A constant in Troubled Times – Self Storage

The coronavirus is not only deadly, it is toppling the stock market, bringing down the service industry and creating a global recession. However, there is one industry that hasn’t been affected negatively. I know that you are thinking toilet paper, but I was thinking self-storage.
Self-storage is a timeless industry that prospers during troubled times. Think about it. When people need to downsize, and many people probably will over the next 3-6 months, where do they put their belongings? In storage. Mom and Dad’s garage is probably already full — of toilet paper — so, the next best option is the storage unit down the street.

History has shown that the self-storage industry is one of the most stable industries. “Though self-storage is relatively new compared to other real estate asset classes, it has proven it can provide reliable and stable returns for investors. In fact, same-store income growth in self-storage has significantly outpaced multi-family, office, and retail since The Great Recession.”1

Right now, students are returning home. Where are they going to put their belongings? They are thinking self-storage. This is a great time to offer the first 30 days free to entice people to come to your storage unit over the one down the street. I have instructed my managers to offer 30 days free to anyone who can show a valid student ID. These students have no idea how long they are going to need to store their belongings. This is also true of offices that are having to bring everything home.

This may be a new era for the workforce. In the past, there has a been a lot of risk to sending home your employees and having them save the commute and work from home. Will they work? Will you be able to effectively communicate? Will the technology hold up? Now we are being forced to find out. If it works, will businesses continue to have their employees work from home to save on office space rental? If they do, then they will need somewhere to put their current office supplies.

In addition, the Coronavirus won’t affect the operation of self-storage. People don’t interact with one another at facilities. You can reduce interactions by doing everything online except showing new renters where their new unit is. Yes, there will be new renters. You can clean surfaces that are commonly used, like keypads, elevator buttons and door handles on a regular basis to protect your employee as well as clients. If you don’t already have an online bill pay system, now is a good time to get one implemented. Create a way to manage your site from home so that if your employee’s get sick or you are forced to self-quarantine for a few weeks, your tenants can still access their belongings.
This is a great time to be in self-storage. If you are not already an investor, check out our website to start. There are great opportunities waiting for you to buy them.

1. Thompson, Hunter. “3 Trends That Will Reshape Self-Storage in 2018.” Storage, 9 Feb. 2018, www.insideselfstorage.com/market-conditions/3-trends-will-reshape-self-storage-2018.

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