Your Facilities and COVID-19

At this point you have probably read a dozen emails from businesses you patronize detailing what they are doing to keep their employees safe and their stores clean in the wake of COVID-19. But what should you do? Our industry is unique in the fact that we don’t see crowds of people entering our offices every day and most facilities already have a limited number of staff.

NeSSA has put together some information below for your consideration. Please note, nothing in this post constitutes as legal advice, nor is it medical advice.

Stay Updated

First and foremost, stay updated with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and follow their recommendations. Additionally, keep up with your state government and heed any curfews and restrictions put in place for your state. Please see the links below for general information as well as information from your specific state.

CDC – Businesses & Employers
Connecticut
Massachusetts
Rhode Island

NeSSA has completed a COVID-19 Member Resource page with additional resources for our members including webinars, articles, and templates.

Should You Remain Open?

Unless your state closes all businesses, this decision comes solely from the owner and facility team. Collaboration and open communication is a good idea where possible. Do what is best for your health and safety first. The CDC recommends that you work from home if you are able to do so, especially if you are immunocompromised or considered to be at high risk.

If you keep your offices open:
  • Consider limiting the number of staff on duty at any given time.
  • Consider limiting your hours of operation.
  • Have hand sanitizer available for employees and customers.
  • Keep disinfecting wipes and cleaning supplies on hand to wipe down counters, door handles, and any other high-traffic areas.
  • Wear disposable gloves when handling money, mail, or even at all times if it makes you feel more comfortable.
  • Do not feel that you must shake hands. The CDC recommends using other alternatives at this time.
  • Encourage your employees to stay home if they or anyone in their household becomes sick.
  • If your facility rents trucks, you may want to consider suspending that service for the time being unless you can ensure they have been thoroughly disinfected between rentals.
If you close your offices:
  • Whether you close your physical offices for the time being or limit your hours of operation, be sure to communicate this with both your current and potential tenants.
  • Send a mass e-mail with closure/limited hours information.
  • Update your website and social media pages with this information.
  • Post a sign on your door detailing these changes.
  • In your communication, make it clear that you are still open for business, just not in person.
    • Let current tenants know how they can reach you if they have questions, concerns, need to make a payment, or need to access their unit.
    • Direct potential tenants to your website to view and/or rent available units. Post your email address and phone number so they can contact you with questions, reserve units, or set up a one-on-one meeting to sign a lease agreement. This all comes easier if you have 24/7 access and an online lease, but if you don’t these are some ideas you can use to remain open but limit your contact with others.

During a time like this, it is also important that you are aware of your state’s specific guidelines with respect to price gouging. This may effect street rates, promotions, and occupied rates. See below for links to your state’s laws.

For more information on price gouging, you can read the national Self Storage Association’s memo on it here.

NeSSA’s Events

At this time, NeSSA is still planning to hold our Spring Retreat at the Publick House on May 6th. We are monitoring the situation closely and will make any further decisions regarding the event in April. In the meantime, please feel free to register as normal. In the event that NeSSA does cancel the Spring Retreat due to COVID-19, all registrations and sponsorships will be refunded in full, and an alternative virtual event will be explored in its place.

Until then, we have online education available through our webinars and member resources.

We hope you find this information helpful during a time of uncertainty. We want you all to stay safe, healthy, and informed until the tide turns in this situation. As always, we are here for you if you have any questions.

Thank you,
Courtney Kahler, Executive Director
on behalf of the NeSSA Board of Directors

2020 Self Storage Workshop: A Virtual Gabfest

The 2020 Self Storage Gabfest is a live, virtual conference for self storage owners, operators, managers, and investors.

Join us for a free, one-day, online self storage workshop, featuring industry pros and peers discussing the real life wins and pains of operating, building, marketing, and crushing self storage. It’s a Gabfest when you arrive!

Featuring topics like The Whole Customer Experience, Hiring Best Practices, and State of Self Storage: Trends and Numbers, we invite you to learn about new developments, keep up with best practices, and start a discussion with both panelists and other attendees so we can all grow together.

Attendees can tune in for the entire live broadcast or drop in for the topics most relevant to them. There will be something for everyone!

When

March 17, 2020
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM EDT
30 minute panel discussions and Q&A

How

The entire event will be streamed live via Zoom Webinar on March 17, 2020 from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM EDT. You can attend from any device, computer, or browser. Look out for the access link in your registration confirmation email.

Why

No Travel
What’s better than a room full of industry pros and peers discussing all things self storage? A “virtual room” of pros and peers! You can attend the virtual conference from the comfort of your office, home, or even a coffee shop. Plus, no flying needed! Pajamas optional.

Industry Pros and Peers
We personally invited these select industry pros to share their experience and expertise in self storage. Hear not only from self storage vendors but also your peers: owners, operators, managers, and investors who face the same issues as you, have the same questions, or might even offer a solution you haven’t thought of!

Free for Everyone
Continuous education is a key to success in a rapidly growing and changing industry. We’re excited to bring the 2020 Self Storage Workshop: A Virtual Gabfest free of charge to everyone in or looking to join the industry! Access to the event materials after March 17, 2020 will be made available online.

You can also view the day’s agenda and check out the welcome video, or just jump ahead and pre-register now!

NeSSA 2020 Spring Retreat

Join the Northeast Self Storage Association at the Publick House Historic Inn for Self Storage How-To: A Guide to Facility Success!

Begin your morning mingling with sponsors and other self storage owners and managers over breakfast. Then sit back and take in our speakers’ content during the morning session, where you’ll hear the latest on marketing from Christina Alvino of FineView Marketing, maintenance and DIY efficiency from Charlie Fritts of SIMI, and revenue and money management from Scot Vayo of iStorage.

After lunch, it’s time for Show and Tell! You read that right. Attendees are encouraged to bring in whatever they have – reports, budgets, pictures, tablets, laptops, anything! – and talk to our presenters about what is specifically going on at YOUR facility. This is the time to seek advice, get step-by-step instructions, openly bounce ideas off of, or just pick the brains of our storage experts.

You can check out the descriptions of each session as well as the day’s agenda below!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

8:30 AM – Registration and Breakfast
9:00 AM – Opening Remarks
9:15 AM – Presentations

Marketing, SEO, & Social Media, with Christina Alvino of FineView Marketing
Digital marketing and self storage: Where to focus your efforts? With so many marketing channel options it’s hard to know exactly where to focus. We’ll discuss the most important marketing channels to master as a self storage operator, including basic and advanced tips about search engine optimization (SEO), local search marketing, social media, and more. The goal isn’t necessarily to make you the digital marketing expert, but give you the ammunition you need to ask the right questions and have an educated conversation about the marketing efforts for your business.

In the afternoon I’ll provide step-by-step instructions and best practices on what to do to maximize digital performance, plus demonstrate a number of different free and paid tools that help manage marketing efforts. Bring me your questions and let’s work on them together!

Maintenance & DIY Efficiency, with Charlie Fritts of SIMI
This presentation will cover both routine and periodic storage property maintenance. Depending upon your skill level and available time it may be possible to Do It Yourself for many of the tasks.  It’s important to keep in mind that real estate requires regular inspection and upkeep to extend its life cycle and provide the best experience for your customers. Topics will include:

  • HVAC maintenance
  • Roof, Gutter, & Roof Drain Maintenance
  • Paved Surface and Storm Drainage Maintenance
  • Well and Septic Maintenance
  • Storage and Personnel Door Maintenance
  • Gates Hardware and Operator Maintenance
  • Lighting Maintenance

Revenue & Money Management, with Scot Vayo of iStorage
Self storage owners, operators, and managers alike are constantly looking for ways to increase their revenue and reduce their expenses. In this session, we’ll review some of the must-have best practices that can be used to help maximize your revenue. From managing your street rates and occupied room rates to driving ancillary revenue, you’re sure to walk away with some great ideas to add money to your top line. Don’t spend it all in one place though! We’ll also share some ideas that will get you thinking about ways to save money on the expense line as well. Our goal is to give you a little extra spice to add to your secret sauce so that you can improve your bottom line.

11:30 AM – Lunch and Networking
12:30 PM – Show and Tell!
Mingle with our presenters and other attendees as you tackle your questions together. Be sure to bring in whatever you need – whether it’s pictures of your facility, occupancy reports, or a tablet with your social media efforts pulled up. Show our experts where you could use some advice and discuss these issues together. Don’t have a specific concern right now? Listen in with others and learn for the future. You could even contribute your own advice to the discussion and see what our presenters think.

2:00 PM – Adjourn

Registration Fees

Member Rate: $75 ($85 after 4/15/20)
Nonmember Rate: $89 ($99 after 4/15/20)
Tabletop Sponsorship: $300 (Includes one attendee registration, a cocktail table to showcase your company’s information and materials, your logo in the program, your listing on our website, and verbal recognition from the podium.)

Not a member? Join while registering and pay the member rate!
Can’t make it? Check out our other sponsorships for added visibility.

Disclaimers & Policies

  • Refunds will be issued for the full amount minus a $30 administration fee if received in writing by April 22, 2020. Refunds cannot be issued after April 22nd.
  • NeSSA reserves the right to use your image or likeness in any pictures taken by staff or Board members, unless an express written request is received by April 22, 2020.
  • NeSSA reserves the right to cancel an event due to any circumstance which would make the event non-viable. If NeSSA cancels an event, registrants will be offered a full refund. Should the event be postponed, NeSSA has the right to either issue a full refund or transfer registration to the same event at the future date.

Feed Your Google My Business Monster for Rentals

Join NeSSA and speaker Jim Ross of 3 Mile Management for our next webinar on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 2:00 PM EST.

This step-by-step webinar will help you understand Google My Business inside and out so that you can improve your Google Map rankings, engage with customers, control your online presence, and generate more rentals.

THIS WEBINAR ONLY! Nonmembers are welcomed and encouraged to register and attend at no cost! Please join us for this session.

2020 Five-Star Sponsors

Thank you to our annual 2020 Five-Star Sponsors!

Rabco Enterprises
1763 Wellington St.
Dighton, MA 02715
800-989-0220
www.rabco.com
At Rabco, our philosophy is simple: Flexible self storage design options that offer our customers quality, flexibility, versatility, strength, and beauty. Our experienced team stands ready to help in the design of your project from self storage unit mix layout, supplying metal building materials, and finally to building construction. For more information, contact Dick Bettencourt at (508) 269-9866.

Storage Insurance Brokers
750 Old Main St.
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
860-955-9944
www.storageinsurancebrokers.com
Storage Insurance Brokers is a leading national provider of self storage business insurance. We take a consultative approach to protecting our clients’ portfolios and leverage our strong insurance company relationships to offer the best value for your insurance dollar. Please call us for a quote today at 860-955-9944 or visit www.storageinsurancebrokers.com.

Storage Investment Management, Inc.
40 Lily Brooke Court
East Amherst, NY 14051
716-689-7377
www.simi.org
Storage Investment Management, Inc. (SIMI) is a professional self storage management company. SIMI employs a hands-on focus along with cutting edge strategies to create profits and value. Our clients work with a highly experienced principal owner who is always accessible to you. Because SIMI thinks and acts like owners, we have a unique understanding of this business and will always do our best to achieve success on your behalf.

SVN Commercial Real Estate Advisors
PO Box 193
Lexington, MA 02420
781-696-6241
www.svn.com
SVN Commercial Real Estate Advisors is pleased to be a resource to owners, investors, and operators of self storage facilities offering complimentary, confidential valuations, feasibility studies, consulting services, and complete brokerage and marketing services to owners who wish to sell their properties. Contact Connie Neville at (781) 696-6241 or nevillec@svn.com for your self storage solutions.

Trachte Building Systems
314 Wilburn Rd.
Sun Prairie, WI 53590
608-837-7899
www.trachte.com
Trachte Building Systems designs, manufactures, and erects a full line of durable, pre-engineered, customized steel self storage systems including single and multi-story, portable storage, interior partition and corridor, and boat/RV. Trachte’s knowledgeable sales team is committed to helping owners make informed decisions. This commitment, along with over 115 years of experience, has given Trachte a leading edge in the industry.

Out of the Office

Thank you for visiting the Northeast Self Storage Association website!

Please be advised that staff is out of the office today, Monday, December 9th through Friday, December 13th.

You are more than welcome to email us or leave us a voicemail at (617) 600-4481, and we will get back with you once we return.

We will be back full time starting Monday, December 16th. Thank you for your understanding and continued support!

The Nuts and Bolts of Revenue Management

Register today for NeSSA’s first webinar of the year on February 27, 2020 with Jim Ferguson of Storable as he covers the following aspects of revenue management:

  1. Learn how to offer the best rate possible for new customers and existing tenants.
  2. Understand when to raise rates, how much, how often, at what occupancy level, what time of year, and the other key factors that play into each rate change.
  3. Are you being too aggressive?
  4. Are you not raising rates at all or enough?
  5. Find out the key data points of YOUR tenants and units, to offer the right price at the right time.

Save These 2020 Dates!

The Northeast Self Storage Association is excited to announce its dates for our live events of 2020! Mark your calendars with the following information, and keep your eyes peeled for more about both of these events (as well as our webinars) coming soon!

Spring Retreat

Self Storage How-To: A Guide to Facility Success
Featuring Christina Alvino of Fine View Marketing, Charlie Fritts of SIMI, and Scot Vayo of iStorage
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
The Publick House Historic Inn
Sturbridge, MA

Northeast Storage EXPO

October 7-8, 2020
MGM Springfield
Springfield, MA

We hope to see you at the shows!

2020 Member Renewals

Membership renewals for 2020 are in full swing at the NeSSA office! If you haven’t received your invoice for the new year, please contact us.

As a reminder, you can pay for membership four different ways:

  1. With a check made payable to NeSSA mailed to our new address:
    17047 Goldcrest Loop
    Clermont, FL 34714
  2. Through PayPal via an online invoice (ask us to send you one)
  3. With a credit card over the phone – call our office at (617) 600-4481
  4. Log in to your account on www.NeSSA.org and pay through your Account.

Membership with NeSSA ensures you maintain benefits offered through the association including discounts to attend events, free attendance to six bimonthly webinars, four annual newsletters, an extensive online member resource library, an indirect membership to the national SSA, government lobbying on your behalf, and more!

Be sure to double check your company and contact information and let us know of any updates or corrections to your business. This will help your profile look more complete when possible customers search our facilities list for available storage.

Prospective members can join any time! Simply go to our Join Us tab and select the membership option that best fits your business.

New Member Benefit Coming

The Northeast Self Storage Association is excited to launch a new member benefit called the Member Discount Program. This idea will allow vendor members the opportunity to promote a benefit or discount from their companies to NeSSA facility members.

Vendors are invited to send in a brief submission explaining their offer, along with their company name, contact person, email address, and phone number to Courtney by 6:00 PM on Friday, November 22nd. Offers should short, sweet, and to the point (less than 30 words).

The board will review all submissions, and vendors will be informed of offer approval or any needed changes in early December.

The Vendor Discount Program will launch January 1, 2020.

Need some ideas? See below for examples!

Self storage website design and development: Exclusive to NeSSA members only! $495 (regularly $749)

Free insurance consultation and insurance quotes for self storage facilities.

Special new Work Comp program and new exclusive policies offered for NeSSA facility members.

Sign up today and run your first 4 online auctions for free.

 

Any business conducted is strictly between the facility and the vendor.