Heron Group - Self Storage Management, Consulting, Training

 

Self Storage know-how worth bragging about

At The Heron Group, we understand that each market, neighborhood, and property is different. Our third party management group can customize an efficient, profitable plan that will enhance your self storage facility’s bottom line. Through continual evaluation and training, we provide the guidance that will allow your facility to perform at peak efficiency.

Builds, buys & improvements

This is where The Heron Group really excels beyond competing management solutions. With 35 years of proven real estate experience, we understand what it takes to achieve superior results in self storage, and how to turn those results into tangible and sustainable benefits. In fact, we’re such an esteemed repository of data that financiers come to us for information about industry trends.

For example, we recognize that in the current landscape, occupying existing locations is a better bet than building. Recent years have changed the way we value things, and thanks to a struggling economy, a lot of owners and operators are under stress. We can help alleviate that stress.

Our services range from feasibility studies to investments to exit strategies. When you’re ready to consider building your first facility, buying another facility, or selling a facility, we are here to walk you through the process successfully. Our studies and reviews are easily converted into a real estate and/or management plan that allows you to take charge and achieve profitability in the shortest possible time.

Here are some of the issues we can help you understand and evaluate:

  • Competitive landscape
  • Market size and potential demand in the surround communities
  • Demographic trends in the market area
  • Find the right investors, brokers, underwriting on acquisition
  • Marketing and property management challenges
  • Probability of meeting investment objectives
  • Unit amenities worth considering (Climate control, security, etc)
  • Unit mix (Sizes, covered vehicle space, etc)
  • Building within projected cost
  • Facility condition, appearance, curb appeal
  • Control or reduce facility expenses, e.g. through bulk purchase
  • Real estate tax process and estate planning

 

Staffing & training

The self storage market is pretty challenging these days—and it doesn’t look like it will get easier any time soon. With consumers unaware of the diversity among facilities, the difference between a thriving business and a floundering one is largely in the hands of the person behind the counter.

  • Personnel selection, evaluation, drug testing, credit checks
  • Open lines of communication
  • Facility policies and procedures
  • Customer service and follow-up
  • Phone skills
  • Incentives
  • Renting and vacating units
  • Understanding the rental agreement and legalities
  • Reporting
  • Collections
  • Site maintenance
  • Technology training (management software, gates, kiosks, etc)
  • Web-based marketing systems and analytics
  • Security
  • Ongoing analysis (e.g. secret shopping) and updates

 

Finances, technology & reporting

Our biggest priority in third-party self storage management is improving your bottom line. Your revenues, expenses and return on investment should be in line with your expectations as well as with top players in the market. To those ends, we facilitate a comprehensive business plan for increasing revenue and decreasing expenses where possible and appropriate at your site.

That plan is important, but what’s even more important is implementation, tracking and reporting. Our proven track record, attention to detail, and strong relationships in the self storage industry (see “Our People”) all serve to support business setup and performance.

We also understand today’s technology. Our awareness of everything that’s available on the market today – as well as the pros and cons of integration – help us to determine effective and efficient ways to manage self storage operations with technological support. We don’t implement technology for technology’s sake—there has to be perceived benefit to your wallet.

The Heron Group covers the full spectrum of strategies needed to boost a bottom line including finance and operations:

  • Site inspections and audits
  • Employee supervision
  • Service and repair negotiations
  • Collections
  • Tracking and reporting
  • Realistic projections
  • Annual budgeting
  • Rate, fee and expense management
  • Bookkeeping

 

Marketing & merchandising

Operators today face intense competition, increasing expenses and shifting consumer demand. That’s why marketing is more important than ever to the self storage business. Unfortunately, marketing itself is growing more complicated, thanks to the burgeoning popularity of the web for everything from shopping to socializing. And the web never stops changing. Just trying to keep up with trends is tough.

The good news: Our group is known for more than real estate sense and operations acumen. When it comes to marketing, we’re pretty savvy. As third-party managers, we assist in facility marketing and promotion (both traditional and digital)—from fund allocation to strategies for capturing renters

We address topics such as the importance of tracking marketing efforts, converting leads to customers, using social media, direct email campaigns, print and online directories, localized tactics, even hosting community events. In one notable case, we drove a client’s site to 80,000 web visits per month! pharmacy online

We facilitate the full meal deal of marketing, merchandising, and uncovering hidden profit centers:

  • Budget management
  • Strategic alliances with area businesses
  • Referral programs
  • Website development and maintenance
  • Search marketing and optimization
  • Web marketing and directories
  • Results tracking and analysis
  • Determining late fees
  • Selling ancillary merchandise
  • Administrative fees
  • Discounts and specials to avoid losses
  • Print and sign design
  • Referral programs