Round Table Discussions

Monday, October 4 from 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 5 from 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

You'll get to choose a total of six 30-minute peer-led round table discussions. Each day you'll have the opportunity to attend three back-to-back sessions on the top issues facing self-storage operators right now. 

1. Your Facility is Full, Now What?
Mike Gately, Trusted Self Storage Professionals
Review proven revenue management steps—when done each month—that will help owners and managers boost income significantly. Avoid the most common mistakes that cost owners big bucks and create tension with managers.

2. Learning When a Development Makes Sense (Monday)
Andrew Guinn, NitNeil Partners
With a career in acquisitions and development, Guinn has honed his skillset on getting to the heart of any project’s feasibility and using tools to determine whether it’s a go or no-go. Come hear his advice.

2. Open Forum/Crowdsourcing Solutions (Tuesday)
J.D. Blacklock, Blacklock Storage
Last year, J.D. sat in on a table without a topic when attendees showed up, but the facilitator did not. He liked the open exchange so much that he wanted to reprise it. Anything goes (except legal issues, which should be discussed at the lawyer's table on Monday). Otherwise, bring it and join in on the conversation. 

3. Virtual Solutions for Self-Storage Usefulness
Michael Roberts, XPS Solutions
Improving tenant experience is the goal. Discuss virtual solutions for the three components tenants remember most when judging their experience (usefulness, ease of doing business, and enjoyability). Find solutions for finding new tenants and keep them longer.

4. How to Choose the Right Contractor for Your Project
Nicholas Bergmann, Capco General Contracting
A well-built facility will positively impact the long-term success of your business. When it comes to hiring the right construction team, there are many factors you will want to consider beyond simply comparing price. Find out what those factors are.

5. When is the Last Time you Updated Your Operations Manual? Where do You Start?
Allicyn Bowley, Self Storage Science
Your operations manual should be a living document. We will discuss how often you should update your operations manual and where to start if you don’t have one.

6. Tax Strategies You Can Bank on to Reduce Rising Taxes
Warren Dazzio, CSSI – Cost Segregation Services
Taxes go up! Learn the best strategies to keep your taxes down. How to expense repairs and maintenance on your facility, the fastest ways to maximize depreciation and reduce taxable income using Section 179 and other strategies to your advantage, even as the federal government considers significant changes.

7. Three Surprising Ways Automation Can Help Your Business
Scott Worden, CallPotential
Technology allows the right action to be delivered at the right time. Identify the top manual repeatable tasks that are prime automation material. Also, how to reduce call volume during peak hours and to increase trust with your customers by leveraging technology.

8. What Makes an Ideal Structure for Conversions: The Inside Scoop (Monday)
Theresa Gallas, Janus International Group
Learn what types of buildings make the best conversions; best height clearances to maximize space available; cost benefits comparing ground-up and conversions; how to control costs and how to create an unmanned conversion in this evolving storage industry.

8. Maximize Revenue with Relocatable Units (Tuesday)
Lisa Maloney and Kim Peterson, Boxwell, Self Storage
Learn about an easy way to implement additional flexible storage space that can be placed virtually anywhere with just a forklift.

9. How to Create and Maintain Relationships with Customers, Even the Difficult Ones (Monday)
JoLea Conn, All *Star Storage
Tips from an experienced site manager on what it takes to create and maintain an excellent business relationship with your customers from Day 1, and how to effectively handle things when customers misbehave.

9. Protecting Your Reputation in Your Community—Best Practices with Maintenance and Mitigating Risk (Tuesday)
Maureen Lee, Xercor Insurance Services, LLC
You spend time and money attracting customers to your facility. Once they sign a lease there are expectations and promises you must fulfill as an operator. You cannot predict the unexpected, but you can prepare for it. Learn more about proactive security and maintenance must dos!

10. Software Conversions (Monday)
Jason Lee, Self Storage Science
When purchasing a property, you will most likely face a property management software conversion. The process can be challenging. How to handle what data transfers, how it transfers, and how to handle incorrect and missing data.

10. The Good, Bad and Ugly of Being Your Own General Contractor for an Expansion (Tuesday)
Jeanne Dube, Solid Ground Storage
Considering an expansion? Would being your own general contractor on an expansion leave you with more money in your pocket, or just a lot less hair in your head? Hear what Jeanne has learned from her facility expansions in a smaller, rural community.

11. Make More Money!
George McCanse, Providence
Many parts of the Texas market are at or near 100% occupancy. It’s a great time to achieve revenue maximization. But how? Learn strategies for making more money and stop thinking that maintaining 100% occupancy represents success.

12. Running the Numbers: Why Avoiding an Audit is so Dangerous
Megan Dybowski, Trusted Self Storage Professionals
Megan shares the things that facility owners may not want to hear but should if they want to avoid employee theft and other crushing situations. Learn what a typical audit involves and whether you can complete it yourself or not.

13. Top Self-Storage Marketing Myths that Hurt Your ROI
Cameron Urry, OpenTech Alliance
Digital marketing is one of the best ways to get measurable results for your brand, but also one of the most challenging. It can lead to serious ROI, but only when implemented with finesse. Learn the top marketing-related myths that prevent storage operators from maximizing their investment.

14. RV Boom—Big Toys Need Big Protection
Tony Naccarato, Tenant Property Protection
Discover the benefits of a protection plan to both the tenants and the property owner. The value of having a protection program in place is a winning ingredient for the RV storage sector.

15. Strategic Financing
Dana Deason, Deason Financial
This session will touch on the common financing markets for self storage and go in-depth on strategies within these options to increase return on investment and reduce risk to the borrower. The importance of selecting the right lender as well as note and loan document negotiating strategies and other financing tips will be addressed.

16. Ask the HR Expert (Monday)
Tonia Morris, Simply HR, Inc.
Ask any human resources question of HR expert Tonia Morris. One of our featured speakers, Tonia is staying around to cover her top HR tips. Whether it is how to hire now or what is out of bounds in 2021, ask away!

16. How to Attract the Millennial Customer (Tuesday)
Carly Castillo, U-Haul
Market your facility to millennial customers by offering key services and then turn them into long-term customers! Find out how millennials are different from the rest of your potential customers.

17. Ask the Attorney (Monday)
Cathleen Slack, Rigby Slack
Do you have burning legal questions? Is there a situation you are dealing with that would be good for other members to learn about? Now is your chance to sit down with TSSA’s attorney and ask away!

17. How to Hire Onsite Staff in Today’s Challenging Environment (Tuesday)
Daniel Higuera, Storage Star
Everyone knows that hiring the right site staff can make or break a facility’s success. Come learn tips about how to do it right, especially right now.

18. Dynamic Rate Management (Monday)
James Renouf, Storable
In today’s competitive market, operators and owners must investigate other ways to optimize their business. In this session, we will share ideas about how to increase your revenue when occupancy is high, when to raise rates, what data points to consider and more...

18. Meeting the Digital Demands of Today’s Tenant (Tuesday)
Mallory Phillips, Storable
This discussion will offer a profile of today’s post-COVID self-storage tenant, an overview of the tenant-facing technology tools they’ve come to expect, a look at the push towards mobile technology and a scorecard to rate your facility’s self-service tools.

19. Becoming a Pro at Handling Customer Complaints, Even After Rate Increases
Raheem Amer, Devon Self Storage
Learn this four-step process for handling any customer complaint, no matter what it involves (including their second rate increase this year). Learn Devon’s tested methodology for real-life scenarios to keep both customers and managers happy.

20. Smart Units—How to Engage the Connected Lifestyle and Drive Higher Revenue
Mark Cieri, StorageDefender
Discuss how customer familiarity with smart home technology translates into higher expectations for peace of mind and convenience. Offering storage units with smart technology involves recognizing your tenants’ desire for a connected lifestyle. We will relate statistics to experiences and discuss practical enhancements to unit monitoring and access control.

21. Getting Started in the Self-Storage Business
Hubbard Kennady, A&M Super Storage
A long-time self-storage owner/operator shares his experiences and what he has learned in decades of ownership. He will share what he wishes he knew getting started.

22. The Pandemic’s Effect on the Cost of Construction (Monday)
Jay Dorsey, Triad Construction
As we emerge from over a year of uncertainty due to the pandemic, stakeholders in the self-storage industry are encouraged by continued growth and decreases in COVID-19 cases around the country. The concern is that the rising costs of commodities such as steel, concrete, and lumber, as well as a labor shortage will stifle new growth.

22. Kicking Construction into High Gear—Tips and Tricks to Accelerate the Self-Storage Construction Process (Tuesday)
Clay Cullins, Storage Structures, Inc.
A candid discussion on the latest construction and techniques and products that speed up the construction process and let you start renting units faster.

23. Leveraging “Near Me” Searches
Cory Young, Easy Storage Solutions
“Near me” searches are continuously on the rise. In the past two years, “___ near me now” (ex: gas station near me now) searches have grown 150%. Learn SEO tactics you can use to optimize your local presence.