Industry News Blog

Self Storage Industry News for Tennessee! Read here about things that impact your business!
  • March 12, 2012 1:46 PM | Melissa Huff (Administrator)
    Randy Smith, Director of Operations at Another Closet Self Storage in Texas, has essentially declared war on self-storage aggregator companies. Not only has he grown his facility over the last several years through tough economic times but he has done it without the use of self-storage aggregators. You can hear Randy at the Great Debate in Las Vegas at the upcoming ISS World Expo March 14-16th. 

    There is also an excellent article in the March/April issue of the Texas Self Storage Association Magazine about Aggregators and the Self-Storage Industry. 
  • February 23, 2012 2:45 PM | Melissa Huff (Administrator)
    Excerpt taken from the January 31, 2012 Press Release from SSAAA.org (The Self Storage Anti-Aggregator Alliance)

    The Self Storage Anti-Aggregator Alliance issues alert to operators concerning inaccurate online directory listings - offers free how-to guide to every self storage operator allowing them to quickly check for correct content on multiple online free business directory listings.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – (McAllen, Texas) – The Self Storage Anti-Aggregator Alliance has released a brief synopsis of one issue brought to light concerning a possible questionable practice as employed by some businesses. Randy A. Smith, the industry’s most outspoken critic of the online aggregators is quoted as saying, "I've received numerous reports of troubling instances from operators of every size and location from around the USA. One issue in particular seems to be rising to the top of the list of complaints. Operators are discovering that some of their free, online business directory listings at sites like Local.com, Merchant Circle, and CitySearch have had their contact info changed or listed inaccurately. In several cases, the listing has the right business name and address, but the phone number and/or website link leads to another business, which in many cases is a competing business."  

    As the manager of two self storage facilities in a small town, I work very hard at maintaining and promoting our company website. When I first heard about these aggregator issues I honestly thought that these problems didn't effect us because I work on our online marketing on a daily basis. Surely I would know if there were a problem with my online listings... right? 

    In doing my research about this aggregator issue that I was hearing so much about, I decided to try out the free guide offered by SSAAA.org and check out the listings for our facilities myself. 

    This process is not a short one. I worked on this guide for well over 5 hours. What I found was down right frustrating! I found six listings (and please note, I didn't finish because of time constraints) that have incorrect listing info. The facility name and phone number were usually correct, however the web address and email addresses had been altered to reflect aggregator company info. The time consuming part was going in to each listing individually and claiming the listings so I could correct the information to reflect our facility contact info. One listing on Bing had actually already been claimed, presumably by the aggregator company, which listed their web address, not mine! 

    This is a blatant attempt to drive prospective tenants away from our company website, which I again mention that I put alot of time into maintaining, and instead linking them to their aggregator site. The focus of these sites are to provide the customer with the cheapest units available. While that sounds great on the surface... I mean we all want a good deal, right?... the problem remains that our facilities aren't being represented fairly! The amenities offered at these various facilities aren't listed, unless of course you are willing to pay a premium price for those listings! 

    So while the customer gets a nice list of unit prices and locations, what they don't get to see is which facility offers paved driveways that are well lit at night, or facilities that have added extra security features including cameras, gate entry codes, and cylinder or disc locks, or facilities that have on-site staff, or temperature-controlled units. The facility's value is diminished and the potential customer is unfairly left to pick facilities based on price and often miss out on the many benefits self storage really has to offer.

    I challenge every facility to check out www.ssaaa.org and look into your online listings! Then you can decide... are Self-Storage Aggregators Friend or Foe?
  • June 08, 2010 4:51 PM | Melissa Huff (Administrator)

    North Carolina SSA Working to Avoid Sales Taxes
    Uncertainty about the availability of federal funds to help with state budget needs has many industries in North Carolina concerned about taxes targeting their businesses, including self storage. The state faces an $800 million shortfall for the fiscal year beginning July 1, and many legislators are backing a plan that would tax private services. As has been the case previously in other states, revenue administrators have included self storage among the list of services they plan to target with a tax. The Self Storage Association is helping to fund NC-SSA lobbying efforts to fight the plan. Read more about North Carolina's budget woes by clicking here.

    From the SSA Monday Morning Memo June 7, 2010

  • April 26, 2010 4:29 PM | Melissa Huff (Administrator)

    Leading Indicators Point to Strengthening Economic Recovery; Risk of Double-Dip Recession Diminishing

    April 23, 2010

    • The index of leading economic indicators recently posted the most significant gain since the recession ended. In March, the index increased 1.4 percent, marking the 12th consecutive month of improvement. Seven of the 10 components comprising the index contributed positively to the March reading, including initial unemployment claims, building permits and stock prices, up from six components in February. Strengthening of this index demonstrates the economic recovery is advancing and will broaden to include more sectors as the year progresses.

    To read more click here....

  • April 26, 2010 3:34 PM | Melissa Huff (Administrator)

    Here is some interesting information from other states that are working on lien law changes...

    Good News in Arizona & Wisconsin; Florida Loses Bid for Lien Improvement
    During a busy week as legislatures looked to close their 2010 sessions, lawmakers in Arizona and Wisconsin gave state SSAs something to cheer about, while Florida lost its bid to remove a costly lien provision.
    Arizona - The Arizona SSA has again established a model bill that could be used to establish business-friendly regulations in other states. The measure, signed into law last week, protects operators from liability when "protected property" is left in abandoned units. Firearms, pharmaceuticals, sensitive information and other items are addressed in the new law. It also provides for an e-mail option as "verified mail" in lien situations.
    The law was championed by the Arizona SSA and led by Richard Marmor, the Chairman of the AZ-SSA's Legal and Legislative Committee, and promoted by the SSA which contributed $16,000 from its Legislative Issues Fund. Key features of the new law include:
    · E-mail will be allowed as another form of "verified mail" in many cases.
    · Storage operators will have alternative ways for dealing with "protected property," materials which they were not permitted, by law.
    · Storage operators will be able to auction boats, motor vehicles and other property which they could not sell in the past when those items were subject to certain government "restitution" liens.
    "Our thanks go out to all the people who made this possible including those AZSA members who have donated to our legislative fund, and to the Self Storage Association for a generous grant from the SSA Legislative Fund," says Martin Lorch, President of the Arizona Self Storage Association. "Without a doubt, this new law is a boon to all self-storage operators in Arizona," he said.
    Wisconsin - The state's lien improvement bill, AB707, passed the Senate as one of the last measures considered in the legislature this year. It will likely be signed by Governor Jim Doyle in the next few days. The new law provides for value limitations and protects self storage facilities from non-tenant litigation. An improvement to the existing law that would have given operators the choice of newspaper or Internet-based lien notices was removed before the Senate vote after state publishers objected.
    "We believe giving self storage operators an alternative method of advertising for auctions is the natural progression given emerging media options," said SSA Board member Lisa Barth-Chiappetta, who led the Wisconsin effort. "In coming years legislatures, including Wisconsin's, will have to tackle this issue. The most important provisions of this bill were passed however, and we're excited to have a better law moving forward."
    Florida - Efforts to replace the existing "certified mail, registered mail" lien notification process with a less expensive alternative were thwarted last week in the Florida House of Representatives. This is the first year that the SSA, together with the Florida SSA, has tried to improve the lien bill in that state. The measure was added to a larger bill two weeks ago, yet it appears politics got in the way and it was removed in the House Rules Committee before a vote was taken. The SSA & Florida SSA are still committed to the Florida campaign and will continue efforts to modernizes the lien statute in that state.

  • March 17, 2010 4:41 PM | Melissa Huff (Administrator)

    Bob Copper is our key note speaker for the May Luncheon in Knoxville. He is a leading consultant specializing in all aspects of self storage including operational improvement, training, audits, feasibility/market studies and due diligence. Here is a recent article written by Mr. Copper for ISS Inside Self Storage.

    The MIP in the Self-Storage Business: The Facility Manager

    Bob Copper

    This is going to come as a shock to some owners, district managers and corporate officers: You are not the most important person in your business. That distinction clearly belongs to the facility manager. Storage operators must now employ the highest quality managers and ensure their training and professionalism are superior...click here to view the rest of the article.
  • March 10, 2010 2:00 PM | Melissa Huff (Administrator)

    The Florida Self Storage Association has added a ‘power panel’ of speakers to its upcoming conference and tradeshow, May 5-7, at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Storage Summit will take place on Thursday following the keynote presentation by Paul Martin, author of Attitude Over Adversity.
    The Storage Summit panelists are Anne Ballard of Universal Management Co., Michael Haugh of Absolute Management, Brenda Scarborough of Accountable Management, Marc Smith of Personal Mini Storage, and Steve Wilson of Hide-Away Storage. Representing more than 110 years of combined self-storage experience and 147 self-storage facilities in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee, they will share with self-storage owners what they are doing in their own companies. FSSA President Rick Yonis will moderate the panel as questions are asked from the audience.
    The FSSA is a non-profit organization comprised of individuals who have an interest in the self-storage industry in Florida. Members include facility owners, operators, developers, investors, managers and suppliers.

  • March 08, 2010 12:22 PM | Melissa Huff (Administrator)

    Bill Improving Self-Storage Lien Law Makes Progress in Wisconsin


    Wisconsin is one step closer to improving its self-storage lien law. Assembly Bill 707 made it through the Assembly Committee on Jobs, the Economy and Small Business without opposition last week. AB707 significantly improves self-storage lien-sale notification procedures, supports facility operators with a value-limitation measure, and limits exposure to litigation involving non-tenants. The measure also redefines what constitutes a reasonable auction sale as one that includes three or more bidders.
    Lisa Chiappetta, member of the national Self-Storage Association’s board of directors, has been instrumental in promoting the legislation. Wisconsin is one of several states working to improve obsolete self-storage lien laws during the 2010 session.

    Related Articles:

    Resolving Self-Storage Defaults and Avoiding Lien Sales

    Self-Storage Operators BEWARE: Wrongful-Sale Scam!

    Michigan Self-Storage Operators Await Lien-Law Amendment
      From ISS Inside Self Storage
    • February 19, 2010 11:09 AM | Melissa Huff (Administrator)

      Self Storage Industry News
      The speaker will be Anne Williams, past president and co-founder of the Tennessee Self-Storage Association...

      To view the entire article click here.

    • February 16, 2010 10:38 PM | Melissa Huff (Administrator)

      Post from the SSA Monday Morning Memo dated 2/15/10

      Michigan First State in 2010 to Propose Sales Taxes on Services, Self Storage
      Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm proposed last Thursday that the state sales tax be extended to consumer services, including "self-service storage," and the rate dropped from 6 percent to 5.5 percent. This isn't the first time self storage has been caught up in the Michigan budget mix. Two years ago officials also proposed a tax overhaul that expanded sales taxes to services, listing self storage among those businesses that would be affected. The Michigan SSA and national SSA, working with a group of other targeted sectors, successfully defeated the plan. With the new budget expected by the summer, the Governor's proposal will be the subject of heated debate in the months to come. The national SSA Legislative and Regulatory Advisory Committee voted to support the Michigan SSA with funding for the battle this spring. The SSA contends that self storage is the rental of real property and should not be subject to any sales tax. Last year Arkansas became the first state to repeal sales taxes on self storage. Read more by clicking here.

      Other recent legislative developments include:
      -  The SSA and California SSA met with Judiciary Committee reps last week and expect that state's lien improvement bill to be introduced in late April or early May. Last year the national and state associations worked to improve the current statute, which includes the troublesome "Declaration of Lien Opposition." The bill was tabled until this year when California's government became mired in a lengthy budget debate.
      - A hearing will be held on Wisconsin's lien improvement bill this coming Wednesday. The bill championed by the WI-SSA improves notification procedures.
      - A new law on Maine self storage privacy would hold operators harmless in the case of abandoned records, with certain provisions about transferring custody to a state authority/department. Last year the Maine SSA and national SSA successfully won a delay of the initial proposed law that would have put the onus on self storage companies. Legislators in the state's capital of Augusta seem resistant to imposing new regulations on small businesses, which may put any new law in doubt.

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