Self Storage Management Team

Philosophy and Profile

The Synergy Storage Group was founded by James L. Gail for the purpose of managing, developing and providing consulting services for the self storage industry.  Our team currently manages 24+ self-storage facilities which go under the trade names including, but not limited to, Stormax, Trinity Towers Storage, The Storage Center, Bloomingdale AC Storage, Fishhawk Storage, Causeway Storage, Master Key Storage, Westchase Storage and Idaho Self Storage.  These properties range from small (300 unit) to large (1,000+ unit) traditional self storage facilities and are located throughout Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and Idaho.  In addition, Gail is a licensed Self Storage Real Estate Broker and has sold over 40 Self Storage facilities.  As owner/operators the Synergy Storage Group is the most knowledgeable source when you want to buy or sell a self storage facility.  Gail also holds the Tenant Property Insurance License for the company which allows tenants to purchase insurance for their goods while in storage.

The Synergy Storage Group is the leader in the self storage industry due to its innovative ideas and concepts.  We are specialists in developing unfound income through the use of unit mix changes, value-added services, rate management, and most importantly through proper training, selection and retention of our managers.  We have an active, hands on marketing program and a proven system of controls and operational procedures.  The Synergy Storage Group has an excellent track record spanning more than 20 years in the development, brokerage and operation of new and existing storage facilities.  We consistently run among the highest occupancies at the highest average rates in each of our market areas.  This has been accomplished through proper rate management, superior service, quality design and construction and most importantly professional property management.  The controls which are implemented enable us to bring this added profit to the bottom line.

With both the legal and financial risks involved in property management we have established guidelines we follow to ensure that the facilities take every measure to avoid legal  financial ramifications.  We provide and analyze cah flow statements on a monthly basis and take corrective action immediately on any variances from our annual budgeted projections.  We involve our managers in the day-to-day accounting of the facility which keeps them motivated to help their facility succeed.

This “open book policy” with our managers and empowerment to make decisions directly helps in building revenue, controlling expenses and, most importantly, customer retention and satisfaction. Because we specialize only in the self storage industry our background and experience enables us to provide the facility owners, investors and customers with the highest standards of self storage asset management.  With the number and variety of facilities we manage we are able to draw upon and share our manager’s expertise especially in the areas of marketing when operating this highly specialized business.  We are a small enough company to provide personalized, hands-on management, we are flexible enough to tailor our management to each facility or owners desires, yet we are large enough to provide corporate strength and support to each individual facility and management team.

The fees for contract management services are competitive and are based on the size of the facility, revenue potential, occupancy and management services provided.  A schedule of fees can be based on a fixed monthly amount, a percentage of net or gross operating income or a combination of the three.  In most cases, The Synergy Storage Group will guarantee that the increase in revenues and decrease in expenses provided through our management services will more than pay for the fees involved.

The Synergy Storage Group feels that it is of the utmost importance to maintain close contact with the operation and on-site managers.  In addition to regular visits to the facility a representative from the Synergy Storage Group will always be available for handling day-to-day situations over the phone.  On our site visitations all expenses will be reviewed, a facility inspection will be made, monthly goals will be established and any facility concerns will be addressed.

By contracting with the Synergy Storage Group, facility employees, through our PEO, will be entitled to purchase low-cost group health insurance, participate in our retirement plan and credit union program, and receive group memberships and discounts.  These benefits are essential to attract and maintain good employees, which we consider our most important asset.  As Synergy Storage Group employees, our PEO will process all payroll checks, handle all unemployment, wrongful dismissal, discrimination and workman’s compensation claims, make all FICA, SUTA, and FUTA deposits and file all 94, W-2 and W-4 forms.  Payroll costs even with these benefits, will in most cases, be lower than current expenditures due to the discount we receive on our workman’s compensation insurance.

Our purpose is to manage your facility in a professional manner, maximizing your revenue potential and reducing your costs.  This is accomplished by applying innovative marketing techniques, instituting and monitoring proper controls and by providing the highest standards of customer service to our tenants.  We realize that each facility, ownership group and customer is unique and we are small enough to adapt our systems to fit your needs and requirements.  We are proud of our past success but realize that we need to continue to perform to the highest standards in order to build our future

James Gail — President and Sole Shareholder

James Gail, President and sole shareholder of J. Gail & Associates Realty and Management, Inc. and the Synergy Storage Group has  more than 40 years of property management experience of which over 30 years have been in the self-storage industry. The Synergy Storage Group specializes in the management, development and brokerage of self storage facilities. Gail currently has over 24 storage facilities under a fee management contract which are owned by various syndications, partnerships and sole proprietors which are located in Florida, Arizona, Alabama and Idaho. These properties range from small (300 unit) to large (1,000+ unit) storage facilities. The company has a proven track record demonstrated by lease-up statistics, enhanced property valuations, and financial performance. All of the properties under contract are at the top of each of their market segments with regard to rate and occupancy performance. Gail and his management team are directly responsible for the successful turnaround of several facilities which, at the time of take over, were losing money. This was accomplished through operational changes, training and by soliciting and negotiating long-term leases with commercial tenants including Continental Bakery, Bausch & Lomb and Frito Lay.

From August 1972 to July 1988 Gail held various management positions in the hotel industry working for Westin Hotel Corporation, Brock Hotel Corporation and Lincoln Property Company. While in this capacity, he was also assigned several consulting projects which included hotel operations advisor for the renovation of the Dearborn Inn for the Ford Foundation, hotel reorganization manager for the restructuring of the Lincoln Post Oak Hotel – Houston and writer/editor of the Lincoln Hotel Corporate Rooms Division Operations Manual.

Gail holds his real estate brokerage license in the state of Florida and has sold over 40 storage properties in the past few years. He has been involved in the development of over 50 self storage facilities and currently has ownership interest in eight facilities. He holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Denver, his writings have been published in the Mini Storage Messenger, he is a member of Delta Sigma Pi and is a past Board Member of the Self Storage Association, as well as being a Trustee for the Florida Self Storage Association.

Carole Drake — Regional Manager, Southwest Florida

Carole Drake has been a regional manager for the Synergy Storage Group for more than 20 years, covering the Tampa Bay area, Gainesville and locations in Tennessee. She gained her training in the storage industry as a property manager with the Synergy Storage Group beginning in 1993. Under her management she was able to maintain a 94% plus occupancy while maximizing the income and reducing expenses. As a regional manager, she works closely with property managers to ensure that each location runs smoothly and efficiently. She oversees the day-to-day operations, including rate management, sales plans, audits, delinquencies and property maintenance. She maintains contact with ownership, provides monthly cash-flow reports and yearly budgets. She has been involved with new investors assisting in site selection by providing market and feasibility studies and working with them through the design and construction process. She has experience in setting up new locations, assisting with office design, purchasing and setting up furniture, equipment, software programs, hiring and marketing plans.  Through her lengthy experience, Carole is a consistent producer of top income and occupancies.

Carole grew up and has lived in the Venice, FL area for 50 years. She stays involved with her four children and six grandchildren and enjoys volunteering in the community.

Cody Hayes — Regional Manager, Western Region

Cody Hayes is our regional manager based in Phoenix, AZ and is the newest addition to the Synergy Storage Group professional management team. He managed two storage facilities in Tampa, FL and New Port Richey, FL. He also took over the management at a very troubled facility in Palm Springs CA. Most recently he has taken on a project in Phoenix working from the bottom up by helping with the construction, as well as being the start up manager for Camelback & 83rd Ave Self Storage. Currently, he manages our properties which are located in the Western Region of the United States from Arizona to Idaho.

His ability to demand above market rates and continue low delinquency statistics has made his facilities some of the top performers in his region. Cody is also very instrumental in hiring, training, and motivating his staff which, in turn, leads to long-term retention resulting in increased occupancy and revenues.

He is currently working on getting his Arizona Real Estate License and is anxious to continue with property development, consulting and facility management across the United States.