The Self Storage Industry – Haves and Have Nots?

According to Sovran CEO David Rogers, the Self Storage Is ‘Industry of Haves and Have Nots’ as reported by John Donegan, of the Storage Facilitator Blog.

Big Business versus  Small BusinessSovran is no small player in the Self Storage industry. Sovran Self Storage, Inc. is a fully integrated, self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) that acquires and manages self storage properties. Sovran operates its stores under the trade name Uncle Bob’s Self Storage®, and serves over 200,000 customers in 25 states.The Company owns and/or operates more than 400 self storage facilities encompassing over 30 million square feet, making it one of the largest self-storage companies in the United States.

Donegan states that at the recent REITWeek 2013 Investor Forum, David Rogers declared that technology, Internet advertising and revenue management tools have enabled the country’s four publicly traded Self Storage REITs, which make up 10 percent of the U.S. market, to “distance” themselves from mom-and-pop facilities, which constitute 90 percent of the U.S. market.

“It’s really become an industry of haves and have nots,” said Rogers, chairman and CEO of Sovran Self Storage Inc., one of the four publicly traded self-storage REITS.

If this information is true, it would seem that the facilities that are not part of the REIT Empire are in for big trouble!

Sovran currently spends $5 million to $5.4 million a year on Internet advertising. What’s more, it has 10 in-house employees and three outside consultants devoted solely to online ads. Rogers states that “we can say at least 65 percent of our customers get in touch with us through the Web,”  Certainly, Sovran is clearly committed to internet marketing expenditure, but, does that really give them an advantage?

We at San Clemente Self Storage believe that independent, non- corporate owners can do  “very well” against larger Corporate owned companies. The fact is that Good management will always prevail – whether it is in a “large corporate environment” or not.  A well managed local company simply has an inherit advantages over larger Corporate ones that are burden with a bureaucracy that is necessary to keep them alive.  The term mom-and-pop is an interesting term here, after all, most self storage facilities are worth  millions of dollars!

David Rogers speaks of technology and marketing advantages that the larger companies have over smaller ones. Really – What advantage do they really have? Any local self storage owner can purchase operating software that includes state-of-the art reporting and security systems for very reasonable prices.

Regarding internet marketing, the self storage industry is a locally driven business, very specific in its nature.  All one needs to do is hire a good “locally focused” Search Engine Optimization company to compete with the “big boys” in their local market.  The fact is that Google does not give large corporate companies a break on advertising costs.

Perhaps David Rogers is simply  trying to “scare” mom-and-pop” operators so that he can buy their businesses – “A trick as old as time itself”.  Yes, it is true, if a mom-in-pop business is poorly managed they probably should look else where to make their money.  But, a well run independently owned company can certainly do fine against the “big boys”.

Source of Sovran Information:




New ADA Rules for Newly Constructed Self Storage Facilities

ADA Self Storage - New Rules

The American Disability rules are constantly being updated.  For self storage facilities, there are two new ones that were just were put into place that apply to facilities that were  constructed after March 15, 2012.  According to the Self Storage Facilitator Blog, these two  rules are as follows:

  • Scoping— For storage facilities with 200 storage units or less, 5% of all the storage units must be accessible to people with disabilities.  For larger self storage facilities, 2% percent plus an additional 10 storage units must be accessible.
  • Dispersion—Accessible units must be “dispersed” among all “classes” of storage units, which means providing access to people who have physical limitations, such as paraplegics.

In the case of a self storage facility, accessibility to the storage unit is often by way of a roll up door.  This new rule now means that the roll up door will need to be lubricated in such a way that it is extremely easy push the roll up door above your head.

The second area of the accessibility to units issue is that the ADA will now require newly constructed storage facilities have no more than 1 inch of rise in each foot of space leading to the storage unit.  In the past, many self storage facilities were designed in a fashion that the slop leading to the storage unit went downhill or away from the unit in order to divert rain from entering it.

It should be noted that most architects have anticipated such ADA accessibility guidelines as the 5% “scoping” rule and have designed them into their building plans for many years.

Source:Self Storage Facilitator

10 Expert Storage Tips

The following Storage Tips can really help you if your are getting ready to put items into a storage unit!

10 Expert Storage Tips

10 Expert Storage Tips

1. Keep frequently used items in the front of the storage unit- These will be the last items put into the storage.
2. Map – Make a quick drawing of where you stored your items – This will be a big help it you need to retrieve an item.
3. Cover – Protect your furniture and mattresses with plastic wrap and specially designed covers.  Insects can lay eggs in bedding – protect them!
4. Vertical thinking – utilize your storage space by stacking items to the ceiling, the heaviest goods below and the lightest top.
5. Disassemble furniture – Detach table legs and or other parts. Place table fronts on top of each other.
6. Stack chairs vertically with the seats face to face.
7. Multitasking – Use your refrigerator or cabinets to store things such as table cloths or books. Leave the doors cracked open so the air can circulate inside.
8. Store items by category – Group your items together and place them in boxes by category.
9. Tool etc. – shovels, hoes, rakes and hoses can be together kept in empty trash cans.
10. Empty Fuel Tanks of Gardening Tools- if you store a fuel-powered lawn mowers or leaf blowers, empty the tanks before storing.