Spotlight on: Sentinel Self Storage

A family operated business, Sentinel Self Storage have 2 sites, one in Bassendean and one in Maddington WA. The Bassendean site was built in 1992 and has grown from the initial 150 units to 380 totalling approximately 1 hectare of land. The Maddington site is one of the oldest in Perth and is predominantly brick. Situated on a busy main road their distinctive red, black and white signage can’t be missed. With razor wire topping the fence the facilities give the impression of a fortress, one that can’t easily be by-passed.

Sentinel Self Storage 2

As a longstanding SSAA member Sentinel is certainly experienced in ensuring that the facility is secure, and their processes have helped them ensure this well in the past. Retiring operator Ossie Symonds recalls one such example of when a woman who was not a storer tried to enter the facility. Luckily their procedures meant that the storer was contacted – he was extremely grateful that his ex-wife was not given access. This type of encounter is one that many SSAA members encounter regularly and is a good reason why new members should “grab the MAP [Manual of Advice and Procedures] and use it” in order to “do it by the book” according to Ossie.

Sentinel has also found the MAP useful when it comes to selling up procedures. This is one area that seems to be somewhat problematic in Perth particularly as there are only two auctioneers in the city willing to catalog and sell items from storage units. The global economic downturn has also made it difficult to entice auctioneers as on-selling in the current market is quite difficult. Hopefully with the recent results gleaned from the SSAA’s survey on inventory processes (as discussed in previous editions of the Insider) these issues will be a thing of the past.

Recently there have been several significant changes in the Perth self storage industry including less transients and FIFO workers than previously experienced. Another example of such change is that fewer facilities are privately owned; more investors are becoming involved. Nevertheless there will always be a place for experienced and savvy operators such as Ossie Symonds and Andrew and Annette Langdon.

Their skill and knowledge have allowed them to tackle one of the common issues associated with multiple story units – the top-level units being harder to fill – by marketing them as more secure. Sentinel’s complimentary move in trailer and friendly and efficient staff all help to make this a great facility. A fact that has certainly not gone unnoticed by their many long-term customers, one of which they have even turned into an employee!

Sentinel Self Storage 5

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