Monday, September 30, 2013

Buying Auctioned Units and Turning it into a Profession

I have been an associate at Storage Station, in both the White Road and the Greenwood Lake Turnpike in West Milford New Jersey facilities, for four years now. Within this past year or two the show Storage Wars and others like it have become increasingly popular.

Because of it, I have been confronted numerous times by tenants asking if we do auctions like they do on TV. Sometimes they ask; how it happens, if people really make money off of it, and how do they get involved in the business. I am going to tell you the same thing I tell everyone. Yes we do have auctions, but shows like the Storage Wars make it seem like every storage unit will have gold or a Picasso painting. This is false. The ratio statistic, according to “reliable sources”, is about twenty percent that you will find something of value in every auctioned unit. Now, this is not to detour anyone’s mind, who may be interested in going to an auction. Whether it is for fun, curiosity, or as a profession there are many factors to increase your chances to get a great unit. The key is location. It plays a huge role in this industry as a whole. For instance, you want to pick a location that is well populated as well as high grossing income. This is because there will be a more likely chance those towns will store more valuable items. Now there are many people who just come to an auction here and there to check it out, and see what all the hype is about. And then there are a few people, we at Storage Station, 11 White Road and 1867 Greenwood Lake Turnpike, West Milford New Jersey, like to call “The Regulars”. This is because they never miss an auction. We can count on seeing their faces and bids, each and every auction we have.

They actually make a living on bidding and purchasing storage units at these auctions. If you have the time and adequate resources, this could be a very profitable and fun business to get into. If you are interested in this business, here are a few tips to get you started and to keep in mind. You will want to save some money. For a few months set aside some money you will not miss. I say this due to my knowledge of noticing new comers believe they can just take this week’s paycheck, purchase a storage unit, and will automatically be able to double what they spent for the storage unit. This could happen, but the chances are pretty slim to none. You do not want to spend your last few bucks buying a storage unit that could be a dud, and then you will not have money for your bills.

Another good idea is to go to auctions; you can do this while you are saving some money. Do not bid or purchase on any of the storage units. Just watch, and see what it is all about. Watch other bidders and see how they do it. It will give you a good idea of what you should do when you start. Take notice of the type of storage units they are bidding on, and for how much they are bidding. Look at the sizes and items inside the unit that interests the most people, and why. This will help give you technique as well as find your competitors, so you will be ahead of the game.

You will want to start off small. Bid on a smaller unit first, to get a feel for the whole thing, and then work your way up. You will also want to consider renting a storage unit yourself. This is a good idea if you plan on buying more than one unit at these auctions. You can use the space to keep all the items or products worth selling. Think of it as a mini, more affordable, warehouse. Here at Storage Station, we have many locations: two in West Milford New Jersey, one in Wayne New Jersey, two in Toms River New Jersey, and one in Middletown New York. At every one of our locations, we take pride in giving our customers the best service, price, quality, and protection. This may come to ease your mind, if you decide to rent a storage unit. Plus if you are buying units at our auctions, you will not have to go far to transport the items to your storage unit.

Next you are going to want to set up a plan on how to sell your items. I recommend signing up for EBay or Craigslist. Items usually sell pretty quickly and for a reasonable profit on these web sites. The biggest, most important factor is having the right mind set. Do not think you will get rich over night, because that’s very unlikely.

There will be good and bad units. But do not let one bad storage unit purchase stop you from continuing in the business. Keep your web sites up to date, and constantly attend as many auctions as possible. Another good idea is to visit yard sales, flea markets, garage sales, and thrift shops. This is a good idea because you will never know what odds and ends you may find at one of these places, which you could also put on your websites for sale, to boost up your inventory.

The storage auction business is far from easy. It takes time, experience, sometimes money, and hard work. But once you get established, it can be a very rewarding and profitable accomplishment. Hopefully my thoughts provided a basic education on the subject;  it may come in handy one day. If you decide to get in the business as a profession then best of luck to you, but if you go to an auction and decide it is really not for you, than that is okay too. At least you experienced something new and that’s certainly never a bad thing.

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Buying Auctioned Units and Turning it into a Profession brought to you by : Storage Station Self Storage and Storage Blog

Source: http://www.storagestations.com/blog/buying-auctioned-units-and-turning-it-into-a-profession/

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How to Prepare Your Vehicle For Long Term Storage

Whether you are a collector of cars or traveling abroad, there are many reasons you might need to store your vehicle for an extended period of time.  Taking a few easy steps can be taken to ensure your vehicle remains in the same condition as the day that you put it into storage…

Paperwork – Make sure all of your documents are in order.  If you need to renew your registration or insurance policy do it prior to storing your vehicle to prevent any problems when the time comes to take it out of storage.

Engine Oil – Change your engine oil and oil filter.  You may also want to consider changing your transmission fluid and brake fluid if you are going to be storing a long time and you haven’t done so in a few years.

Cleaning Your Vehicle – It is essential to perform a thorough cleaning of your vehicle both inside and out.   Wash, buff, and wax the exterior.  Remove all trash and debris from the in interior and the trunk to make sure there is no odor build up.  Treat leather seats, and clean the windows and windshield with Windex.

Battery – Fully charge your car battery, and then disconnect the battery cables.  Failure to do so will result in a slow drain, and your car won’t start when you return.

Gas – Fill your gas tank to capacity and use a fuel stabilizing additive to prevent collection of moisture in your fuel.

Critters – Make sure you don’t leave any openings for critters to invade your vehicle.  Close all windows, place a piece of steel wool in the exhaust pipe, and use a garbage bag to clog the air intake.  Leave a note with the car keys to remind you to remove these items from the air intake and exhaust pipe that would cause serious problems.

Tires – Place your vehicle on jack stands while storing to prevent flat spots in your tires.

 

Source: http://www.devonselfstorage.com/blog/2012-08-03-how-to-prepare-your-vehicle-for-long-term-storage

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Turning Would Be Donations Into Spooktacular Halloween Costumes

Who doesn't love Halloween?

This time of year, most of us are gearing up for Halloween. If we haven't already decided what to be, we're busy surfing Pinterest for clever ideas. Some of us have spent months working on our outfit ideas and painstakingly sewing them by hand. Often, the winning costume at any Halloween Party event are those that are the most unique and inventive.

As a storage auction hunter, you're in luck, this time of year is your time to shine. You are regularly purchasing storage units at auction, and getting to uncover tons of hidden treasure. What you don't sell and don't trash, you either have to donate or find a use for in your life.

Halloween is the perfect time to take advantage of all the storage auction finds that you have sitting around in storage as you try to decide what to do with it. From clothing and accessories to houshold objects such as laundry hampers and cardboard-there is almost nothing that can't be used to create a memorable costume that your friends will be talking about for the entire year. We've included costumes that work best with your friends, because that is half the fun.

Imitation Is The Best Form of Flattery!

What makes a Halloween costume great? The answer is that everybody knows exactly who you are from the get go. The best costumes telegraph from across a crowded room and only get better as you get a closer look, taking glee in all the small details and the work and effort that went into the outfit.

They say that imitation is the best form of flattery, and in many instances, the best Halloween costumes come from fans. Whether it's a character from a book, movie, television show, or pop culture icon - the possibilities are endless.

Below are three of our favorite costume ideas that you can easily make using items won at storage auctions. These costumes blend the best of storage auctions, pop culture, and your creativity and imagination!

Yourself

facebook-costume-300x400

But where's the fun in that you might ask? What would the point be? Well, that's understandable, and here's the twist. Take posterboard and create a "social media" page for yourself, such as Facebook. Tweak the information to be entertaining and amusing, and make it large enough that somebody can read it standing close to you without popping your personal space bubble. Once you've created a clever "profile" for yourself, cut a hole out. You could choose to make it profile sized, or if you want to wear something fun, you could make the profile as long and wide as necessary to show off your outfit. Primp to the nines or wear the goofiest thing you can find! People will come up to you all night to read "About You" and soon, life will be imitating your art-your social media costume will be the talk of all your friends online as pictures make their way onto Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. Storage auctions are a great place to find new clothings that you can wear in your "Profile photo."

There are tons of variants on this costume. Wear your profile on your clothing, create a Youtube page, and the video would then be the cutout, include space on your costume for people to "Post" or write on your wall, and keep the costume forever!

Where's Waldo?

waldo-costume

A childhood classic, Waldo has been stumping kids for many years. Personally, I've decided that him and Carmen San Diego are somewhere on a beach having a good laugh at all of us Gen Y kids who spent our formative years scratching our heads. But now, we can all be in on the fun as well.

The costume is simple: a red and white tshirt and tobogan, a pair of bluejeans, a brown pair of boots and a pair of rounded glasses.. Even if you only have a white or red t-shirt, you can create the look. Add duct tape stripes or paint to achieve the same look. You can also add changes to the look, such as subbing jeans for shorts and skirts and kneesocks. You can also add extra elements to the costume, such as Waldo's backpack, walking stick and other assorted odds and ends that lend to the overal Waldo-esque feel of the outfit.

Go to your Halloween party with friends as a pack of Waldo's and let the mayhem begin!

Starbucks Coffee

Starbucks-Coffee

Starbucks is one of the largest and best known brands in the country. Who doesn't love a frappachino?

Use laundry bags for the "body" and white cloth for the foam. Don't forget to make the hat with green paper rolled up as straws. You can make the logo by drawing it yourself on paper.

For some added fun, you can label yourself with a sharpie, denoting your limited edition holiday flavor, such as Pumpkin Spice!

You can change up the materials as much as necessary, creating your body out of cardbord or mesh, include a lid, use strofoam.

StorageUnitActionList.com, a member of the Self Storage Association, provides our customers with a comprehensive auction list in multiple auction formats for all 50 states and over 51,000 facilities. Subscribers can review over 10,000 auctions each month through their personal dashboard making storage auctions easy to find whether you're treasure hunting for fun or running a profitable business.

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Source: https://www.storageunitauctionlist.com/blog/turning-would-be-donations-into-spooktacular-halloween-costumes/

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How to Protect Your Self Storage Business From Cybercrime

Cybercrime is no longer just a worry of large financial institutions, it is also affecting small to mid size businesses and the self storage industry is no exception. Cyber criminals are getting more advanced and sophisticated with their methods and it would help you to protect your self storage business if you are informed and prepared. Knowing the ways your self storage businesses can fall victim to cybercrime can help you to be less vulnerable. Here are some tips to help you protect your storage facility and your customers from cybercriminals:

  • Protect customer data – One of the most appealing things for cybercriminals is access to personal identifiable information. With names, addresses, credit card and driver license information, these criminals can steal identities. Storing customer data electronically is convenient but you should take the necessary steps to protect this information, encrypt all your customers files and store them in a secure location.

    • Pay keen attention to emails – Phishing scams are perhaps one of the most common ways cybercriminals steal your personal information. Always check the email address before clicking on any links. Emails from financial institutions are the ones that are cloned and distributed the most. Ensure that your full name is in the email because most scammers will just use “Dear Bank Member/Cardholder”. Clicking on these malicious links will allow bank username and password to be shared with criminals and this can lead to even more trouble for your business.

      • Exercise caution while using social media – Keep your business and personal pages separate and try not to over share on either. You’ll notice that most social networking sites ask for a date of birth and some even give the option to fill in an address. Internet criminals sometimes use social networking profiles to get personal information so be careful of everything that you share.

Moving? Put some humor into it!

Moving can be a very stressful time. You can’t think straight, there’s a lot of paperwork, you’re surprised at everything you’ve accumulated and want to throw it all away. Take a minute and BREATHE. When you feel overwhelmed because of a move one of the best things you can do is to put humor into it. If you’re a television watcher, there are many shows that feature moving and the situations that occur when faced with this dilemma. Although it may not be funny when you first think about having to move, there’s always a little sunshine in everything. Here are a couple of shows that you may want to think about or look at the reruns to get a great laugh to help you put your moving hat on and get things into perspective:

  • Seinfield, “Andrea-Doria” - Season 8-Episode 10: When George moves into a better apartment than Jerry and Elaine’s and George says to them: “Hey, you got any extra furniture down there? I need some more stuff to fill that extra bedroom with the walk-in closet.” Jerry: “Oh, this is really annoying.” George responds: “Oh, it’s working already!”

  • 30 Rock, “Into The Crevasse” – Season 4- Episode 2: Tracy Jordan is kicked out again because of information in Liz Lemon’s book Dealbreakers. He must move in with her and delivers a classic line – “Oh yeah, there’s a garbage bag in the hall with a reef shark in it. Just put him in the tub with a reef.”

Others you may want to check out are 30 Rock, S2E1 – “SeinfieldVision”; Friends S4E12 – “The One With The Embryos” and How I Met Your Mother, S2E12 – “No Tomorrow”. These are great spoofs of the moving process and thing that can happen. One thing to remember about moving, everyone does it at some point in their lives.

Once you’ve gotten yourself into moving mode, figure out whether you’re going to need additional storage. There are great self-storage unit facilities that can accommodate any size, climate or situation. The great thing about this is that you can reserve it online and also read reviews to find out how the facility rates in terms of customer service. That’s invaluable. You may also be able to get a discounted rate by searching online. Moving doesn’t have to be all bad – it could be a very exciting time in your life that will be advantageous to you in the future. And … you get to look at all those fancy decorating magazines to see how you can spruce up your things. HGTV works too! They have great shows that will show you how to apply paint, wallpaper, decorate on a budget and more. Keeping everything in perspective and making lists (you can never have too many of these) to assist you in staying organized and making your move smooth is key. Find a great moving company, get your moving supplies, reserve your facility and get to work!

Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/326-moving-put-some-humor-into-it

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House for Life by Ryntovt Design

Ukrainian studio Ryntovt Design has completed the House for Life project, a 2,906 square foot single family house located in Dnepropetrovsk, the fourth largest city in Ukraine. Photos: Andrew Avdeenko More... Continue reading

Source: http://bginteriorblogs.com/?p=41166

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Self Storage And The American Dream

We all have visions of what the American Dream is.  A white picket fence surrounding a lush green yard, where our children are playing in the sprinkler as Bubba the bulldog chases them around barking in pure joy.  The Jeep Liberty and Toyota Camry are parked in the two car garage of the four bedroom, two story Cape, with a fire pit and patio in the back yard, where Dad is out grilling hot dogs on his new Weber grill, for everyone to enjoy in the spring time sun.  While everyone’s idea of the American Dream may be a little different, most can agree that it’s what we all strive to attain.  In the not so distant past, America was the land of “milk and honey” where anything we wanted was within our reach, and all of our dreams were at our fingers tips.  Now fast forward to today.  The American Dream is not exactly the same as it once was just a few short years ago, due to the economy, and the decline in both the housing and job markets.

It seems like only yesterday, spending the weekend on the lake in our new 16 foot Wellcraft boat was a common occurrence, and putting an in-law apartment addition above the garage for Grandma was the norm.  Today though, simply paying our bills on time has become a dream to some of us.  The boat out on the lake has given way to weekends spent at home, remembering the “good ole days”.  With the unemployment rate being what it is, whatever play money we may have had, has disappeared as quickly as it came.  Millions of Americans sit at home, hoping they get the call back from the interview they went on last week.  That interview being the only one they’ve had in six months because many of our local employers are not hiring or have even closed up shop all together.  The in-law apartment for Grandma, has now turned into Grandma taking over one of the kids bedrooms, forcing little Timmy to share his room with his younger brother.

Many Americans have been forced to make drastic decisions due to job loss and other external factors, which have altered their lives significantly.  Seeing 10 houses for sale on any given street is not uncommon, and many families have been forced to move back in with their parents or in-laws to help make ends meet.  While we here at Storage Station understand the plight of the everyday man and woman who are faced with making these decisions, just know that we are here to help in your time of need.  We understand that along with having to make these life altering changes, comes an enormous amount of stress.  The stress that comes from trying to figure out what you are going to do with all of your belongings from your old home, while you get back on your feet so to speak.  The stress that comes from making sure that your items are stored in an easily accessible and local facility, that you can get to your items if you need them.  Moves of this nature are never joyous, and ultimately, your goal is to get yourself caught up and back into a home of your own.

While we know that these stresses can be a lot for anyone to handle, we are here to make this transition as easy on your as possible.

Speaking of easy, we here at Storage Station can also assist you in the storing of your items that just won’t fit in a box.  While we have many self storage units that will can hold all of your furniture and family photos, we also offer different options for your boat, camper, trailer, and RV storage as well.  With the economy being what it is, many of you may have tried to sell some of your luxury items, like Dad’s midlife crisis muscle car or the RV you bought to enjoy cross country road trips filled with “Mom, he’s touching me.”  As many of you are already aware, the majority of people are in the same boat as you, meaning that they either don’t have the extra money to buy these things, or if they do have the expendable money, they want to go with the cheapest option possible.  So you either get no offers at all on your boat, or you get offers that are so low, you won’t accept them.  You may be broke, but you’re not crazy.  So now that you’ve got these items and your parents don’t want a 23 foot camper in their drive way, you’re going to need a place to put it.  While we offer different options in self storage unit sizes, we also offer different amenities, such as paved parking spaces, to best fit your storage needs.  As far as self storage is concerned, what could be easier than being able to keep all of your items in one place.

Everyone’s goal, as far as persons in this situation are considered, is to stay with their parents or in-laws for as short a time as possible.

One of the big advantages with storing your belongs with us, whether it be in one of our self storage units or a parking space, is that we offer month to month leasing options, meaning that you are not tying yourself into a long period lease.  That way, when you get the new job, and everything turns around, you won’t be forced to pay rent on an empty unit because you signed a year lease on the space, and took everything out of it after three months to furnish your new home or apartment.

We’ve mentioned a few reasons why storing your items with us here at Storage Station is a great option for those of us are facing the uncertainty of the future, and hopefully we’ve shown you why storing your items in one of our self storage units is a great option for you.  Change is never easy, and with all the changes that we face every day, we can all use a bit of stability to count on.  We here at Storage Station have always been, and will always be here to support our local community members.  While no one knows what the future will bring for you and your family, just know that we here at Storage Station are here to help you while you try and make that American Dream, your American Reality.

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Self Storage And The American Dream brought to you by : Storage Station Self Storage and Storage Blog

Source: http://www.storagestations.com/blog/self-storage-and-the-american-dream/

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Creating Value with a Moving Truck


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Many self storage companies want to ensure they have all the customers need so they will not have to go looking to their competitors for solutions. The property managers take a lot of time to figure out what their competitors is doing and what they need to do to gain the business of people who need and want storage. Many customers like to shop around and look for the best value. The property managers want to inform the customers that they have the best value. Many of them will use a moving truck in order to seal the deal to get the customer to rent from them.
If you need a truck rental, you may be able to rent one from the facility that you are renting your storage unit from. Just ask the manager when you call in. The property managers will ensure they are pitching that to you quickly so know what they have to offer. Some managers will be laid back and discover the customers’ needs before they offer anything. Both methods are acceptable, just make sure as a customer, you ask the property manager about their moving truck options.
A free move in service will usually include a free truck and driver. You will not get movers to help you with everything. That is a common misconception and customers tend to be put off by that fact. They do not do it all by their selves but they know that not many companies will just offer a free truck and movers. If a property manager or company could figure out how to incorporate that or even give that to the customer at a discounted rate, they could be ahead of the game.
Having a moving truck could be crucial to your move. Having one large moving truck could have you make one big trip versus many small trips. You will only have to fill up the truck one if that versus filling your vehicle up many times depending on the trip. Property managers will tell you the stipulations on how their moving service works if they have one. Take full advantage of their service if there is one. Why would want to pass up a free truck to help you to move?

Many self storage companies want to ensure they have all the customers need so they will not have to go looking to their competitors for solutions. The property managers take a lot of time to figure out what their competitors is doing and what they need to do to gain the business of people who need and want storage. Many customers like to shop around and look for the best value. The property managers want to inform the customers that they have the best value. Many of them will use a moving truck in order to seal the deal to get the customer to rent from them.

If you need a truck rental, you may be able to rent one from the facility that you are renting your storage unit from. Just ask the manager when you call in. The property managers will ensure they are pitching that to you quickly so know what they have to offer. Some managers will be laid back and discover the customers’ needs before they offer anything. Both methods are acceptable, just make sure as a customer, you ask the property manager about their moving truck options.

A free move in service will usually include a free truck and driver. You will not get movers to help you with everything. That is a common misconception and customers tend to be put off by that fact. They do not do it all by their selves but they know that not many companies will just offer a free truck and movers. If a property manager or company could figure out how to incorporate that or even give that to the customer at a discounted rate, they could be ahead of the game.

Having a moving truck could be crucial to your move. Having one large moving truck could have you make one big trip versus many small trips. You will only have to fill up the truck one if that versus filling your vehicle up many times depending on the trip. Property managers will tell you the stipulations on how their moving service works if they have one. Take full advantage of their service if there is one. Why would want to pass up a free truck to help you to move?

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Source: http://www.propertymanagementblog.com/creating-value-with-a-moving-truck/

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PETA applauds self storage facility

The self storage industry walked away with a major win as the largest animal rights organization in the world, PETA, praised a self storage company recently for taking steps that helped to further advance the fight for fair treatment of animals. PETA is a non-profit corporation with around 300 employees but has millions of members and supporters worldwide. The organization focuses on four areas where animals are said to suffer the most – factory farms, clothing trade, labs, and the entertainment industry.

PETA is no stranger to controversy and has been heralding for animal rights for over three decades. Many companies and celebrities have come under fire from the organization for wearing fur or neglecting to be humane to others. Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and cable network giant HBO are just a few of the celebrities and companies that have been publicly slammed by PETA.

However, people in the self storage industry have been making great strides towards making the world a better place for humans and animals alike. Companies like Extra Space, Westport Properties and Uncle Bob’s Self Storage have banned the use of glue traps to kill mice and pests in self storage facilities. Westport Properties, located in California, received a “Compassionate Company Award” from PETA after the company banned the use of glue traps at all facilities it owns and operates.

PETA commended the company saying that it spared thousands of mice, rats, birds and other small animals a painful end. According to PETA, many animals chew off their limbs and break their own feathers or flesh in order to break free from these traps, which are ineffective because they fail to address the source of the problem.

After learning about the cruelty of glue traps, Westport Properties moved quickly to remove all devices from current facilities and ensure that new ones are not used in the future. Self storage facilities that are interested in joining the cause simply have to cease using the traps and commit to finding better alternatives instead.

Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/309-peta-applauds-self-storage-facility

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

SpareFoot Launches Largest Free Self-Storage Auction Directory


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AUSTIN, Texas – Aug. 8, 2011 – Self-storage auctions are more than just reality show fodder, they’re an actual reality in the $22B self-storage industry. SpareFoot, the online self-storage marketplace, launched a new nationwide auction directory website that lists more upcoming auctions than any other free service of its kind.

SpareFoot observed that people had little choice but to check local print newspaper listings to discover upcoming auctions. A disruptive three-year-old start-up company that aims to make self-storage easy for consumers, SpareFoot built a live searchable database of auctions. Users can sort local search results by distance from zip code or by how many days away auctions are.

The immense recent popularity of storage auctions, sparked by hit TV shows Storage Wars and Auction Hunters, helped inspire the project. Customers frequently call and email SpareFoot’s support team with questions about auctions. Tony Emerson, SpareFoot’s SEO Analyst, found search volume for the phrase “storage auctions” rivals that of broad search terms like “self storage” and “storage units.”

With all this growth, SpareFoot isn’t the first to enter the auctions directory space. Competing sites either require facilities to pay a fee to be listed, or feature limited functionality and limited inventory for free. SpareFoot Auctions is the most comprehensive free storage auction list available. A major benefit of the effort is that it will help drive web traffic to the company’s website and make a branded impression on these visitors.

Of the approximately 10,000 abandoned storage units auctioned off nationally every month, SpareFoot Auctions lists between 35-50% of these, and that reach will only expand. Plans include adding a Notes section to provide unit descriptions and number of units up for sale. SpareFoot will also integrate back-end functionality so facility owners and managers can easily add and promote their auctions on the site.

“We’re going to keep building this and making it more functional,” Emerson said. “We eventually want to serve as a resource to help facility operators improve the auctions process to the point that they look forward to having one.”

About SpareFoot:
SpareFoot is the largest online marketplace for self-storage, making it easy for consumers nationwide to find, compare and reserve storage units online. The company also offers a suite of leading web marketing tools for facility operators. Across multiple properties including SelfStorage.com, Apartments.com and others, the SpareFoot Ad Network helps facility owners and managers find new tenants— all through an entirely pay-for-performance model. SpareFoot is backed by Silverton Partners, FLOODGATE and Capital Factory. For more information, please visit http://www.sparefoot.com.

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Source: http://www.propertymanagementblog.com/sparefoot-launches-largest-free-self-storage-auction-directory/

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Tips for Increasing Online Self Storage Reservations

A website is one of the best marketing tools for getting information about your self storage business out to a wide audience. Advancements in technology have made owning a website relatively low cost so there is almost no excuse to be without one. Taking reservations online is also easier than ever. Giving customers the ability to reserve online also frees up more time for your employees to concentrate on other important duties. Here are some tips for increasing online reservations:

  • Investigate and target your audience – When devising an online marketing campaign, targeting everyone is not the best way to achieve your objective. Target audiences need to be outlined and the best way to communicate the message to them should be researched. Find out what they are looking for and try to hone your message to fit their needs.

  • Engage customers with content – There is a wealth of valuable content you can provide to self storage customers. Many people are renting self storage for the first time. Therefore, finding sufficient information on your website will increase the likelihood that customers will reserve a unit. Content about the where to get moving supplies and how to prepare for moving items into self storage are a couple things that will help bring more visitors to your website.

  • Utilize facility photos – One of the biggest questions when renting self storage is – how much space will I need? Visual representations of your units will help customers in the decision making process. Also, pictures of security features of your facility can encourage persons to rent from you.

  • Use calls to action strategically – Calls to action are what tell visitors what you want them to do when they visit your self storage website. Since your main objective here is to motivate them to reserve online, the link that allows them to do so should be placed in a highly visible location on the homepage. Calls to actions will be different on the various pages of your website. For instance, on pages where there is information for persons new to self storage, you may not want to put a ‘reserve now’ call to action. Instead, a call to action to get more information might be more appropriate for that customer.

  • There are several conversion-based tactics that can aid your website in becoming more efficient at driving storage reservations. However, following the basics outlined above, is an effective way to start as you go on to understand more about what it takes to convert your website visitors into customers.

    Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/237-tips-for-increasing-online-self-storage-reservations

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    Surfing In Hawaii, How Sweet It Is

    The ocean is a place for adventure. Its not only a deep remote expanse of water, it's home to some of the worlds most amazing creatures. Not only is it home to some of the most amazing creatures, it also lends itself to some of the most enjoyable outdoor activities. From Florida to Hawaii the ocean is an epic playground for thrill seekers and sunbathers alike. There's one ocean activity that (in my opinion), really stands out as the most breathtaking. The activity that I'm referring to is surfing!

    When you surf you’re not only participating in an awesome form of recreation, you’re also experiencing a taste of culture, and history. To add to the awesomeness, surfing it up in Hawaii is a mountain top experience of which little can compare to. It’s like overcoming a childhood fear or driving a fast sports car. Nothing can compare! As a side note, where do you keep all those surfing boards that do not fit in your garage, or apartment living room? In your own unit at a self storage in Hawaii, of course.

    Hawaii is the birthplace of all big wave surfing, surfers began to ride the powerful winter waves of Makaha on the western shore of Oahu as early as the 1950s. Another hot spot for surfers was Waimea Bay on the North Shore. Generally, the big wave season on the Hawaiian Islands happens between November and February (approximately), and of course, it takes place on the epic north shores! The best surfing competitions (also my opinion) are held on the north shore of Oahu in November and December. Vans Triple Crown of Surfing stands among one of the most notable surfing competitions, and is often referred to as the “Super Bowl” of surfing.

    Every Hawaiian Island has surfers flooding to its shores come surf season! Most beaches of Hawaii Island are suited for the most experienced surfers out there! But, don’t worry! You can still find spots that will cater more towards beginners, as well as intermediate surfers! Many places that may be more suited for the beginner or intermediate surfers are located at Pine Trees Beach, which is north of Kona airport, as well as Kahaluu Beach, which is located in Keauhou. Another legit place to check out the waves for the beginner would be the Bayans in the Historic Kailua Village.

    Hawaii, world class surfing

    Hawaii, world class surfing

    To the east, the Honolii Beach Park in Hilo is the place to go if you’re an experienced surfer who’s up for the challenge of a lifetime. Trust me, it’s an extreme surfer’s dream come true! Don’t worry if you’re not too experienced, or you just want to have fun. That’s great too! Everyone should be able to enjoy surfing, not just the experienced surfers! Instructors will take first time surfers to safe breaks to get you on your feet during your beginning early stages of learning! Don’t worry though, you’ll be surfing like a pro in no time!

    So, if you ever find yourself on the beautiful islands of Hawaii, make it a priority to grab a board, and hit the waves! You won’t regret it! I guarantee you’ll be in for the ride, and experience of a lifetime!

    By Guest Contributor Sam Larson - samexplores.com

    Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/221-surfing-in-hawaii-how-sweet-it-is

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    How to Prepare Your Vehicle For Long Term Storage

    Whether you are a collector of cars or traveling abroad, there are many reasons you might need to store your vehicle for an extended period of time.  Taking a few easy steps can be taken to ensure your vehicle remains in the same condition as the day that you put it into storage…

    Paperwork – Make sure all of your documents are in order.  If you need to renew your registration or insurance policy do it prior to storing your vehicle to prevent any problems when the time comes to take it out of storage.

    Engine Oil – Change your engine oil and oil filter.  You may also want to consider changing your transmission fluid and brake fluid if you are going to be storing a long time and you haven’t done so in a few years.

    Cleaning Your Vehicle – It is essential to perform a thorough cleaning of your vehicle both inside and out.   Wash, buff, and wax the exterior.  Remove all trash and debris from the in interior and the trunk to make sure there is no odor build up.  Treat leather seats, and clean the windows and windshield with Windex.

    Battery – Fully charge your car battery, and then disconnect the battery cables.  Failure to do so will result in a slow drain, and your car won’t start when you return.

    Gas – Fill your gas tank to capacity and use a fuel stabilizing additive to prevent collection of moisture in your fuel.

    Critters – Make sure you don’t leave any openings for critters to invade your vehicle.  Close all windows, place a piece of steel wool in the exhaust pipe, and use a garbage bag to clog the air intake.  Leave a note with the car keys to remind you to remove these items from the air intake and exhaust pipe that would cause serious problems.

    Tires – Place your vehicle on jack stands while storing to prevent flat spots in your tires.

     

    Source: http://www.devonselfstorage.com/blog/2012-08-03-how-to-prepare-your-vehicle-for-long-term-storage

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    A Shoe Story

    Click here to view the embedded video.

    There is no excuse for throwing away your old gym shoes

    For more than a decade, Nike has been recycling old athletic shoes to make products that include rubber sports surfaces. Several companies also use recycled shoe material, in addition to recycled tires, to make residential and commercial rubber flooring.

    Watch this video to see how it is done. Then, see the Natural Interiors Facebook page for a link that will help you determine if there is a drop-off location near you.

    Source: http://www.naturalinteriors.com/2013/06/a-shoe-story/

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    Methods for Entrepreneurs to Reach Out to Clients More

    A common argument among businesspersons is, “What is the secret for a successful business”. Of course, different sorts of answers always come up—marketing skills, PR, capital, product concepts, investors, luck, the list goes on.

     However, it all boils down to one thingcustomers!

     No matter what the scale, offer, or status of your business, it will never survive or thrive without a steady or growing customer base. Yes, just like a celebrity, you need your own loyalists if you ever hope of expanding and reaching larger markets across the globe.

     To set you on the right path, here are some techniques and concepts that may propel you to the top end of the success spectrum:

    • Sometimes, controversy is a good thing.

    Somehow, it’s good way to start a “buzz” about your business brand. Several times, intrigue has its merits, specifically because it propels your company name as a trending and hip topic. If people are talking about you and your enterprise, sales and patronage will definitely soar!

    Take for example the campaign of a second-hand car dealer, “You know you’re not the first, but does it really matter?”, paired with a drop-dead gorgeous woman. This sparked a lot of interest among several viewers. But did it get its point across? Definitely!

    • Being too specific is not a weakness.

    It’s not enough that you’ve established “women” in general as your audience. Targeting gender, race, culture, age, profession and others will not suffice in the game of customer relations. You need a better weapon in your arsenal, known as client profiles.

    It’s a common strategy for entrepreneurs to brand their clients a certain way and create a comprehensive profile. Using this as a premise, why not go the deeper end and assess almost every significant aspect of your customers’ life? For instance, where do they often shop? How often do they purchase [products]? Which brands do they usually patronise? Which online shops do they visit when shopping? Which social sharing portals are they a member?

     The answers to these questions will draw a detailed concept map of your customers and help you assess how to market your company best.

    • Independence is not all it’s cut out to be.

    There’s a certain benefit when you’re free of affiliates, but there’s also a HUGE disadvantage. For one thing, you’ll lose the potential of reaching THEIR customers and amassing a new market demographic. That’s a significant loss right there.

    More to the point, you’ll lose the added “insights” that partners can give you. Instead of consulting with them about market trends, sales strategies, PR events, and so on, you’ll have no one but yourself to depend on. That’s quite a heavy burden.

     Also, get in touch with business-to-business solutions providers, especially those who can help you build a professional image without spending a big budget. Having a virtual office, in particular, is a good solution if you are targeting a global audience.

    • Success is achieved by being social.

    These days, everybody is on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+. This means, your rivals are in on the trend too. If you don’t have profiles in these social networks yet, you’re in for some serious trouble—which comes in the form of poor visibility on the Web.

    It’s never too late to sign up for an account and start socialising. Without doubt, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your customer relations targets just by using social media platforms.

     Conclusion

     Business success is not something you can hope to achieve overnight. It requires patience, effort, and a little ingenuity on your part. Most importantly, it takes more than a couple of sleepless nights and tons of black coffee to pull off a thriving company.

     About the Author

     Catering to start-ups and small businesses for 22 years, Regus TEC Centre Inc provides a wide range of solutions, including virtual office bundles.

    Source: http://the-bloggers-exchange.org/methods-for-entrepreneurs-to-reach-out-to-clients-more/

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    How to use self storage for your household goods

    Nowadays storage unit is needed for many reasons, such as when moving to a smaller home, when your new home is not ready yet or you just have too many things in your home. Basic options for household items are to either store your belongings with your local movers, or rent a self storage. Self-storage units can be used for many different reasons. Storage units may be a good thing to consider if you are downsizing, temporarily moving or selling your home and need to store your household or business belongings. Many families today have more than one car and may have a boat, RV that also needs to be stored. In some cities, it is not allowed to store boats or RVs in residential neighborhood.

    -Household storage - How to handle household storage? It's a battle! The key to preparing your household items for storage is to make sure that you have the right packing materials. You'll need plenty of cardboard boxes, wardrobe boxes, and other stuff like packing popcorn, newspaper, tissue paper, and bubble wrap. These items, along with rope, packing tape, and markers will definitely help storing your items a lot easier. You can usually find all the supplies you need at your local storage facility, packing store, or even an office supply store. When it comes to packing your boxes up, fill all of them up to full capacity, but do not overfill them. It is important that the box not break apart after you have filled it. All the empty space inside the boxes should be filled with the loose packing materials such as newspaper and popcorn. If you are planning on storing heavier items like books and appliances, it is a good idea to pack them in their own boxes. This way, they will be easier to handle during relocation

    -Storing your lawn equipment - If you'll be storing lawn mowers or other large pieces of power equipment be sure to drain any traces of gas from the motors before storing them. When choosing a self storage unit, don't splurge on a climate-controlled bin and instead opt for a standard outdoor space. As long as you winterize your machines before putting them into storage, they should be ready to go when spring rolls around next year. Hand-tool Care Hoes, shovels and other garden tools often have wooden handles that can deteriorate over time. Storing tools in a protected location can slow that process, but normal use will still expose the tools to the elements. Weathering can raise the grain on wood handles, resulting in splinters. A light sanding can smooth any raised areas. Follow that with a light application of wood preservative, linseed oil or polyurethane to protect the wood. Wipe off any excess after a few minutes, as oil-based products can attract dirt. Remove soil from metal surfaces. Use sandpaper or steel wool to remove any rust that may have formed. Now would also be a good time to sharpen dull edges. A light coating of oil will help protect metal through the winter and prevent rusting. Come spring you are ready to tackle any chore. Hoses and Irrigation Lines Hoses and shallow irrigation lines may be damaged over the winter if water is not drained. Lawn irrigation systems usually have shallow lines but are normally built to be self-draining.

    ATV or Motorcycle storage- Depending on weather, it's really tough to avoid rust or items getting corroded. If you wrap it in a tarp that's the best approach. I would take out the battery and put a little Stable or any fuel stabilizer in the fuel tank. You will lose tire pressure having it sit so long and weather can be tough on sitting tires. Probably the easiest way to store a car is to not store it at all. If you're planning to actually drive your car (instead of simply idling it in the garage) at least once every 4 weeks for a minimum of 30 minutes at a time, then you and your car are better off without the deep storage routine. But if you have two homes or live in an area that gets a lot of harsh winter weather, storage is the only option.

    Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/190-how-to-use-self-storage-for-your-household-goods

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    How to Boost Your Self Storage Facility's Facebook Fan Base

    Given the dominance of social media marketing, many self storage facility owners tend to think the success or failure of their business rests on how many Facebook fans they possess. In reality, numerous Facebook fans are useless if there is no engagement. For instance, there is little value present if the majority of likes are from spam accounts instead of genuine customers. Here's how to gain Facebook likes from persons who are actually interested in what your self storage business is up to:

    • Give first, and then seek – Many small businesses owners make the mistake of searching for fans simply by incessantly asking people to share a fan page. Facebook is different from traditional advertising platforms such as billboards and radio ads, which mainly seek to close a sale. When using Facebook, it is important to understand that you need to give people a reason to want to visit your self storage fan page.

    • Create an online personality – One thing that the most successful business pages have in common is that they operate from a very unique and memorable stance. The voice of your self storage facility should not just be updates that sound like a corporate memo. Instead, show the lighter side of your company by injecting a bit of humor and candidness.

    • Remember the 30/70 rule – When using Facebook, aim to make 70% of updates about sharing quality content and the other 30% for a sales pitch. Facebook users usually don’t want their newsfeed bombarded with too much ad copy. If your posts are interesting and entertaining, then not only will they engage users but it will also encourage them to share your page.

    • Make personal responses – You can use your fan page to break away from the usual nameless and faceless reputation most businesses have. There is an opportunity here for your self storage facility to connect on a more personal level with existing and new customers alike. If possible, reply personally to all inquiries.

    • Remove meaningless contributors – Keep in mind that quality is more in more important than quantity. If the likes for your self storage facility page consist mainly of spam accounts that post nonsensical links, this does not add any value to your page. Remove these posts in order to create a better user experience for the real people who like the page.

    Facebook provides endless opportunities for engagement. View the links on your business page as opportunities for learning and engagement in order to connect with self storage customers.

    Source: http://usselfstoragelocator.com/blog_posts/294-how-to-boost-your-self-storage-facility-s-facebook-fan-base

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    Blog: mabacona

    Source: http://my.facilitiesnet.com/personal-announcements/b/mabacona/default.aspx

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    Saturday, September 28, 2013

    The Blue Collar Blues

    It is not uncommon for our tenants here at Storage Station stop into the office just to say hello.  They are always welcome to do so.   I look forward to the variety of company that the day will bring and I am always ready to lend an ear.  I must say, there is no shortage of personality among our tenant roster.  The variety of life is sweet and I believe it is always wise to savor it.  During the routine morning opening of the office, here at Storage Station, on Greenwood Lake Turnpike, I am routinely greeted by the usual familiar faces. The hard-working Blue Collar tenants and Small Business owners that rent storage units for business purposes, they are the early birds here every morning. I have a lot of respect for my Blue Collar Boys.

    They are the foundation of everything.  Their clothes may be dirty and torn, and their hands may be as rough as sandpaper, but without them where would we be?   They work hard and play even harder.  Many of our Blue Collar tenants utilize our storage facility for both business and pleasure.  Our tradesman store items like building materials, sheet metal or car parts, painting tools,  masonry supplies, tools, pipes and electrical,  air conditioning and heating supplies, and even  landscaping equipment.  Utilizing Storage Stations for your business storage is a very common occurrence around the Ringwood, West Milford, NJ and Greenwood Lake New York area.  This is perfect for those on location jobs in the surrounding areas.

    But hold on, because when 5 o’clock hits, playtime begins and our tenants don’t mess around.  Our land loving tenants utilize storage for Harley’s, quads, and hotrods.  Our outdoor storage facility offers affordable parking for many of their boats, motor homes and trailers. Whereas, our water babies and snow bunnies utilize us for their jet skis, boats, kayaks, snowmobiles, and ski/snowboard equipment.  I nearly forgot to mention all our huntsmen and fishermen among our rental roster.  When lunch time rolls around, I can expect a few of our retirees and a few of our senior citizen tenants who are out and about running errands to pop in for a payment or two.  I really enjoy time spent with older generations.  I enjoy their witty stories and sound advice.  I listen and laugh as they share their charm and their tales of their grandchildren.   Occasionally, they will bring in photos of their cherished grandchildren and light up with pride as they show them off.

    As the day goes on between lunch and 3 o’clock I have a lot of moms coming in also handling the payments and running all there errands on a time crunch.   Squeezing me in to their hectic schedules either during a “pick up”, a “drop off” or on their way to school, an appointment or even a sport.  These SUPERWOMEN deserve all the help I can provide them.  I make sure to do whatever I can to make things easier and more convenient for them and they are so appreciative.  They are here and gone in a flash…Usually by 3 and 4 o’clock I am busy on the phone and I begin to receive a high call volume of responders to messages I had left for them earlier in the day.  By 4 o’clock I have some home-bound folks who stop in on their way home after work and they usually don’t stay too long rushing home to their families and a warm supper.

    Just like you, when 5 o’clock hits I too, will be in the mad dash to get home to make dinner and squeeze in some relaxation if at all possible.  In a nutshell, no two days here are ever alike, which keeps things from getting monotonous and boring.  All I know am I thoroughly enjoyed the constant flow of friendly faces and the many different personalities that make up the Storage Station family of renters.

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    The Blue Collar Blues brought to you by : Storage Station Self Storage and Storage Blog

    Source: http://www.storagestations.com/blog/the-blue-collar-blues/

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    Storage Experts


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    As a property manager you are going to have to be the expert when it comes to determining what people need. You will have people call into your self storage facility telling you they want one thing, but they will really be in need of something completely different. You have to be the one to be able to tell them straight with confidence that you have their best interest in mind. You have to earn the trust of the individual and in tern they will rent a storage unit from you.
    I spoke to a young woman on the phone last week.  She was looking for a storage unit to hold various bins and furniture.  She was adamant on a standard, non climate controlled unit.  When I asked her specifically what was going into the unit, she explained there would be some electronics and their computer.  I advised that she really did need a climate controlled space to protect those things.  She still wanted a standard unit.  However, once I pulled up the rates, I found we only had climate controlled units available.  I explained that they were actually cheaper with the special being offered.  I joked that it must have been meant to be.  She decided in the end to go with the climate controlled space.  Her things will be much safer and secure because of her smart decision.
    Even when a customer calls or comes by your facility and they are adamant about one thing, you have to stand your ground as a property manager. You are the storage expert and most people who are calling in looking for storage are not experts on storage as you are. Customers are better off taking your advice and make sure they are making the best decision when it comes down to renting a storage unit. Sometimes you can save the customers from their selves.

    As a property manager you are going to have to be the expert when it comes to determining what people need. You will have people call into your self storage facility telling you they want one thing, but they will really be in need of something completely different. You have to be the one to be able to tell them straight with confidence that you have their best interest in mind. You have to earn the trust of the individual and in tern they will rent a storage unit from you.

    I spoke to a young woman on the phone last week.  She was looking for a storage unit to hold various bins and furniture.  She was adamant on a standard, non climate controlled unit.  When I asked her specifically what was going into the unit, she explained there would be some electronics and their computer.  I advised that she really did need a climate controlled space to protect those things.  She still wanted a standard unit.  However, once I pulled up the rates, I found we only had climate controlled units available.  I explained that they were actually cheaper with the special being offered.  I joked that it must have been meant to be.  She decided in the end to go with the climate controlled space.  Her things will be much safer and secure because of her smart decision.

    Even when a customer calls or comes by your facility and they are adamant about one thing, you have to stand your ground as a property manager. You are the storage expert and most people who are calling in looking for storage are not experts on storage as you are. Customers are better off taking your advice and make sure they are making the best decision when it comes down to renting a storage unit. Sometimes you can save the customers from their selves.

    [Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 

    Source: http://www.propertymanagementblog.com/storage-experts/

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    Blog Post: Retailers Say Energy Management Systems Need To Take Disparity Between Facilities Into Account - Facilities Management Energy Efficiency Feature


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