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Commercial Real Estate FAQ With John Manes On Self-Storage Property Investments

What Has Led To Your Momentum In Closing Over 25 Self Storage Asset Transactions, Very Quickly?

The following Q&A was completed as part of our conversational Commercial Real Estate FAQ Interview Series, we hope you find it helpful.

While momentum might seem quick, it’s important to look at the collective experience behind that momentum. Closing over 25 self storage asset transactions is an impressive feat, but it’s done by individuals who collectively have over 30 years of experience in the self-storage realm. Know how to stand out from the crowd, get to know your asset class and industry, and fully immerse yourself in that world to close more transactions than ever before. 

Richard Wilson: What has lead to your momentum in closing over 25 self storage asset transactions very quickly while many other people I know from our investor club are doing one to four deals a year and patting themselves on the back – I mean, how have you been able to get all these assets done when some just do one deal a year? 

John Manes: That’s a great question because, you know, the lead up to that question in all of this is “we’ve been an overnight success”, and we haven’t. So people would think that’s a big accomplishment in a four and a half year timeframe but I’ve been in storage for 15 years now. You know Robbie, and Eric, and all of us combined have almost 30 years of experience combined together in the storage industry. So it looks like we’ve had this overnight success but in reality it’s been building year after year, and for me being the face of the company I started that face piece 10 years ago. Started getting out and speaking about storage, not only in the storage industry but in the investment community and things like that, so it was a lot of seed planting over and over and over again. Like this podcast in itself, I’ve probably done, in the last 4 years I’ve probably done 700 of these or something, it’s some crazy amount of either magazine articles, blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, LinkedIn, all of that kind of stuff kind of works together in harmony that if you Google John Manes Self Storage, you’re going to find a hundred different things that I’ve done. 

So, the momentum that we’ve built prior to us starting the company from a recognition standpoint of who John Manes is, and who Robbie Dunn is, and who Eric Osterhaus is all started prior to that 4 or 5 years. Then you take the three of us with that synergy, you put that together and now you have a really big momentum, right? So I think it’s a combination of starting earlier, and then having that all start to gel really really well. And you know this – I don’t have it on today, but I wear those funky looking jackets at every conference and stuff and we get known for who we are. We’re a little bit goofy, we’re pretty much blue collar type of guys in a white collar environment and when people approach us we’re just common people. So, I think that’s likable as well. 

Richard: Right, right, yeah it’s pretty rare to find anyone with a sense of humor in the industry. So that alone just sets you apart from 95% of everyone else bumping around at conferences in their starched suits and they’re acting very robotic, so it makes you stand out. 

John: I’ve said this to you before, but how do you stand out in a room of navy and grey skinny suits, right? You come bald, old, fat, and you wear some funky looking jackets. And you stand out, right? And that’s what we do! 

Richard: Right, right, yeah. That’s great, appreciate that. 

About the author

Richard Wilson