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How Optimizing Storage Mix and Idle Land Can Increase Revenue

Jun 03, 2021

Are You Getting the Most out of Your Self-Storage Facility?

If you own a self-storage facility, chances are you’ve seen firsthand how the needs of your tenants can change over time. One day, you wake up and realize that your once successful 10’ x 20’ units aren’t rented up like they used to be, and they’re quickly turning into a large waste of space and revenue. That’s the problem with unsuccessful units, they can quickly become a money pit by taking up rentable square feet at your facility. That’s why it’s important to always stay up-to-date with shifting trends in your area, so that you can meet the needs of your tenants while staying on top of a growing industry.

Start by taking a look at your self-storage unit mix, are you offering attractive options to the people in your community? Chances are, if your occupancy rate is consistently lower than your competition, or if you have particular unit sizes that don’t seem to be renting well, it may be time for you to change your unit mix. While you may think re-mixing your existing facility is too much work, or even too expensive, it can actually be a simple solution for generating more income. In fact, removing or adding walls to unsuccessful units is an easy and cost effective way to maximize your rental rates per square foot.

We added 7,700 rentable square feet of portable storage units to our CubeSmart facility. In this market, you can rent them around $1.30 per square foot. That’s a much higher rental rate and you’ll quickly see the potential to double your returns.

- David Brown, Director of Self-Storage at Wentworth Property Company

When determining what unit sizes and quantities would be most successful at your self-storage facility, conduct a market analysis and research the demographics in your area. This is an imperative first step in your decision making process because the demographics of your community will help determine which units will be most successful at your facility. For example, if your self-storage facility is located in a college town, you should consider adding smaller units like lockers or a hallway of swing door units. This is because the younger generation tends to have less items to store and less disposable income.

R3 Portal - Remix

Here are some various unit options to consider:

• Small Lockers
• Climate controlled units
• Portable storage units
• Wine storage
• RV and boat storage
• Upper units/stacked units

In addition to offering the best mix of units, optimizing any idle land can help increase your revenue. Do you have an underutilized parking lot, land that’s un-fit for ground-up construction, or are you rented at maximum capacity? Portable storage is a fast value-add solution because it can go almost anywhere, including areas that traditional self-storage can’t. Installing portable storage units is also much faster than constructing a traditional self-storage facility. Best of all, these portable storage units are technically qualified as equipment, so you can often bypass lengthy permitting and zoning process (every county is different, so be sure to check your local ordinances). Not to mention, there are tax benefits and cost segregation opportunities as well.

Once portable storage units are installed, they’re ready for immediate lease up! And just because they’re quick to install and moveable with a 5,000 lb forklift, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality or aesthetics. They can be made out of the same durable components as traditional self-storage units, and can be customized the same too! From colors and unit mixes to automation, portable storage units can be designed to fit your tenant’s every need.

Want to learn how Wentworth Property Company took an under-performing rear parking lot, added 7,700 rentable square feet of portable storage units and doubled their returns?

Read their customer spotlight here >>

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