Introduction...Ask any boat or RV owner and they’ll tell you: Finding a place to store those vehicles can be tough. Homeowners’ associations hate seeing them in driveways; cities ticket them when they’re parked on the street; and apartment-complex managers don’t take kindly to sacrificing their limited parking.
There is a great opportunity for self-storage business owners to expand our business thanks to the growing demand in RV and boat storage and the low supply thereof. There are five questions one should ask when adding these storage units to our new or existing self-storage business.
1. Why Should We Offer Boat/RV Storage?
The first thing we’ll want to ask ourselves when considering the addition of boat/RV storage is whether it’ll be profitable. In most markets, it will. The main reason is the scarcity of the service.
2. What Type of Boat/RV Storage Should We Offer?
The great thing about adding boat/RV storage to your facility is it won’t necessarily cost a fortune. Besides tailoring it to the needs of future consumers, you can modify it to fit your budget.
There are essentially three types of boat/RV storage, ranging from simple to luxurious. The most basic form is a simple parking lot with spaces available for rent. If we have land you can pave or an existing parking lot that rarely fills up, converting it to storage should be easy. Simply use paint to designate rental spots and number them accordingly.
One step up from parking-lot storage is canopy storage. This type features a roof only or a roof and walls on two or three sides. It’ll cost a little more, but it’s a worthwhile investment if you live in an area where it snows or you get excessive sun; tenants will be happy to know that a canopy is protecting their vehicle from the elements.
If we want to cater to customers who expect luxury, you can offer fully enclosed units. These feature high clearance for even the tallest of vehicles as well as roll-up doors, dependable locks and even unit alarms. If you live in an area where you see many high-end boats and RVs, this type of storage will guarantee you business.
3. What Basic Features Do I Need?
Installing boat/RV storage won’t require you to change everything about our facility, but it will necessitate a few tweaks. The most important thing you’ll want to offer these tenants is space—not just to park but also to drive. We’ll need drive aisles that are at least 35 feet wide to accommodate large motorhomes and vehicles that are towing boats or a fifth-wheel trailer. By giving vehicle owners that extra room, you’ll not only improve their storage experience, you’ll prevent them from potentially damaging your property.
4. What Amenities Should We Offer?
If we really want to go the distance, there are a number of additional features and services we can offer. Wash and dump stations, propane sales, vacuums with long hoses and even air pumps are outstanding amenities that are likely to result in consumers choosing your facility over another. Providing electrical hookups in units will wow tenants as well.
5. How Do We Attract These Tenants?
They’re probably already looking for us! All we have to do is let them know we exist. Prioritize Web-based marketing over older techniques such as print advertising. Use our website by including quality photos of your property as well as a detailed list of amenities you offer specifically for boat and RV owners. Use the same terminology on our website that boat/RV owners use, as this will help your facility place higher in online searches.
In conclusion...With increasing numbers of people eager for a taste of life on the road (or sea), RV and boat storage is more desirable than ever. Fortunately, supply hasn’t caught up with demand—that’s where we come in and can create great cash flow.
Source: Interested in Embarking on Boat/RV Storage? Insider Self-Storage, July 14, 2016