December 26, 2023

Self Storage Associations: Industry Standards and Networking

An image of a self storage association meeting.

Are you interested in the self storage industry and wondering how self storage associations influence this thriving sector? You’ve come to the right place! We’ll explore the pivotal role of these organizations in promoting industry standards, facilitating networking, and supporting members on a local and international level.

Key Takeaways

  • Self storage associations provide resources, support and networking opportunities to their members.
  • Members benefit from access to educational materials, certifications and industry knowledge.
  • International collaboration between self storage operators allows for market expansion and charitable partnerships.

Understanding Self Storage Associations

Members of self storage association networking at an event

Self storage associations, functioning as official trade organizations, represent the self storage industry domestically and internationally. They aim to elevate industry standards, furnish vital resources, and extend support to members, which include self storage owners, operators, and vendors.

Representing a combined total of over 60,000 self storage facilities globally, these associations have a significant role in fostering the development and prosperity of the self storage industry.

The Mission of Self Storage Associations

The primary mission of self storage associations is the ongoing improvement of the self storage industry. They provide their members with resources, networking opportunities, and access to industry publications, research reports, and legal guidance to ensure adherence to best practices and industry trends. The associations also work to raise public awareness of self storage services and strive to enhance industry standards, fostering integrity and excellence in customer service.

Self storage associations offer a range of benefits to their members, including:

  • Promotion of industry standards
  • Advocacy for legislation, zoning regulations, and tax policies
  • Networking opportunities
  • Industry knowledge and resources
  • Legal advice and support

These efforts contribute to the overall growth and development of the self storage industry.

Membership Advantages

Being a member of a self storage association comes with many advantages, including access to a myriad of resources, such as industry knowledge, legal advice, and information on self storage products. Networking opportunities are also provided through events, breakout sessions, and social gatherings, fostering meaningful interactions and the exchange of ideas among members.

Associations provide several benefits to their members, including:

  • Keeping members up to date with the latest industry developments, such as self storage construction, valuation, and other news related to the self storage industry
  • Facilitating collective bargaining to augment members’ bargaining capability and establish industry norms and regulations
  • Providing advocacy and representation for members

These advantages make associations a valuable resource for professionals in the self storage industry, offering essential features for success.

Networking and Events

Associations host a variety of events, including:

  • Networking events
  • Conferences
  • Forums
  • Trade shows

These events enable members to interact and learn from one another, fostering meaningful interactions, exchange of ideas, and providing opportunities for industry professionals to network and collaborate.

Non-members are also welcome to attend these networking events, allowing them to engage with industry leaders and gain insights into the self storage business. Some examples of successful networking events in the self storage industry include the Inside Self-Storage Roadshow, the Self-Storage Association Conference and Trade Show, and state, regional, and national seminars and conferences.

The Global Reach of International Self Storage Industry Bodies

International self storage industry conference

International self storage industry bodies, like the Self Storage Association (SSA) and the Federation of European Self Storage Associations (FEDESSA), have a significant role in fostering international collaboration and disseminating best practices among global industry professionals.

Such global outreach elevates the standards of the self storage industry and boosts its worldwide visibility.

Collaboration Across Borders

International collaboration aids the self storage industry by offering a platform for sharing knowledge, exchanging best practices, and developing industry standards. Self storage operators from different countries can learn from each other’s experiences, gain insights into new technologies and trends, and implement innovative strategies to enhance their operations. Moreover, international collaboration facilitates the formation of global networks and partnerships, which can result in enhanced investment opportunities and market expansion.

Self storage associations facilitate international collaborations by offering networking opportunities, access to educational and training materials, and legal advice on cross-border matters. These collaborations, such as partnerships between companies from the United States and Europe or within Asia, enable self storage companies to tap into new customer bases, share best practices, and facilitate industry growth on a global scale.

International Conferences and Research

International conferences and research serve as key instruments in expanding the global influence of the self storage industry by offering a platform for industry professionals to exchange knowledge, share best practices, and deliberate on emerging trends and technologies. Networking opportunities at these events allow industry players from different countries to connect and collaborate, fostering growth and development.

Research presented at these conferences advances the understanding of self-storage market dynamics, consumer behavior, and operational strategies, informing business decisions and driving industry growth on a global scale. By attending international industry conferences, self storage operators benefit from:

  • Learning from industry leaders
  • Gaining knowledge of optimal practices and industry secrets
  • Establishing connections with other self storage professionals

State and Regional Self Storage Organizations

State self storage association members at a community event

State and regional self storage organizations, like the North Carolina Self Storage Association, offer representation and support to the self storage industry at both local and national levels, providing resources, guidance, and support to self-storage owners and operators in their respective regions.

These organizations play a crucial role in offering localized support, advocacy, and community involvement, which helps enhance the self storage industry’s success and growth.

Localized Support and Advocacy

State and regional self storage organizations provide localized support by addressing:

  • State-specific lien law and auction procedures
  • Building code matters
  • Property tax strategies
  • Educational opportunities
  • Promoting industry visibility

This support helps self storage operators navigate regional regulations and challenges, protecting the interests of the industry and ensuring that operators have a say in shaping policies that affect their businesses.

Moreover, these organizations aid in the enforcement of regional regulations through collective advocacy efforts, impacting legislation, zoning regulations, and tax policies to create a favorable environment for the self storage industry. By providing localized support and advocacy, state and regional self storage organizations contribute to the overall growth and development of the self storage industry.

Community Involvement and Charity Initiatives

Self storage organizations actively encourage community engagement through various activities such as organizing community events, engaging in grassroots marketing, and networking with industry professionals through associations, events, and online forums. By participating in these initiatives, self storage operators can strengthen their connections with the local community and address pressing issues, such as housing and employment opportunities.

Charitable partnerships, such as Storage Gives, Charity Storage, and partnerships with various state associations and industry organizations, further support community involvement by raising funds for local and national charities. These partnerships allow self storage associations and their members to give back to their communities, build positive relationships, and demonstrate social responsibility.

Educational Programs and Certification Offered by Associations

Self storage association educational workshop

Associations provide a variety of educational programs and certifications, including online education and training, general instruction in self-storage investing or management, and certified self-storage manager training programs. These programs and certifications help members improve their skills and knowledge, providing them with a competitive edge and recognition of their expertise.

Professional Development Opportunities

Associations offer professional development opportunities, including association members, events, online forums, and access to educational and training materials pertinent to self-storage investing or management. By participating in these opportunities, members can stay up-to-date on industry trends, network with other professionals, and gain valuable insights into the self storage business.

Workshops and webinars are regularly organized by self storage associations, covering topics such as:

  • Legal matters
  • Education and certification
  • Employee training
  • Conferences
  • Trade shows
  • Industry trends and developments

By attending these events, members can further develop their skills and knowledge in the self storage industry.

Certifications and Accreditation

The Self Storage Association (SSA) offers the Certified Self Storage Manager (CSSM) certification, which provides members with recognition of their expertise and a competitive edge in the industry. To attain accreditation, members must complete the certification program provided by the association, and upon successful completion, they are granted accreditation as a certified self storage manager.

Accreditation from a self storage association confers credibility to a business by demonstrating that the facility has been subject to a comprehensive evaluation and has achieved industry standards. It indicates that the business is dedicated to offering quality services and adhering to optimal practices in the self storage industry, providing assurance to customers that the facility is well-managed and reliable.

Partnering with Self Storage Associations

Vendor and operator partnership at a self storage association event

Collaboration with self storage associations can result in mutually advantageous relationships for vendors, operators, and charities. These partnerships help both parties grow and succeed in the industry, providing resources, networking opportunities, and access to industry knowledge and expertise.

Vendor and Operator Partnerships

In the self storage industry, vendor and operator partnerships entail cooperation between self storage operators and vendors supplying products or services to the industry. These partnerships, which can take various forms such as vendor directories, networking events, and online forums, promote collaboration, uphold industry standards, and give operators access to the products and services they require.

Some examples of successful vendor and operator partnerships in the self storage industry include QuadReal and Store Space, as well as NexPoint Storage and Extra Space. These partnerships involve acquisitions and management transfers to expand self storage portfolios and can assist self storage businesses in competing with larger REITs and provide valuable resources to customers.

Charitable Partnerships

Charitable partnerships enable self storage associations and their members to back commendable causes and make a positive contribution to their communities. Organizations like Charity Storage partner with self storage facilities to raise funds for local and national charities, using designated storage units for tenants to donate items, and the proceeds from the sale of these items are donated to charity.

By participating in these charitable partnerships, self storage associations and their members can engage with their local communities, build positive relationships, and demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility. These partnerships not only benefit the charities involved but also help enhance the reputation and standing of the self storage industry.


In conclusion, self storage associations play a vital role in promoting industry standards, providing resources and support to their members, and fostering networking and collaboration on a local and global scale. By participating in educational programs, certifications, and charitable partnerships, self storage operators can enhance their skills, knowledge, and reputation in the industry. As the self storage industry continues to grow and evolve, these associations will remain integral to its success and development.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can someone work out of a storage unit?

It depends, but it is possible to work out of a storage unit in certain legal ways.

How much do storage franchise owners make?

Storage franchise owners have the potential to make anywhere from $365,000 to $800,000 annually, depending on several factors such as location and size.

Is a storage company a good investment?

Investing in a self-storage business offers high profit margins, strong ROI, and passive income. With relatively low risks and monthly rental costs close to $90, this is an attractive investment option with potential for great returns.

How do I promote my self-storage business?

Promote your self-storage business by setting up a Google Business Profile, optimizing SEO, cleaning up the facility's appearance and upgrading signage, getting involved in the local community, and offering online rentals. Follow up with leads and incentivize referrals for additional results.

What is the primary purpose of self storage associations?

The primary purpose of self storage associations is to advance industry standards, provide resources, and support their members.

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