One of the most common themes in my conversations with clients has always been the market valuation of their property and outside factors affecting the investment market.  New supply, softening rental rates and rapidly rising real estate taxes have been at the forefront of these conversations over the last few years. Today, however, investors have much more on their minds with the election less than 60 days away, a global pandemic unfolding, and capital gains tax and 1031 exchanges under close review.  Now, more than ever, owners need to be reviewing their self-storage investments to make sure they are protecting their valuation.  The slow creep of rising operating expenses has put undue downward pressure on NOI growth; a trend that can be seen industry-wide as the five major REITs have reported NOI declines for more than five consecutive years. A small but meaningful review of your operating expense might be the most important in years as we are finding that it is easier to dig in and cut operating expenses rather than grow revenue under today’s market conditions.