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The key to operating a successful self-storage facility is to maximize profits, limit liability, remain competitive, and make adjustments when necessary.

Self-storage associations are instrumental in providing encouragement, services, resources, and tools that help self-storage facility owners, operators, and managers maximize the keys to success.

The ultimate goal is to unite storage-facility professionals in an effort to support their members in a growing and thriving industry. Most importantly, self-storage associations, such as the Self-Storage Association (SSA), represent their members’ interests internationally, nationally, and locally.

The Self-Storage Association currently represents approximately 50,000 self-storage facilities in the United States as a national storage association. It also represents over 12,000 self-storage facilities worldwide as an international self-storage association, and has served as the official self-storage trade association for over 40 years.

Initially, the international storage association division of SSA had an affiliation with 9 international associations. However, the organization has recently created a new subsidiary, Self-Storage Association International (SSAI), that maintains a relationship with the national storage association division of SSA and non-U.S. SSA members in 27 nations around the world.

Here are just a few examples of state associations of the SSA:

  • Collection and dissemination of industry data
  • Conferences, trade shows, and webinars
  • Advocacy at the local, state, and national levels
  • Conducting and promoting industry research

The SSA has also been instrumental in using its resources, affiliations, and influence for the benefit of its members, as well as providing information and support concerning laws affecting the self-storage industry. In addition, it remains competent in the following areas:

Aside from the above benefits, self-storage associations offer other benefits to their members, such as networking opportunities, business assistance, discounts on products and services, legal and insurance resources, and industry information and publications.

Self-Storage Association Benefits

Self-storage associations offer several benefits to their members in an effort to provide them with the resources and tools needed to be successful in the industry. Self-storage association benefits can be tangible as well as intangible. Self-storage association membership benefits depend on factors such as the size, location, and needs of your business.

Collection and dissemination of industry data

Collecting and staying up-to-date with industry news and information can be overwhelming for a self-storage facility owner, especially while focusing on operating the business. Being a member can eliminate the potential worry and stress associated with lack of knowledge. One of the common self-storage association member benefits is the provision of current industry information to ensure its members are knowledgeable.

Conferences, trade shows, and webinars

The networking opportunities available as one of many self-storage association membership perks are invaluable. Members can connect with other self-storage industry professionals, leading to the option of being open for the exchange of ideas, advice, and information. Attending certain events also presents the opportunity to establish business relationships, partnerships, and collaborations with other industry professionals. Although most of these hosted events are open to the public, another perk is that members attend these events at a discounted rate.

Local, state, and national advocacy

The SSA not only has lobbyists who advocate for self-storage facilities in policy decisions, but also ensures that its members understand current legislation, one of the intangible self-storage association member benefits. They work with local, state, and federal governments to promote policies that benefit its members, as well as the self-storage industry as a whole.

Conducting and promoting industry research

Another industry-related benefit is access to the best in industry trends, economic forecasts, and expert outlooks. Joining a self-storage association also entitles you to self-storage member benefits, such as access to industry resources, market research, statistics, and trends, that can help businesses in the industry make informed decisions about their operations, marketing strategies, and future growth plans.

Similar to overall benefits, self-storage association membership requirements are also based on size, location, and needs of your business. Self-storage association member requirements are based on the type of membership you think your business needs to successfully advance in the industry.

Self-Storage Association Events

Self-storage association events include, but are not limited to, conferences, trade shows, and webinars. These events are hosted periodically throughout the year, while offering opportunities for self-storage facility owners, operators, managers, and vendors to network with other industry professionals, learn current industry trends, and discover new products and services.

The SSA offers many of the events listed above, as well as educational events developed by self-storage professionals for the benefit of other self-storage professionals. It also offers self-storage industry events for the education of industry professionals, with a range of industry-relevant topics for those who want to strengthen their business.

There are also self-storage industry conferences that feature keynote speakers, panel discussions, and educational topics. Those who attend can learn about industry trends, marketing strategies, and successful business practices within the industry. Most importantly, these conferences provide opportunities for networking and building relationships with other professionals in the industry.

The SSA is also known for hosting one of its self-storage association trade shows, the Spring Conference & Trade Show, each spring. This event gathers self-storage industry professionals from around the world to share advice, expertise, and industry-specific products and services. Each September, it hosts another trade show in Las Vegas, NV: the SSA Fall Conference & Trade Show. It’s described as the self-storage industry's premier conference and largest self storage exhibition that’s designed for those who have made a major investment in the industry.

There’s also self-storage association meetings and webinars, which are online sessions that offer educational content that members can access anywhere with an internet connection. Topics range from legal and regulatory issues to marketing and operations, and are a cost-effective way to gain industry information.

Self-Storage Association Advocacy

The SSA considers itself the voice of the self-storage industry, maintaining its focus on self-storage association advocacy.

The SSA also devotes its efforts toward self-storage association lobbying, advocating for self-storage facilities in policy decisions, and ensuring that its members understand current legislation. They consistently work with self-storage association government relations, on local, state, and federal levels, to promote policies that benefit its members, as well as the self-storage industry as a whole.

At the local level, self-storage industry advocacy works with city councils and planning commissions to ensure that zoning laws are beneficial, while advocating for the inclusion of self-storage facilities in new developments and preventing restrictions on self-storage construction and expansion.

At the state level, advocacy is instrumental in working with legislators and regulatory agencies to promote policies that benefit the self-storage industry, such as fair tax policies and disproportionate building codes. 

At the national level, self-storage associations work with Congress and federal agencies to promote policies that benefit the industry, such as zoning laws, tax policies, and the rights of self-storage facility professionals.

Ultimately, self-storage industry advocacy is a major focus of the SSA, which is evident in the progression of the self-storage industry. The SSA has supported the passage of over 200 laws concerning improvements to the lien process and tenant insurance. It also advocates for the elimination of inefficiencies in the building and expanding of self-storage facilities, while ensuring that their members’ voices are heard and their interests are represented in the policy-making process.

Self-Storage Association Research

Self-storage association research and self-storage association education are both important elements in accessing market research, statistics, and trends that can help businesses in the industry make informed decisions about their operations, marketing strategies, and future growth plans.

The SSA provides research and data, as well as self-storage association publications, to provide its members with current information to understand the industry and project future demand.

The 2023 Self Storage Demand Study

This 2023 edition of the SSA’s Self Storage Demand Study provides information regarding current and potential self-storage users. The provided information also explains how self-storage usage is connected to demographic characteristics. It also gives a point-of-view on what drives demand through self-storage industry research. This study consists of over 300 pages, with industry-related tables, graphs, and information.

2023 Self Storage Demand Study Mapping/Query Tool

The 2023 Self Storage Demand Study Mapping (or Query) Tool takes data sets from SSA Demand Studies 2005, 2007, 2013, 2017, 2020 and 2023 and presents each set in a searchable and comparable format.

Moody’s Analytics CRE

Moody’s Analytics CREf provides data covering self-storage properties in 125 major United States metropolitan markets and 480 submarkets to investors, lenders, developers, industry analysts, and self-storage facility owners and operators. Industry professionals gain access to current and comprehensive property and market level information through various reports.

  • Enhanced Rent Comparables
  • Every Comp, Everywhere
  • New Construction Pipeline
  • Metro and Submarket Reports