Self Storage Association of Australasia Owners and Managers Summit: Voyagers Ayers Rock Resort, 11-13 August 2015   

August heralds the hosting of the SSAA 2nd Owners and Managers Summit at Sails in the Desert Hotel (Ayers Rock Resort) located in the beautiful Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park.

The 2 day Convention will start with social activities on Tuesday 11th August including a buffet lunch and drinks, optional dot painting workshop and the award winning Sounds of Silence dinner. Guest will enjoy four remarkable hours under the stars with a bush tucker inspired buffet, traditional dance and star gazing.

The main portion of the program, which commences on Wednesday 12th August, will feature input from professional speakers on topical and thought provoking subject matter. Speakers now confirmed include:

Bernard Salt – Futurist

Widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading social commentators, Bernard Salt is a partner with KPMG, writer for the Australian and adjunct professor at Curtin University Business School. He is well known for his ability to identify and predict new social and business behaviours by using demographic statistics. An experienced and compelling speaker Bernard makes insightful and factual observations that are highly relevant to the direction of a given industry.

 Craig Davis – Creative Consultant and Entrepreneur

After studying creative industries Craig created his own advertising agency and went on to make some of the world’s best known companies such as P&G, HSBC, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Shell, Nokia, Sony, Toyota, Kraft, Ford, and Saatchi & Saatchi driving creative forces. An adjunct Professor at UTS Craig has also been President of Cannes Festival, AdFest and a juror at every major international advertising show. Craig speaks about creativity as a renewable resource which relies on consciousness, culture and skills development rather than any God-given gifts.

 Craig West – Strategic Business and Financial Mentor

Craig is Australia’s leading expert on business succession and exit planning and has been advising businesses in management, taxation and accounting issues for over 15 years. His specialised advisory practice helps small business owners face the four key strategic issues that SME’s face as they grow – Raising Capital, Building Equity, Protecting that equity and extracting the value you have built when you exit ( Business Succession and Exit Planning). Craig is widely regarded by clients for his brutally honest assessment of the strategic initiatives they need to implement in order to maximise business value and achieve a successful exit.

 Louisa Coppel – The Big Picture

As the director of the Big Picture Strategic Services Louisa works with clients to develop engagement, marketing and communications strategies that achieve results, with tactics that genuinely engage and inspire. The independent Australian owned market research and strategic consulting organisation is dedicated to scrutinizing research briefs and carefully developing the most appropriate methodology rather than automatically suggesting a traditional approach. Louisa particularly enjoys working with organisations that give something back to the world and believes her best work is in strategizing, analysing, facilitating and writing.

 Nigel Brennan – Survivor 

Kidnapped by teenage criminals (along with a colleague) while working in Somalia as a photojournalist in 2008, Nigel’s story is an extraordinary one. He recounts his life changing experience as a hostage in one of the world’s poorest countries. Suffering both emotional and physical torture he and his fellow captive attempted escape but were recaptured and chained around the ankles for the following 10 months. After spending 462 in isolation mostly in a room 3 x 5 meters they were both eventually released. This was no thanks to their respective governments who refused to pay the ransom totalling US$600 000, but due to the tireless efforts of their families. Nigel’s tale is one of resilience, strength, determination and the will to live.  

The program will also include discussion on a wide range of self-storage industry topics such as: succession strategies, staff management, HR/IR issues, strategic planning, disaster management, demographics & the economy, overseas markets and the business of innovation. The convention will be brought to a close with the SSAA annual awards ceremony on Thursday evening.

Partners and spouses are encouraged to attend as there are plenty of off-site activities to enjoy such scenic tours and walks around Uluru and the Olgas, Harley Davidson rides, dune tours on camels, 4WD tours and scenic flights.

A full Convention program and registration details are now available. For further information please visit or contact our office on + 61 3 9466 9699.  

Self Storage Expo Asia 2014

The second Self Storage Expo Asia has just been held in Hong Kong following the launch of the Association last year. The Conference was host to more than  120 people from Asia and Japan and also included attendees from as far afield as Canada, the US, India, Bahrain, Europe and South America.  Australia was also well represented.

The Conference heard from experts in several fields covering insurance, self storage performance, ‘the big transactions for 2013’, maximising returns, online marketing, the online management and administration of self storage and an overview of what’s happening in the USA.

In addition Simone Hill, Australian SSAA Legal Counsel, reiterated the qualities of and necessity for a strong storage Agreement that can operate throughout the region’s diverse commercial, legal and social backgrounds. Such quality and clarity was reinforced by Carolyn Bigg from Simmons & Simmons Hong Kong, Simone’s counterpart in the region.

One of the many fascinating presentations was the industry panel facilitated by Rennie Schafer, discussing the property ownership and occupancy differences self storage faces within the Region compared to the typical ‘western’, freehold going concern concept we all know well.

For example, Hong Kong illustrates a ‘vertical’ market in high-rise buildings with small net lettable area facilities. These facilities are generally located (individually) on upper level floors in buildings shared with other tenants and occupy space under the terms of short-term leases of 2 years or thereabouts, with average unit sizes much lower than those seen in our country. The vast majority of self storage facilities are leasehold, with very few held freehold. The cost of living and leasing residential apartments is such that renting self storage space to store clothing or every day goods is very affordable.

A sense of excitement and vibrancy at the conference was noticeable. The sense of opportunity is obvious however participants must be very well informed and very well prepared before attempting any development.

Such a situation absolutely underlines the importance of a well constructed, strongly supported and highly professional association. SSAA provided initial advice and support to the nascent organisation in Singapore and Hong Kong in 2008, especially regarding legal issues.

The Self Storage Association of Asia (the other SSAA!) has built upon those initial meetings and with the direct assistance of its major sponsor, Steel Storage, has started in earnest to replicate the best of what the SSAA initially provided. A Board has now been created, local legal advice obtained and a full-time Executive Director appointed to drive the Association forward into the future.

Malcolm Collins SSAA Board Member

What Does Self Storage and Water Polo Have in Common?

What does Self Storage and Water Polo have in common? At first glance not a whole lot but given Rent a Space Self Storage’s Group General Manager Thomas Whalan is also a four-time Olympian and former captain of the Aussie Sharks Water Polo team and founder of Water Polo by the Sea, for this Sydney operator there is a lot in common.

Water Polo by the Sea has grown to become one of Sydney’s most popular Sydney social and sporting event held at the iconic Bondi Icebergs in early January each year. Now in its fourth year, the event brings together the Aussie Sharks to take on an International All Star team boasting some of the sport’s biggest stars. A mix of some of the fittest athletes in budgie smugglers, great music and a VIP marquee attracting international celebrities including Made in Chelsea UK star Andy Jordan, has meant the event enjoys sold out status every year.

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This year’s event attracted players from over 10 nations and included FINA World player of the year Filip Filipovic from Serbia, along with Greek fourtime Olympian Theodoros Chatzitheodorou, Montenegrin superstar Aleksandar Ivović, Spain’s Albert Español and Italy’s Fabrizio Buonocore. The handpicked team actually beat the Aussies for the first time in a brilliant display of skill 12 – 10.

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“Water Polo by the Sea is how I have envisaged the sport of water polo to truly market itself and attract a wider audience. The event is designed to showcase the amazing athletes and sport in a unique location and aims to provide an overall entertainment package with music, colours and big name sponsors,” says Whalan. “It’s a joy to see so many people enjoying the event and how quickly it has grown in popularity.”

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“Rent a Space has been an extremely handy partner for the event. Using our storage space in Moore Park near Bondi to house all of the event inventory in the lead up to the big game is always convenient along with the use of our fleet of trucks and drivers to get it all to Bondi Icebergs on the day. The staff have also enjoyed the perks of the event, with the Rent a Space team invited to the Icebergs Dining balcony to enjoy the event and after party together and mix with some of the stars of the sport. We also managed to sneak our brand colours into the International All Star caps, which looked fantastic!”

Water Polo By The Sea 2015 (Copyright 2015 J Sharrock Photography)

The Sydney self storage involvement is not so much about return on investment, but more of an investment in a worthy cause; contributing to the development of a great sporting community and supporting water polo in Australia.

Rent a Space has been a longterm supporter of Australian sports teams, especially water polo, having sponsored the Sydney University Lions in the Australian National Water Polo League. Water Polo by the Sea is yet another strong partnership between the self storage and sporting community.

O’Neil’s Worldwide Expansion Reaches 90 Countries/Territories

Records and Information Management (RIM) Software Developed by O’Neil Continues To Set the Standard for Commercial and Corporate Record Centers Worldwide. The adoption of a technology solution can be measured in many ways and one that stands out is geographic reach. Having a proven and robust product offering and exceptional support are mandatory elements for a widely accepted software solution. O’Neil is proud to recognize Bangladesh as the latest country where O’Neil’s RS-SQL® records management software is being utilized. This achievement is unparalleled in the RIM market and a testimony to O’Neil’s nearly 35 years of service to the industry.

“We are thrilled to be serving clients in 90 countries/territories”, notes David Holt, CEO of O’Neil Software, Inc. “The business requirements of a diverse geography require a high degree of flexibility, not only of the software but also of the infrastructure and regional O’Neil support teams. Our solutions have been adopted by start-ups with limited functionality requirements to very complex multi-national commercial record centers. Providing clients with the flexibility to configure RS-SQL as needed for their specific business environments, has been the hallmark of the O’Neil design criteria since the beginning.” He continues: “O’Neil’s ability to support our solutions, given the multi-language and time zones involved, points to O’Neil’s capabilities and significant value add. We are honored to be the trusted software solution for such a large number of worldwide clients.”

About O’Neil Software
Committed to leading the industry for over 30 years, O’Neil Software has remained The FIRST Choice of Record Centers Worldwide™. Our technology is installed in 90 countries/territories, ranging from start-ups to multi-nationals. O’Neil’s solutions manage/track multiple types of data from deposit to destruction, work order to invoice. The company’s cloud solutions include oneilCloud™, Hosted RS-SQL®, oneilBridge™ and Cloud Based Licensing. O’Neil is also known as an industry pioneer for barcode tracking, portable printers, wireless handhelds, web technology and mobile connectivity. The company provides worldwide coverage, with offices in California, Florida, United Kingdom and Australia. For more information, visit their website at

Member Profile: U-Store It Keswick

Having recently won the SSAA’s Best Expansion of the Year Award and strategically planning the move of around 450 customers to their new Keswick site, 2014 has been a busy year for the U-Store It team.

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The new warehouse, which was developed by cutting an existing 1920’s saw tooth warehouse in half, was no easy build given the demolition involved, inconvenience to customers and loss of income for 6 months. However the new three storey state-of-the-art facility and the many happy customers are a testament to the hard work, dedication and excellent service of the U-Store it staff and management.

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The new building, which is completely concrete except for the roof, has been designed to accommodate customers’ needs for larger units, and roller door access for all units where possible to allow a greater opening for loading/unloading. The building has windows at the corridor ends to allow maximum light and also has a sensor triggered exhaust system that moves air through the floors when customers are on site.

The security system installed is first class with the first stage hosting 16HD cameras. The units and gates are protected using PTI – all units are individually alarmed and have their own light inside the unit as well as the corridor. The corridors are all operated by sensors to ensure maximum lighting efficiency.

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The larger unit mix and in some cases ‘custom’ unit fit out has attracted more business and commercial clients to the facility, as has the bright yellow paint job. The Keswick site is well situated, located only 1.3km from Adelaide GPO with close access to Adelaide’s two major arterial roads (Anzac Highway and South Road), it is nothing but pure convenience for customers.

With 3 stories, 119 different unit sizes, spacious goods and passenger lifts and the ability to provide managed storage the new facility reflects a massive change from the 30-year-old adjacent Ashford site. General Manager Andrew Eastwood believes the Keswick build embodies “the U-Store It brand and our positioning statement of Adelaide’s Largest Self-Storage Specialists”.

Storage Is The New Rock’n’Roll

Just how Rock’n’Roll is Self Storage? According to Ciaran Gribben, lead singer of INXS, very! Check out the final session of our first ever Staff in Storage Training and Development Retreat where Ciaran forms a band ‘The Potatoes’ with self storage staff.

This video was created using a smart phone by Liam Driver – Video Lift.

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