Location, Location, Location! Some of the most famous words in real estate. When you are choosing a location for your self-storage facility, you must first look at where it is located. If you are not in a good location, you are going to have a hard time making money.
The first thing that you want to evaluate when you are looking at a location is the visibility. Can people see your Self-Storage Facility easily? Is it obvious during their commute? Is it easy to access? If it is off the beaten path and hard to find, it is probably not the best choice. As a matter of fact, that is probably the reason that they are selling in the first place. It is very hard to make a storage facility profitable if no one knows it is there.
Not every opportunity that you find is going to make a good location for a self- storage facility. Start with determining if it has good visibility. If it does, then you need to determine how easy it is to access. In the old days, self-storage was located next to the airport or as far away from town as you could get. Now, you want to be as close to your target audience as possible. You want to make sure that there are no self-storage facilities between you and your market because if there is, why would they drive past that one to get to yours? What services do you offer that make your self-storage facility better than the one that is closer and more convenient?
Do you offer RV or boat storage that goes along with the unit they are storing their Christmas decorations in? Do you have Climate-Controlled Self-Storage? What makes you more appealing? Do you have better lighting or better security? Are your rates lower? Are you offering a move in special that will entice them to come to you? Most people are not going to drive past the convenient, close self-storage facility to come to yours. Make sure that you are not out located. Location is very important in self-storage.
When you are converting a property, you may be in the retail district if you are converting a retail box store. That makes your location for self-storage pretty good. However, when you are looking at converting an industrial property into self-storage, you are more than likely going to be on the outskirts of town. Make sure that you are still easy to access. You do not want to be on the edge of a dead end road off another dead end road.
If you are in a city that has waiting lists at every self-storage property, then location is not going to be as much of a problem. However, if you are in a traditional market, then it is important to do your feasibility study, please review our post on feasibility studies.
Now that you have decided that you are in a good location for your self-storage conversion, it is time to decide if you are in the right area for a conversion? Do the demographics work? Check out our next blog for more information or go to our website for helpful handouts on how to get started in self-storage. As always, Happy Investing.