Inside Self-Storage

MAY 2019

Inside Self-Storage (ISS) is an information source for industry owners, managers, developers and investors covering news, trends, facility operation, finance, real estate, construction, development, marketing, technology, insurance and legality.

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Jernigan Capital's Bridge Financing Program is designed to simplify your ownership structure while taking a customized approach to maximizing the value of your self-storage asset. Visit our website and give us a call to see how this program could beneft you. - Non-Recourse - Interest Only - Negotiable LTV - Fixed Interest Rate - Five to Seven Year Term - Efcient Closing Process WWW.JERNIGANCAPITAL.COM 901.567.9536 B R I D G E F I N A N C I N G P R O G R A M It takes a "village" and a lot of moving parts to overcome an event such as a fire, but if you have a playbook on hand, you'll be able to make it through to the other side. One of the biggest lessons I took away from this experience was that if emergencies and mistakes are handled correctly, they can turn an upset customer into a loyal one. Chris Rhodes is the general manager for All-American Self Storage, which operates seven facilities in Alabama and Georgia. He has five years of experience in the self-storage industry. For more information, call 205.292.6989; e-mail chris@all-americanonline.com; visit www.all-americanonline.com. Establish a Playbook Once we relocated our tenants, we started the clean-up. We were able to repair vs. demolish and rebuild the main structure, but this created more obstacles because it took a lot of cleaning. We essentially had to remove the entire shell, replace some steel purlins and rafters that were warped from the heat, add all new unit doors, exchange all the electrical and lighting, and pressure-wash and paint the entire building. After 10 months and hundreds of e-mails with our insurance and construction companies, we were finally ready to move tenants back into the building. The facility was better than ever, with carpeted aisles and motion LED lights, but there was definitely a price paid by everyone involved. Ultimately, this was a major learning experience for me, my staff and the entire company. You can never be fully prepared for a disaster like this, but it's important to address with your team what needs to take place in any emergency. Communication is the driving force to make things right, so make sure everyone knows who to call when a crisis occurs. LEARN MORE Learn more about managing a crisis in the video "What to Do When the Nightmare Comes True: Disaster Management in Self-Storage," recorded at this year's ISS World Expo in Las Vegas. DVD copies are available for pre-order now at iss-store.com. Although our rental agreement didn't require us to do anything in terms of content remediation, our insurance allowed us to offer a basic cleaning from a local restoration company and move tenant belongings to a unit at one of our three other Tuscaloosa facilities. For most tenants, this was satisfactory; but we had to make it very clear that if a basic cleaning and relocation wasn't going to satisfy them, they needed to file a claim with their own insurance company. As you can imagine, many of these reviews turned into emotional conversations. Tenants often store memories in their unit and forget about everything they had inside. With that said, most would start out being thankful that we were taking the initiative, and then they would see their old pictures burnt up or melted and get upset. The discussion would end with another thank you and a hug after we assured them we were there to help. It was an emotional roller-coaster. During a disaster such as a fire, most people just want to be treated with dignity. They want the business to walk in their shoes and see the situation from their perspective. 42 ISS I May 2019 www.insideselfstorage.com

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