I have had several people that say they are starting a business out of there home, and if I had power in my units they would love to do some of there work out of a 10 X 20, and would be willing to pay more. They would be doing small things like building signs. I only have 77 units and 33 of them are 10 X 20. I am wondering if it will be worth while to put the power in, or just continue to be patient with our fill up time. With the economy, and just starting, we are concerned with how long it might take to fill up.
Some questions I would have to ask is what are their power requirements and what kind of work are they going to be doing?
Is it something that will be producing a lot of dust or other unwanted fumes or trash?
Are you going to be putting in individual meters or charging them a flat rate for having power available?
If I were going to do this I would limit them to a single 15 Amp circuit with clear written rules regrading what kind of work can be done (and what is not acceptable) - I would also put the circuit on a timer so that power is only available during normal hours of operation (our gate access is from 7 to 7 so they would only have power between 7 and 7) this will prevent the storage of refrigerators and freezers.
As always this is just my .02c worth
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In my opinion you are opening up a big can of worms. I have a teant who claimed to be "working" in his unit. He had quite a little habitat in there. He set up a microwave, TV, Computer, Etc. We eventually had to cut him off. All of that began with a simple, "Can I plug in a light to do some work in my unit?" It becomes an issue of, what is the line between someone who sets something like that up to "work" and someone who sets up their unit to "live in"? I tend to be very black and white about the issue. I tell people that this is Storage, you are to use the unit to store your items. So once you put the items in, or take them out - you leave!
David, some places do this with success. I know one facility that allows this, some people have even built facade business faces that appear when they roll up their doors. Electricity costs are covered by the facility.
I personally don't want to cross that line. Besides the points Autodoc presented, you will also have increased foot traffic going to the 'business' locations. To me, this is a security risk.
Also, it crosses the line (at least in California) with the "Self Service Storage" concept. It would require a different type of lease agreement to operate in this manner.
I would advise patience as long as you can. Move in specials are great ways to get people in the doors.
Here are some ideas to get you started Marketing Good luck!
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!
I am not an attorney, just an experienced manager who is willing to share what I have learned. Your thoughts, practices or opinions may vary and neither of us may be right.
I have to agree with everyone on this one, I think libility would be a issue, you will find that all of a sudden you are no longer a storage facility but a strip mall or flee market with a lot of traffic in and out, people that store their belongings will began to not feel as secure there. We toured a facility a while back that we had thought about buying, it was set up to be a storage/fleemarket, it had turned into just a flee market with about half the facility being used and the rest empty, people working out of their units had makeshift canopies built onto there units, attached to the building and the whole place was trashy looking, not very old a facility but already ran down. I would hold out on this idea and as stated try some marketing ideas, We have a lot of 10X20 units availible so we ran a spring special with 10% off until the end of may, this has helped some, It's a tough market right now hopefully things will get better soon. If not we may have to have a summer special.
I've had a couple of guys doing light work in there units, ie tv repair or laminating(no waste). From a security view I think it's very helpful, plus you have someone to talk to. I did have a auto repair guy that had to leave however.
At a former location, I had people who rented units and used as workshops. THEY kept more of an eye on the goings on than the cameras! They didn't have visitors. One rebuilt motors for watercraft, one built cabinets, etc.
They paid about $599 for a 10x40 with a 20' ceiling with two doors. They had regular access hours - the cabinet maker did have a lot plugged in but that is how the owner of the facility wanted it marketed and rented......his choice.