100 Unit Self Storage Facility Purchased - Looking For Guidance

12 Replies

Hello, what started out as initially looking into self storage facilities moved faster than anticipated and I now have a 100 unit facility with some flex space under contract.  Inspection is next week but outside of any surprises the deal should close.  I would like to know what self storage software is recommended and any other general advice starting out in this new venture.  This facility is unique that it is in a resort town, 100% rented with a waiting list, not typically accessed on a daily basis.

@Brian Gunning welcome to BP and congrats on your purchase.  I used SiteLink for my facility and it was an excellent package.  I demo'd most of the different platforms and my objective was to pick the one that I could figure out how to use without any training.  SiteLink was the only one.  But hey, that was almost 15 years ago so there might be other viable options now, but we just stayed with what was working for us.  Good luck!

I use Easy Self Storage. It’s $39/mo and works great for small facilities. They build and manage my website which allows online rental and payments. I also use their call center which answers all of my incoming calls, rent units, handle payments, and move in’s/outs. I have three small facilities that they handle and it’s been nothing but awesome since I turned it over to them!
You can see my site at BluewaterstorageLLC. Com

Good luck! I love it!

They will also do a demo with you in which they walk you through the site as well as send you a couple different styles to look at. They are out of Utah.

IMO stay away from 6storage. I started out with them and it was miserable. They are out of Iceland and the barrier in language/verbiage was a constant source of irritation and problems.

Site link is typically the best in class but it is expensive. We use Webselfstorage on the smaller facilities because of the price and also the credit card processing is a nice feature. It is far from the best out there but is good for smaller facilities.

@Brian Gunning , I have used webselfstorage and Easy Self Storage (Storageunitsoftware.com) and Easy self storage blows the other out of the water.  It is perfect for small and medium facilities and they even have an inhouse call center so that you can fully automate your facility.  I used to do all day to day operation at one of my facilities and since bringing them on board, I now field about 5% of the inquiries rather than 100%.  Money well spent!  Happy to answer any questions you have as you get started in the business. It can be a life changing adventure for sure.  Check out my blog here on BP. It might give you a primer as you get rolling. its called "All Things Self Storage".

@Brian Gunning Congrats first! I bought my first ever self storage of 130 units last year so I know how you feel! and nice on the 100% occupancy. could you share a bit stats on the deal? just curious how your deal work. typically when it's at high occupancy it's sold at that premium and not as much upside for buyer to improve and capture that value. But every deal is different and I'm sure there're something attracts you in this deal. Also, what kind of inspections you plan to do? I didn't hire professional inspectors in my deal, but only brought over my regular repair guys to help inspect (structural, roofing, etc)

as for management software, I use easy self storage too and I agree with comments above that it's a good fit for small/medium facility given consideration of their cost vs. value. some others like sitelink and storEdge have quite more cool features but you pay for that premium. another factor for me to go with easy self storage is the competitive rate from merchant account provider they partners with that you use for your website's credit card processing. 

their call center feature is very nice to have additionif you need that. But they charge extra for that. I can't remember exactly how much, but I didn't want to pay for that back then

and @Mark Byrge hmmm they charge me $49/month, and that's after I negotiated down from originally $59/month... sounds like it's time for me to renegotiate that rate now... lol

I do have three facilities with them, so that could be a factor with the pricing too. But it never hurts to negotiate! Call center is around $200 per month and its based on calls received. 

@Brian Gunning - I use storEDGE and like it. The functionality and user interface is solid. Also their customer support is awesome. Easy Storage is also a solid platform! You won't go wrong with either of them. 

Also - if you end up closing definitely look to raise rates. At 100% full that says to me rates are too low.

Hi, thank you all for your input this is very helpful.  The 100% occupancy is due to the scarcity of storage space in this resort town and yes rents will be raised this next year.  There was a premium price on this property though the plan is to hold long term and rents will only steadily increase so we are happy.

I appreciate all of your input so please keep responding.  It's feedback like this that saves me time while drinking from a firehose.  

@Brandon Yuan

Hey Bradon, sorry I forgot to add your name in my response, I am new to using BP.  We did hire a professional inspector since it's in a small community and in case it came up during any future financing options.  Again thank you for all of your input.

Hey Brian, 

Congrats and welcome to the wonderful world of Self-Storage!   We also use Sitelink - hands down the best, and when someone comes to buy your facility, you'll be glad you have it for reporting and for ease of transitioning ownership. 

And yes, agree with the above - Raise Rates NOW,  AND construct more buildings if possible AND look for more ground to develop more units in that market or look for conversion opportunities as well. 

Cheers, 

@Brian Gunning , Congrats on entering the asset class! I would look into buying containers ($3k/160sqft container) or Janus MASS units (~$5k/200sqft unit) to easily add additional rentable sqft to your site. This will be far less expensive than building new unless you can go up.

I would talk to the planning (zoning for containers, etc), building and fire departments (do you need fire sprinklers). Every jurisdiction is different. For example, Stockton, CA specifically prohibits container storage in commercial zone but permits in industrial. Livermore, CA requires fire sprinkler to be installed but the California Fire Code does not. Ask for permission over begging for forgiveness with the City/County. 

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