Ask Scott: “On Demand Storage”

Commercial Real Estate Investing

“Curious if you have researched this new business model of “On Demand Storage”?  I noticed UHaul appears to be going “all in” on the U-Box.  In Texas we have seen Call Box Storage open up in DFW, Austin, and Houston.  There are several others that appear to be off and running – Makespace, Stash Storage, Clutter, to name a few.  I can wrap my head around it working in the urban core areas.  But will we see it gain traction in the burbs?  Would love to hear your thoughts.”

Yes, it does have the potential to be a Market Disruptor much in the way Uber was for taxicabs, or Air B-n-B is for the Hotel industry.

I like to think BIG but that model right there requires a lot of effort, as to me it seems it turns all of the simplicity of “Storage” into a logistic-centric & employee-heavy operation.  Which U-Haul, I believe, is ideally set up to capitalize upon.  So, yes, it could definitely work on paper and even in execution, but it would require quite a bit of setup as it’s something that would definitely need to be scaled if one was going to conquer more than just their local market – and that requires lots of people & lots of money.

Personally, I prefer the tried & true model of metal sheds on concrete slabs so folks can store their treasures and running all of that with zero to minimal employees – the simple approach.

So I guess in summary, the romantic part of me wants to change the world, but the practical part of me just wants to change “my” world.  And though I’m not easily scared or intimidated, going head-to-head with U-Haul conjures up one of the classic blunders – The most famous of which is ‘never get involved in a land war in Asia’ – but only slightly less well-known is this: ‘Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line!’

(Remember, my jokes are for me…)

Best wishes!


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