When David Wood opened his first storage facility 10 years ago, the focus was and continues to be on safety. That’s why the motto for AppleWood Self Storage is: “Safety is our No. 1 Goal.”
Wood said other storage facilities may brag about being clean and dry, which are important, but what’s most important is the security of items being kept in the storage compartment.
“Many facilities let customers bring their own locks. Our locks are Guardian Cylinder,” said Wood, 58, noting that he considers them the best in the business.
In addition, Wood is careful when selecting renters. Each customer receives a welcome email that covers key points of the rental lease, along with a fire safety plan.
Wood is responsible for the marketing, customer service and business operations. His wife, Julie, 54, shares accounting duties with their son, Kyle, 20. Their youngest son, Ryan, 16, handles social media.
The Dairy Drive location opened in October 2004. The Marsh Road location opened earlier this year.
Customers typically need storage because they are going through specific life events. Those moments fit into two basic categories, Wood said: Controlled and uncontrolled. The former includes situations such as having a baby, buying a boat or camper, or getting a new job. The latter could involve health problems, a job loss or divorce.
Safety is a critical quality with the Woods family. In January 2009, AppleWood introduced the Safety through Education and Personal Responsibility campaign, targeted to incoming UW-Madison students. Also in 2009, Wood met with the city of Madison’s Police K9 supervisor to have AppleWood become an approved training location for K9 teams.
The focus of all of these efforts, Wood said, is to take a preventive stance to deter criminal activity, and to provide a safe environment for customers.
Wood said everyone has his or her own story. For instance, when customers arrived at the facility in two cars, it was a family affair. A family was moving from Houston to Madison to be near family. The husband and wife both got out of their cars, each carrying a child carrier — one with their 7-week-old baby, the other with Strawberry, the family cat.