Self-storage is a lucrative business that continues to grow. With a steady cash flow, large income potential, low overhead, and minimal construction costs, it’s no surprise that more and more facilities are popping up. Whether you’re expanding an existing site or building your facility from scratch, there are a few things you’ll want to research.
When designing the layout for your self-storage facility, take a good look at the property, the demographics, and the types of storage available. Luckily, you don’t have to tackle it all on your own. To help get things rolling, it’s a good idea to hire industry professionals to determine your project’s feasibility. Here are a few questions to ask when building your facility: Where can I fit storage units? What is the best mix of storage sizes? How should the traffic flow? Who are my tenants? Let’s break it down:
1. Find the perfect property
Each property is a unique opportunity with its own nuances. You might be looking to start a facility from the ground up or convert or expand an existing site. If you have a site that is already built out, but you desire more revenue, how can you afford to expand? Consider relocatable self-storage units. Maybe the site has uneven surfaces, an odd-shape, easements, setbacks, powerlines, or fence-lines to contend with. Not to worry. It can be surprising to find out just how much revenue-generating space your property has — especially with relocatable units!
The characteristics of your location will guide you when laying out your site. For example, if you’re in a rural location, you can offer drive-up units with plenty of room for trucks to enter. In cities, where land is less available, you’ll want to maximize your site with different sized units or multiple stories. Also consider using roll up doors, which can save on space. Examine your target market and build your unit mix by getting to know your competition and the different elements in your area.
Identify the location, size, rental rates, occupancy, and other details of your competitors. See what is renting and what is being left empty. Do a local Google search for small units, large units, types of leases, etc. If no other facility in your area offers a particular size, investigate why. Maybe that facility doesn’t use a manufacturer who produces a variety of sizes. Be sure you can offer a good mix if that’s what makes sense in your local market.
2. Know the demographics
Demographic information is a big piece of the puzzle. Once you know who is living and working in your area, you can figure out an optimal unit mix. The goal is to create a mix aligned with local demand. The most significant difference here is between homeowners and renters. People who own their own homes will typically rent larger units and keep them for longer periods. Those renting apartments, condominiums, townhouses, or multi-family housing tend to move around more frequently and have less to store.
What are people in your area storing? Let’s say your location has a lot of people with kayaks, bikes, or other sports equipment. These items don’t require a lot of space, so you’ll want to be sure you can offer several smaller units that are easily accessible. If your facility is in an area with a lot of retirees or vacationers, consider large units for boat and RV storage. The key is to offer a variety of sizes for potential clients to get the most out of your facility.
When building your facility, be sure to consider the average local age, income, marital status, and family size. A young, single tenant, for example. will typically rent a small unit, while a family will require a larger one. Those in higher income brackets will rent more climate-control units and shop for a facility that is secure. Learning the demographic data will affect the sizes of units that are requested more frequently, which will help you understand how to adjust your unit mix.
3. Consider all your storage options
When you’re designing the layout for your self-storage facility, remember that the objective is to maximize your revenue. You’ll need to decide what type of storage you are going to use. Your options are to either build a permanent structure or relocatable self-storage units. These options are quite different, namely in the time it takes to build. Other differences include the permitting requirements, the cost of construction, and the options for placement and configuration. It’s up to you!
If you choose permanent buildings for your self-storage facility, you’ll need to set aside a big budget and extra time. Stick-built or brick and mortar types of storage require permitting and local zoning know-how. Construction material prices have skyrocketed, permitting approvals are slowing moving, and there are labor shortages. Plus, you’ll need to have your unit mix planned out before you begin, as permanent structures are not easy to alter. It’s a good idea to hire a civil engineer to help with your planning of such a facility.
If you’d like to be able to build in phases, you should consider using relocatable units. Relocatables come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and configurations. You can fit in the optimal number of units on otherwise unbuildable areas on your property, maximizing your lot for revenue. Designing the perfect site layout for your self-storage facility with relocatables will save you on building costs during this time of high construction materials.
They are delivered on site and quickly assembled with no foundation required! Without the restrictions of building codes or zoning regulations, these non-permanent structures are becoming more popular for self-storage sites. Plus, relocatable units are considered equipment, which fall under the Section 179 tax benefit. Some relocatable self-storage manufacturers will even help you design the layout for your site to see just how many units you can fit on your property.
When you’re building or expanding your self-storage facility, look at all your options. Sometimes the easiest and most cost-effective choice is the most solid. The future of storage is looking good, and it feels like it’s going to continue to grow. Whether you do the research yourself or get some help from industry experts, the more information you gather, the better prepared you’ll be. It’s easy to determine your optimal site layout and unit mix. Decide upon a permanent structure or relocatable units, and in no time, your site will be transformed into a revenue-generating storage business!
At Boxwell, we pride ourselves on providing customers with the highest-quality storage containers on the market. We set out to reinvent storage and prove that a great product can be created through innovation and perseverance. As a team, we strive to evolve with our ever-growing industry. Work with a Boxwell representative to decide on an ideal, moveable storage unit mix, custom colors, door configurations and more. Once you place an order, we deliver and install your Boxwell relocatable self-storage units. You’ll be ready to rent them in no time.
Boxwell designs, manufactures, and distributes customizable storage solutions for businesses around the world. Boxwell’s aims to build the future of storage, today. And we do this by looking for ways to develop more durable storage. Our units installed in a fraction of the time compared to other options. We explore new technologies, services, and features. As a result, Boxwell supports its clients and elevates the industry standard.
Do you want to increase your facility’s revenue? Firstly, work with a Boxwell representative. From there you can decide on an ideal, moveable storage unit mix. Next, you choose your custom colors, door configurations and more. Once you place an order, we deliver and install your Boxwell relocatable self-storage units. Finally, you’ll be ready to rent them in no time!