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California Self Storage Association

The Latest Industry News

With the daunting amount of news and information coming at you constantly it is impossible for any one person to keep up. Our team curates and alerts you to the "must have” information to ensure you are in the know. Having relevant, current information helps you to make the best decisions possible.

  • Tuesday, September 16, 2014 2:08 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    By Tim Schlee

    September 16, 2014

    Westwood, KS – Nova Storage has joined with web marketing firm StorageAhead to launch a new and innovative website. The locally owned, Los Angeles-based storage vendor hopes to increase visibility across the web and better serve its customers in a highly competitive and concentrated market.

    Director of Operations Kelly Hanna wanted a high degree of functionality without sacrificing simplicity and ease of use. "StorageAhead offers a forward-thinking look and feel,” he said. "They are on the cutting edge of technology, and their many years of expertise in the field allows us to be better at our job, which is to draw in more customers and to rent spaces.”

    Nova Storage is one of many recent additions to StorageAhead’s WebWorks platform. The Westwood, KS-based web marketing company focuses its efforts on the self storage industry, building dynamic and individualized websites. What drew Nova Storage, said Hanna, was the adaptive design, management software integration, geolocation, and the potential for improved lead generation.

    "We’re competing against the big boys,” Hanna said. "By using StorageAhead, we can compete with the major brands by exploiting the same technology they use.” The responsiveness of the new website will allow Nova Storage to be more adaptable to the market and to adjust prices, specials, and features at the same pace that larger storage providers enjoy.

    An improved online presence is not the only plan in store for Nova Properties. "We want to buy more facilities in the area,” said Hanna. He stressed the convenience of having locations that are close together, providing the opportunity to move a customer from one location to another based upon availability. "The south L.A. facilities are all within a 15-minute drive of each other,” he said. In partnering with StorageAhead, he hopes Nova Storage will continue to grow and achieve even greater market penetration in an area dense with self storage facilities.

    About Nova Properties

    Founded in 1979, Nova Storage owns and manages eight self storage facilities in Los Angeles County.Nova Storage is actively looking to grow its portfolio through acquisitions and partnerships. For more information, visit NovaStorage.com.

    About StorageAhead

    StorageAhead offers the most comprehensive web technology for the self storage industry. We give your business the competitive edge by providing the tools you need to boost your rentals and maximize your profits. With our personalized marketing websites, lead-generating search engines, and business management software, our professional team is dedicated to your brand. Together, our experience in online marketing and our knowledge of the industry is what makes our technologies – and your self storage facility – succeed.

  • Monday, September 15, 2014 2:09 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    It is a necessary, and sometimes bothersome, element of running any business -- forms. You love them and hate them, but you need them. The California Self Storage Association (CSSA) is actively working to help meet the needs that self storage owner/operators have for forms. The good news is that the CSSA has put together a packet of New Hire Forms and the better news is that they are free to CSSA members in good standing! Not a member? Membership fees start at only $250, and provide access to this product and other forms absolutely free!

    This new member benefit from the CSSA is one that executive director Erin King is particularly pleased about. "We consider it a top priority to consistently provide new benefits for our CSSA members and we certainly hope that all of our members take advantage of this free offering,” says King. "We will continue to find ways to help our members and make the CSSA the best state association in America.”

    An overview of the New Hire Forms Packet can be found on the CSSA’s online store, but a quick look at the breakdown of what the packet includes is outlined below.

    1. NEW HIRE CHECKLIST: Overview of packet contents and new hire process.
    2. EMPLOYMENT APPLICATION: Customizable standard employment application template.
    3. SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: For Property Manager.
    4. SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:  For Operational Associate and Cleaning Personnel.
    5. FAIR INTERVIEWING PRACTICES: Outlines standard Fair Interviewing practices and questions to avoid during the interview process.
    6. PERSONNEL NEW HIRE FORM: Used to document new hire personal contact, emergency contact and employment information.
    7. W-4 FORM: For employee/employer use to calculate new hire Federal Tax with-holdings.
    8. I-9 FORM & INSTRUCTIONS: This is a required document for ALL new hires. It includes step-by-step instructions on how to complete the applicable forms of documentation as part of the Employee Verification process.
    9. DIRECT DEPOSIT AUTHORIZATION FORM: An optional form to be completed by employee if they opt to have their paycheck directly deposited into their current financial institution.

    This packet is available for direct download at absolutely no additional cost and is inclusive of all documents needed to hire a new full-time Self Storage employee (outlined above). Please note that applicable forms are customizable to include your company's logo and address.  Please keep in mind that the CSSA always recommends that you have an attorney review your forms prior to use especially if you make any changes or additions.

    VISIT THE CSSA STORE NOW TO LEARN MORE OR DOWNLOAD TODAY! http://www.californiaselfstorage.org/store/view_product.asp?id=3383970


  • Thursday, September 11, 2014 2:09 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    Leading provider of technology solutions for self storage facilities expands management team in anticipation of hyper growth

    Westwood, KS – StorageAhead, a wholly owned subsidiary of Red Nova Labs and leading provider of technology solutions for the self storage industry, announced on September 10, 2014 that Dirk Wakeham will join the company as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of its Board of Directors.

    Wakeham has spent the last 20 years leading technology-enabled service companies focused on real estate. He brings to StorageAhead a leadership style that is driven by fanatical customer focus, strategic innovation, and a passionate articulation of a bold future for StorageAhead and the self storage industry. Wakeham previously served as President of RealPage (NASDAQ: RP), a leading provider of SaaS solutions for the rental housing industry. During his five years at RealPage, he led key aspects of the business, gaining a reputation as a trusted and collaborative leader and taking the business to more than $300 million in revenue with more than 2,000 people worldwide.

    Prior to RealPage, Wakeham was Founder and CEO of LeasingDesk, a provider of risk mitigation solutions for rental housing. LeasingDesk was acquired by RealPage in April 2007. Wakeham founded LeasingDesk in 2000 after a 14-year career at Western National Group, a diversified apartment investment, management, and development firm in Irvine, California.

    According to Dan Miller, Founder and President of StorageAhead, "Dirk brings a strong record of product leadership, enterprise SaaS experience, and an excellent understanding of the needs of our industry. We share a common vision of delivering the first comprehensive cloud-based marketing automation, point of sale, and facility management platform for self storage brands of all sizes.”

    "I’m excited to be joining StorageAhead at this point in the company’s lifecycle,” said Wakeham. "StorageAhead has quickly become the leader in websites and digital marketing solutions for self storage. I look forward to bringing the company to the next level and addressing the full platform of needs of all store owners, both large and small. After reviewing nearly every technology solution in the industry, I concluded there was a major void, with StorageAhead closest to filling that void, to deliver a 100% cloud-based SaaS solution that helps customers drive more leads, reduce customer acquisition cost, and improve operational efficiency. I am happy to be part of the team and to be working with Dan to see through his vision of an integrated and comprehensive self storage platform.”


    StorageAhead, a wholly owned subsidiary of Red Nova Labs, offers the most comprehensive web technology for the self storage industry. We give your business the competitive edge by providing the tools you need to boost your rentals and maximize your profits. With our personalized marketing websites, lead-generating search engines, and property management software, our professional team is dedicated to your brand. Together, our experience in online marketing and our knowledge of the industry is what makes our technologies – and your storage facility – succeed.

    (913) 954-4110

    Katelyn Wyss (kwyss@storageahead.com)

  • Monday, August 04, 2014 2:09 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    The estimable Mark Twain once said, “It is better to deserve honors and not have them, than to have them and not deserve them.” Of course, Mr. Twain left out the notion about how sweet it is to get an honor that you do, indeed, deserve. Such is the case for the California Self Storage Association, which won the Best State Association category in the 2014 Inside Self-Storage readers poll. It represents the third time in the last four years that the CSSA has won the award.

    The ISS Best of Business Awards, announced August 1, includes 35 winners who will be highlighted in the November print edition of ISS magazine. All the winners will be honored with a commemorative trophy at the Inside Self-Storage World Expo in Las Vegas, April 7-9, 2015.

    The California Self Storage Association also won the award in 2011 and 2012 (with the Texas Self Storage Association claiming the award in 2013). That sort of recognition sits well with CSSA executive director Erin King.

    “While we work hard to help our members and the self storage industry, we don’t do so with the idea that we will be receiving awards,” King said. “Our goal is to be the best state association that we can be and get better with each passing year. That being said, we are so appreciative to having again been voted this award by ISS readers. Many thanks to them for this wonderful recognition.”

    The CSSA is among the most active and involved state associations in the country. It’s efforts to gain favorable self storage legislation, to educate its members on the latest trends in the industry and to hold special gatherings from one end of California to the other contribute to its reputation as one of the best state associations in the USA.

    “We like to think we are doing a good job and awards like this from the ISS help reinforce our energy and efforts to top whatever we’ve done before,” added King. “I can assure you that we’ll keep operating at a high level of energy and commitment, whether we win awards or not.”

    Mark Twain would be proud.

  • Monday, July 21, 2014 2:10 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    Cautiously optimistic. That might be the best way to describe CSSA officials as they try to maneuver Bill AB 983 through the 2014 session of the California Legislature.

    Last summer, when the California Senate Judiciary Committee decided not to let bill AB 983 move forward, it caught CSSA officials and members by surprise. The bill, intended to help self storage operators dealing with lien laws, made a positive move recently when it passed the same Judiciary Committee by a 7-0 vote and is now on the Senate floor. The California Legislature reconvenes on August 4 and the session closes on August 31.

    Nonetheless, it appears that the Assembly Judiciary has some concerns with the e-mail amendment and CSSA lobbyist Randy Pollack hopes to assuage those concerns come August 4.

    “AB 983 is on the Senate floor,” said Pollack. “Once it passes, it needs to go back to the Assembly for a concurrence vote. However, the Assembly Judiciary Committee informed Assembly Member Melendez' staff that they have concerns with the e-mail provision and would like to discuss the bill with us. We will be meeting with the Chair of the Judiciary Committee   when the legislature reconvenes on August 4th.”

    “The Assembly Judiciary Committee's ‘concern’ could prove to be a  problem,” said Carlos Kaslow, General Council for the national Self Storage Association (SSA). “We deleted the right to send lien notices when the bill was in the Assembly Judiciary Committee last year and they may wonder why it's back. The revised right to send notice by e-mail is very occupant friendly and much more protective than the language deleted from the version introduced in the Assembly.” 

    Kaslow said that to use e-mail to send lien notices the operator must do the following:

    1.     The rental agreement must contain a notice in bold type notifying the tenant that lien notices may be sent by e-mail

    2.     The occupant's provide consent before the owner may send notices by this method.   

    3.     When sending the Notice of Lien Sale the owner must get a receipt that confirms that it was delivered to the tenant's e-mail address.  [There are private companies that can provide the required receipt.  One of the largest is RPost which is based in Los Angeles.] 

    4.     The owner must provide the occupant with the email address from which notices will be sent.

    “We hope that when the protections are explained the Assembly Judiciary Committees their concerns will be satisfied,” added Kaslow. “However, an explanation may not make any difference if the Committee  thinks that the storage industry and the Senate has ignored its views on this issue. Making our case to the Committee is what the lobbyist gets paid for and we hope that Randy is successful in his discussions. 



  • Tuesday, July 01, 2014 2:10 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    Three is considered the most magical of all numbers, as evidenced by its use in religion (Holy Trinity), fairy tales (Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears) and quotes (Third Time’s the Charm). In the case of self storage, one might say that three heads are better than one as the Arizona Self Storage Association (AZSA), California Self Storage Association (CSSA), and Nevada Self Storage Association (NVSSA) will be combining forces to host the "Meet Us at the River” initial Tri-State Self Storage Conference, October 16-17, at The Golden Nugget in Laughlin, Nevada.

    The event will feature top national speakers like Jeff Greenberger, Esq. (SelfStorageLegal.com) and Carol Krendl (Owner, SkilCheck Services); round table sessions (led by groups like Chateau, U-Haul, OpenTech Alliance, StorageAhead, MiniCo, Mini-Storage Messenger, and more); breakout sessions for each state association and, of course, networking possibilities galore. Bob Hayworth (CEO, Baja Construction) will do a breakoutsession on solar and boat/RVstorage. The conference begins on October 16 from 5 – 7:30 with check-in and networking as well as an opportunity for attendees to meet their respective board members.

    Laughlin sits on the Colorado River where the three states come together. This is the first time that the AZSA, CSSA, and NVSSA have come together and the three associations are pleased to be able to offer quality content as well as great networking possibilities. And to add to the excitement, a raffle will be held for two great seats for the Toby Keith concert at The Golden Nugget on October 18, which will likely be a sellout.

    The convergence of the three states is exciting news for the director of each state association.

    "We are so thrilled to be part of this event with the AZSA and NVSSA,” said Erin King, the CSSA’s Executive Director. "To be able to bring the three states together for meaningful educational sessions as well as an opportunity to network on a grander scale is really terrific. Owners and managers in the surrounding areas should not miss it! Not only members are welcome as we also hope to meet many new people.And, of course, we fully expect to have lots of fun!”

    "The Nevada Self Storage Association is committed to growing membership and supporting the needs of the self storage industry in Nevada,” added Michelle Watson, president of the NVSSA. "We hold education events in Las Vegas or north in Reno but this will be the first educational event located in the southern most part of our state. A different type of learning experience can happen when there is true collaboration, which is one of the reasons we agreed to get involved when Erin King of the CSSA approached us with this idea.”

    "I believe that the Tri-State Conference will ultimately be seen as a great example of true collaboration! Working closely with our neighbors in California and Arizona we are able to bring the educational venue to the river in Laughlin, Nevada. Planning the event so that the information presented is relevant and timely to the ownership base in this region has happened almost seamlessly. We are very excited to be involved and look forward to working with our neighbors now and for years to come.”

    "Great self storage educational and networking opportunities are hard to come by and often far away, especially for businesses located outside of the largest cities,” said AZSA Executive Director Anne Mari DeCoster. "That's why the state self storage associations of Arizona, California & Nevada are enthusiastic about our first venture together: ‘Meet Us at the River' is a full day conference designed specifically to meet the needs of self storage, RV and boat storage businesses along the Upper Colorado River and nearby areas in Arizona, California, and Nevada. We will focus on the operational, management, legal, investment and financial challenges you face in providing self-storage and boat/vehicle/RV storage in your area.”

    The good news continues with the low registration fee of only $99.00 and rates at The Golden Nugget start at $34.99 per night. *Don't forget to mention the code "GCSSA14” when booking your room*

    REGISTER NOW BY VISITING - http://www.californiaselfstorage.org/event/tri_state_conference

    For more information, contact each state director – AZSA Anne Mari DeCoster (azsahq@gmail.com), CSSA Erin King (erin.king@cssaweb.com), or NVSSA Michelle Watson (watsonselfstorage@gmail.com).



    Arizona Self Storage Association

    Founded in 1996, the Arizona Self-Storage Association was created to strengthen the self-storage industry in Arizona, promote professional standards and quality, and present a unified voice on issues affecting the industry in the state and in its communities. AZSA continues that mission today with more than 550 facility and vendor members.

    Anne Mari Decoster, Executive Director

    PO Box 44031

    Phoenix, AZ 85064

    Ph: 602-374-7184




    California Self Storage Association

    The California Self Storage Association (CSSA) is the Non-Profit Trade Association for the Self Storage Industry in the State of California. For more than 10 years the Association has served as the official trade organization and voice of the Californian self storage industry. The association is quite active in representation of the industry before state legislative and regulatory bodies.

    Erin King - Executive Director

    4000 MacArthur Blvd., EAST TOWER Suite 600 Newport Beach, CA 92660

    Ph: (949) 783-4130




    Nevada Self Storage Association

    The Nevada Self Storage Association is managed by the Executive Director, Katrina Bruce under the guidance of the all-volunteer Board of Directors who all are actively involved in the industry as owners, managers and vendors. The Board of Directors represents the interests not only of the large multi-site operators but also the smaller single site operator.

    Michelle Watson – President

    P.O. Box 94795

    Las Vegas, NV 89193

    Ph: 480.326.9520



  • Monday, June 09, 2014 2:10 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    She started out as a bookkeeper with little or no knowledge of the self storage industry. She met a person who also was a newcomer to the industry but wanted to give self storage a try and asked her to manager his first facility. And now, 10 years later, Cathy Soria has come to enjoy the self storage business the same way that visitors to San Francisco come to love her city. And Arco’s Self Storage has taken off, acquiring five properties in the last year alone.

    As an outsider to the self storage industry, Soria not only had to learn the ins and outs of running a self storage facility, but also the psychological aspects of dealing with customers and their needs. It was a major lifestyle shift from 20 years as a bookkeeper.

    "After meeting Emilio Arco before he opened his first store and getting to know him and hearing about his new business of self storage, I was quite intrigued,” says Soria. "He, too, was changing industries after 20 years and he asked me come on board and manage the still-to-be-built property in South San Francisco. It was quite a change from just crunching numbers all day since I had never been in a retail/customer service position. I had always lived behind the scenes of companies, just me and my calculator.”

    What started with 200 units and a dream has grown, thanks tohard work and many long days, into a self storage business that has continued to grow and expand on a yearly basis. When discussing some of the keys to success for Arco’s Self Storage, Soria actually feels her time working outside of self storage has helped both she and Emilio empathize with the customer.

    "We pride ourselves on our customer service and never forgetting what it was like to be on the other side of the counter,” Soria says. "Too many times I think that people start a business and they forget the little things that really make a difference to your customers. Besides our properties being secure, extremely clean and competitively priced, we always make sure that our restrooms are clean, we write Thank You cards to all new tenants, we have hot coffee and cold water in the office, and we even send out birthday cards!”

    And what sort of customer stories does she have to tell?

    "Overall there are many happy stories of marriage, babies and travels.There are always the sad stories of divorce and death, too.I receive lovely gifts from customers when they return from their travels around the world.It always touches my heart that they think of me so far from home.I’ve seen kids grow up, wine collections grow, and people come back and rent years later and I love to see their smile when they walk in the door especially when I remember their name!”

    As you might imagine, learning the ropes about self storage involved finding the right places and times to ask questions and network. And that is where her association with the CSSA has proved helpful.

    "The CSSA is invaluable for any storage facility, owner and manager,” adds Soria. "They are always the first place to start when you need something or have a question. Erin always makes herself available and the CSSA offers many classes and networking gatherings.They are always worth attending.”

    As you might imagine, Soria has a special place in her heart for good causes and Arco’s Self Storage works with many local and national charities, including the local fire department for the Toys for Tots Program, Rebuild Together and The American Cancer Society.

    And her philosophy for being a successful self storage business also reflects the fact that she came into the industry as an outsider.

    "Always think of your customers and what would make them happy!”

    Which goes to show that even a bookkeeper of 20 years can find happiness in self storage, too.


  • Thursday, May 15, 2014 2:11 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    When anyone celebrates a 10th anniversary, it is a big deal. In the case of the California Self Storage Association, celebrating the 10th annual Owner’s Summit on July 17 at the Balboa Bay Club & Resort in Newport Beach is a VERY big deal! Thanks to the generous support and involvement of Talonvest Capital, a great lineup of speakers and panels will once again demonstrate why the CSSA Owner’s Summit is one of the most highly anticipated self storage events of the year in California.

    It starts with a top-notch keynote speaker in Neel Kashkari, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury whose topic is “Lessons Learned from Public Service and the Private Investment World.” Kashkari is a 2014 Republican candidate for Governor of California, who also raised capital to help Silicon Valley entrepreneurs grow their companies at the San Francisco office of Goldman Sachs and led the Equities Group at PIMCO.

    The panels and presentations at this year’s gathering will also include: (1) Private Owner CEO Panel – topics covered to include Value-add Acquisitions Completed in 2014, Increasing Cost of Customer Acquisitions Due to Online Bookings ,and Effective Growth Strategies for Small to Large Operators for 2014 and Beyond; (2) a Split Roll Proposition 13 presentation; and (3) a Developments and Construction Panel.

    Of course, it wouldn’t be a CSSA gathering without great networking opportunities, a cocktail party and the opportunity to support Kure It Cancer Research at a special event following the cocktail party. It is also worth noting that this year’s Owner’s Summit will be starting earlier than usual (10:30 a.m.).

    “The Owner’s Summit has become one of our most anticipated events every year,” said Erin King, Executive Director of the CSSA. “Even after nine highly successful recent gatherings, we realize that we need to keep upping the ante and making it better. We think the 2014 version will be our best yet. Many thanks to Talonvest and Jim Davies for helping to pull so many parts of the presentation together.”

    The event has been a sellout in recent years, so those interested in attending may want to act quickly. Early Bird rates of $225 for owner/members are in effect until May 30, after which time the regular registration rate of $275 is in effect. The Early Bird rate of $525 is in effect for vendors/members until May 30 and then goes to $550. For those wishing to stay at the Balboa Bay Club and Resort, there is an exclusive discounted rate of $220 per night. The phone number for Balboa Bay is 888-894-2788 or you can book online at the Balboa Bay website, which is balboabayresort.com.

    For more information about the 10th annual Owner’s Summit, please visit the CSSA website at californiaselfstorage.org or call the CSSA office at 949-783-4130.

  • Thursday, May 01, 2014 2:11 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    Education may be the single greatest weapon in the battle to be the best at anything in life. The more you know, the more you can accomplish. Certainly, in self storage, the ability to learn about all aspects of the business – the latest trends, how to market your company, how to deal with customers, what the latest laws are – can go a long way toward making your business even more successful. The California Self Storage Association (CSSA) is singularly dedicated toward helping its members in every fashion, so it comes as no surprise that a new program offering CSSA members free webinars goes into effect on May 1.

    The webinars are being made available courtesy of Skilcheck Services. Among the topics available to CSSA members on May 1 are: Security Issues: Help Protect Your Company’s Goods; California ADA Appliance; and Making More Money at Your Auctions. CSSA members must log in at the CSSA website to view the videos. If a member doesn’t have an account for the CSSA’s online community he or she should contact Brenda Lafontaine at Brenda@cssaweb.com today.

    “We are so pleased to roll out this program to our members,” said Erin King, Executive Director of the CSSA. “We’d like to thank Skilcheck Services for helping us make these webinars available. Our mission at the CSSA is to do everything within our power to improve the lives of our members here in California and we think these webinars will provide great information and tips that all self storage owner/operators and managers can use.”

    The CSSA just concluded another highly successful West Coast Self Storage Owner’s Conference in Napa, CA. Included on the docket for upcoming months are an Owner’s Networking Breakfast at San Diego/Mira Mesa on June 26 and the 10th annual Self Storage Owner’s Summit July 17 in Newport Beach, CA.

    For more information about the free webinars or other CSSA member offerings, events and news, please visit the CSSA website at www.californiaselfstorage.org or contact the office at 949-783-4130.



  • Wednesday, April 09, 2014 2:11 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    Performance Self Storage Group (PSSG) just announced that it has successfully represented the seller in the sale of Solano Storage & Retail Center located in Fairfield CA for $9,100,000. The facility is a multi-story institutional quality storage property that consists of 587 self storage units and 7 retail units. Carl Touhey and Jay Allen of Performance Self Storage Group represented the seller, who was a private self storage investment group and the buyer was a 1st time self storage investor.

    "This trophy property was well managed and cared for and as part of the purchase, the buyer had to assume a conduit loan. Our firm has handled multiple transactions with loan assumptions in the past and they are the furthest thing from being easy. Their complexity, constant delays and hurdles often-times send buyers the other way. However, there is a lack of quality storage properties on the market right now in CA and this combined with still low interest rates and influx of cash into our industry, a true seller’s market has been created and one where if the deal makes sense, buyers will do what they need to do to get it done,” said Touhey.


    Performance Self Storage Group

    570 El Camino Real #150-411

    Redwood City, CA 94063

    Office: (650) 260-2242


California Self Storage Association

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California Self Storage Association
5325 Elkhorn Blvd., #283 
Sacramento, CA 95842

P: 888-CSSA-207 or 888-277-2207
F: 949-861-9425

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