self-storage insider

A Blog by the U-Haul Self-Storage Affiliate Network

Affiliate Spotlight: Sue and Robert Bennett of FranFinders

The Storage Industry is growing quickly as more and more investors realize the income potential locked inside. Today, we’re speaking with two successful storage owners who have managed to expand their business rapidly over the last couple of years, to learn how they found success and what tips they give for other storage owners who may want to follow their lead and expand into a larger organization.

Sue and Robert Bennett of Fran-Finders

Storage ownership is touted as a great revenue stream. You have the flexibility to be completely hands on in the day-to-day management of your facility or set your business up to mostly run itself. This is what makes the industry so versatile for so many different people, in different stages of their career. Starting in 2011, the Bennett’s, of FranFinders – a Franchise Consulting Firm, began their storage journey with the purchase of a single storage facility. This is when their professional relationship with WebSelfStorage began. Over the next several years, they grew their company and eventually brought on two more facilities to the U-Haul Self Storage Affiliate Network in 2017. “We needed a business [platform] that would offer multiple streams of revenue and this was one of the best businesses we discovered and jumped in!”, Robert Bennett explains. Beyond the standard storage rental income, you have the opportunity to make extra income each month using related sales items like moving supplies, tenant insurance, and becoming a U-Haul Neighborhood dealer. With the right mindset and the proper tools, the possibilities are endless!

However, running a single business on your own can be tough enough. Once you start expanding, the task of managing and tracking multiple businesses with multiple revenue streams can seem daunting. Now, in 2020, the Bennett’s have expanded even further having a total of 7 storage facilities under their belt, “We are really busy, as we initially started with just 100 units and now, we just surpassed over 400 units.” Additionally, the Bennett’s run all 7 of their storage locations remotely while they operate their main Franchise Consultancy firm, full-time. So just how exactly do they do it all?

WebSelfStorage has made large leaps when it comes to developing contactless and remote management options for affiliates, and it is something that we are continuing to grow and perfect. Between the implementation of our Rental Agreement eSignature options, which allow your tenants to sign their rental agreements online, and the Online Self-Move In options that have recently been implemented, storage owners can now operate their facilities remotely from anywhere in the United States and Canada (as long as you have internet connection, of course). We also have Contact Center services that can act almost as a full-time employee, performing move ins and taking payments over the phone, and answering facility questions any time a call comes into your facility. Our team of experienced and knowledgeable support staff are here to help you make the most out of your WebSelfStorage account, to help take the burden off of your shoulders and let the WebSelfStorage software do most of the heavy lifting for you. “We can manage our business operations effectively and remotely in three (3) different states. WebSelfStorage is the platform that allows us to process all of our payments efficiently, while providing great service to all our tenants.” Robert goes on to explain, “the [U-Haul Self-Storage Affiliate Network] team provides us outstanding support as different situations arise in our business.

If you are a storage company looking to expand your organization, the Bennett’s give this piece of advice “Make sure you have enough capital to operate your facilities with top-notch service, while keeping your facilities in excellent condition. [Keeping] very little debt has [allowed us to] concentrate on serving our customers.” The U-Haul Self Storage Affiliate Network is eager to help our new and growing storage affiliates become stronger and more efficient using the large array of features and functions in the WebSelfStorage program. Call us any time to discuss opportunities for optimization in your WebSelfStorage account!