Looking to launch your new self storage business in 2019? You’re in the right place! Figuring out your self storage technology needs as part of your overall business model is an excellent place to start. In this short video, Austin Jones, Director of Sales at storEDGE and Jana Haecherl, Marketing Communications Specialist at storEDGE, discuss the biggest challenges new storage owners are facing and offer tips for how you can stand out from the competition in 2019. Check it out now and scroll to the end of this post to download our FREE facility starter kit that’s perfect for new self storage owners.

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Video Transcription

Jana Haecherl: What do you think are some of the biggest challenges for self storage owners in the next year?

Austin Jones: Well, I think around some of those same things. It’s been quite a while now that people have been talking about new supply coming into the markets. You’re starting to see that in some of those markets where facilities that have been under construction for a while are starting to come online and getting leased up. That affects how people price and the options that potential renters and tenants have in certain markets, so that’s certainly a challenge. Some of the other challenges are, there’s just a lot of competition. From a real estate standpoint, there’s a lot of buyers and sellers right now. There’s a lot of people getting into the industry that maybe haven’t been before. So it just makes it to where you have to be in the right place at the right time to get things done the way you want to. From a technology standpoint, again with some of the consolidation happening, there’s challenges. Owners are asking, what should I use? Who should I go with? What tools do I need to run my business the way I want to? And more and more, as products get more depth and features added into them, it’s challenging sometimes for people to really wrap their arms around, okay what do you do and how does that affect me and with all of these different products, how does this all tie in together?

“The more you can consolidate the amount of vendors you have, the more you can reduce your costs, and the more you can offer a better service to your tenants and increase their length of stay. All of these things go into running a more successful business.” Austin Jones Director of Sales at storEDGE

Haecherl: So do you think that integration and automation are some of the biggest opportunities for storage owners in the next year? What are your thoughts on that?

Jones: I think so. I think it has been for a while, but more so than ever, people are trying to find a competitive advantage in just the way they run their business. How can they lower their costs? How can they increase revenue? That’s what everybody’s trying to do, right? So I think the more you can consolidate the amount of vendors you have, the more you can reduce your costs, and the more you can offer a better service to your tenants and increase their length of stay. All of those things go into running a more successful business. So while it’s a challenge, it’s at the same time an opportunity because there’s a lot of activity around it and a lot of smart people figuring out and solving those problems.

Haecherl: So lastly, what advice do you have for anyone who is just getting into the storage industry and looking at new technology and not sure where to start?

Jones: I would say, kind of like anything, do your homework. Call and ask questions. Get on demos. Go through those products to make sure that they fit the way you want to run your business. One thing that I’ve certainly learned is that in self storage, while everybody is essentially trying to accomplish the same thing (trying to rent a unit to somebody), they handle that operationally in wildly different ways. So you have to understand the markets you’re in, really understand the demographics of the people and the areas of the markets that you’re trying to serve, and then find the right tools that are going to fit into that model. So again, there’s quite a few options out there. I would just take a look and try to understand the people you’re working with, and just ask a lot of questions and talk to your peers in the industry. Coming back from a trade show, this industry has always been one that I think everyone would agree is pretty open. So ask your peers what is working for them, how they run their business. People are generally very willing to share what’s working and what’s not. And use your resources that you have available to figure those things out.


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Thanks for reading! If you liked this blog post, you may also like: storEDGE Interview: Our biggest takeaways from the SSA Fall 2018 show, No, automation isn’t killing customer service: An interview with Self Storage Domination Management, and storEDGE Podcast: Winter is coming - is your website ready?