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.
Our products include drive-up self-storage units, relocatable self-storage units, portable storage containers, residential storage containers, moving containers, and restoration containers. Intended to help you increase your business’ revenue-generating space, our portable containers and relocatable self-storage units are flexible, stackable, and beautiful! Boxwell is here to ensure that our products help you achieve your business goals.
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!
Building a Self-Storage Facility: Important Factors to Consider
If you are considering getting into the self-storage business, you are in good company with Boxwell. Self-storage is a growing industry in the United States, offering steady cash flow and excellent income potential. However, building a self-storage facility requires careful planning and research to ensure success. This article will review the most important factors when building a self-storage facility - from initial investment and financing to market research and equipment.
Initial investment and financing
When building a self-storage facility, the first item to consider is your initial investment and financing options. The cost of building storage units can vary greatly depending on land costs, site improvement costs, and architectural details.
You need to determine the right price for a site and the number of self-storage units you can build on that site to maximize your profit margin. You'll also need to factor in development costs, such as site development and material costs, as well as the cost of financing your project.
Feasibility study and market research
Before building your self-storage facility, you should conduct a feasibility study and market research to determine if it is worth the investment in your area. This research should include an analysis of the local self-storage industry, the demand for storage in the area, and the potential customer base. It would help if you also investigated rental rates, amenities, and other factors that may affect the success of your facility. This research will help you determine the optimal size and mix of storage units for your facility, whether you should build a single-story or multi-story storage facility, and whether you should offer climate-controlled units.
Site selection and signage
Site selection is another crucial factor to consider when building a self-storage facility. Choose a location that is easy for potential customers to reach and highly visible to attract new customers.
It means choosing a location in a high-traffic area, such as a busy intersection or near a major road. Consider signage and other marketing efforts to attract customers to your facility.
Unit Mix and amenities
One of the most critical factors in building a successful self-storage business is offering a mix of storage units that meet your customers' needs. It may include offering individual storage units in various sizes and climate-controlled units for special care items.
You can also offer amenities such as 24-hour access, security systems, and on-site management to attract and retain customers.
Building and operating a self-storage facility
Once you have determined the feasibility of building a self-storage facility in your area and secured funding, it's time to start construction. You can construct a permanent building or use relocatable self-storage units to save on construction costs.
You must obtain permits, comply with local building codes and hire contractors to build your facility. Once your facility is up and running, you must market your business and manage operations to ensure success.
Costs for land and development
The cost of land and site development is an essential factor in building self-storage facilities. You need to factor in the cost of buying or renting a site, development, and construction costs. In rural areas, land may be less expensive, but site development costs may be higher due to required road construction and utility connections. In urban areas, land may be more expensive, but site development costs may be lower due to existing infrastructure. Finding the right balance between cost and location would be best to maximize your profit margin.
Climate control is another essential factor to consider when building self-storage facilities. Climate-controlled storage units are in high demand, especially in extreme temperatures or high-humidity areas. Offering climate-controlled storage units can increase your profit margin. However, it will also increase your construction and operating costs. It would be best to weigh the benefits of offering climate-controlled units against the costs to determine whether this option is viable for your facility.
If you are building self-storage facilities, you may need to seek financing from potential investors. It would help if you created a business plan outlining expected revenues and expenses and your marketing and management strategies. You may also need to provide financial projections and other documentation to secure funding. Investors are interested in your experience in the self-storage industry, market research, and ability to manage a self-storage facility successfully.
Another factor to consider when building self-storage facilities is the current labor shortage in the construction industry. The labor shortage can lead to construction delays and higher labor costs. To avoid delays, look for labor early in construction and consider alternative construction methods such as steel buildings. You may also need to adjust your construction schedule for delays and higher costs.
Building self-storage facilities requires careful planning and consideration of many factors. Land and site development costs, climate control, potential investors, and labor shortages are just a few factors to consider when building self-storage facilities.
By thoroughly researching the market and creating a solid business plan, you can maximize your profit margin and ensure your success in the self-storage industry. Whether you are building in rural or urban areas, there are many ways to build a successful self-storage business and meet the growing demand for storage space.