The annual fall convention (September 5-7) for the National Self Storage Association, hosted in Las Vegas, NV, was booming with activity this year as a promising line up of panels, discussions, and presenters delivered some of today’s hottest and most debated topics in the self-storage industry. With people in attendance from as close as down the street from the convention hall, to Taiwan and Japan, there was no shortage of spectrum in opinion being brought to the table. Below, in my opinion, is the more notable topic covered during the week and the discussion surrounding it.
Storage Wars and Its Affect on the Self-Storage Industry
Storage Wars, the highest rated show in A&E history with over 5 million viewers, has truly put self-storage on the map. However, the question stands: is this for the betterment or the downfall of the industry? The panel was evenly split in their opinions on the issue and presented arguments for both sides.
Those for the show argued that it was free publicity and that it has made our industry boom as a result. There are more auctions and attendees than ever before and the show positively reflects the players involved.
On the other hand, those against the show very firmly stated, “We are in the self-storage business. Not the auction business” and that it poorly displays how our industry functions as a whole.
I firmly agree that the show, although entertaining, does not project a positive light on our industry and how we operate. In addition to the fact that it does not better our name in anyway, it has also opened up the industry to a slue of problems, including but not limited to most namely: theft. People watch the show and think that there is thousands of dollars worth of items in each unit, which I can assure you is not the case. As a result, break-ins and theft have become a larger than normal concern across the board. Right here in my hometown of Durham, NC there was recently a break-in at a facility that resulted in the theft of over 100 units. Was this a result of shows such as Storage Wars? Maybe, maybe not. This is not to say that this is a normal occurrence, however it has more recently become of topic of concern in the industry.
Will the show be cancelled simply because a lot of owners and operators do not like it? Absolutely not. However, what we can do is better our own facilities and practices to show what a poor portrayal of our industry this show truly is.