Storage Units

16 Replies

@Jessica I have a 20 unit facility and have been close to purchasing a 48unit if I can get the seller to commit. I also work in commercial lending so I can provide some appraisal and lending insight if that is what you are looking for. PM me if you want to talk more

@Jessica Gettle

@Jessica Gettle - I work for a brokerage and developer of self storage facilities, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have. I would recommend digging around on the website for Inside Self Storage, though. They're the main industry publication, and have lots of useful articles.

SS Newbie question: is there any different financing or management considerations for a vehicle-only (i.e. RV/Boat/Trailer) storage lot than for a 'pure' storage unit location?  Is one more difficult to manage than the other? Do 'mixed use' (vehicle and storage unit) lots do well, or is it better to stick to only one or the other?

@doug poff

Assuming your facility has the additional parking space, They are typically offered together to provide more storage options to the customer as well as an additional income source for the ss facility owner. It's not a difficult operation to manage. 

@taye Nguyen

You buy the whole business which can consist of 100 units or 300 units and each unit gets rented individually.

Goal is to have at least 90 to 100% of all units rented

@Molly MacGregor A few questions, hope you dont mind. 

What are the properties doing for security? 

How do people sign up for new units and does someone physically meet them to show them to their unit? 

Automated billing with credit cards and what software is being used? 

What is involved with turning a unit? 

How do you handle when someone stops paying or is late?

What is the biggest frustration with these units?

@Molly MacGregor A few questions, hope you dont mind.

What are the properties doing for security?

 - gates (with individual access codes) and security cameras.

How do people sign up for new units and does someone physically meet them to show them to their unit?

- physically meet them (though there are kiosks out there that some facilities have.

Automated billing with credit cards and what software is being used?

-  auto bill as much as possible.  And there are several software companies. I use Quikstor.  

What is involved with turning a unit?

-  Average tenant rents for 1.5 years.  Not much you do during that period.  Have tenants who have been here for years and wouldn't recognize them if they stopped me on the street.

How do you handle when someone stops paying or is late?

- evict them but you must follow the state statute. 

What is the biggest frustration with these units?

- not very exciting!  But allows you time to do other things.  Ours is a pretty good size (500 units) and even then we might not get but one or two phone calls throughout the days a few days a month.  (Now the first week of the month is a different story.)

I'm thinking of buying a .66 acre commercial lot for $60K and building 6000 to 7000 sq ft of storage. Automated overlocks, no onsite manager. I figure I could get 30 or so 200 sq ft units out of this. I've never done storage before.

Does this sound feasible, profitable? Or is it too small? I don't mind small if it runs itself.

Does anyone know what to budget per sq ft for a cement block storage unit?

Does anyone here know how much additional cost I am looking at by adding a climate control system to this project, and is climate control really necessary? By climate control I mean structure would be insulated and foundation would include heating coils to eliminate the moisture.

Thanks

I'm thinking of buying a .66 acre commercial lot for $60K and building 6000 to 7000 sq ft of storage. Automated overlocks, no onsite manager. I figure I could get 30 or so 200 sq ft units out of this. I've never done storage before.

Does this sound feasible, profitable? Or is it too small? I don't mind small if it runs itself.

Does anyone know what to budget per sq ft for a cement block storage unit?

Does anyone here know how much additional cost I am looking at by adding a climate control system to this project, and is climate control really necessary? By climate control I mean structure would be insulated and foundation would include heating coils to eliminate the moisture.

Thanks

First thing I'd do is check to see what the county/municipality zoning code says.  You may not be able to put self storage on commercial.  Where I am located, you need to be zoned industrial.  I'd also check to see what competition is like in the area.  Alot of people prefer to use a facility that has an onsite office simply for the perception that it is more secure.   Not to get ahead of ourselves, but you should think about re-sale.  When you go to sell, most prospective buyers want to be able to expand.  If you are fully rented (30 units at, say, $100/month) with no room to expand, there is little upside for a buyer.  

As for cost, site work could run as much/more so than the cost of the building (which is another reason why I'd go bigger than a space for only 1 building). 

I'd suggest scrapping climate control.  People will not want to pay for it, particularly if the facility isn't manned.

I've got a couple of self storage facilities but we're in Australia so I'm not too sure about how things would apply for you in the States. Happy to answer any operational questions you may have and in the meantime, hope that you're doing well with your research to start investing in a self storage business. I'm sure that there are a lot of guys here who are a lot more experienced in the financial side of things here so I'll leave them to it. Good luck!

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