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  • Take Care of the Customer
    By joel on May 25, 2012 | 227 Comments227 Comments  Comments

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    Property managers are more than happy to help the everyday storage customer any way they needed it. Not every customer can be helped, but a good property manager will give a valiant effort and do what they can in order to take care of the customer. That is the name of the game, taking care of the customer. If you are in the position of property manager and customers walk out of the store unhappy, you are at fault. There are currently property managers in the self storage industry that will consistently turn away a ready to rent customer. They have to weeded out and terminated. Why though would a manager treat a customer that way?

    As a property manager you have to do your best in order to get customers to rent with you. The more people that rent with you, the better you look and people will start to realize how great of a facility you have. The more you help a person the more the word will spread. Some managers will say that it is not a hard task to rent to people. The people walk into their facility and say that they need storage and the manager finds what they need then rents them a space. Some managers are very good about renting spaces to people who walk in their door.

    Many people say that customer service is lost and no one has great customer service any more. That can not be further from the truth. In the self storage industry some property managers say that having great customer service over their competition wins them customers. If you look at other companies some will not take the time to do different things in terms of how they treat the customer. Some places might not even acknowledge the customer just walked in the door. How can you expect to get more people to rent with you if you can’t even say hi as they walk into your establishment?

    Customers pick up on how they are treated in a self storage facility. They just want to be treated the way they feel they deserve. Now there are some companies that decide to take it too far and might go over the top when it comes to their service. They also have the possibility of scaring people off. No customer wants ridiculous service when they just simply want a storage space. We need to make sure that we just are doing as the customer wants and sometimes go above and beyond to ensure they know they are getting taken care of. Property managers make sure that they are fulfilling any promise to the customer. That will get you the most recognition when you follow through with what you told them. Customers will find out about your facility from all kinds of different ways. Now that they found you and they meet you, it’s time to razzle dazzle them. Of course do not be fake and just show them what makes your company stand out over theirs.

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  • Laziness Does Not Pay Off
    By joel on May 23, 2012 | 163 Comments163 Comments  Comments

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    When you walk into a self storage facility, what do you want to see? Ok this could be a lot of different things so let’s be specific. When you walk into a self storage facility what do you expect to see the property manager doing? Some would say cleaning up, doing paperwork, helping other customers or making sure they have an up to date vacancy list. All these would be acceptable answers but what wouldn’t be an acceptable answer is sitting down doing nothing, which some customers walk in and see. A lazy property manager is never a good look for any company.

    Sitting on your bottom does not look like you are ready to help anyone. The manager that is sitting down could be the most well versed manager on the planet but the customer will be automatically turned off if they do not greet them properly. If you are a property manager give the customer the respect they deserve and get out of your chair and greet the customer. They deserve to have your best foot forward. Unfortunately just like in any retail environment there are some people who are just looking to do the bare minimum in order to get by and still get paid.

    Some property managers count on being in an area in which their regional manager or owner does not come by and visit much. They feel that they might be able to do a little less since there is not anyone over their shoulders at all times. Now with that said, it is very hard still to slack off because if you are not renting units, the upper management will still see that, then they could visit more because of that. So the property manager would just be doing their selves a big favor if they just go ahead and do their best in order to help the company out to their best ability.

    No one is saying that being a property manager is an easy job because it is not. They do have a lot of responsibilities. If they are running the facility by their selves then they really have a lot on their plate. No one is saying that it is not ok to relax and sit down a little from time to time, but get up and greet or go meet the customer when they are in view. Just think how much more the customer would appreciate a manager or facility if they came outside to greet them as they pulled up. Then there wouldn’t be that barrier between you and the customer called a desk.

    Laziness never pays off in the self storage industry. This industry is founded by people who were go getters. They would employ people who were similar to them and would do a great job in getting the customer to feel comfortable about renting with them. They would be sitting down on the job regardless of how they felt or if the customer said it was ok. As a property manager you have a small business you are running. It is hard to run when you are sitting down.

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  • Answer the Phone
    By joel on April 23, 2012 | 434 Comments434 Comments  Comments

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    When you call a company that you desperately need to get an answer from and they don’t answer, how do you feel? Most people would not really have any kind of emotion the first time they contact the company and they don’t answer. What kind of emotions are flowing through a person who calls a company and they do not answer more than two or three times? How you are getting pretty upset. All you want to do is call the company you need to and get your situation resolved. Why does that have to be so hard? It would seem that everyone has been in this situation once or twice.

    As a property manager, you have a lot of things to do that maybe the general public does not understand. All the general public wants to know that if they need you, they can reach you. Sometimes customers do not realize the scope of your responsibility nor do they think that you are human and could possibly get sick. With that said, you also need to have some thing in place to where if you can’t answer the phone, someone else does. If this is not an option for you, then make sure that you have a good messaging system to where the customer can leave a message. The key is returning that customer’s message.

    We have all been in that place where a company did not answer our phone calls when we needed them to. It made us very upset and we questioned whether or not we wanted to do business with that company. Don’t let customers think that about your company. Make sure you answer every phone call you can and return every message you get. Treat the customer the way you want to be treated.

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  • Thing Ahead of the Customer
    By joel on March 11, 2012 | 358 Comments358 Comments  Comments

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    Believe it or not, customers know when they are being sold to. Surprise. That is a shock to many different people or maybe its not. It blows the minds of many that think that managers really do not realize that the people that call them know that they are being sold to. If the managers are not thinking that way, then they might be missing more than just that. Property managers should always have the thought process that they have to win the customer away from whomever the customer called before them. That has to be the objective.

    When managers are thinking ahead of the customers they are putting their selves in a good place. They can have different scenarios thought out and planned so they can be prepared to rebuttal if the customer has an issue. The more the manager tries to prepare for what the customer could say the better equipped they are to get the customer to rent with them. The end game for the manager is to get the customer to rent. If you as a manager are not thinking about renting spaces then you are in the wrong profession.

    Property managers need to be a step ahead of the customers but with that said, they also can not put the customer in a weird or awkward place. When a customer tells the manager no, the manager has to be cool, calm and collective. The manager needs to ensure that they know what their next move will be and breathe before responding. If the manager goes on full blown attack mode, that can leave to the customer leaving the store or hanging up the phone. That is not what the manager wants to happen.

    When a customer calls the store or drops in, they are telling you that they want a storage space, but what are you going to do about it? Some managers think that they can just throw a price at the customer and that will win them over. Customers care about more than just the price. They are coming into the facility to check everything out and ensure that it is the place that they want to rent from. They are checking you out as a manager as well. The manager is a big piece of the pie when it comes to the customer. The property manager really can tilt the property in favor of the company if they handle this customer correctly.

    Self storage is not rocket science. As a manager you don’t have to wait for all the stars to align for you to get the customer to rent with you. All you have to do is anticipate any objections they would have with your property. You can find all kinds of different things that the customer will come up with in order to say no. They have already made the first commitment. They are asking you for storage. Now you just have to think ahead of them and come up with some solution for them that the customer does not see.

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  • They Need Your Help
    By joel on March 9, 2012 | 265 Comments265 Comments  Comments

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    Why do you think customers say no to you as a property manager when it comes to renting a space? Do you think they are telling you no or do you think they are telling you no  because you have not gave them the solution to their problem. It is not difficult to find out what the customer needs, you just have to make it not difficult for them to see the solution you are offering them. You are offering them a solution the customer just needs to see that. Can you provide that solution and show them. That is your challenge.

    The customer needs your help, but they are just afraid to ask for it. They are not looking for some sales pitch. They want a realistic solution to their problem. They want someone to look them in the eye and tell them that their solution is only a step away. The customer definitely has to trust you as a manager in order to believe you will help them. They want your help but they just don’t know how to ask for it. It would be great if the customer just said to the property manager, I want to rent, now show me what I need. That does not happen everyday.

    For some managers it is hard to step outside of their comfort zone and go beyond what they were trained to do. The manager just wants to give their normal spiel and then the want the customer to say yes. Well that maybe happens one third of the time. Those are the gimmies. It is figured that at least a third of people wanting storage will rent if you ask them to rent with you. There are many people that need a bit of nudging in the right direction. There are people who just need to realize that this self storage location is the location that their belongings should rest.

    Do you believe that you have the best facility and you are the best manager in the area? Then show the customer that. If the customer sees and believes that you are what you claim to be, then you are in luck. If the customer can not see that then they will go somewhere else. Many managers think that the customer is not smart enough to make a good decision on their own and think they need the property managers to come in and save the day. Do not make that mistake or make the customer feel that they need you. They do need you in order to get the paperwork done, but they can have any facility do that. They just want to know that if they rent with you, they will not have to worry about their belongings. Can you make them feel that comfortable?

    No manager wants to be told what to do or what they should be doing. They want to hear how great of a job they are doing and they want to hear how big of an asset they are to the company. The customers need your help and you are there to guide them a rental. The question is, can you do that? If you can not do this for the customer, I am sure there is a facility down the street or right next door that can help them.

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  • Come on Down to the Facility
    By joel on March 8, 2012 | 262 Comments262 Comments  Comments

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    What would you do if you walked into a facility that was completely disgusting? Most people would turn around and walk back out. Other people might consider still going through with renting a storage space. Would it be different if the manager told you they had a nice and super clean facility on to find out they were lying? How would that affect your self storage experience? Would that make you not trust other things they said or did? If you say no to this question, you are definitely in the minority.
    Many managers ask the customer they are speaking with over the phone that they invite them to come down and see the facility. They do this for a couple of different reasons. They do this to get the customer to compare different facilities and also to get the customer to come down to their facility. Many property managers think that if they can get the customer to come in to their facility, the customer will rent from them. They believe that they have the best of what is offered in the self storage world. The property managers also want you to see how their competition does not take care of their property. This is to their advantage.
    What makes a customer decide to rent a storage space? This has been the age long question that many owners have contemplated. There is not a unique system of things that can help one facility rent more spaces than the next one. One of the things that can help a property manager with getting the customer to decide to rent with them is deciding to be completely truthful with the customer. If you tell the caller something about your facility or what you can do for them, follow through with those thoughts. If you are asked something by a customer and you are unsure whether or not you can do it, tell the customer that. Do not make a promise that you can not keep.
    The disconnection between the manager and the customer sometimes is the expectations of storage. If the customer comes down to the facility and they see something completely different than is described then they will not be pleased. So when you tell the customer about your facility, be as truthful as possible. It is completely ridiculous to think that you can lie to a person and it not come back to bite you. It is very simple to sell to the customer what you have and hope for the best. The customer only expects you as a property manager to give accurate information.
    The customer will go down to the facility that they believe is the best for them. They will visit as many facilities as they feel they need or not visit any facilities at all. It is there choice. Always be ready for a customer when they come into your facility. It is always great when the customer ahs already spoken to you and now they see they can trust you as you have told the truth about your facility. When you ask the customer to come on down to your facility, you are inviting them into your world of self storage. You always want to put your best foot forward. There is nothing like hearing a customer come in telling you that the competition’s storage units are disgusting while yours are spotless.

    What would you do if you walked into a facility that was completely disgusting? Most people would turn around and walk back out. Other people might consider still going through with renting a storage space. Would it be different if the manager told you they had a nice and super clean facility on to find out they were lying? How would that affect your self storage experience? Would that make you not trust other things they said or did? If you say no to this question, you are definitely in the minority.

    Many managers ask the customer they are speaking with over the phone that they invite them to come down and see the facility. They do this for a couple of different reasons. They do this to get the customer to compare different facilities and also to get the customer to come down to their facility. Many property managers think that if they can get the customer to come in to their facility, the customer will rent from them. They believe that they have the best of what is offered in the self storage world. The property managers also want you to see how their competition does not take care of their property. This is to their advantage.

    What makes a customer decide to rent a storage space? This has been the age long question that many owners have contemplated. There is not a unique system of things that can help one facility rent more spaces than the next one. One of the things that can help a property manager with getting the customer to decide to rent with them is deciding to be completely truthful with the customer. If you tell the caller something about your facility or what you can do for them, follow through with those thoughts. If you are asked something by a customer and you are unsure whether or not you can do it, tell the customer that. Do not make a promise that you can not keep.

    The disconnection between the manager and the customer sometimes is the expectations of storage. If the customer comes down to the facility and they see something completely different than is described then they will not be pleased. So when you tell the customer about your facility, be as truthful as possible. It is completely ridiculous to think that you can lie to a person and it not come back to bite you. It is very simple to sell to the customer what you have and hope for the best. The customer only expects you as a property manager to give accurate information.

    The customer will go down to the facility that they believe is the best for them. They will visit as many facilities as they feel they need or not visit any facilities at all. It is there choice. Always be ready for a customer when they come into your facility. It is always great when the customer ahs already spoken to you and now they see they can trust you as you have told the truth about your facility. When you ask the customer to come on down to your facility, you are inviting them into your world of self storage. You always want to put your best foot forward. There is nothing like hearing a customer come in telling you that the competition’s storage units are disgusting while yours are spotless.

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  • It is Good to Laugh
    By joel on February 24, 2012 | 300 Comments300 Comments  Comments

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    Many say that laughter is the best medicine. This is definitely true. Those who laugh more and are more upbeat are not depressed or stressed as most other individuals out there. Laughing is a sign of joy and a sign of positive energy. What do you think happens if you actually share a laugh with another individual? Most likely you will brighten up their day and actually possibly help them to see that today can be just as happy if you let it be. What do you think would happen if you are able to share a laugh or a chuckle with the different customers you come in contact with? You will be surprised at the result.
    Property managers need to know that it is not a secret that the customer knows they are trying to sell them something. The quicker the manager realizes this, the better. Sometimes they go a little crazy trying to figure out how to pull one over on the customer, but the more honest they are with the customer the better. It would also be a great thing to know that if they treat the customer with respect and the way they would like to be treated the better. If a manager greeted the customer with a warm greeting, introduced their selves and listened to the customer’s situation, the customer would be very appreciative of that. Now that you have engage the customer in a good conversation, you know a little bit about them, and you realize you are not trying to trick them into doing something they are not comfortable with, all will be well.
    There are many tips that you will come across that will help you take care of the customer and also to make them feel comfortable. Use all of those tips at the right time of course. What you should also try to do, if it is a comfortable time is to try to add humor or a chuckle to the conversation. Hopefully it is not uncomfortable.  Make sure you do not try to force it. If you try to force the issue it will come across funny. It should come naturally. Sometimes you will find that the customer will give you an opportunity to share a chuck and will laugh even at their selves. That is great. Go with the flow.
    After you share a chuckle it definitely seems that the rest of the conversation is opened up to anything that can come to mind. The customer is definitely more relaxed and they would be more susceptible to listening to whatever was being said. Now you have developed some rapport with the customer and they see you as less threatening. You are in the perfect position. Now everything you say could be trusted, but ensure that you don’t do or say anything that could make the tide turn against you. Sharing a chuckle or a laugh with the customer is a great thing. Everyone will be happy and you will turn a potential customer into a renter.

    Many say that laughter is the best medicine. This is definitely true. Those who laugh more and are more upbeat are not depressed or stressed as most other individuals out there. Laughing is a sign of joy and a sign of positive energy. What do you think happens if you actually share a laugh with another individual? Most likely you will brighten up their day and actually possibly help them to see that today can be just as happy if you let it be. What do you think would happen if you are able to share a laugh or a chuckle with the different customers you come in contact with? You will be surprised at the result.

    Property managers need to know that it is not a secret that the customer knows they are trying to sell them something. The quicker the manager realizes this, the better. Sometimes they go a little crazy trying to figure out how to pull one over on the customer, but the more honest they are with the customer the better. It would also be a great thing to know that if they treat the customer with respect and the way they would like to be treated the better. If a manager greeted the customer with a warm greeting, introduced their selves and listened to the customer’s situation, the customer would be very appreciative of that. Now that you have engage the customer in a good conversation, you know a little bit about them, and you realize you are not trying to trick them into doing something they are not comfortable with, all will be well.

    There are many tips that you will come across that will help you take care of the customer and also to make them feel comfortable. Use all of those tips at the right time of course. What you should also try to do, if it is a comfortable time is to try to add humor or a chuckle to the conversation. Hopefully it is not uncomfortable.  Make sure you do not try to force it. If you try to force the issue it will come across funny. It should come naturally. Sometimes you will find that the customer will give you an opportunity to share a chuck and will laugh even at their selves. That is great. Go with the flow.

    After you share a chuckle it definitely seems that the rest of the conversation is opened up to anything that can come to mind. The customer is definitely more relaxed and they would be more susceptible to listening to whatever was being said. Now you have developed some rapport with the customer and they see you as less threatening. You are in the perfect position. Now everything you say could be trusted, but ensure that you don’t do or say anything that could make the tide turn against you. Sharing a chuckle or a laugh with the customer is a great thing. Everyone will be happy and you will turn a potential customer into a renter.

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  • Outside Storage Inconsistencies
    By joel on January 15, 2012 | 275 Comments275 Comments  Comments

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    It would seem as if different self storage facilities have different ideas on what is acceptable with parking. Many people will allow certain types of vehicle to be stored in their parking lot or inside of the storage unit. This is not a big deal to the facility managers because they just tell the customers what can and what cannot be stored there. For the consumer calling around, to be told no on what another facility told them yes could be nerve racking. It would be good if everyone had the same thought process on parking.
    For many storage facilities, out side parking spaces are meant for vehicles that have wheels. I spoke with a young man who wanted to rent an outside parking space to put his canoe. It wasn’t on a trailer. He stated that he didn’t need to put it inside of a storage unit as he was used to storing it outside of his home anyway. Unfortunately this wasn’t an option at a storage facility. The customer tried even harder to convince me that other facilities would store it, it just wasn’t an option for my facility. I didn’t leave him without an option though.
    Luckily I had another option which was a drive up storage unit and it was a 5×15 unit. It wasn’t very expensive, it met the needs of the caller and it came with great security features. It was a win, win situation for everyone. Now he had room in his backyard to install the new playground for his kids.

    It would seem as if different self storage facilities have different ideas on what is acceptable with parking. Many people will allow certain types of vehicle to be stored in their parking lot or inside of the storage unit. This is not a big deal to the facility managers because they just tell the customers what can and what cannot be stored there. For the consumer calling around, to be told no on what another facility told them yes could be nerve racking. It would be good if everyone had the same thought process on parking.

    For many storage facilities, out side parking spaces are meant for vehicles that have wheels. I spoke with a young man who wanted to rent an outside parking space to put his canoe. It wasn’t on a trailer. He stated that he didn’t need to put it inside of a storage unit as he was used to storing it outside of his home anyway. Unfortunately this wasn’t an option at a storage facility. The customer tried even harder to convince me that other facilities would store it, it just wasn’t an option for my facility. I didn’t leave him without an option though.

    Luckily I had another option which was a drive up storage unit and it was a 5×15 unit. It wasn’t very expensive, it met the needs of the caller and it came with great security features. It was a win, win situation for everyone. Now he had room in his backyard to install the new playground for his kids.

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  • Keeping Calm in Troubling Situations
    By joel on January 13, 2012 | 239 Comments239 Comments  Comments

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    As a property manager, we have to try to be ready for anything that comes our way. Now of course we can only do so much to prepare for different things. In reality we just hope that we do not have to deal with certain things that could possibly come up. If they do, we have to take a deep breath and try to find a solution for the issue. For instance, people will call about billing issues, trouble with the gate, and so forth. This morning, I had a very common problem that had the chance to go either way in terms of it being trouble.
    This morning a self storage renter called me who was at her storage unit trying to get the door to open. She was a bit flustered because she was in a hurry to get to a wedding. The wedding gift she purchased was inside of her storage unit and she couldn’t get to it. She didn’t know what to do. She said she came to the office, but couldn’t find anyone to help her. She said was able to get the lock off the door but couldn’t slide the latch over. She ended up calling the number to my facility and I was there to answer it. It was a roll up door so I told her to step on the handle which pulled the door down further so she could slide the latch over. She was elated, grabbed the gift and away she went to enjoy the wedding.
    This was a situation in which it could have been very bad. The door was stuck, and I might have had to go out there to calm the customer down or get someone to the facility in order to get the door over. That would have cost the company money. Luckily, I was quick on my feet in thinking and I was able to get the customer taken care of. I was very happy it wasn’t anything serious.

    As a property manager, we have to try to be ready for anything that comes our way. Now of course we can only do so much to prepare for different things. In reality we just hope that we do not have to deal with certain things that could possibly come up. If they do, we have to take a deep breath and try to find a solution for the issue. For instance, people will call about billing issues, trouble with the gate, and so forth. This morning, I had a very common problem that had the chance to go either way in terms of it being trouble.

    This morning a self storage renter called me who was at her storage unit trying to get the door to open. She was a bit flustered because she was in a hurry to get to a wedding. The wedding gift she purchased was inside of her storage unit and she couldn’t get to it. She didn’t know what to do. She said she came to the office, but couldn’t find anyone to help her. She said was able to get the lock off the door but couldn’t slide the latch over. She ended up calling the number to my facility and I was there to answer it. It was a roll up door so I told her to step on the handle which pulled the door down further so she could slide the latch over. She was elated, grabbed the gift and away she went to enjoy the wedding.

    This was a situation in which it could have been very bad. The door was stuck, and I might have had to go out there to calm the customer down or get someone to the facility in order to get the door over. That would have cost the company money. Luckily, I was quick on my feet in thinking and I was able to get the customer taken care of. I was very happy it wasn’t anything serious.

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  • Forgetting The Gate Code
    By joel on January 11, 2012 | 335 Comments335 Comments  Comments

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    Many times when someone rents a storage unit they may not visit their unit very often as with the caller I spoke with a few days ago. I’ll never forget how frustrated they where to begin with and how the call ended.  They arrive to the storage facility and could get their gate code to work. They thought the store made a mistake. When a customer comes in and uses their gate code, as a property manager, we do not change it at all. We leave the codes alone so the custoemer can use it again. If we do need to change it, we will make sure we contact the customer. Unfortunately, many customers do for them.
    More times than not, It turns out that they had forgotten to simply use the symbols before and after the gate code in order to enter the gate. Although it was written with their code, it wasn’t entered. They felt a bit silly but were extremely happy that they didn’t have to wait until the next day when the store reopened. They are happy now, but they sometimes again need to be reminded of that when they have to access their storage unit after months of it being idle.

    Many times when someone rents a it storage unit they may not visit their unit very often as with the caller I spoke with a few days ago. I’ll never forget how frustrated they where to begin with and how the call ended.  They arrive to the storage facility and could get their gate code to work. They thought the store made a mistake. When a customer comes in and uses their gate code, as a property manager, we do not change it at all. We leave the codes alone so the customer can use it again. If we do need to change it, we will make sure we contact the customer. Unfortunately, many customers do for them.

    More times than not, It turns out that they had forgotten to simply use the symbols before and after the gate code in order to enter the gate. Although it was written with their code, it wasn’t entered. They felt a bit silly but were extremely happy that they didn’t have to wait until the next day when the store reopened. They are happy now, but they sometimes again need to be reminded of that when they have to access their storage unit after months of it being idle.

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