We could fill the Grand Canyon with all that we learned and the connections made at the Arizona Self Storage (AZSA) 22nd annual conference and trade show.
So much of the information shared by conference speakers circled back to themes that we at AI Lean think are the future of the industry.
- Hyper Automation: Self storage customers are increasingly tech savvy and appreciate automated processes.
- Streamlined Processes: The lien process is complicated and fraught with pitfalls, and automation can simplify liens and erase much of the liability.
- Leveraging Data: Top-performing self storage facilities harness data and use it to drive ROI. Reaching performance goals means keeping all units producing income. When a tenant will not pay, operators need a way to dispense with delinquent clients in an accurate, effective and streamlined manner.
John T. Chang, national director of research and advisory services for Marcus & Millichap, started by asking the question of whether the worst of times can deliver the best of times? The answer for self storage is clearly: yes.
Aging millennials are driving the housing market and much of the demand in the self storage market. A full 33% of all self storage users are millennials. These tech savvy customers are doing most all of their shopping online, including shopping and communicating with their self storage provider. Millennials are the largest cohort driving the economy, and these digital natives understand the value of automation, whether it is how they shop or how they interact with the facility storing their lifestyle items such as, snowboards, kayaks and beyond.
Industry legal expert Scott Zucker shared the latest legal trends and liabilities that lurk for storage owners under our “New Normal.” More than a few eyes popped at the notion that a lien process that conflicts with state rules and regulations could result in fines so large they put a self-storage owner out of business. In some states, the punitive measures for selling a tenant’s belongings with a defective lien process runs as high as $50,000-$250,000+. No one wants that. Let’s make the self storage lien process easier and less risky.
Lastly, attendees went deep with John Manes of Pinnacle Storage Properties & Shield Storage ( Damon Emerson) on understanding the value of the data a storage facility collects. Measuring those KPIs to optimize your ROI means harnessing the data and using it for insights to improve performance.
Self storage is booming, which makes it the best time to find the tools that exist to automate the harder parts of the business, including effectively executing the lien process. As cap rates decline, operators will want to use artificial intelligence, data analytics and process automation to drive higher performance and higher cap rates.
AI Lean will be at the Self Storage Association’s Spring Conference & Trade Show in Orlando, Florida, March 9-11.You can find us at BOOTH #331. Find our booth by clicking on this link – https://bit.ly/3Ie15Ot. Come check out our dashboard and see how automation can truly make these the best of times for self storage operators.
Congratulations to Amy Amideo and the entire Arizona Self Storage Association’s board of directors on the successful presentation of the AZSA conference at the WeKoPa Casino in Fort McDowell.