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Self Storage Owners | Why the Self Storage Association (SSA) is for You

Self Storage Investing is Booming and with over 50,000 self-storage facilities in the U.S. it's not slowing down. This sounds really simple, it turns out to be a safe investment — often better than other kinds of real estate.

Joining the Self Storage Association (SSA) puts you in touch with self storage owners like yourself.

Industry ownership is fragmented, with 18% of facilities owned by the six largest public companies, 8% owned by the next top 100 operators (minus the REITs), and 74% owned by small operators. (Self-Storage Almanac, 2018)

It provides you with networking opportunities, industry knowledge, legal advice, information on self storage products, and a myriad of other resources.

Formed in 1975, the SSA is a not-for-profit organization that serves as the official trade organization for the self storage industry.

The SSA is affiliated with 40 state associations within the U.S. and 9 international organizations, representing 49,000 facilities.

The SSA offers six different membership categories:

  • Small Member
  • Regular Member
  • Prospective Owner
  • International Firm
  • Management Firm
  • Vendor Member

If you’re new to the self storage industry, you’ll want to know about the New Member Operations Package.

The package provides new or renewing members with three publications:

  1. Self Storage Employee Policy Manual 
  2. Guide to Drafting Your Rental Agreement
  3. Self Storage Training and Procedures Manual.

The SSA offers its members numerous tangible and intangible benefits, which are described in more detail below.

Networking Opportunities

The SSA holds yearly conferences in the fall and spring.

These conferences provide numerous opportunities to mix and mingle with storage facility owners and self storage vendors.

The SSA’s popular Executive Ski Workshop provides networking opportunities for high-level peers and access to some of the industry’s top speakers.

Other networking opportunities can be found by joining the Young Leaders Group, the Mid-Sized Owners Group, and the Large Owners Council.

To network with self storage owners in your local area, consider joining one of forty state-level affiliated associations.

Education and Training

The SSA offers numerous educational resources and opportunities—most notably SSA Online University, which offers online education and training for self storage managers and owners.

Offerings include legal webinars and downloadable recordings, videos and presentations from SSA educational sessions.

SSA Online University also provides a Certified Self Storage Managers (CSSM) Certificate course (as well as renewal opportunities).

The SSA is an excellent resource for advancing the professionalism and knowledge of self storage managers.

variety of books and webinars are also available for purchase.

Legal Information and Assistance

One of the SSA’s unique benefits is access to the Self Storage Legal Network (SSLN).

The SSLN offers members exclusive access to a legal hotline.

The service is staffed by two attorneys whose “combined experience in the self storage industry exceeds 50 years.”

For an annual subscription, SSLN members can call or fax their legal questions and receive a response by the next business day.

The SSA also sells publications related to legal issues, including SSLN’s Everyday Business Forms for Self Storage Operators, Answers to the 75 Most Frequently Asked Legal Questions and annotated lien law books for 29 states.

Business Assistance

The SSA offers several programs designed to help self storage businesses, including the SSA Health Insurance Marketplace and the Declutterfy Advertising Campaign.

The health insurance marketplace is a private healthcare exchange for members.

It offers programs in major medical insurance, deductible supplement insurance, dental insurance, short-term medical insurance and pharmacy savings programs.

The Declutterfy program provides SSA members with access to ads that you can use.

Including radio commercials, print ads, and message-on-hold recordings that can be customized to their business at a fraction of the cost for producing an ad independently.

SSA members are also listed in the SSA’s online facility locator and can use the SSA logo on their facility and in marketing materials.

Build credibility with your web traffic by putting the SSA's logo on your website & include it on your marketing materials.

Finally, if you need help finding a facility manager, the SSA offers an online Facility Manager Aptitude eTest.

This test helps owners identify whether potential facility managers are a “good/bad” fit for this all-important position.

Publications

SSA membership includes subscriptions to SSA Globe (a monthly magazine dedicated to all things related to the self storage industry), SSA Monday Globe (a weekly email newsletter), and Self Storage Legal Review (a newsletter published 6 times a year dedicated to legal and legislative issues related to self storage).

The SSA also publishes a blog, which is full of helpful information related to the self storage industry.

Vendor Information

 The SSA helps its members stay up-to-date with the latest products and technology related to self storage with its vendor directory and virtual trade show.

There are numerous product categories, ranging from payment processing to consultants to security to signs and almost anything else you can imagine.

Advocacy

As the voice of the self storage industry, the SSA “has spent millions of dollars influencing over 60 relevant laws, as well as adding specialty licenses for the offering of tenant insurance, and authorizing reasonable late fees, dealing with abandoned records and vehicles, and fighting the imposition of sales taxes on self storage rents in a dozen other states.”

Do you belong to the SSA? What benefits do you find most helpful? Please share in the comments.

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StoragePug is a modern marketing company for self storage. We create intelligent marketing websites that allow you to rent units & take payments through your facilities' website.

About the Author:
Jennifer Pfliegler is a freelance writer for StoragePug. She has been writing and editing for over 15 years.

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