Monthly Archives: February 2017

Why Former Retail Sites Converted To Self-Storage

Irving Toys-R-Us Now Self-Storage

Introduction:  As more and more retailers find themselves retreating from brick-and-mortar spaces, self-storage developers are seizing the opportunity to build facilities in prime locations.

Supermarkets, office supply, discounters and furniture stores are just a few of the empty big box stores that are getting a second chance as self-storage facilities. Meanwhile developers are bidding up prices on lots traditionally targeted towards apartment and hotel developers.

In the past, self-storage developers have not given those locations much of a second glance, because they haven’t been able to pay the higher prices that retail space typically commands. These days, self-storage is chasing – and winning – retail sites that bring them ever closer to a dense customer base.

Economic shifts: Two notable shifts have helped clear the runway to buy existing retail property for conversions or in-fill sites for new development. First, e-commerce has changed the retail landscape and thinned the herd of potential retailers willing to backfill an empty big box space or acquire land to build new stores. Second, rising rents at storage properties has given storage developers a bigger appetite – and more buying power – to acquire prime retail property.

“What has really happened is that as rents in certain markets have increased, that has given developers a greater opportunity to take a look at more expensive locations and conversions,” said Todd Amsdell, president and CEO of Cleveland-based Amsdell Companies.

In summary:  Retail locations have previously been considered too expensive for self-storage sites.  The above photo of a former Toys-R-Us on Airport Freeway in Irving, Texas shows retail can in fact be converted as this one has been to a Extra Space Storage.

Takeaway:  The rising rents and high occupancy has created new opportunities for us investing in self-storage.

Investing In RV/Boat Storage: Five Questions To Ask First

RV/Boat Storage

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.

Self-Storage Leasing Just Got Easier (and Cheaper)

Self-Storage Call Center

Introduction…One year after a friend of mine, Tron Jordheim, joined Store Here Self Storage Management a new call center emerged.  The new service the company has launched to give self-storage owners and operators and cost-effective way to drive more rentals and process payments from renters.

Tron explains, “Four of Store Here management team had experience running call centers in the past.  We probably had overseen six million calls or more…We took the best practices from our past experiences and look at all the new technologies and could not resist have a call center for our stores…)

Here’s how it’s cheaper…Normally a storage facility would pay $300 to $500 a month for basic services.  Tron does not charge a monthly fee.

So how does that work? “On the basic plan, we charge the tenant making a payment a convenience fee,” Tron says. “We get that convenience fee. When we create a reservation, we charge the caller a reservation fee that we keep. The reservation fee buys a free lock and a free month rent from the storage site. So the owner does not pay us any additional money.”

So how does that work? “On the basic plan, we charge the tenant making a payment a convenience fee,” Tron says. “We get that convenience fee. When we create a reservation, we charge the caller a reservation fee that we keep. The reservation fee buys a free lock and a free month rent from the storage site. So the owner does not pay us any additional money.”

In summary...”Store Here’s break-even point has already been reached. This frees us up to concentrate on refining our model, focus on making reservations and immediate rentals, and build our third-party management platform.”