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  • New from Minnesota

    Hello Everyone,

    New member here from Minneapolis area that is looking to get into the self storage business. I have been trying to educate my self day and night for the last 6 months on the storage business, now I'm ready to jump in!

    My current situation:
    My family and I live in a Northwest suburb of the MSP area. Father of 2 (10.5 mos) old twins and married to my lovely wife. Hold a full time job in the manufacturing industry. My hopes and dreams are to quite my day job and follow the entrepreneur path.

    Currently looking to acquire or convert.

    Acquiring an Existing Facility:
    Actively working with a broker to try to find some deals in the MSP area but doesn't appear to be much for sale out there at the moment. I have done some direct mailers on my own, with little success, to be honest wasn't expecting much. I'm sure all you facility owners love those direct mailers....not. I'm not a fan of the mailers either but figured that it's one way for people to know that I exist and trying to get into the business. It's not like deals will land in my lap if no one knows I'm looking.... After talking with a few people in real estate business, not saying self storage is real estate investing, networking is one of the best strategies to come up with deals. This is one of many reasons I decided to join this forum.

    Converting an Existing Building into Self Storage:
    Currently focusing the majority of my time on this. I like the idea taking an existing building, likely vacant or distressed, and adding value to it. I'm early on in my research and trying to understand the cost required to convert. I understand that there are many variables that go into the cost of a conversation. Does anyone have a general rule of thumb they use when figuring out cost per square foot? Specifically cost to install the storage system, labor and materials?

    Networking:
    I'm open to network with just about anyone. If there are any facility owners or managers in the MSP area, or really anywhere, that are wanting to chat self storage, please let me know! I would love to pick your brain.

    If anyone is looking for help with managing facilities in the MSP area I would be very interested in speaking with you. I'm just about willing to do anything self storage related at this point, just so I can continue to grow my knowledge.

    Feel free to send me a PM if you would like to chat.

    Thanks everyone!
    Chris

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum from Oregon
    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

    Comment


    • #3
      Welcome!
      Amy Campbell
      Editor
      Inside Self-Storage
      [email protected]

      @AmyCampbell_ISS
      480.281.6091

      Comment


      • #4
        Welcome from CT

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        • #5
          Welcome from Idaho

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          • #6
            Hi and Welcome!!

            I run facilities and do not own, so my experiences would be different from an owner/operator. However, I can provide a glimpse into my experiences and perhaps they may help you to make an informed decision - if you decide this is for you and your family - eyes wide open.

            I will list out some of the items I have had to do over the years or experienced to give you a general idea of what you might be expected to do and may run into as an owner and operator:

            1. I missed Christmas Eve service with my wife and family to address a leaking unit and had to try to find the leak and seal and patch in a storm at night (for the record, the tenant was amazed I showed up to fix it).
            2. I have had to clean some of the most disgusting bathrooms (it is now locked and stays locked).
            3. I had to cancel dinners plans when there was an issue at the facility.
            4. I have walked out of movies.
            5. I have cleaned up urine (dog and people), poop (dog and people), vomit and blood.
            6. I fix my own gate (motor, electrical and welding).
            7. I fix my own doors (replace the springs, make adjustments, fix/replace latches, weatherstripping) - in the middle of the night if necessary.
            8. We have been robbed at gunpoint - he got a mandatory 14 years (for our crime and others).
            9. I have had a tenant drive through my gate.
            10. I have had a thief try to run me over.
            11. I have been cussed at and yelled at in person and over the phone.
            12. It is normal for me to work past my normal hours and on my off days.

            Most of the time this is a very easy, simple job, sometimes it isn't.

            We pay for our own medical insurance coverage, this may be something you need to discuss with your wife if your coverage is provided by your employer.

            I love this career and starting at an entry position to being promoted just under the owner has been an incredible journey, but it is not for everyone.

            Generally, your day to day employee interactions are with one or two people, if you love going out to lunch with friends or hanging out at the cafeteria (pre-Covid) or coffee breaks with colleagues, you will most likely not get that in a self storage career.

            My biggest recommendation would be to work in the industry, if possible, for at least 3 months, even part-time, to really determine if this is what you want to do with your money and future. There is no substitute for actually doing the job.

            Even if you decide that owning or running is not for you, you can still be involved with the various self storage REIT's (I am not a licensed broker and any investment involves risk).

            Weigh everything and make the best decision for you and your family - eyes wide open.

            Comment


            • #7
              Welcome from PA.
              Yes you are correct about the mailers. Most times I can tell by the way the have it addressed. They go directly into the ballot box.
              Joe Krezdorn
              DAK Self Storage
              Leesport, PA 19533
              www.dakselfstorage.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Welcome to self-storage Chris! It's a great community of folks and a good investment vehicle too Welcome! Denee

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