unit mix, pricing and specials? What type of units do they have? Temperature controlled, outdoor? What kind of location and traffic flow do they have? Signage and overall appearance.

3) LOCATION

Location is important, but with the advent of the internet there are many more ways to reach potential tenants. Is your site visible to drive by traffic? Is the facility easily accessible? Do you have a website and where does it rank? Do you have effective signage?

4) FUTURE GROWTH

What can be done to grow the facility? Improve cash flow or increase profitability? Can you expand? Are the expenses in check? What is the population in your area? Are there apartments, subdivisions with strict HOA’s?

5)YOUR DUE DILIGENCE

Are you informed enough to move forward to buy this facility. Your due diligence will answer that. Have you received the last three years P & L statements? Did you compare to the tax returns and have differences explained? Have you did a facility audit? Does the rent roll match the lock count when you walk the facility?

These are just a few of the questions to ask yourself as you start down the path to facility ownership. Your future success depends on these steps and questions. The initial work you do on the purchase will ultimately help decide your future success.

About Kevin Rollings & Self-Storage Facility Management

Kevin R. Rollings is a Teacher, an Owner and an Operations Manager for Self-Storage Facilities! Kevin has over 25 years rental experience at various levels of management and ownership in the rental niche.

Kevin was the regional supervisor for Scott Meyers, the past owner of Alcatraz Storage’s in the Indianapolis Greater Areas. Kevin was often a speaker at Scott Meyer’s Self Storage Academy as the key speaker for Management 101 and for Self Storage Auctions. His wisdom and excitement for the industry lead Kevin to purchase Alcatraz Storage in Brownsburg, Indiana, moving him from a once manager to a current owner!

For more information, please visit: http://selfstoragefacilitymanagement.com/

Summer Slash

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