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Give your banker something to smile about

Hello all; my name is Malcolm Collins and I have been consulting to the self storage industry for more than 15 years in all States and New Zealand. Other than the period following the introduction of the GST into this country, I haven't found so many people sharing the same subdued view of the industry as has existed in the first half of 2009.

Most people I've spoken to mentioned quiet phone lines and lower conversion rates, an increase in clients financial difficulties, commercial client downsizing, an increase in move-outs or "rain-checks" on move-ins as common.

Speaking to SSAA quarterly meetings around the country I have (as always) stressed the primacy of excellent management relating to commercial performance. In a subdued market, management is crucial to maintaining value. Increasing rental yield and reigning in expenses, "farming" your client base and tightly controlling debtors are some of the proactivemeasuress for individual facilities to maintain the "recession-resilient" tag applied to our industry. And giving your banker comfort and something to smile about!