The world is gripped by a crisis unlike any in memory. 

Millions of Americans are on lockdown as authorities enact extreme measures to halt the spread of COVID-19. Businesses from coast-to-coast are being forced to shut down as the number of confirmed infections grow each day. 

The stock market has tumbled. Unemployment is spiking. Hospitals are preparing for the worst. These are unprecedented times.

As the novel coronavirus situation unfolds hour by hour, our industry finds itself facing a great deal of uncertainty. However, if history serves as a guide, we know that self-storage is one of the most resilient businesses in the context of market volatility. Storage is an essential service in the best of times and in the worst of times. 

This is why we are launching our Storable blog now, in the midst of the current state of affairs. As we all navigate the coming weeks, we’ll keep our finger on the pulse of the industry. Informing you of any changes, positive and negative, we see happening now or in the near future. 

The way we see it is, we’re all in this together. There’s no proven playbook for a situation like this. Because of our unparalleled view of the industry, we feel a responsibility to work with our customers and storage at large to create one.

Together, we’ll find the way forward. 

Storage is essential 

As authorities across the country have enacted stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders, they’ve done so while outlining essential businesses that are allowed to remain open. And, in most cases, storage has made the cut. In fact, CISA of the Department of Homeland Security, has labeled storage as essential infrastructure in their guidance. 

We’ve heard a number of stories about how storage facility owners have stepped up in this moment of need to help their communities. For example, an operator in Alabama is waiving April fees because most of their tenants are suddenly unemployed. 

It’s our belief that self-storage is more than critical at a time like this. With software platforms like ours, there are a number of measures that can be put in place to reduce contact between tenants and staff. Which is vital as we continue to try and slow the spread of COVID-19. We’ll be sharing more about these measures in upcoming posts 

You can find regular updates from SSA about which states have deemed storage essential, here.

This is a recession

One that was four years past due. After the 2008 financial crash, recession has a more negative connotation than ever. Not to downplay how bad that moment was but, in general, recessions are far from a disaster. However, the truth is, we are concerned. It’s too early to tell how long or severe this downswing could be. We believe storage is resilient. And we’re determined to help our customers, and the industry, weather this storm any way we can. As history has taught us, when markets go down, they always come back up. Usually, stronger than ever. 

Even still, this recession is unique in how quickly it began and the unexpected cause of it in the outbreak of COVID-19. It is impossible to predict the depth of the economic impact and other challenges ahead of us. We will continue to share all of the signals we see that may give us some sense of where the industry is headed.

We’re in this together

As we mentioned before, right now, we’re all on the same team. Our first priority as a company has been to help slow the spread. As of March 16, we’ve closed all of our offices, yet we remain 100% operational as our team works from home. We’ll continue to play our part in that effort and strictly adhere to guidance from our local and state governments. 

Our second priority is to ensure we remain a trusted partner, not only for our customers, but for the entire industry. We aim to accomplish that with a series of market updates and articles to follow on this blog and a weekly webinar that starts this Friday, March 28. You can sign up here (link). 

The important thing to do now is stay calm. In moments of crisis decision making becomes a day-to-day or even an hour-by-hour process. And our aim is to provide you with all the information we can to inform that process. We’ll do our best to add calm and clarity as this crisis unfolds. 

More importantly, take care of yourselves, your family, your employees and your community.