Why do I help others build and or market their self storage?

Just yesterday I was on a conference call to the mid west giving a hand to a new developer.  At the end of an hour conversation he asked whats in it for my – why did I just give and hour of my time.  Well the answer is simple – I love and enjoy helping others with their self storage dreams and adventures.  In the end it is a win – win all.   Many times reading my book and or a couple of tips or an hour is all a person needs.

And often people have well over a million dollars invested and realize the value of a day or two of sharing ideas that will pay them back many times my fee.

Here is a recent email that made smile all day long.

Dear Marc,

 I read your book cover to cover and could not put it down.  I will read it over and over and use it as my reference. 

 I have tab markers & highlights everywhere.     I love your selling merchandise chapters, your view on Marketing both curb appeal & outside.

 I was a manager at one of our locations and my passion and experience in marketing I was able to take on a new position as Marketing Coordinator for our stores and I love it.  Your book confirms the value of things that we already do, confirms things that we know to do but may not be doing, inspires new ideas, Inspires great sales, inspires great service.    INSPIRES !!!!     I loved every page of it.  I told my boss that is should be mandatory that every manager should read this book.  If they are not inspired, they don’t belong here.  That’s my opinion. 

I would love to meet you when you come back to Florida for the winter.  I know that you met one of our store managers and  our Operations Manager

Thank you for writing the book, it was my pleasure to read it and be inspired by it!


Marketing Coordinator










Why to I own self storage?

Because it is fun and I enjoy working with great people and helping great customers.  Not to mention is is a great way to make a living.

Here is just a brief comparison of some other real estate development options.  It is clear self storage cost less, makes more profits and has the highest rate of return – often over 20%.  This from an old study from learnselfstudy.com, but you get the idea.

Rental Rates

  1. Multifamily–$7.5 to $12 per square foot
  2. Office–$14 to $24 per square foot
  3. Retail–$16 to $20 per square foot
  4. Self-storage–$6.5 to $12 per square foot
Construction costs
  1. Multifamily–$60 to $70 per square foot
  2. Office–$50 to $100 per square foot
  3. Retail–$50 to $80 per square foot
  4. Self-storage–$34 to $42 per square foot

Notice self storage has the same rental range as multifamily but cost about half price.  And you can imagine how much more work owning multi family properties. – midnight phone calls – daily maintenance & repairs – major repairs & painting when people move out.

Even in difficult  times the failure rate is several times lower than the other options above, making acquiring a self storage mortgage easier.  Where else can you make over a 20% profit and have fun?
What do you like best about self storage?

plus I get to build great gardens - my second passion


Do you let your customers know they are special every time you see them?

Week 5 of Crush Your Competition

We Are Different – Let Us Show You How

“When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news.”

John Bogart 1845-1921

All your employees need this ingrained into them until they realize your storage facility is different and understand that you need to be different.  They need to be well trained on the small things that make a big difference.   A well written job description and employee manual is the first step to help your employees understand how and why your self storage is different.

But how will you show potential clients that you are different?  Many of the items listed in this book will help.  Here are only a few more simple ideas:

When a customer walks through the door, your manager should always stand up.  We also recommend that they walk around the counter with a big smile and hold out their hand and say “Hi! My name is ……what is your name?”  Employees only ask customers name 21% of the time. Clients have a name 100% of the time and like hearing it.

Candy and using your customers fist name are great ways to let your customers know they are special.

How many times have you walked into a store and the employee did not acknowledge you?   During one of my inspections, I walked into a self storage office and the manager was reading a book.  I had to wait until she finished the paragraph!  It is critically important to acknowledge someone waiting behind another customer you are helping.  A simple acknowledgement like “ Hi, I’ll be with you in a minute” can be the difference between a happy new customer and someone walking out.

No cell phones. No texting!!!  This has gotten out of control.  I recently bought a car and twice during the registration/payment session the sales person’s cell phone rang and she actually took personal calls.  Its plain rude and apparently many people don’t care.  All employee cell phones should always be on vibrating mode.  No cell phones should be answered when a client is in the office.

Let the office phone ring or take a quick message when you are with a customer.  This will let them know they are special and have your full attention.

No movies on the computer. No private facebook, twitter, etc. You might think that would be common sense but it is not.  You need to impress on your employees how critical that is. I was on vacation recently and went into a self storage to get a box to mail some things home and the clerk was watching a movie. If a client thinks an employee is not working or they are goofing off they will not get that “just feels right” feeling.

Help your clients carry their boxes to their car, just like the local hometown grocery stores “used to” do in the good old days.

Thank every customer for renting from you and tell them that you appreciate their business. Better yet thank them for considering your facility when they walk in.

Send a “Thank you for renting” card and make sure it is hand-written (or don’t send one at all)!  I personally prefer a hand written note move out note:

We truly appreciated your business and I hope you were satisfied with the level of service.  Please don’t hesitate to call on us again

Treat your customers like family.

Constantly remind customers they are special by providing the little things that count.

Should You Take Care Of Your (#SelfStorage) Destiny?

I’ve been asked what is my self storage book Crush Your Competition about?  What are some of the best marketing tips.  Below is part of the pre introduction to the book.  The real goal of the book is not to feed you another fish but to teach you how to fish.  Yes there are hundreds of specific tips and ideas but in the end you learn the real competition is your own thoughts and limitations you put on yourself and your clients.  Remove your barriers and the sky is the limit!



Should You Take Control Of Your Destiny?

The entrepreneur, the professional, the self storage owner, the self storage manager – anyone in the self storage industry who wants to control their destiny will value the message in this book.  It will provide a simple plan that you can use to make your dreams come true, all you need do is make the choice to succeed.

In this book, there are 102 weeks of magical marketing practices that have been designed to help you crush (leave in the dust) your competition and make more profits.  The practices are designed to be completed over the next 52 weeks.  Implement one per week for the next year and you will succeed.

Within each practice is a wealth of simple tasks to be learned and performed.  You don’t need to hire a marketing professional or clear your calendar because each task is designed to be implemented within your everyday life schedule.

You can think of making Exceptional Self Storage Profits similar to keeping yourself in good shape.  First, we know diets rarely work.  What works is 20 minutes of exercise a day and eating the right foods.  If you are willing to create new habits and spend 25 – 45 minutes a day on marketing to maximize your profits, this book is for you. Without exercise (marketing) things tend to stay the same as they are. Remember if you are coasting you are going down hill.

Relax, enjoy a glass of wine and your journey and all the success you can dream of!

If you implement just one new marketing project every week for the next 52 weeks you will watch your rentals and your profits increase.  However just like with any diet regimen, if you miss a week, you are likely to lose momentum and it will take significantly longer to reach your goals.

If you have already purchased this book, you are already ahead of the pack and you should have no difficulty implementing (or improving upon) two marketing ideas every week.  Many of the tasks are very simple.  It is easy to complete two marketing tasks a week by implement one simple task along with your principle task for that week.

If however you want to get on the go-getter fast track we recommend:  You read through the book in the next week.  Then implement (or improve on) 3 practices per week.  In 3 months you will have implemented 96 ideas and will start to see an improvement in your bottom line. Now make marketing a habit and you will be on your way to huge profits.

If you don’t want to follow the 102 magical practices consecutively, you can also use them in other ways.  You can use specific practice to fill in your existing marketing plan. Or you can choose one or several practices that address important components missing in your current marketing plan.  Or you can simply choose the practices that connect with you and implement them when the need and time arises.  However as with any diet, the less you exercise and the more you cheat, you will find it longer to get into tip top shape.

Winter Car Storage in August for an extra $2800 This Week! – Have tenants when you open phase 2

Christmas in August!  Its simple.   Rent 4 – 10 x 20’s for a 6 month car storage for Nov. 1 – April 30.

No Garage No Problem Rent Ours

All you have to do is:

Advertise:   Winter Car Storage Special – fantastic price – (35-40% off street rates)  – only 4 units available at this great price – call now!

Conditions:   Must pre pay in full now & complete lease.   Only good Nov. 1 – April 30

By limiting it to 4 customers it lets people know this is a  great one time offer that is not going to be around long plus, you want to rent the next four at a higher price.

Of course you must be confident you are going to have open 10 x 20 units over the winter because once rented you must keep the units available.   If not this strategy is not for your facility.  Often this only happens for new construction or when an additional phase is being  built.

We are doing this for the month of August – Oct. with the goal of renting 4 prepaid car storage units each month for  a total of 12 units before we go to full street rents, minus a $50 savings for 6 month prepayment.  This works for us since we just started construction of phase two so by Nov. 1 we will have open units.   Each month the discount will be reduced.  As you get closer to the time of use the more likely someone is ready to pay full price.

Yesterday we started our August prepay winter car storage special by a single post to our Facebook page.  Within 2 hours we had rented 2 spaces.  My review of the two customers leads me to believe these new customers would not have rented from us in november for a couple of reasons, so we did not “lose a full price customers”

By the end of November we will have lots of happy customers using phase 2 units and an extra $25,000 to help pay for phase 2.

Here is Week 46 – Winter Car Storage Special from my Book Crush Your Competition.  You will find over another 100 simple marketing tips and ideas in this book to help you rent more units at higher prices!  Maybe a great Chrsitmas present in August for your employees or yourself.   🙂

Winter car storage in August!

Week 46

Winter Car Storage Special

“War talk by men who have been in a war is always interesting; whereas moon talk by a poet who has not been to the moon is likely to be dull.”

Mark Twain 1835-1910

We offer a six month special – for the next XX customers–prepay for 5 months in advance and get the sixth month free,  or while supplies last.  We let everyone know about the special including:

Facebook promotion

Winter Car Storage banner over our sign

Post cards handed out to the community

Signs inside the office

Phone calls, post cards or emails to all of last years winter car storage clients – if we have ample 10 x 20’s left.

Ads in the local paper

Cross promotions with local auto dealers

Craig’s list


Web site special

Once we sell a predetermined number of units using the promotion we raise the price back to the regular price.

Personal Story

By using this promotion in November and December, I find that I don’t have to save to pay my January property taxes.   We rent nearly all our 10’ x 20’ units for car storage in the months of November & December and pay for our taxes with this car storage bonus money.

With some great marketing you can stop worrying about your property taxes and sell out your 10’ x 20’s every winter.  If you are already sold out of 10’ x 20’s before the car storage season raise your rates and eliminate the free month!

I love winter car storage and you should too.

To Success!


ps don’t forget to join us on the linkedIn group “Self Storage Marketing In Action”  for lots of free great marketing ideas.

Order your banner now!



 Please use the COMMENTS area below to share your specific summer marketing ideas and how they made money for you.


Are you getting results for your facebook efforts?  Are your facebook likes increasing every month.  While there are several keys to a successful Facebook one often over looked are Facebook only specials.  One of the top reasons people vistit company social web sites are for special and self storage is not an exception. Be consistent and post a Facebook only special every week.

Facebook only specials for bigger profits and more likes.

One of the most effecient ways is to write a basic Facebook special where you can insert the specific special.  For example:





Just mentiopn this post to receive.

Valid today only and not valid with other offers.

You can type up a dozen or so and then cut and post every friday.  Its fast, easy and works.  The options are endless and you don’t have to give the store away.  Here are a couple of simple ones:





Pay your rent today and receive a $5 Donkin

Donuts gift card

Just mentiopn this post to receive.


Rent any unit today and get a free lunch for two at………

Just mentiopn this post to receive.

Valid today only and not valid with other offers.

Valid today only and not valid with other offers.


Rent any unit today just $50 for the first month.

Just mentiopn this post to receive.

Valid today only and not valid with other offers.

Be creative and have some fun! Always post a picture with your post – maybe a TGIF picture or a picture of fridays prize.

To Success!