Monday, June 9, 2014

How Lucrative Is the Self-Storage Industry?

Today's business model has changed in a number of ways. It has allowed businesses that were not viewed as being lucrative a platform to negate that myth. The self-storage industry is one of those businesses. The housing crisis, coupled with online platforms such as aggregators and social media has helped this industry experience a huge upswing in its occupancy level and profitability.

The latest fact sheet of 2013 shows that:

  • The 4th quarter numbers shows that rentable space in the U.S. is 2.3 billion square feet.
  • Over $3.25 billion dollars are paid out to local governments and municipalities in property taxes.
  • The average monthly rent for a non-climate controlled unit in the 3rd quarter of 2013 was $115, with a climate-controlled unit at $146.
  • 8.96% of all American households rent a self-storage unit.

That’s saying quite a bit! The self-storage industry is huge. There are more than 110 private-held firms, and 5 top earning companies that include 4 real estate investment trusts. These companies hold interest in or manage close to 6,000 facilities. Shocking? No. Impressive? Yes.

Why so lucrative?

The self-storage industry is continuously growing to supply a need. Space is a scarce commodity these days, and people tend to hoard items. 68% of self-storage renters live in a single family household, 65% have a garage but still have a self-storage unit, 47% have an attic, 33% have basements, and 27% live in apartments or condos. Individuals who have homes still rent storage units! This contributes to the profitability of the industry. While most people would think they should be able to get rid of some items, people rent self-storage units for a variety of reasons.

The military is also a huge contributor to the lucrative profits of the self-storage industry. Military personnel and their belongings take up approximately 6% of the units in the U.S. Deployments, moving from state to state and relocating to smaller housing all add to the military footprint.

People who don't use self-storage don't understand, but self-storage options have gotten very savvy. There are a variety of uses beyond the norm. Auto storage, boat storage, wine storage, business storage and student storage are all options that have now become standard offerings for many facilities. As the industry grows, the offerings, as well as the amenities will grow.

Self-storage facilities have taken technology and implemented programs and strategies that make it possible to monitor a self-storage unit from anywhere in the world. You can now rent a unit halfway across the world, access your account with a click of a button, set up automatic payments, and in some facilities, remotely monitor your unit. With these innovative additions, consumers feel confident that their belongings would be safer in a unit rather than at a home, especially if they will be away for a significant amount of time.

If you’re thinking about investing in an industry that is continuously growing and is positioning itself to continuously dominate the market, try self-storage. By offering specialty service and top-notch amenities, you’ll be a shoo-in for guaranteed ROI.



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