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Self Storage Insight Blog

Swift Storage: A Journey into Self-Storage Success


In a recent episode of the Self Storage Insights podcast, Ben Shirey had the pleasure of interviewing Eddie Laflamme, the owner of Swift Storage in Rockland, Maine. Eddie shared his inspiring journey of how he entered the self-storage industry and built a successful business from scratch. With 35 years of experience, Eddie's insights shed light on the challenges and triumphs of running a storage facility. In this article, we will explore Eddie's story and delve into the key aspects that have contributed to the success of Swift Storage.

From Long-Haul Truck Driver to Storage Entrepreneur

Eddie Laflamme's venture into the self-storage industry began when he came into a sum of money that allowed him to start his own business. After careful consideration, Eddie decided to explore the untapped potential of the self-storage market in his area. Surprisingly, there were no self-storage facilities within a 45-mile radius of Rockland, Maine, where he wanted to establish his business.

Motivated by the absence of competition and inspired by a visit to a storage facility in Chelsea, Maine, Eddie hired the owner as his consultant. This partnership saved him a significant amount of money and provided invaluable guidance. With their combined expertise, they successfully built their first storage facility together, which laid the foundation for Eddie's future in the industry.

Swift Storage: A Growing Enterprise

Today, Swift Storage has flourished into a thriving business spanning over 16 acres, boasting 15 buildings totaling 8,000 square feet. Over the years, the company expanded its offerings to include portable storage, climate-controlled storage, and traditional storage units. The introduction of portable storage was a game-changer, opening up new avenues for growth and customer convenience.

Portable Storage: A Cornerstone of Success

Eddie expressed his enthusiasm for portable storage and highlighted its immense impact on Swift Storage's success. In addition to renting out portable storage units, the company also became a distributor of Havner boxes in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. This strategic move not only generated additional revenue streams but also solidified their position in the market.

The Journey: Overcoming Challenges

Like any business, Swift Storage faced its fair share of challenges. One obstacle that caught Eddie off guard was the issue of snow leaking into units with roll-up doors. However, he swiftly found a solution by installing brushes along the door edges to prevent snow from seeping in. Moreover, Eddie actively participated in legislative efforts to shape the self-storage industry in Maine, contributing to the development of one of the most comprehensive self-storage acts in the country.

Exceptional Customer Care

Swift Storage prides itself on prioritizing customer satisfaction. Eddie's approach to rate increases demonstrates his commitment to his tenants. Rather than abruptly raising prices, he offers existing tenants the opportunity to stay at the old rate for up to a year by paying in advance. This unique approach builds trust and loyalty among customers while ensuring the business remains financially stable.

Efficient Operations

Efficiency is a key factor in Swift Storage's day-to-day operations. With the help of a capable team, including his daughter, a manager, and his grandsons for portable container logistics, Eddie can focus on enjoying his personal interests, such as playing golf. By employing onsite management, Swift Storage ensures that customers receive prompt assistance and resolves any issues that may arise.

The Future of Self-Storage

As the industry evolves, Eddie believes that a combination of traditional storage units, climate-controlled storage, and portable storage is the way forward. This diversified approach allows for a greater customer reach and provides convenience that meets the demands of modern storage users.

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