Tips & Thoughts From The Inside Self Storage World Expo

By Marc Goodin 

Its always fun to go to the ISS Self Storage Convention every April in Las Vegas.  It seams to get bigger and bigger every year.

Now that self storage is a $26-billion-dollar industry and growing a billion dollars a year, I am amazed with all the new ad on “software support” systems at the shows and the lack of the critical high touch element.  If you believed the show mentality you would need a dozen computer programs to market and manage your facility.  Since the industry continues to have the least trained managers and along with the lack of sales & marketing of any industry (without plans for change) they keep trying to fix the problem with more and more computer programs.  The good news is this allows for a small percentage of us to be use the Ritz management philosophy to have the happiest customers, who are willing to pay for this premiere service.

I enjoyed presenting How To Layout a Facility for Maximum Customer Service and Maximum Profits to a group of 300 to 400 future self storage developers.  Based upon the all the questions it is clear, there simple is not enough information and guidelines or self storage development experts to help new developers.  If you send me and email at I will send you my best selling self storage development book to give you a head start.

Based upon conversation after conversation it was obvious that most new developers should hire a management company and that going it alone would be very painful. People simple do not realize self storage is the hardest simplest business.  Of course, Storage Authority Franchising is a new alternative for those who do not want to hand over 100% of the management and would be good at coaching a manager driven system with proven high tech & high touch for over sized profits.

For the people who have zero time like groups building facility after facility or the wealthy investor who just wants to keep their money “safe” (vs oversized profits) hiring a management company is the best alternative.  If you need a management company contact let me know and I will provide you one or two of the better ones. You need to read their agreements in order to get the whole picture. I understand why management companies have to do what they do such as: they required the the facility to close for lunch and exactly at closing time no matter what.  And if a manager lets someone in at lunch or 5 minutes after closing the manager would actually be penalized. Or not permitting new renters to call the facility but requiring them to call an expensive call center.   This is just the opposite of how you or I would typically run a business. Never mind that you are going to make significantly less money with a management company than with our knowledge, systems and sales and marketing plans and your coaching.

The vendor show was mostly about technology.  Most of it trying to force the manger do do the right thing. Of course you can not force over the top customer service, sales and marketing which requires hiring a sales person for your facility and a great marketing and sales systems and on going training program. One good management program and one good web site with on going SEO typically will do the job.

There are a couple of technology items whose time have come.  One is online auctions.  There are several great on line auction companies.  The second one is personalized online: renting, payment center, gate opener, phone kiosk, personalized app and communication center.  I recommend you get SpiderDoor the Personalized App Provider For Self Storage.  If you have questions email my friend Dakota.  Let him know I sent you.

You still have time to get your new self storage project under construction this year! Feel free to contact me with your questions.

Storage Authority Franchising is about owning your own hometown self storage business. And having the professional systems and knowledge to assist and guide you. We like to say You are in business for yourself but not by yourself.  If you are thinking about self storage you owe it to yourself to contact Garrett at 941-928-1354 or to learn more about the Storage Authority Franchise opportunity.

Marc Goodin is President of Storage Authority Franchising.  He owns 3 self storages he designed, built and manages. He has been helping others in the self storage industry for over 25 years.   He can be reached at or directly at 860-830-6764 to answerer your development, marketing, sales and operations questions.  His best selling self storage books are available at Amazon.