The competition from name-brand storage facilities is a major obstacle to any storage business, but especially for smaller operators. Branded facilities have a team of specialists managing every aspect of the business, from day-to-day maintenance and operations to long-term marketing to lead generation and even legal matters.
That’s why many storage owner-operators consider hiring a third-party management company with the technological knowledge and operational expertise to put them on a level playing field with name brands. Choosing a third-party manager that fits the owner’s business style effectively frees the owner’s time for other endeavors and converts their investment into a passive-income producer.
Winter Garden, Fla.-based Store Space Self Storage launched its third-party management division in 2019, making its proprietary Storage360 platform available to self-storage owners looking for new tools to compete with well-funded competitors.
“As data and web rankings become increasingly more important than your physical location or sign out front, owners need an option to turn to other than the REITs or non-branded management companies,” says Store Space CEO Chris Harris, who operates the company along with President and COO Rob Consalvo and CMO Stephen Sandecki.
The storage veterans have more than 40 years of cumulative experience in the industry 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.
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.
Storage360 is Store Space’s proprietary software platform designed to provide a new approach to marketing, operations, and technology in an industry that is heavily dependent on third-party vendors.
Storage360 handles time-consuming tasks such as managing maintenance schedules, monitoring daily price changes, directing search engine optimization (SEO) for websites, conducting human resource programs, providing tech support and call center staffing, and even supplying legal counsel.
“By consolidating everything under a single platform we can control every aspect of a business operation,” says Sandecki. “Our platform allows operators to adapt to changes in our industry faster and makes it easy to rapidly embrace new technologies and shifts in marketing strategies.”
It’s the increasing use of data and technology in the storage industry that has changed the landscape.
“As data and technology continue to dominate our industry, it is important that day-to-day operations adapt,” Consalvo says. “Our team has developed innovative, operational, and technology platforms, which makes us uniquely positioned to expand rapidly and differentiate in a highly competitive space.”
The Storage360 platform, along with Store Space’s operational expertise, provides a low-cost and efficient means for owners to manage their facilities competitively.
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 go into running self-storage properties successfully.
The ongoing and time-consuming tasks of maintenance, marketing, and meeting revenue expectations must be considered when choosing whether to outsource management of a facility. Many storage property owners find that running a facility themselves is far more stressful and demanding of their time than they originally could conceive.
Third-party management helps owners monitor repairs and safety issues such as maintaining perimeter walls and gates, interior and exterior lighting, heating and cooling systems; replacing unit doors and insulation; repairing and replacing roofing; lawn care and removal of seasonal weeds; maintaining driveways; and numerous other tasks.
While occupancy varies due to market cycles and other factors, the effort necessary to rent units doesn’t let up because of the endless tenant churn within the industry. Tenants move in and out regularly, so owners need a boost in the search for new customers to replace the old tenants.
Simply launching a website or mailing coupons is no longer a complete effort to capture the potential customers that flood the internet. SEO is now a necessity that must be employed with a website and altered as search engine browser algorithms, user trends, and other factors change.
The search for, and proper training of, qualified staff can be both time-consuming and costly. The third-party company can conduct the necessary background and reference checks that are integral in today’s hiring practices. Other aspects that need to be addressed are state and national labor laws, OSHA compliance, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, and discrimination laws.
Partnering with Store Space takes these headaches off an owner-operator’s plate and into the hands of an experienced company.
A Platform Built For Success
Designed for storage operators by storage operators, Storage360 maximizes a facility’s revenue and streamlines operations in real time. Storage360 puts some of the most advanced 21st century technologies into the hands of any self-storage owner with these resources:
State-of-the-Art Web Platform: Store Space leverages cutting edge SEO best practices 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 preferences, view billing history, and more, 24 hours a day. Store Space’s solution is PCI/DSS compliant and protects customer’s personal and billing information.
Boost® Intelligent Revenue Management: Created to maximize revenue instead of increasing occupancy with a constant drop in rental rates like the systems used by high-volume operators, Boost is tailored to every property and market, designed to target returns, and drive cash flow.
In-House Sales and Call Center: Store Space’s in-house contact center is sales focused on renting more storage units. Trained specialists field inbound sales calls, answer account questions, take payments, and provide top-notch customer service.
Kiosk and Point-of-Sale Tablets: Managers can complete any task from anywhere on the property with mobile devices while they’re away from the office, and customers can view unit availability, pay their bill, and even rent a storage unit with self-storage kiosks linked directly to SiteLink®. With advanced kiosk technology, customers don’t have to wait for a store manager to view availability, rent a storage unit, or pay their bill.
Unique Flat Pricing: 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.
“We’re in the business of building long-term relationships with our customers,” Harris says. “We’ve built a brand that is easy to recognize and very distinguishable from other storage operators. By creating a brand voice and persona built around caring and customer service we can provide customers with the best self-storage experience.”
Store Space, a self storage operator and third-party management company, owns and/or operates 35 properties in 15 states. Store Space fuels growth and value through operational experience, the state-of-the-art Storage360 proprietary platform, and strategic digital marketing programs.
Company: Store Space Self Storage
Headquarters: Winter Garden, Florida
Websites: www.storespace.com and Storage360.com
Telephone: (888) 899-4005 David Lucas is a freelance writer based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a regular contributor to MiniCo’s publications.