TNSSA panelists discuss the ins-and-outs of self-storage marketing

Allen Baxter, Grace Anderson and Alan Washburn listen as TNSSA director Melissa Roberts introduces the panel discussion.

From guerrilla tactics to Google AdWords, marketing was the topic du jour at Tuesday’s 1st Quarter luncheon of the Tennessee Self Storage Association.

During a panel discussion at The Chattanoogan, attendees heard from Allen Baxter, a manager with A Plus Storage in Nolensville; Grace Anderson, of Absolute Storage Management; and Alan Washburn, who owns four storage properties in Tennessee.

While many self storage owners focus on customers who are going through life changes, Washburn pointed out that it’s also helpful to focus marketing efforts on the service providers who are involved in those changes. Among other things, his company places ads in the offices of divorce attorneys and builds relationships with homeowners associations.

“Most people don’t like HOA’s, but we love them because they don’t let (residents) store stuff,” he said.

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Two self-storage projects taking shape in Lenoir City

By Josh Flory

A veteran operator and a newcomer to the industry have targeted the same stretch of Highway 321, in Lenoir City, for new storage facilities.

Volunteer Storage, which has six properties in East Tennessee, is converting the former Great Wakes boat dealership into climate-controlled storage units and outdoor storage spaces.

Buddy Brackfield of Brackfield and Associates, which owns Volunteer Storage, said the project will include 80 inside storage units, more than 100 outside spaces for campers, boats and RVs, plus 3,200 square feet of inside storage for boats and vehicles. The facility, which is nearing completion, will also include an indoor wash bay and more than a dozen security cameras, and will be accessible to customers 24 hours a day.

Brackfield said his team tore out approximately 9,000 square feet of finished space in the building, converting offices and kitchen space to storage cubicles, but said they didn’t disturb any of the property’s firewalls.

He said the facility will not only serve the Loudon County market but is also convenient to Farragut and West Knoxville. “Obviously the growth for Lenoir City is northbound,” he added, “and we’re on the northbound side of (I-40). We’ve got easy access across 321, and so it makes good sense … where we are for this location.” Continue reading