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  • Cons of self-storage

    Hello,

    I'm new to the group and am doing some research on building a storage facility. I have found many pros, but I'm interested in what cons there are in owning and running a storage facility.

    Can anyone give me the downside of being in this business?

    Thank you!

  • #2
    If you have a bad manager, or a corrupt one, you'll hate it. Hire good people, pay them well and you'll be successful.
    An apple a day keeps ANYONE away if you throw it hard enough.

    Comment


    • #3
      First: Welcome to the forum garberenterprises!

      Second: Go to the home page and read thru all the different threads in General Storage Chat and Tales from the Trenches.

      Third: Read all the other threads you can because all your questions can be answered there.
      "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

      "Honk if you love Jesus, text if you want to meet him"

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      • #4
        I agree with Krismarie. Unless you plan on running it yourself, hiring the right manager(s) is key. If you treat and pay them right they will help you be successful. Think of it this way, remember when you worked for someone and they treated you like just another number and how you felt. When you had ideas and was never listened to. I know myself and others here are not just motivated by money alone. Also, location, location, location.
        "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

        "Honk if you love Jesus, text if you want to meet him"

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        • #5
          Agree with PAC, location. Do your homework. Do not buy the first facility you see. If you build, do extra homework because if your area is too saturated, you will not succeed as you hope. Best plan is find an area with facilities that stay somewhat full (90+%). Then be patient. When we purchased, most other facilities were running in the high 80's. This place was about 50%. We looked at it several times, and came to the conclusion the manager wasn't good, and the owner was focusing his attention and money at another facility in a different city. We knew after doing research that this place was right on the edge of town, where a lot of growth is occurring, and where a lot of future growth will occur. In less than 2 years, we filled the place up, raised rents and now in year 5 are doubling the size of our facility. We will have almost 450 units when completed later this year. This area is booming and last year all facilities were full, and most raised their rents. Now we will be the only (the 1st) with new units available come summer. We are building out the entire site instead of in phases. The cost savings is good and we only need to fill about 50-60 units to pay for the new buildings. We could have that done in a matter of weeks if the market holds true.

          Hope the helps and good luck to you. We love this business

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          • #6
            Hire the correct staff!!!
            Do not hire any joker, they will be a glorified chair warmer!!!
            Do your homework and pay that manager WELL!!!
            Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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            • #7
              As everyone else has said, good help is hard to find. That is the biggest con

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              • #8
                garberenterprises, is the place, if you build it, going to be just storage units or outside storage or both?
                "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

                "Honk if you love Jesus, text if you want to meet him"

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                • #9
                  It will be built on some existing land. We are researching trends so I'm unsure about whether it would be inside/outside, climate controlled, etc. at this point. What do tenants look for when renting a storage unit? We are trying to avoid something that will be outdated and undesirable in comparison to new storage facilities emerging.

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                  • #10
                    I think drive up units are the most popular.
                    Tenants like the ease of just pulling up and not having to access a door, a long hallway.

                    However, having both, inside and outside gives you the owner, the ability to offer both styles, hence being able to offer different prices!!!

                    You will have all of your bases covered.

                    Inside, less expensive
                    Outside, premium unit is premium dollars!!!
                    Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Agree with lady. Sometimes they call up and just want the cheapest unit that will take their items. But be wary of these tenants that ask for the cheapest, especially if they need the unit RIGHT NOW. Likely a problem tenant in the making that just got evicted or kicked out of a place. Then it steamrolls from there.
                      "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

                      "Honk if you love Jesus, text if you want to meet him"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am just going to put it out there and say that you're going to have to deal with the whole customer service aspect of things. The way that the business runs seems foolproof but you'll still have to deal with weird and crazy people on a daily basis. So make sure that you love to serve people when you get down to it, or get a manager to take care of your self storage business for you!
                        Christopher James, manager at:
                        Super Easy Storage - Brisbane North

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by garberenterprises View Post
                          It will be built on some existing land. We are researching trends so I'm unsure about whether it would be inside/outside, climate controlled, etc. at this point. What do tenants look for when renting a storage unit? We are trying to avoid something that will be outdated and undesirable in comparison to new storage facilities emerging.
                          I think if you do offer outside storage, meaning for RV's/trucks/boats/trailers, that if all you offer is space, like most others do, then you are missing a market for propane sales, electrical hook up sales, wash sales, food sales.....etc. That would also mean having at least one person there at all times of these amenities. Depends on your location and market as to whether all that would work.
                          "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

                          "Honk if you love Jesus, text if you want to meet him"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Cons:
                            People are stupid. (How often will you process my monthly auto payment? Duh.)
                            Employees can break you, even if they don't steal.

                            Pros:
                            I love storage! So much easier than most forms of Real Estate. Very seldom have anything approaching an emergency. Minimal things a client can damage. Very few tenant rights when compared to residential real estate. Can offer a diverse range of services that fit your style/ area.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It's always an up and down kind of situation when you run a customer-oriented company like a self storage business. At the end of the day, remember to do regular reviews of your company and perhaps rope in your staff to give ideas and help you out on the ground spotting things and places that could use improvements. The whole thing sounds very cushy and easy on paper but you'll still have to put your back into it if you want things to work out in the end of course!
                              Mark Sindone
                              Manager at Super Easy Storage - Inner West

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