How can technology automate my Self Storage business?

Having worked in the self storage industry for almost a decade, I’ve visited many self storage facilities over the years. Sometimes, my visits are to train facility staff & managers on new tools available at their disposal, whereas other visits are to help a new owner make sense of the beast they’ve inherited (or purchased) from another owner.

Regardless of the state of a business, I often find that many people aren’t using all of the software tools available to them. If you are not using your current tech to the extent of its ability you are missing out.

So let’s take a quick look at four great ways you can use software tools to help you automate your business…
1. Use automated electronic storage agreements: If you’re an SSAA member, then why not take advantage of electronic SSAA agreements? Load these into your self storage management software (e.g. Storman), then generate & print one (for signing) whenever a new storer signs-up. The benefit: Less time, less mistakes & less wastage. No more issues trying to decipher a storer’s handwriting & no more wasted agreement pads!

To continue reading please see: http://storman.com/blog/can-technology-automate-self-storage-business/

Written by Andy Pudmenzky (Marketing Manager, Storman Self Storage Management Software)

2013 SSAA Demand Study

In 2013 the SSAA, in conjunction with David Blackwell and his team from Urbis, completed the SSAA Demand Study. The fourth edition of its kind it complies previously unavailable empirical evidence as to key drivers of customer demand for self storage use in Australia and New Zealand. Since its inception, the SSAA Demand Study has provided a wealth of useful information to self storage facility operators, investors, financial institutions and developers to assist their understanding of the levels of awareness, knowledge, preferences and satisfaction of both current and potential self storage customers.

The 2013 Demand Study represents responses from its largest survey sample size, with a 6.7% increase in respondents from the general population (3500) and a 22% increase in current users (1692), when compared to those that completed the 2010 Demand Study survey.

Key trends determined include:
– Declines in usage of self storage facilities by the general population (save for a positive trend in Auckland NZ) over the past three years following constrained demand during the post Global Financial Crisis economic slowdown in 2010. The prevalence of price-based competition among facilities in many regions also reinforces the importance of facility operators employing effective sales and marketing campaigns to build loyalty with and retain current customers.

– The internet maintaining its position as the dominant source for both current and potential users to gather information about a self storage facility. This underpins the importance of an interactive website as a central component of marketing activities. Indeed, the internet has now surpassed site visibility as the most common method of finding a facility for current users.

– Social media trends of potential users seeking friends’ opinions are also evident in this study, whereby 12.3% would defer to this information source (up from 3.5% in 2010) prior to making a purchase decision. Personal visitation also ranks highly, whereby 17.4% of users would undertake to view facilities pre-purchase (an increase from 5.3% in 2010). This trend reinforces the importance of facility cleanliness and well trained staff to secure a sale, when int he presence of a potential customer. Perhaps unsurprisingly, existing customers’ traditional methods of considering self storage options (telephone and Yellow Pages) continue to decline in relevance.

– Sales declines in the retail sector seem to be having a positive flow-on effect for the self storage industry. When considering the reason for self storage use by business customers 62.1% nominate a lack of space in their current business as their primary reason for use (up from 29.1% in 2010). It would appear that down scaling from larger warehouse facilities and minimising stock levels help make self storage a flexible and cost effective alternative.

These are a mere fraction of the multitude of the self storage industry trends detailed in the 2013 SSAA Demand Study. To learn more prior to making decisions on future strategic planning initiatives or development for your facility consider purchasing a copy of the Demand Study from the SSAA – +61 3 9466 9699 or admin@selfstorage.com.au

A study of this magnitude would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors:
Platinum
Kennards Self Storage and National Storage
Gold
Rent A Space

The expertise of David Blackwell and his team of consultants at Urbis is also critical to ensure that this document maintains its position as an authoritative information source detailing consumer sentiment in the self storage industry.

Chairman’s Report – 2016 Wrap Up

This year’s AGM signifies the end of my first year in the Chairman’s seat and 3rd year of involvement at board level.

My review of Gary Vick’s 2014 AGM Chairman’s address reminded me of the significant challenges that the SSAA office had faced in the months prior to the 2014 AGM. The SSAA board and office, for various reasons, were confronted with some tough decisions and, fortunately, as I speak to you today, our situation couldn’t be more different. I am very happy to report that our situation has vastly improved over the past 12 months and, in my opinion, the SSAA is in an extremely strong position and looking towards a very positive future.

The foundation and strength of this position can be quantified by the direct member benefits offered by the SSAA so far in 2015.

Some of these include:
• An extensive update to the Standard Self Storage agreement.

• Updated OH&S manuals.

• An update to the employment handbook, including updated modern awards.

• In terms of advice & training, the SSAA office has received and given advice on over 1000 legal queries.

• Simone has held over 72 hours of legal training in major cities across Australia.

• In addition to this, over 100 hours of face to face training has been carried out.

• The SSAA insider blog has posted over 200 articles and had over 200,000 hits to the content displayed. This success has promoted to the SSAA website onto the front page of most google searches and we are working on ways to leverage this high ranking into additional enquiry opportunities for our members.

• In terms of major networking and events. 2015 saw the 1st ever Staff in Storage Training & development retreat. More than 90 people attended and many of them had never experienced a SSAA event in the past. Recently, the Uluru Owners and Managers summit reeived over 140 people and was hugely successful. Planning is in full swing for the 2016 Melbourne convention and registrations are already coming through. The success of these events has underpinned the strategy for alternating years of the summit / retreat and major convention schedule.

• The list goes on… exclusive insurance was negotiated for NZ members, more than 8,000 searches were completed on Storer Check, the mystery shopping service continued and the recent Awards for Excellent program received over 30 nominations. Attendance to regional meetings has never being as strong and positive.

I think that we can all agree that the new look SSAA office and Association is working extremely well.

I would like to acknowledge Simone Hill for her tireless efforts over the past 14 months in the CEO position. Simone lives and breathes the Association and her extensive industry expertise, sound advice, unwavering determination and steady hand has transformed the SSAA office and association. Simone has earnt great respect within our membership community and we couldn’t ask for a better CEO and ambassador for our industry.

Rachel Muir, our Membership Services Officer, has shone over the past 12 months and absolutely excelled in the MSO role. Rachel’s ability to go above and beyond for the members and Association attributes directly to the fantastic benefits that our members receive on a daily basis. Rachel’s organisational skills are exceptional and we are all extremely thankful for her efforts and lucky to have her as an integral part of the team.

I would also like to acknowledge Jeannette Jones, Kate Ruhl and Melinda Wyper for all of their support and hard work in the administration, paralegal and accounts payable roles.

Behind the scenes, your board has also worked very hard. On behalf of the association I would like to thank all of them. It is a voluntary role and we appreciate all of the time and knowledge they donate.

Recent nominations saw the election of Andrew Eastwood to the Large Operator position. This is Andrew’s 2nd tour of duty and we are looking forward to working with him. I would also like to congratulate Sally Steele on her election to the regular member position after stepping down from the Large Operator position. Thanks also to Darren Marshall for his continued commitment and re-election to the Major operator position.

This 2015 AGM sees Lee Cameron finishing in the regular member position. On behalf of all members, I would like to extend a big thank you for all of his hard work, advice and support to the board over the past 3 years. We wish him all the best in the future.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Keith Edwards on his election to the role of Vice Chairman. Keith is a passionate board member and his hard work, especially with our NZ members, is extensive and dedicated.

Looking to the future and 2016…
The office and board is working on many initiatives. First and foremost we want to continue with the momentum seen over the past 12 months in relation to direct quantifiable benefits available to our members. We also want to continue with the extensive promotion of these benefits to current members and potential members, that we would like to attract to the association.

2016 is certainly looking very bright and the SSAA office and board will continue to build on the strong foundation that has been demonstrated over the past 12 months.

Thank you and all the best.

Guy Wilson

Sydney Christmas Party

The Sydney Christmas Party was held last night at the Killara Golf Club – an old world style venue dating back to 1899. It provided a unique backdrop with its leather arm chairs, fireplaces and club memorabilia.

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The nondescript entrance had a few members touring the grounds before they were able to enjoy a cool drink at the club bar.

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Unfortunately it was too hot to sit outside on the terrace but the elegant and expansive dining room easily accommodated guests who enjoyed catching up on industry news.

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Michael Tate’s moustache made an appearance again for Movember, while Iman Asadi made his first appearance at an SSAA event on behalf of National Storage.

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Thanks go to Visy Boxes and More for once again sponsoring the drinks – the lovely Sonja Becke was there representing them on the night.

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SSAA Membership 2015-2016

It’s that time of year again with membership renewals just around the corner. By now most of you will have received your renewal invoice in the post and may be evaluating the benefits of SSAA membership and what aspects have been useful to you in the past year.

For those members who have contacted the SSAA to obtain legal advice throughout 2015 the pros of renewing may be more obvious than not (especially if your situation was particularly tricky). However it is sometimes difficult to put a price on less tangible services, particularly if you haven’t had need to use them recently.

We believe that your SSAA membership goes beyond simply providing legal advice and in fact offers a useful framework for running a self storage business to best practice standards. Without your support the SSAA would not be able to assist members with running successful, legally secure and profitable self storage businesses. An outline of benefits provided to members can be seen below.

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If you have any questions about your renewal or have yet to receive an invoice please contact our office on AUS 1800 067 313 or NZ 0800 444 356.

 

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