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monopoly from sitelink/sparefoot/StorEdge

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  • monopoly from sitelink/sparefoot/StorEdge

    Generally speaking, self storage business was one of the business without monster company control the market. That means each local business can run individually.

    Since these 3 companies were combined to one, then they start to force customers to use their high cost service. sitelink is highest cost of management software, sparefoot charges you 2-5 months rental fees although customer may only stay for one month. I push my google search on top in my area. I also use sparefoot for many years and pay them $500+ each month. You tell them the number of tenants move in each month. But now, they try to push me to use sitelink or storEdge, and then they can monitor your tenants move-in. That may cost me several thousand dollars each month. Actually, most customers find us from google search, and also make a reservation from sparefoot as sparefoot always make reservation for them as long as getting their phone calls. I have to quit from sparefoot because I an not afford several thousand dollars each month for those customers who may still find me from google search without seeing ADs on sparefoot.

    The potential more damages to other storages are, sparefoot may pay google in future, rank the storages which use their services at top.

    Several years ago, there are many storage marketing softwares existing on market, I hope they comes back again!
    Last edited by merry; 12th August 2019, 06:01 PM. Reason: add more

  • #2
    IT's definitely Sparefoot spreading their tentacles into all areas of self storage (like Hydra...yikes) and once they have you hostage-the young guns there say, "Raise all of the costs, they'll pay it to avoid moving."
    When I had all of my ducks in a row-I realized that most of them were not even mine!

    WA State

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KrisinNC View Post
      IT's definitely Sparefoot spreading their tentacles into all areas of self storage (like Hydra...yikes) and once they have you hostage-the young guns there say, "Raise all of the costs, they'll pay it to avoid moving."
      Ok the Hydra comment made me chuckle... It does suck that sparefoot is buying up all the companies, they purchased storsmart recently and I really like them as an insurance offer. Hoping they don't ruin them as they are great to deal with. To Sparefoot it's worth paying some ad fee's to boost their listing over yours on google as they are going to make so much off the location which is from customers who typically would of found you anyways even if you weren't on sparefoot imo. The owner here actually just called and brought up going back on sparefoot as we had a big fallout with them in April and turned it off for all of our sites. WE currently have 29 vacant at our site, all sites are in the 92% or higher range which I think is good but they want them 97%+ :\

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Orkocean View Post

        Ok the Hydra comment made me chuckle... It does suck that sparefoot is buying up all the companies, they purchased storsmart recently and I really like them as an insurance offer. Hoping they don't ruin them as they are great to deal with. To Sparefoot it's worth paying some ad fee's to boost their listing over yours on google as they are going to make so much off the location which is from customers who typically would of found you anyways even if you weren't on sparefoot imo. The owner here actually just called and brought up going back on sparefoot as we had a big fallout with them in April and turned it off for all of our sites. WE currently have 29 vacant at our site, all sites are in the 92% or higher range which I think is good but they want them 97%+ :\
        That's weird! My first boss, who has been self storage for 25+ years, and his dad for 20 before that, and his theory was 90% is ideal, anything above that it's time for a rent increase. He told me that you need spaces to rent-keep the facility turning over.

        When we got up to 97% he patted us on the head and promptly had me raise rents..lol.
        When I had all of my ducks in a row-I realized that most of them were not even mine!

        WA State

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        • #5
          Originally posted by KrisinNC View Post

          That's weird! My first boss, who has been self storage for 25+ years, and his dad for 20 before that, and his theory was 90% is ideal, anything above that it's time for a rent increase. He told me that you need spaces to rent-keep the facility turning over.

          When we got up to 97% he patted us on the head and promptly had me raise rents..lol.
          Yup.. I'm a firm believer in 92% is the "golden" number. That's how I was taught by various higher ups and owners including Barry Hoeven for WEstport when I walked properties with him To me 100% full is a bad thing, either you're not revenue managing your property properly and have too low of prices/no increases or your area has a vast need of more storage. Turning away a customer because you're full will just mean the the next time they need storage they wont even bother checking with you most likely.

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          • #6
            Hi Merry,

            I like to tread lightly on these subjects as a vendor myself, but I don't think it's as much as a "monopoly" to self-storage as some think. We're still flooded with software conversions (in a good way ) and I hear from other vendors that they are doing well themselves.

            As KrisinNC pointed out, sometimes those who aren't happy with their current situation just don't want to go through the hassle of changing out of either fear of having to learn a new software or sometimes as simple as complacency.

            If you didn't catch the 2019 ISS Technology Digital Issue, I would suggest checking out the "Modern Guide to Choosing Facility Software" on page 16. I can't quite place it, but something about that article really resonated with me....

            I actually recommend reading everything, because it's all well written but pertaining to this subject specifically I'm hoping the guide may help. It's completely free to register for the download by the way, so register and read away.

            Regarding your mention of self-storage marketing, it's actually amazing how many options there are available. For example - The Storage Group has a variety of marketing services available including progressive web apps (PWA) along with their online rental tool, Clickandstor 3.0 while Storelocal has an interesting approach with their Global Distribution System (GDS) powered Tenant interface and StorageFront listing services.

            Sorry for the long post, but if any of this information helps in the slightest I'll be happy.
            Kevin Kerr
            Storage Commander Management Software
            k[email protected]
            Direct - 951.867.4732

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            • #7
              I started 18 months ago as a consultant to the absentee owners. They were having issues and needed someone to figure them all out. I did over the course of a month and got things on the right track (vacancy rate from 40% to 2%, all pmts accounted for, etc). They then hired me to run the facility for them. One of the first things I did was research all the software options out there. Because it was a simple operation with no gate and only 200+ units, I went with a simpler software package called 6Storage. I couldn't be happier. It isn't as full featured as the others but it has everything we need now as well a things for down the road (gate codes, credit cards, etc).

              And, no, I am not affiliiated with them in any way. Just passing along the info. :-)

              Matt
              Tonawanda Self Store

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tonaselfstore View Post
                I started 18 months ago as a consultant to the absentee owners. They were having issues and needed someone to figure them all out. I did over the course of a month and got things on the right track (vacancy rate from 40% to 2%, all pmts accounted for, etc). They then hired me to run the facility for them. One of the first things I did was research all the software options out there. Because it was a simple operation with no gate and only 200+ units, I went with a simpler software package called 6Storage. I couldn't be happier. It isn't as full featured as the others but it has everything we need now as well a things for down the road (gate codes, credit cards, etc).

                And, no, I am not affiliiated with them in any way. Just passing along the info. :-)

                Matt
                Tonawanda Self Store
                Nicely done!
                When I had all of my ducks in a row-I realized that most of them were not even mine!

                WA State

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                • #9
                  Following up on this, just wondering if anyone is having success with Sparefoot/Storable Marketplace for renting up a new facility. It makes sense to try and be visible everywhere you possibly can be, especially for a newer facility or expansion, but I do see some of the downfalls:

                  A) sparefoot/storable will likely be able to outspend you on google ads, pushing your ads down OR forcing you to increase budget
                  B) storable SEO most likely better than many privately owned facilities.
                  C) At a fee of 1.5x the monthly rate for the unit rented through their platform, I'm sure you will win on some and lose on others. Could these customers have found you regardless even if you weren't on their platform. Yes.

                  At the end of the day I'm just wondering if using them will be a benefit to my business or not. Risk is obviously inherent with every change you try and make.

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                  • #10
                    I definitely had more rentals with Sparefoot. I was using Storedge as well. A big question to ask each person once the reservation comes in is how long they plan to store for. Each time a Sparefoot reservation rents for 1 month and takes off, you're losing money. I would politely decline those reservations.

                    I don't know how the owner resolved it with Sparefoot since I manage stuff at the site level, but I had a handful of existing customers go and make a reservation for a 2nd unit on Sparefoot. I explained that move-in specials found online are for brand new customers, not returning customers or people looking for an extra space. They still end up renting the unit, but now you have the issue of Sparefoot wanting their referral fee and since they are owned by the same people and have access to your system, I have to assume Sparefoot is going to know who moved in. They also create a duplicate customer account when the make the reservation which is annoying.
                    A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.

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                    • #11
                      feels a little like Stockholm Syndrome. By feeding these aggregators we're hurting our own industry. In the name of possibly increasing occupancy percentage we're giving away a large slice of our income and future viability. Income that we as the business developers, owners and operators have taken all the risk and made all the investment to earn. Aggregators just insert themselves between us and our customers and demand we pay them, then they grow even more powerful by buying up software providers, credit card processors, gate systems, whole portfolios of facilities and integrating them in their scheme and ultimately retard competition in every facet of our business. In the not so distant future, I'm concerned that an independent facility won't be able to survive as these companies consume all the advertising oxygen and choke out the small operators.

                      Reminds me of the drug pusher... "first hit of crack is free!"

                      You won't see me playing ball with those that have my demise in their business plan.

                      Look no further than the hotel industry, they're trying to get out from under the thumb of all the hotel booking sites siphoning off their income and ruining brand reputation. The hoteliers have had to invest more in their own brand and website experience to lure customers back to their own sites. Something our industry should do without learning the same lesson the hard way. If you book a Hilton hotel room with XYZ hotel room aggregator site, and you arrive at the Hilton to find your reservation screwed up, the price wrong and the resort fee not disclosed, who are you mad at? Hilton. The brand (you) takes the hit, not the aggregator. XYZ has booked a thousand other hotel rooms for that night at hundreds of other hotel companies, they don't care about your problem.
                      Last edited by Storman; 20th September 2019, 12:20 AM.
                      In no way affiliated with Storman software.

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                      • #12
                        I believe this will get worse before it gets better.
                        "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                        • #13
                          I enjoyed reading all the various opinions, I actually don't have one to offer but wanted to thank everyone for their ideas and perspectives!

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