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There’s an App for That

Jul 21, 2011

by Brom Hoban, TSSA Director of Communications

We live in the information age, and we live in changing times. The two are closely linked, and the pace of change accelerates every day. It is both exciting and at times, frightening. Will it mean giving up things we love, and accepting new replacements? Will it be an end to rituals we’re accustomed to?

The answer to those questions is most likely, yes, and yes. And here’s a third question: will changes in media and information delivery affect self-storage? You bet, because when it comes to information, all industries are affected.

I had the privilege to attend a screening of Page One: Inside the New York Times, a documentary about the changing face of media, news, and information delivery. The film was a fascinating inside look at what one of the great new sources of the past few generations is dealing with, in terms of adapting to changing media.

Like other newspapers, The New York Times, a powerful voice in the news industry, has struggled to remain relevant and valuable in this time of non-stop, up-to-the-second tweets, blogs and social media exchanges.

Here’s what I got out of it. The newspaper industry- those professionals paid to research and analyze current events to help provide you with news you can trust and depend on, still do all of the heavy lifting. Much of the new, speedily delivered bits of information you get, whether it shows up on a website, or on a handheld gadget, is “re-purposed” information. That is, someone else did the research and work, and it is being re-used.

Will newspapers as we know them disappear in out lives? Probably. Will books still be printed and published? Less and less. But here’s the good news (pun intended). According to most media pundits, they will drive new creations, and exist in interactive electronic forms. We are already beginning see that in the products and applications that now flood the market, from the iPad to the Nook to smart phones.

Customers currently searching for self storage look first on the Internet. So step one is having a web presence. (Ever try TSSA's free web builder?) And Social media can also play a role in building a customer base. You can find out more about that in TSSA’s upcoming webinar, Using Social Media to Market Your Facility, which will be led by Kenny Pratt on August 24.

If prospective customers are in their cars, they may see your facility while driving by. But it likely won’t be long before they’re able to use their favorite handheld device to shop for self-storage., a real estate website already has an iPhone app that links with GPS to search for available homes in the area you are driving around. So it’s only a matter of time before we see something similar emerge for self-storage facilities.

Looking for self-storage? Won’t be long until you hear: “There’s an app for that.”


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