By David Lucas
As a self-storage owner or member of an independent group that owns and operates storage, you know it’s getting harder to compete. In a field dominated by large REITs with deep pockets and a hotline to Google, you lack the time, financial, and technical resources to compete.
You’re too busy to spend time figuring out SEO, PPC, geofencing, Google Ads, map packs, etc. Or the cost to compete in paid search is simply too high. Or you’re into the real estate but don’t have the patience for the marketing. Or some combination of all of these things. The point is, it’s getting harder and harder to compete with the increasing number of deep-pocket corporate giants in the self-storage space.
Put simply, that’s why many storage owner-operators hire a third-party management company. Finding one is easy … they’re everywhere. But which is the right one? How do you know that they have the technological knowledge and operational expertise to put them on a level playing field with name brands? Ultimately, it comes down to who will run your business as it should be run and free you up to do other things.
To this end, Winter Garden, Fla.-based Store Space Self Storage launched its third-party management division in 2019, and swiftly made a significant mark on the industry by expanding its operating base to 15 states. In the last year alone, Store Space increased its portfolio by 38 percent while increasing same-store revenue by 23 percent and overall revenue by over 80 percent.
Store Space’s rapid growth and success is chiefly the result of the diverse expertise of Store Space’s management and the power of its proprietary Storage360 platform, which puts robust technology tools into the hands of self-storage owners looking to compete with larger operators.
Store Space’s principals have more than 60 years of cumulative industry knowledge and experience and were key stakeholders in over $2 billion in storage transactions. Each member of the executive team brings experience in the key areas of finance, operations, marketing, and technology innovation.
“As data and web rankings become increasingly more pivotal than your physical location or signage, owners need an option to turn to other than the REITs or non-branded management companies,” says Store Space CEO Chris Harris.
Store Space has regional offices located in Nevada, Colorado, and Florida, and employs a skilled lineup of district and training managers who assist clients throughout the company’s portfolio of owned and managed properties.
A Platform Built For Success
Storage360 is Store Space’s proprietary software platform that brings a new approach to marketing, operations, and technology to the self-storage industry.
“By merging everything into a single unified platform, we can control every aspect of our business,” says CMO Stephen Sandecki. “Our platform allows operators to quickly adapt to changes in our industry and embrace new technologies and shifts in marketing strategies.”
Data And Technology Have Transformed The Storage Industry
“As data and technology continue to have a major impact on our industry, it is crucial that day-to-day operations adapt,” says COO Rob Consalvo. “We are uniquely positioned to expand rapidly and differentiate in a highly competitive space due to our innovative operational and technology platforms.”
The Storage360 platform, along with Store Space’s operational expertise, provide a low-cost and efficient means for owners to competitively manage their facilities. Unlike the high-volume operators that itemize every fee and service, Store Space has unique flat pricing that offers genuine savings and includes proprietary technology.
Store Space was an early adopter of touchless technology for rentals and facility access when COVID-19 infections surged in March 2020.
Touchless Rentals, powered by Storage360, now accounts for more than 50 percent of Store Space’s leasing activity. The offering allows customers to digitally complete their rentals without visiting the office by combining the company’s online and by-phone rentals.
Storage360 consolidates all integral data in real time, allowing storage rental contracts to be completed online in a simple process without in-person contact.
National storage owners can now share in Store Space’s expertise in Touchless Rentals to quickly get up to speed with this trending technology.
In addition, in-store kiosks allow customers to rent units, make payments, manage accounts, and even buy supplies—all without face-to-face interaction. The kiosks allow customers to tap the screen to search inventory, scan a driver’s license/ID, and swipe to pay with a credit card. Customers don’t have to wait for a store manager to view availability, rent a storage unit, or pay their bill.
Alleviating Stress And Time-Consuming Tasks
The Store Space approach is to become a partner in the operation to alleviate the owner-operator’s stress over the endless details that come with running self-storage properties successfully. Store Space handles time-consuming tasks such as managing maintenance schedules, monitoring daily price changes, directing search engine optimization (SEO) for websites, conducting human resource programs, and providing tech support and call center staffing.
Third-party management helps owners to monitor repairs and safety issues such as maintaining perimeter walls and gates, interior and exterior lighting, heating and cooling systems, unit doors and insulation, roof repair and replacement, landscaping, and numerous other tasks.
Tenants move in and out regularly, so owners need an effective way to replace vacating tenants. To that end, Store Space uses advanced online marketing techniques, including search engine optimization, to stay atop user acquisition even as search engine browser algorithms, user trends, and other factors evolve.
Store Space leverages cutting-edge SEO to drive qualified organic leads and optimize conversion rates. Customers can view pricing and promotions in real-time and choose to reserve or rent their storage unit online. With MyStorage Portal, one of the friendliest online account portals in the storage industry, customers can make payments, manage automatic billing, view billing history, and more.
To maintain profitability, the Store Space Boost® Intelligent Revenue Management differs from systems used by high-volume operators by maximizing revenue instead of constantly dropping rental rates to raise occupancy. Boost is tailored to every property and market, designed to target returns and drive cash flow.
Store Space’s in-house sales and call center offers trained specialists who field inbound sales calls, answer account questions, take payments, and provide top-notch customer service.
Store Space assists in the search and training of qualified staff and conducting background and reference checks that are essential in today’s hiring practices. The third-party company addresses state and national labor laws, OSHA compliance, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, and discrimination laws.
Partnering with Store Space takes the headaches of daily management off an owner-operator’s plate and into the hands of an experienced, trustworthy company.
Company: Store Space Self Storage
Headquarters: Winter Garden, Fla.
Websites: www.storespace.com and Storage360.com
Telephone: (888) 899-4005
Introducing New Owner/Investor Services
Store Space is introducing two new services for self-storage owners as well as investors.
This new service offers owners fast and fair offers for facilities from a fully financed U.S. company that buys, sells, and refurbishes storage properties across the nation. There are no costs for the service, and no cleaning or repairs to the property are necessary to complete the sale. Sellers don’t need a real estate agent as there are no fees or commissions associated with the sale.
Call (844) 990-1555 or visit www.ibuystoragefacilities.com for more information.
Self Storage Facility Financing
Self Storage Capital can help overcome the financial obstacles many investors encounter when trying to break into the self-storage industry. Self Storage Capital is a reliable source for loans and equity for construction, purchase, refinancing, and improvements. The company also offers professional guidance to achieve owners’ growth goals.
Self Storage Capital provides fast funding, no appraisals, an easy application process, and no application fees, along with favorable terms and the lowest interest rates possible.
Call (844) 966-0003 or visit www.selfstoragecapital.com for details.