1. What is your name and what is your position?
Founder and Managing Director of Self Storage Australia and Storpac Pty Ltd.
2. How/Why did you first become involved in self storage?
In 1984 I married a wonderful man, Colin who preferred to live in a very minimalistic lifestyle and I on the other hand, was an avid collector – a new emerging concept called Self Storage seemed the perfect answer. Within a year my husband and I built our first 40 units in Alice Springs in 1985 and this is the secret to our long and happy marriage.
3. What do you think has been the biggest change to self storage since you first entered the industry?
The biggest change in the Industry involved the growth of the larger storage operators who dominate the national market. There was a polarisation at either end of the spectrum with small and large operators however the middle size companies are now re-emerging in the Industry. While the larger operators benefit from their national profiles the smaller centres have adapted to a very grass-roots local community business.
4. What is your best tip for managing staff in self storage?
Staff are the lifeblood of your business so my best advice is to treat everyone as you would like to be treated, fairly and with respect.
5. What is your message to members of the SSAA?
The Self Storage Association of Australasia has spent time and resources updating and defining the Legal position of our members. Please avail yourself of this advice, as in the future it could save you a fortune in legal fees.
6. What do you see as the biggest threat to, or competition for self storage?
Complacency is the biggest threat to the industry. If we still continue to do what we did even 5 years ago not only will others in the industry overtake us but new products, innovations and changing customer behaviour may see our market share decline.
7. What do you think are the opportunities for growth in self storage?
Building new storage centres near emerging suburbs and fast growing centres in Australia, New Zealand and Asia offer opportunities for growth. With local city councils promoting inner city living, the trend for smaller apartments or hotel dwelling potential customers would appreciate a convenient storage unit nearby.
8. If you could look into the future, what do you see for self storage?
I would love the future of Self Storage to be considered by customers as a permanent storage solution. The 4 wheel drive, jet ski, boat, winter and /or fishing gear, baby and children’s toys, antiques that they plan to pass on no longer is relegated to the home garage but to a storage centre permanently.
9. Describe your ideal holiday destination.
My ideal holiday destination has both a relaxation element (send me to a day spa) as well as excitement of new cultures and activities.
10. Finish this sentence – “Nobody likes a…”
Person who has a negative attitude and cannot see potential in others.
11. What is your favourite meal?
Is chocolate a meal?
12. Are you a dog person or a cat person?
We have 2 dogs, Honey is a groodle, a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle (initially I used to say I had a golden doodle but after some unusual reactions I found out they were also called groodles). Chibby is a cute as a button, a Japanese Spitz and poodle cross. They are both very clever and entertain us with their antics.
13. What ‘life advice’ would you give to a younger version of yourself?
Great life advice is: The only time you fail is if you do not try. The rest is a learning experience.