We’ve seen plenty of change in the self-storage industry in the past decade. New technology streamlines the storage process for millions of consumers every year. TV shows like “Storage Wars” and “Hoarders” are solidifying the industry’s place in American lives. Self-storage is becoming modern, relevant and—dare I say it—cool. And it’s happening before our very eyes.
So how do we, the diligent storage professionals, stay current in such a rapidly changing climate? By banding together, collaborating on new ideas and inspiring one another.
This is the mission behind #Storchat, the Twitter-based self-storage discussion forum. Every Wednesday, #Storchat hosts Matt Stites (@SpareFoot), Darlene McDonagh (@ULockNanaimo) and Robert Madsen (@storagemadman) welcome any and all self-storage professionals to log on to Twitter to discuss topics ranging from LEED certification and seasonal discounts, to the ethics and logistics behind allowing the iPhone’s Siri to watch the desk while the manager steps out.
#Storchat has gained a loyal following since its start in 2011 and looks to continue its growth into 2014. With #Storchat being hosted on the SelfStorage.com blog, entry is easy—participants use their Twitter accounts to share and post using the hashtag #Storchat. As long as the hashtag is included in a tweet, it’ll show up in the chat.
We have a lot of positive response from our referral program!! #storchat
— Darlene McDonagh (@ULockNanaimo) October 16, 2013
In addition to chatting with industry peers, #Storchat brings in industry authorities for special Q&A sessions on important topics. In the past year, we’ve had the pleasure of talking with Anne Ballard of Universal Storage Group, self-storage legal mind Jeff Greenberger, Karen Jones from cancer research foundation Kure It and many others.
“The discussions at #Storchat are so beneficial because it is all hands-on experience talking,” said Sue Haviland, owner of Haviland Storage Services and a partner at consulting firm Self Storage 101. After being a #Storchat guest this summer, she participating again on Nov. 13.
“You get great topics, with real ‘been there, done that’ questions and answers,” Haviland said.
#Storchat is the perfect resource for those who like to take their information in memorable, bite-size chunks. Take this tweet from recent guest Carol Krendl, who participated via the @Skilcheck account in a discussion about practical, effective down-season promotions.
My theory is people are storing their own “junk”, they don’t need more. #storchat
— SkilCheck Services (@SkilCheck) October 16, 2013
#Storchat is more than a great source of hands-on advice. It’s also a supportive environment for those who are still getting their wings, as it were, on Twitter. Karen Jones, director at cancer research foundation Kure It and a previous #Storchat guest, was impressed by the enthusiasm and support from all participants.
“I loved how involved everyone got–asking questions, sharing ideas, really engaging,” Jones said.
But there was an added benefit that has led Jones to agree to a repeat performance in December.
“Really, my favorite part was to be active on a Twitter chat and feel hip and social media-savvy,” she said.
It’s been a fun year for #Storchat, and things are only getting better for this growing Twitter community. Our 2014 calendar is filling up with exciting new topics and high-profile guest speakers, and we invite you to join this fun, friendly group of tweeters. For more information about #Storchat, including upcoming topics and a detailed guide to participating, visit blog.selfstorage.com/storchat.