We've thoughtfully created three unique education tracks, so you're sure to find exactly what you need. The presentations are designed for self-storage operators of all sizes, management companies, regional managers, site managers, developers and vendors. And new this year, take advantage of not having to choose a track—you'll get to experience them all!

Education Tracks

Development & Acquisitions

Self storage is a robust industry that attracts eager developers and pushes those already in the industry to grow. Join TSSA as it brings you tips and practices to successfully enter the self-storage industry, as well as the tools for determining timing and the best opportunities for expansion. As 2020 has challenged self storage and the world, TSSA will present you with a market and industry checkup to ensure you are armed with the very latest information to help you make the best decisions for your business.

Technology & Innovation

Technology’s presence continues to grow in the self-storage industry; and with 2020’s nudge to implement new online, contactless practices, it is more important than ever to keep pace with innovation. TSSA will show you what is new and on the rise for self storage, while also giving you the tools to determine which technologies work for your business.

Operations, Management & Legal

As self-storage facilities are adapting to new ways of doing business, TSSA not only brings you foundational skills and practices to operate your business, but also brings you methods to ensure your staff is adapting its management and your customers’ experience to the new realities of leasing units. Come learn how you can use tools you already possess to keep new customers coming to your facility, while also satisfying existing ones. This is the perfect track for managers and to jump-start or reinforce staff training.

 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Opening Remarks and Keynote  

Bet on Yourself & You'll Always Win: Overcoming Setbacks
Everyone has faced failure or a significant setback in their lives. It’s what comes next that matters. Keynote speaker Molly Bloom faced a setback most can’t fathom when the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game she ran was the target of a F.B.I. sting. Coming from a family of high achievers and facing humiliation, she could have given up after that devastating turn of events. Instead, she used lessons learned earlier from her father when she became the No. 3 ranked mogul skier in North America, even after major back surgery. Bloom changed her life and went on to write the bestselling memoir, "Molly’s Game," convincing Aaron Sorkin to write the screenplay, for which the film earned an Oscar nomination. In this inspiring talk, Bloom will share her true story and life lessons to explain how betting on yourself in business and life will always lead to a win.

Molly Bloom is an inspirational keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and bestselling author of Molly’s Game. She began her career as a world-class skier, joining the U.S. Ski Team and ranking No. 3 in North America at 21 years old. After setbacks, her Olympic dreams would go unrealized, leading her to what she thought would be a year sabbatical in LA. Bloom was finishing her degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado – Boulder, and in the process of applying to law school when her assistant job turned her into an accidental entrepreneur, running one of the most exclusive, high-stakes underground poker games in the world, pulling in as much as $4 million per year. What happened next is where her story truly begins.

10:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Concurrent Education Sessions

Contactless Rentals – The New Reality?

COVID-19 changed the way we interact with customers and this new way of rentals may be here to stay. Discover how you can use online (or kiosk) rentals to streamline your tenant’s experience and what you need to know to protect your facility from rogue rentals and problematic tenants.
Track: Innovation & Technology

It’s Okay, Karen! Turning Angry Customers Into Believers
Learn easy-to-implement conflict management tips for dealing with difficult customers. Understand how to see past their unruly objections and negative attitudes, empathize with their situation, and turn it into a positive outcome. Carol will share her experiences with difficult customers and techniques for de-escalating heated situations.
Track: Operations, Management and Legal

Joining the Party: Understanding the Risk of Entering the Market Now
There are many considerations to factor in when getting into self storage. You need to look at the good, the bad, and the ugly. Before joining the party, you need to be diligent in determining supply, securing a feasibility study and ultimately, the biggest decision of all, deciding whether to buy or build.
Track: Acquisitions & Development

10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Concurrent Education Sessions

So Much Technology....So Little Money. What Do I Really Need?
Utilize your existing resources to automate daily processes and facility management so you can focus on the customer experience and increase occupancy. This panel will share their insight on the latest in technology automation including tenant billing and management, online rentals, remote facility and unit access, online auctions, and other technology that is innovating self-storage.
Track: Innovation & Technology

When Disaster Strikes: Will You Flounder or Float?
What have we learned from the pandemic? Are you prepared when a crisis hits? From fires and floods to break-ins, you should have a plan in place ahead of time to walk you through a difficult situation. Learn how you can prepare yourself prior to a disaster so you don’t flounder when it’s time to float. The panel will share:

  • How to address common issues following the impact of the crisis or disaster;
  • How to communicate with your staff and tenants to provide a level of comfort;
  • Where your liability ends and your tenant insurance begins;
  • And, how you can rebuild your reputation after recovery.
Track: Operations, Management and Legal

Sunny with a Chance of Rain: What the Economic Forecast has in Store for Self Storage 

What does the future hold? Learn what is happening in the economy and what it means for your self-storage business. Dr. Mark Dotzour will provide an economic overview and highlight what it means for self storage, including the impact of:

  • REITs on independent owners in any industry
  • Population growth in Texas
  • Demographics and spending habits of consumers
  • Interest rates and bond markets
  • Outlook for small business owners
Predicting the future may not be an exact science but anticipating the economic impact to your business can help you prepare for any future.
Track: Acquisitions & Development 

Dr. Mark G. Dotzour is an economist specializing in commercial real estate. He spent 18 years as the Chief Economist of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, and now focuses his time analyzing current economic conditions and advising his clients, which include banks, private equity firms, real estate investment trusts, construction firms, engineering companies, wealth managers, private foundations, and commercial and residential brokerage firms.  


11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Explore the BIGGER Ideas Marketplace

Visit the TSSA Trade Show and explore the products and services in self storage. Visit with the exhibitors live – just like you were at the in-person tradeshow. This is a NEW EXPERIENCE you don’t want to miss.  

 1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.  Main Stage Presentation

 1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.  Concurrent Education Sessions

Amplify the Customer Experience, Starting with Your Website
Does your website offer a user-friendly experience designed to meet your business goals? Learn how you can use simple tools to review analytics that allow you a glimpse of the customer experience and decision-making process. Is your website only for viewing or is it a functional tool? Discover how you can use your website to improve the customer experience and increase your occupancy.
Track: Innovation & Technology

Stop Competing with the REITs and Start Outshining Them
Your marketing budget may not be able to compete with the REITS, but your reputation can. How can you use your customer experience and community impact to have a favorable impact on your occupancy? The panel will discuss proven ways to hack the system and show your value proposition in a competitive market.
Track: Operations, Management, and Legal

Shark Tank Analysis on Buying a Facility: Will the Buyers Bite?
There isn’t a seller’s guide to selling your facility, but we’ve invited a panel of aggressive buyers to share some insight on what stands out to them when seeking new properties. The “sharks” will take a look at properties and offer a hard-hitting analysis that you will not want to miss if you are considering buying or selling a property. They will share tips on what they are looking for now, what you can do to improve your market value, and what factors into their decision to buy.
Track: Acquisitions & Development

 2:00 p.m.- 2:45 p.m. Concurrent Education Sessions

How Not to Fail at Social Media Marketing and Get Your Mother-In-Law (and Your Customers) to Share Your Posts 
Social media continues to grow as a marketing tool. Find out why what you are doing now isn’t getting the results you want and how you can easily implement a few changes to boost your reach. Get ready to revamp your social media strategy and deliver the right message to reach the right audience.
Track: Innovation & Technology

Dr. Steven Vrooman is a Professor of Communication Studies at Texas Lutheran University. He has appeared in documentary films as an expert on popular culture, nerd culture and fandom. He has spoken at TEDx and numerous other conferences and events. He is the author of The Zombie Guide to Public Speaking.

Legal Update with TSSA Legal Counsel Connie Heyer
TSSA legal counsel will give a brief update on the top foreclosure “don’ts” to make sure you stay in compliance and protected, as well as other top legal concerns that are trending in self storage today.

Always one of our most-popular presentations, Connie will leave time to answer a few burning questions from attendees.
Track: Operations, Management, and Legal

Today’s Landscape of the Self-Storage Marketplace
What has changed in buying, developing, and expanding self storage in the current market and in the new era of COVID-19? This panel will provide a 360-degree view from the perspective of a broker, developer, and lender. Key topics will include: how to evaluate a quality investment, avoiding risks, and changes in the lending process, a review of the current state of deal flow and buyer competitiveness.
Track: Acquisitions & Development

2:45 p.m. -  3:15 p.m.  Bigger Ideas Session from the Main Stage

What the Numbers Say Now: Self-Storage Market Performance Indicators
We will share the numbers, but let’s dig into what that means for you. Get ready for a deep dive into the self storage market.

  • How is new development affecting performance?
  • What markets are overbuilt and what markets are showing potential?
  • What is the current rate performance across markets?
  • How is occupancy trending?
  • How has COVID impacted the market?
  • What is the impact of REIT activity?

Managers Corner
Created just for the managers! Use this time to fire your questions away on dealing with...anything! Let’s have a little fun and share our best successes and talk through challenges. You may feel like a lone ranger at times, but not today. Join this open discussion with other managers from across the state.

3:15 p.m. - 4:35 p.m. Round Table Discussions

4:35 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Main Stage Closing Presentation