SSA Fall Show: A Strong Showing and Positive Outlook Bode Well for Self-Storage
It was another record-breaking year for attendance, with 3,352 people showing up for the annual Self Storage Association Fall Conference and Trade Show in Las Vegas.
As usual, Storable had a major presence on the trade show floor. The Storable team had hundreds of conversations with attendees at its booth and there was plenty to talk about.
“In terms of conversations the booth was busy non-stop,” said Laura Kleiner, Storable’s senior director of demand. “We saw a lot of new faces. The crowd really ran the gamut from current customers to new folks who are curious about getting into the industry.”
In addition to all the happenings at the Storable trade show booth, CEO Chuck Gordon delivered a presentation with VP Technology Luke Lenzen and Information Security Director Mark Baldwin about the rising threat of cyberattacks facing the industry. (In case you missed that, check out our previous blog coverage on the topic.)
Asking the right questions
Following the SSA show, one thing that stuck out to Kleiner was the number of new industry entrants looking to build in underdeveloped tertiary markets and rural areas.
“Some folks just have land and a horse, and they are trying to figure out how to make that property into a storage operation,” said Kleiner, adding that many of them are angling to be the first self-storage facility in their area. Others were more seasoned, looking to expand and start building their second or third facility.
Kleiner said many of those exploring the industry were curious about how technology can help make their budding storage enterprises more lucrative.
“The newcomers are asking all the right questions about what they need to get started. A lot of them don’t know what they don’t know, so there is an opportunity for us to be a guiding post for them to anchor to and help them reach their full potential,” Kleiner said.
Kleiner said there are still some stalwarts that are hesitant to go all in on technology, but they are looking into it at the urging of their friends, family and business partners.
“We had some great conversations with those people about things we can offer them like call answering services or tenant protection plans that can add value and make it easier for them to run a facility,” Kleiner said.
Don’t say the ‘I-word’
Another surprising takeaway was the level of enthusiasm within the self-storage industry despite shifting economic trends and rising inflation taking a bite out of consumers’ wallets.
“It was surprising we were not talking about inflation. The “I-word” was not mentioned very often on the floor,” Kleiner said.
Kleiner said most clients had plans for expansion and few, if any, expressed concerns about a stagnating market. More than anything, Kleiner said there was a strong sense of optimism among attendees.
“I’m walking away from the trade show feeling very confident about the future of self-storage, and it being an incredible and resilient industry,” Kleiner said.
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