The Best Oktober Holiday

(Festival goers enjoying a delicious bier.)

 

October is one of my favorite months of the year.  Aside from the start of the NBA season (the holiest of days), the month brings a special holiday that is near and dear to heart.  Many might guess that it is Halloween.  While I have nothing against Halloween, I am referring to holiday in which men and women wear much better costumes.  I am talking, of course, about Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest is a festival that originated in Munich, Germany.  It is held annually at the end of September and beginning of October.  The festival is highlighted by parades, carnival attractions, and a delicious food market.  Traditional Bavarian clothing, such as lederhosen and dirndls, are worn by many festival goers as a celebration of the region’s heritage.  There is also live music and dance floors where people can go to have a good time in the way of the old country.  However, there is one aspect of Oktoberfest that gives the holiday its legendary reputation around the world.

Beer.  Or as the Germans call it…Bier.  Oktoberfest beer is some of the finest crafted beer in the world.  For the Munich Oktoberfest, only beer that is brewed according to traditional Munich beer standards is permitted to be served at the festival.  Furthermore, all beer must be brewed within the city limits of Munich.  The result is an amazing selection of some of the finest quality beer in the world.

 

(Löwenbräu is famous for its Oktoberfestbier, which is among my favorites.)

 

Many cities today have their own Oktoberfest celebrations.  I recently attended the Oktoberfest celebration in Montrose, a suburban neighborhood in northern Los Angeles.  The spirit of Munich was alive and well, despite it being a hot southern California day.  The festival atmosphere was infectious.  I met people from all around the area who were as enthusiastic as I was about the prospect of music, games, and social drinking.  The only hard part was getting up the next morning.

Though Oktoberfest has passed us by, I highly recommend anyone who hasn’t experienced the holiday to mark it on the calendar for next year.  Find a celebration in your area, grab yourself a nice pair of lederhosen, and get ready to have a blast.  Or, if you can’t wait for next year, get out there now and bring some late Oktoberfest spirit to the world.

 

 

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New England SSA Conference Live Blog

 

 

6:45 am – Wake up.  Ugh.  Who schedules a trade show to start at 8 am?

 

7:15 am – Showered and dressed.  Must go find coffee.

 

7:30 am – Coffee.  Suddenly feeling like a human being and excited for the trade show.

 

7:45 am – Arrive at the Storitz booth, ready to rock and roll.

 

8:00 am – Attendees are invited to enter the tradeshow.

 

8:35 am – Attendees actually enter the tradeshow.  From my conversation, seems I wasn’t the only one moving slow this morning.

 

9:00 am – Event presentations begin.  The presentation hall shares a room with the trade show and stole all the foot traffic.  Feeling lonely.

 

11:00 am – Back to presenting the booth to attendees.  Lots of people come by the exhibit, interested in Storitz.

 

11:30 am – Too many people to handle at once.  It beats being lonely.  People  definitely want to hear about Storitz.

 

12:30 pm – Lunch break.  Delicious roast beef wrap sandwiches.  Mmm, roast beef.

 

1:30 pm – Sit-in on presentation about most common legal mistakes a person can make in self storage.  It was an informative lecture.

 

2:45 pm – Exhibits are opened up again.  Traffic is much slower than in the morning.  Take some time to meet exhibitors from the booths around me.

 

4:30 pm – The last of the attendee traffic dies down, and most other exhibits begin to be taken down early.  The Storitz booth is seeing if it can be the last exhibit standing.

 

4:45 pm – Self Storage Association representatives will not allow me to leave the booth up any longer.

 

5:30 pm – Booth is packed up.  Trade show is over for the day.  Time for dinner and a big bet on red.

 

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What would you do for an iPhone 6?

(Apple customers in line for the iPhone 6.  Picture from Canada.com)

 

As was widely anticipated, the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus created quite a bit of excitement over this past week.  And why wouldn’t it?  It’s the new iPhone.  Everyone must have it, and they must have it NOW.

When I say everyone, you can be sure I am including myself.  I was among the hordes of people that felt it was necessary to go out and stand in line to get the new iPhone within the first week of its release.  I could not have been more ready to trade in my old phone, a refurbished iPhone 4 that acted up more than an infant on a crowded airliner.  Seriously, the only thing that dropped faster than the calls I tried to make on that phone was the battery life.  Anytime I tried to use it, I constantly reminded myself of the words of Rodney Ruxin from the popular FX television show The League, “The app I want for my phone, is Phone.”  With the release of the 6, I saw an opportunity to escape the title of “Obsolete” that so many of my friends and co-workers had bestowed upon me, and finally be a member of the “elite” cutting-edge technology crowd.

Reports in the news from today are recounting stories of thefts, fights, and riots at Apple stores all over the country that are resulting from the release of the iPhone 6 (From Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/fights-at-apple-stores-over-iphone-6-2014-9).  I can’t say I saw anything exciting like this happen on my visit to the Pasadena Apple store.  However, there were definitely a ton of people there who had the same idea that I did.  Perhaps the controlled atmosphere was due to the fact that, rather than leaving it up to chance, two police officers had been posted at the entrance to the store starting the night before the release.

It is pretty incredible how wildly popular Apple’s products are.  People are willing to go to outstanding lengths just to be among the first proud owners of a particular device.  I understand waiting in line to get it.  It was a fun, albeit tedious, experience that felt rewarding and ended with me finally feeling comfortable with my cell phone.  However, I can’t imagine ever doing something like fighting someone over it.  But it seems as though there are many people out there who are willing to that and more.  I have not heard of anything like it since the stories of similar behavior surrounding the release of new Air Jordan brand sneakers (see picture below).

(From Instagram: Customers at a Foot Locker riot at an Air Jordan sneaker release)

 

Whatever it is about Apple’s products, they are certainly doing something right if they command this level of popularity.  The weekend release was the largest phone release in history, with 10 million phones sales excluding the massive market in China where the phone will likely be released next year (From Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolomon/2014/09/22/iphone-6-breaks-record-with-10-million-sold-even-without-china).

When all is said and done though, I understand why both demand and sales are so high.  I love my new iPhone 6, and it seems like many people around the world feel the same about the phone.  What do you think about the popularity of products like Apple’s?  Are they TOO popular?

 

 

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How to Follow-up on the Las Vegas Self Storage Association Conference

 

If your experience at the SSA conference in Las Vegas recently was anything like mine, you probably did more networking and collected more information than you even know what to do with.  That’s great, as both are signs that you had a successful conference.  However, it is important to be sure that you follow through on your efforts in order to advantage of what you learned.  Here are a few things you should be sure to do in order to wrap-up your conference experience:

 

-Collect and organize the business cards you collected.  It is important to stay in touch with the members of the self-storage industry that you established connections with.

 

-Upload your contacts into your CRM system.  If you don’t use CRM software, create a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to place them in for easy electronic access.  You will need these in order to…

 

-Follow-up with interested contacts.  The contacts you established at the conference are useless unless you take the initiative to re-connect with them.  Don’t let your 1 am bonding moment at the hotel bar be a wasted networking opportunity.

 

-Do research on the people and businesses that you discovered at the conference.  Perhaps there was an exhibit you remember discovering and finding interesting, but did not get a chance to look at in depth.  Contact them and mention the conference, you were both there and could offer each other insight.

 

-Develop new business strategies based on what you learned.  Utilize the feedback you received from others at the conference.  Taking into account the suggestions of operators and vendors is a great way to improve your business.

 

-Share your Vegas experience on social media.  Show off pictures of your booth and of your conference team.  Maybe leave out some of the pictures from the cocktail after-party.  We included a picture of our booth here!

 

-Do research on additional self-storage conferences you can attend in the future.  Your successful exposure does not have to be limited to Las Vegas.  SSA has conferences all over the country, and they are all terrific opportunities to network.

 

-Explain your Las Vegas hotel bill to your boss.  Those $10 mini-bar M&M’s looked so good at the time…

 

Each of these steps seems easy, but they are essential in order to fully take advantage of the prospects presented by the conference.  Follow these steps and do not squander the opportunity for yourself and your business.  Otherwise, you will find yourself having to wait for the next Las Vegas SSA Conference in order to get another chance.

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The Top 5 Most Surprising Aspects of the SSA Las Vegas Conference

 

Hey everyone, Kevin here, the newest member of the Storitz team.  Recently, we attended the Self Storage Association’s Las Vegas Conference.  As the newbie here at Storitz, I was not sure what to expect from the experience.  Here are the top 5 most surprising observations I made at the conference.

 

1) The world of self-storage is huge!  I was amazed by just how large the conference was.  The trade-show hall at Caesar’s Palace was packed with all kinds of booths, exhibits, and tables.  As soon as the conference began, there were hundreds of people filling the hall.  This was good news for the Storitz booth, as I could not even keep track of all the people coming by to visit.

 

2) There were people from all over the country, and the world!  I met self-storage enthusiasts from coast to coast across the United States.  It was interesting to hear many of the similarities and differences in the self-storage that exist from place to place.  I even met business owners from outside the United States.  I got chance to meet several business owners from Canada and even one from Japan!

 

3) There are so many different aspects of the self-storage industry!  From operating a facility to developing storage software, there are a million ways to get involved in the self-storage industry.  I was able to learn so much by discussing the industry with other attendees.  The SSA conference gives you access to all the experts, making there no better place to learn everything about self-storage.

 

4) The food was great!  To be honest, I did not expect this to be among the highlights of the conference before we got there.  However, I could not have been more wrong.  From the delicious roast beef sandwiches at lunch to the chicken tikka satay at the reception, I found myself going back for more delicious food at every opportunity.

 

5) Las Vegas was a great conference location!  I had always imagined Las Vegas as a place where everything got done, except for work.  However, the bright lights and social environment really had a positive effect on the conference.  The SSA sponsored cocktail events utilized the Vegas atmosphere to create a fun setting in which to mingle with others in the self-storage industry.

 

Can’t wait until next year’s conference.  Stay tuned.

 

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5 Things To Get From Storage Before Monday Night Football Premier Night

University of Missouri Fans

University of Missouri - Splendid Fans

by Kevin Heintz

Los Angeles, CA –With football season rapidly approaching, Storitz wants to remind you to visit your self-storage facility to pick-up everything you need to be prepared to cheer your team on to victory.  Here are 5 important things we thought of:

1.  Your Fantasy Football Draft Board – The members of your Fantasy Football League have been waiting all offseason for the legendary, annual event that promises eternal honor and glory: Draft Night.  Upon your league’s Fantasy Draft Board will be written the rosters which will determine who amongst your friends is a champion, and who will be considered (and constantly reminded) that they are a terrible Fantasy Football owner.  Don’t forget to pickup your Fantasy Football Draft Board and any other draft supplies you may have had in storage since last February.  We still have a lost Draft Board from 2010 with number 1 overall pick Tim Tebow.  Ouch.

Tim Tebow Kneeling Pic

Tim Tebow Kneeling

2.  Your Autographed Picture of your Favorite Player – Remember that time you got to meet him?  He was the greatest defensive player of his generation, “much tougher” than the young guns of today.  It was years ago, but you can still remember it like it was yesterday.  Where did that picture go?  You could never find a place for it, and you stored it with the rest of your stuff.  Head down to your storage facility and grab that picture and start teaching the modern fan about how the game used to be.

3.  Your Barbecuing Equipment – Nothing says football season like a barbecue with…anyone really.  No matter who you are or where you are from, football and barbecues are a blast.  It’s been so long since you and your friends from school got together or maybe it’s just an excuse to see everyone from the neighborhood.  Don’t let your barbecuing equipment sit in storage when you could be enjoying burgers, beers, and great game.

4.  Your Team Gear – Any fan can simply show up to support their team.  However, you do it in style.   You have the best fan costume of any of your friends.  You put it away in storage for the offseason, but it’s that time of year again.  Don’t forget to grab your face-paint.  You would look pretty ridiculous in public in your elaborate costume if you didn’t wear any face-paint.

5.  Your Lucky Couch – You remember the year you bought that couch.  Your team had won the Super Bowl that season and you had watched every minute, sunken into the cushions of your favorite spot, while all the while you wept on the couch in pure joy.  Now it seems like years since you watched your team hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy in triumph, and your significant other has forced you to replace it.  It’s not too late.  Go get that Lucky Couch from storage, grab a beer, and sit your team to victory.

The Simpsons

The Simpsons Family on the couch. - Copyright 20th Century Fox

 

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Tips On Using Pinterest Boards For Self Storage

Pinterest Self Storage

There are many social networks worth pursuing to generate traffic to self storage websites.  So why is Pinterest so excellent for your business and for building your brand?  Pinterest has bee responsible for generating more referral traffic for businesses than other higher profile social networks such as Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined.

Still not convinced?  Here are some more statistics:

  • Pinterest buyers spend more money, more often, and on more items than any of the other top 5 social media sites.
  • With 27 million users, the number of daily Pinterest users has increased by 145% since January 2012.
  • Pinterest generates over 4x as much revenue per click (attributable to first touch) as Twitter and 27% more revenue per click than Facebook.
  • 47% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from Pinterest.
  • 21% have purchased an item after seeing it on Pinterest.

Pinterest isn’t just a sales engine; it is also fantastic for things like organization of home, posting pictures of local landmarks, redesigning homes, enhancing traffic to your website and making your home visually fun. These are things that can be implemented whether or not it is your home or your business.  Lock It Up Self Storage and Storitz.com have both used Pinterest as a tool to engage new audiences that may otherwise not be interested in self storage. Let’s take a look at how Pinterest boards for self storage can work for you.

Using Pinterest is simple. The fact is Pinterest is an online organizational board with 5 million users and counting. When you use your other social media sites to promote it you’re going to get better results. You want to keep it simple it’s the main appeal and the simplicity of the site that captures users attention. Make it a point to launch a daily theme with your pin board. If you follow the more popular Pinterest users you’re going to see some major results.

While women are still the majority making a Pinterest users, there are a number of businesses using the site as well. You can enhance traffic to your site through promoting it on your pin board and on your other social media networks as well. Don’t be afraid to ask others to pin your information on their board, and you can do the favor in return for them. This is how amazing partnerships started. You can make connections on Pinterest that she may never be able to make anywhere else.

You want to make your page visually fun, but make sure that everything you use is yours and yours alone. If you use someone else’s photograph then it takes credibility away from your company, and that’s the last thing that you want to. It’s almost like using the same brand are one so similar to another company that you can’t create your own identity. That has led many a business is to ruin. You can take charming pictures of your own products, employees at work or place of business and pin them gaining a much better response than if you were to utilize someone else’s.

Pin boards for self storage are plentiful. All it takes a quick Google search to see for yourself. There is absolutely nothing you can’t find nowadays on Pinterest. You actually have to log on and create your own account to truly gain appreciation of everything that the site can do for you.

You can find things for your home, things for your business and many things you never even would’ve dreamt possible. Amazing connections are made here, most everything is very affordable and you’re going to love using Pinterest for all of your needs, including Pinterest words for self storage.

Cat Lane is operations manager for Lock It Up Self Storage, which specializes in San Jose self storage and offers seven Bay Area locations. The company features video tours of all its facilities on its website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Steps to Make Moving Easy

 

Charlotte Moving Company Moving Simplified-Sof...

It’s never easy to move.  Whether you’re living in a house or an apartment, the chances are that your place is specific to you.  You have kept everything from the last ten years like all of the internet bills that are in the second drawer of your computer desk.  The old basketball shoes that you never wear, but might use one day if you decide to play a game?  They are lodged behind you suitcase and your tennis rackets in the back of your closet.  People get comfortable in their own space which is why moving out is such a daunting task: how do you pack up your whole life into boxes?  It’s hard, but it must be done.  You’re moving for a reason and change is always exciting.  Follow these five steps to make moving easier.

1) Plan everything out before you do a single thing.  This is the most important step.  You need to know exactly what’s in store for you so when an unexpected problem arises you will be equipped to handle it rather than having it ruin your move.

2) Prepare.  There is no time to procrastinate.  If you tell yourself you can do it all the day of the big move, you won’t get close to finishing everything.  There are so many little things that need to be packed away and so many things that need to be done that it’s wise to start as soon as you can.  Do a little every day and when the big day comes you’ll be more prepared.

3) Set and maintain a budget.  Any stressful situation in life can be made more stressful when the price continues to get higher and higher.  Lots of unexpected things can come out of nowhere and take all the money from your pocket.  If you have a budget, you will be less inclined to continue buying things that you might need, but aren’t necessary.

3) Set your plan into action.  Maybe you have a few months between the time you move out of the place you live in and the time your new home will be ready.  When this is the case you must get a self-storage unit.  You’ll have the storage-unit already rented thanks to the good preparation you did.  The moving truck will be rented as well.  Now it’s the moment to get to work.  Make all the plans reality and get into your new life.

5) Get some help.  That’s what friends and family are for.  Ask them to help you pack, move if you’re doing it all, or unpack in your new home.  Moving is not something you want to do alone.

It can be really stressful when having to move from one place to another.  But if you’re moving there is a reason why you are doing it.  The future awaits but before you get there make sure that your move is a smooth one.  Follow the five steps above and you’ll get it all done with ease.

Lock It Up Self Storage specializes in San Jose mini storage with 7 Bay Area storage locations. Follow them on Twitter @lockitupstorage .

 

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Soup is In, Ice Cream is Out — How To Store Your Boat Over The Winter

From our friends at Lock It Up Storage, San Jose, CA.

English: Wrecked fishing boat. This boat broke...

When winter time comes changes have to be made in all aspects of life.  Thicker clothes need to be worn to fight off the cold weather.  Soup is in and ice cream is out.  You also store away the summer stuff that will not be needed during the cold winter months.  One of the main things that must be taken good care of over the winter is your boat.  There are some things that need to be taken into consideration when deciding to store your boat for the winter.

The biggest question you’ll have is where you want to store your boat.  Some people choose to store their boat in their driveways of their houses.  It is the most economical way, but it can cause problems with your neighbors and your association if your neighborhood has one.  Lots of people store their boats in warehouse yards which are priced fairly well too.  But when storing your boat outside you must take more precaution when winterizing it.  You also you have to continue maintenance every couple of weeks.  One of the best options for storing your boat for the winter is to store it in a self-storage unit.  This way your boat will be inside and better protected against the harsh elements.

One of the best things about storing your boat in a storage unit is that you will feel safe.  You can rest easy throughout the winter knowing your boat is safe.  There is nothing worse than when a big storm rolls through town and your boat is being stored outside.  Yes, you took the proper steps to make sure it can handle the winter, but some storms are bigger than others.  Sometimes it will feel like the harsh weather is going to damage your boat even if you winterized it perfectly.  If your boat is inside, you will feel safe knowing that it is protected from any storm that passes through.

Before you put your boat into storage you must winterize it first. This is the most important step of the process.  If you slack off and only do a few things the long term damage of your boat may be impossible to repair.  One of the main things that you need to do is remove the fuel from the gas tank.  This will help avoid the engine getting rusty.  Because winter tends to get humid and dry you must spray the interior of your boat with vinyl protectants.  If you don’t everything will dry out and crack and when the winter is over you’ll boat will look like you bought it at a garage sale.  These are just two steps in a very detailed process that will help protect your boat.

When winter comes around we have to make changes in every aspect of our lives.  When deciding how to store your boat you will have options.  Each one provides their own pros and cons.  One of the best ways to store your boat is putting it in a self-storage unit.  It’s quick and easy.  After you winterize it you can lock it up and feel comfortable until spring.

Lock It Up Storage is the Bay Area’s best storage solution, with San Jose storage units and six other convenient locations.

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5 Tips To Choose and Pack A Storage Unit

This blog comes courtesy of Lock It Up Self Storage in San Jose, CA

There are so many things to buy in this world that after a while the house can become cluttered with too many belongings.  When your garage is overstuffed with so much stuff that you can’t walk around in it, let alone park your car in it, you know it’s time to get a storage unit.  There are some factors to consider when picking your storage unit and when it comes time to pack it.  We have all seen Storage Wars and we don’t want to be one of those units when the door is opened a bike falls out and hits poor Barry on the noggin.    So here are five helpful tips to help choose the right storage unit and pack it.

San Jose self storage Self Storage San Jose, CA

Not all storage units are this simple and easy to navigate. But you can make yours work for you.

1) Is the self storage property close to your home?  This might not seem like a big deal at first.  After you pack up the unit there won’t be much need to go back to it so a long drive won’t be too bad.  That’s true, but what if the moment comes when you need something quick?  You won’t want to make that hour drive to get your stuff.  It might be a little more expensive renting from the place nearer to your house, but it’ll pay off when you need your things.

2) Find out about the storage facility’s security.  You need to find out if it’s insured for fires and other natural disasters.  You need to make sure there have a great alarm system and find out how many security guards work at once.  If you are going to store your things it’s important to be sure they are going to be protected.

3) Make sure the storage unit company has a good reputation.  Find out about their customer service center and how they do under pressure.  Look for reviews and find out how the company handles problems.  Nothing runs smooth in this world so when a problem comes you want to make sure your company will have the knowledge to solve it.

Self Storage Pleasanton, CA, Lock it Up Storage

Lock It Up Storage in Pleasanton, CA. A nicely maintained facility is an indicator of safety and security.

4) When packing your storage unit you must make sure you have everything packed into boxes or containers.  If you simply throw all of your stuff in a unit it will be so messy and impossible to find anything later on if you need to.  Pack it all away and mark the boxes so you know what it where your things are.

5) Organize the boxes with all of the heavy stuff on the bottom.  It’s important to make sure that you haven’t put your box of bowling balls on top of your nicest tea set. You want to make sure that none of your stuff breaks over time so organize it correctly and everything will be fine.

Sometimes you run out of space in your house.  Don’t worry when it happens.  Just make sure to get yourself a self storage unit.  Follow the tips above when choosing one and packing it.  Don’t take any tips lightly.  The best way to avoid long term problems is by figuring them out at the beginning.  Get a place close to your home with great security and customer service.  Box up all of your stuff and pack it in with the heaviest stuff on the bottom.  Your stuff will be safe and you can feel safe.

Lock It Up Self Storage specializes in San Jose self storage with 7 Bay Area storage locations. Follow them on Twitter @lockitupstorage .

 

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