Self Storage Investment Articles

 

Choosing A Title Company For Your Self-Storage Closing

Every self-storage facility purchase requires a title company to handle the transaction – but which one should it be? The answer is that you should always steer for the largest title company in the metro area in which the property is located. There are several good reasons for this.

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Approaching Self-Storage Re-Zoning Like A Professional

To build a self-storage facility typically requires going before Planning and Zoning as well as the City Council. Sometimes it’s just to approve your plans, but in other cases it’s required to get the zoning necessary to have the right to build this usage category. While there are professionals who offer their services in this regard, they are expensive and may not fit your budget. So here’s how you can attack these situations like a professional.

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The Top Reasons For Storage Demand And How To Market To Them

Self-storage serves many roles for many customers. And, assuming that these customers all come from similar positions to need storage, it might be a good marketing plan to work backwards and match the key drivers for demand to ways to reach these distinct groups. So what are the top reasons for storage demand and how can you market to them?

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If You Want To Make Money In Self Storage Don’t Do What The Big Companies Do

The concept of “income properties” revolves around that one sole focus: making income. There is no reason you would ever want to own a self-storage facility other than to make money. And making money is pretty simple too – you have to produce enough revenue to cover costs and your mortgage and still have cash flow to put in your pocket. Yet many of the largest self-storage companies fail miserably in this concept.

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Can Creative Financing Cure All Problems With Your Storage Deal?

Many a self-storage deal has been saved through creative seller financing. This is the concept in which the seller offers great lending terms to the buyer that offset the other drawbacks. So how can you make a deal work with seller financing that would not work without it?

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Finding Peace Of Mind In Third Party Reports On Your Self-Storage Deal

We all hate spending money, but sometimes the cost is offset by having greater confidence in your deal – all the way to the point of having the guts to pull the trigger and sign the closing documents. And the source of much of this confidence are third-party reports. While many of these are bank requirements, others are simply the smart way to proceed even with seller financing. So what are these third-party reports that are a big part of buying any self-storage facility?

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Should You Obtain Self-Storage Financing On Your Own Or Should You Use A “Loan Broker”?

All self-storage investing revolves around obtaining financing. While most people think this is their job and must do it themselves, there is another option and that’s utilizing a “capital consultant” which is also known as a “Loan broker”. And you should think about this before you start contacting lenders.

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Bill Gates Becomes A Self-Storage Investor

Bill Gates is best known for being the founder of Microsoft and one of the richest people in the world with a net worth of around $140 billion. But he has recently branched out into a new arena as a significant self-storage investor. He has bought a large stake in StorageMart, which is the largest privately-owned self-storage provider in the world.

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The Impact Of Covid On Self-Storage And Lessons Learned

Self-storage investing is not bullet proof, and there is no Kevlar vest to protect you if you do not plan accordingly. Although self-storage did well during the 2008 Great Recession – the implosion of the single-family market – it has done nearly as well in weathering the Covid pandemic which began in March of 2020. And there are already lessons to be learned.

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When – And How – To Fire Your Self-Storage Manager

It’s a simple fact that many self-storage managers can’t make the cut. Some people are just not manager material. And there’s no point in hiding from the fact. There’s an old saying that “it’s easier to change people than to change people” and that’s as true today as it was when that motto first was invented. So how do you get rid of the failing storage manager and make way for the new candidate?

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Self-Storage Winners And Losers From The New Biden Era

>Every action has a corresponding reaction. When you couple this withhe mantra that “life is not fair” you end up with the net effect from a new Presidential term. Biden is about to take office and his policy comments have already sparked a reaction as to who gets hurt and who gets helped by the new administration. So how will Biden impact the self-storage industry?

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How True Investment Grade Storage Assets Are Different Than What The Media Tells You

Not all self-storage facilities are created equally. Well, they may be built the same, but there’s a whole lot more to a storage property being “investment grade” than just metal walls and roll-up door. And the entire self-storage “media” often point you in the wrong direction regarding what you should be buying and what you should avoid. So what makes up an “investment grade” property? Let’s explore that issue.

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The Power Of Leverage On A Self-Storage Facility: An Economic Model

One of the greatest tools in self-storage investing – the most powerful of them all – is leverage. The simple existence of sensible leverage on a storage property can spike the return up significantly as well as to allow the buyer the ability to own something far beyond their typical budget. So how does leverage work as a beneficial tool to make money with a storage facility?

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The Beauty of Scale With Self-Storage Customers

One aspect of self-storage facilities that gets little attention is the fact that it’s made up of tens or hundreds of little customers. This is not a source of frustration but actually an asset for those who own them. So what’s so great about having a ton of tiny customers?

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Understanding The Coverage Ratio For Self-Storage Facilities

Virtually all investors in the self-storage arena buy their properties using debt. That’s always been the attraction to real estate: the availability of getting leverage. And leverage is the tool that allows cash-on-cash returns to be stronger than traditional investments that have no leverage. One of the metrics banks use to underwrite loans is the “coverage ratio”.

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Self-Storage Negotiation 101

You cannot buy a self-storage facility without engaging in the old-fashioned art of negotiation. Nobody knows when the first negotiation in the world transpired, but it probably dates back to cavemen trying to get that extra piece of firewood. You simply cannot be an effective buyer without understanding its principals and engaging in the gamesmanship that has become negotiation today. So what are the basics you need to know?

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Understanding How Flood Plain Impacts Self-Storage Properties

Hurricane season is always a good reminder of the importance of keeping mindful attention on the existence of flood plain when buying a self-storage property. Even in non-coastal areas, a severe weather event can lead to high levels of rain, and this can result in danger if you are in the flood plain. Sowhat do you need to know about self-storage facilities and flooding?

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Control Your Self-Storage Facility Calls And Control Your Future

The life’s blood of a self-storage property’s occupancy is the calls coming in from prospective customers. All of your marketing is contingent upon what happens when the phone rings. Yet too many storage owners cede control over their important conduit to the manager, without adequate safeguards. So how can a self-storage facility owner take control over that phone line?

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Constructing A Successful Self-Storage Collections Ritual

Like any business, self-storage owners cannot succeed without collecting their rent each month. To make this possible, smart owners build a “collections ritual” that influences the action steps they take and help shield them from liability and failure in getting the necessary funds. So what are some ideas for a successful “collections ritual”?

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The Stats Are Coming In Post-Covid, And The Future Of Self-Storage Investment Has Changed Significantly

America changed in March of this year, when the acknowledged arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic rattled the U.S. population with self-quarantine followed by urban riots and unrest. On top of that, many of the activities that we had all learned to enjoy (dining out, movies, theater, shopping) suddenly ceased to exist in the manner they had before. This ushered in what is now known as the “Great Reshuffling” by Bestplaces.net – which refers to the population moving from urban to more suburban and rural markets.

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Self-Storage Property Tax From A To Z

There’s an old saying that you can’t escape from death and taxes. And one of those taxes is “property tax” which is the amount you will pay annually for your storage facility. While the concept of property tax may seem complicated, it’s pretty simple when you understand the format. So here’s a quick review of self-storage property tax from A to Z.

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Small And Large Buyers Of Self-Storage Are Now On Equal Footing

Traditionally, larger buyers of self-storage facilities always viewed themselves as having an edge when it came to lending and negotiating. They thought they could get lower interest rates and better terms than smaller buyers and use that as a weapon against them. However, the Covid-19 changes to the self-storage industry have rendered a new era in which the big companies have no advantage over the small.

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The Covid-19 Pandemic Is Reshaping Self-Storage Investing: And The Little Guy Is Winning Big

The Covid-19 pandemic has not been kind to urban self-storage investing. In fact, it’s a downright disaster. Here’s what the New York Times had to say: What once seemed like one of the few recession-proof parts of commercial real estate looks as vulnerable as many other businesses. And then backs that up with the facts: Monthly rent for new customers before one-time discounts for a 10-by-10 unit without air-conditioning and heat, for example, declined 4.3 percent nationwide on an annualized basis, according to the research site Yardi Matrix. For the same unit with climate control, rent fell 6.7 percent. You can read the entire article here.. So what happened and are their any bright spots?

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Should You Build A Self-Storage Facility From Scratch Or Buy An Existing One?

A common question for most investors is whether it’s more profitable to build a self-storage facility from scratch or to buy an existing one. There are many issues to consider on this topic, but here is a basic explanation of the good and bad aspects to both.

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Why Covid-19 Is Not A Self-Storage “Buying Opportunity” But A “Lesson Learned”

Some self-storage facility owners – particularly those that deal in raising capital in syndications – are trying to proclaim that the Covid-19 pandemic has created a “strong buying opportunity” in storage properties. However, this is simply not the case. Instead, Covid-19 has brought a valuable lesson learned to the storage industry as well as a prediction for the future.

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Valuing A Self-Storage Facility With Huge Vacancy

So you’re looking at a self-storage property with huge vacancy – let’s say 70% of the space is unrented. That’s a huge issue on many fronts. So how can an investor make a successful transaction out of a property like that? Is it even possible?

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Techniques To Get The Customer To Sign The Storage Rental Agreement

Regardless of how much you spend in advertising, there’s no purpose to any of it unless the customer signs the rental agreement. It’s kind of like football, getting to one inch of the goal line is of no value unless you score the touch down. So what are some tips to get the customer to sign that agreement and score one more occupied unit?

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How To Convince A Self-Storage Seller To Carry The Financing

Real estate is all about leverage and self-storage is no different. You need to be able to obtain a loan to by a property, and the banker is an integral team member that makes the whole deal possible. But an easy way to make an end-run around traditional banking is to have the seller carry the financing. Not only does seller financing eliminate the stress and effort to find a bank, but it also saves you money on third-party reports, interest rates, and is typically non-recourse. So how can you get it?

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Beware The Self-Storage Herd

Covid-19 has exposed many weaknesses in certain markets that self-storage facilities serve. But much of this weakness began years earlier when investors practiced the standard behavior of moving with a “herd” mentality. Why is a “herd” mentality dangerous in self-storage investing?

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The Art Of Negotiating To Purchase A Self-Storage Facility

There are few skills as important in buying a self-storage facility – or less understood – than the correct way to negotiate. Those who have this skill do well and those that don’t never end up with a deal at all, or they end up overpaying for the asset. So how do you become a pro at negotiating a storage property?

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Self-Storage Owners Should Be Careful With Lien Sales And Late Fees During Covid-19

Self-storage has long been known for its superior collections rate formed through the ability to auction off unit contents if rent is not received. However, this process has new hurdles created by the national Covid-19 pandemic, and every storage owner needs to be aware of potential changes in policy.

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Self-Storage Facilities And Third-Party Reports

When you go to college, there are certain items you must have obtained to graduate – such as successful completion of certain classes and attendance of a certain number of units. And buying a self-storage facility includes these same necessities, although in the form of third-party reports. But these reports are expensive and time-consuming to obtain. So which reports do you really need and which are optional?

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Why The Richest Person In Kentucky Is A Self-Storage Owner

You may have the seen the articles declaring that the riches person in Kentucky is Tamara Gustavson. Who is she? The daughter of B. Wayne Hughes, the founder of Public Storage, the largest owner of self-storage facilities in the world. Her 11% stake is now worth around $5.7 billion and growing. That also makes here the 144th richest person in the U.S.

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The Six Most Important Words In Self-Storage Investing

If I was on a game show and I had to choose just six words that I could use to build a successful self-storage facility portfolio, here’s what I would select: “What Do I Have To Do …” So why are these six words so powerful in buying and operating storage properties? How can they give you the edge in being successful? There are many reasons.

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Covid-19 Is A Stress Test For Self-Storage Investing: And Some Markets Have Had Heart Failure

The last time we had a major recession in the U.S. was the same year that the Toyota Corolla was the top-selling car and “Umbrella” was the top song: 2007. That was 13 years ago. Since that time, many investors became complacent and spoiled by an economy that was always going up. Then came the Covid-19 pandemic and everything changed.

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The Moral: Don't Follow The Herd

Self-storage REITs (the backbone of passive investment in the storage sector) have been taking major hits recently due to faulty strategies and overzealous building. The disappointments will continue forward for the foreseeable future.

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Negotiation Tips On Buying A Storage Facility

Webster’s Dictionary defines “negotiation” as “to obtain or bring about by discussion”. That’s one way to describe it, as a frank discussion between buyer and seller in which they give their opinions on value and search for an appropriate middle ground. But there is also a strategy involved by the buyer that helps to make that successful ending possible.

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Bridging The Gap Between Construction and Permanent Financing On Storage

While most storage investors buy existing properties, there is another breed that additionally builds storage properties from scratch. This type of approach requires a specialty type of financing and then transferring this debt to permanent status. So how do you bridge the gap between construction and final financing?

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Is Population Size The Only Factor In Self-Storage Success?

Many people would have you believe that population alone is the determining factor in self-storage success. They claim that the only markets worth investing in are those that are large and growing daily. But the truth is that this is far from the key factor to success. In fact, many of these “hot” markets are lacking in a more important trait: profitability. But why?

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The Impact Of College Towns On Self-Storage Demand

There are roughly 5,300 colleges and universities in the U.S., and they’re spread out over all 50 states. There is a huge following with these establishments of higher learning for football and other sports, but there’s also a following among smart storage owners. College towns have always been good locations for self-storage facilities. But why is that?

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When Expanding Or Building A New Storage Facility, A Rendering Is Better Than A Photo

Sometimes a photo can tall a thousand words. But sometimes none of those words are what you really want to say. That’s why developers have long used renderings when presenting ideas to city government and the public. But why not simply use photo mock-ups?

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How To Make Your Storage Facility Manager More Effective

What is a self-storage manager? Well, more than just someone who exchanges a lease for a check. In fact, your manager is your ambassador, mayor, chief marketing officer all rolled into one. So how can you help to make your storage manager more effective in your duties?

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Is There Value In Adding A Novelty Item To Your Self Storage Facility Frontage?

We’re all big kids – we love to see roadside attractions. Perhaps it’s because it breaks the monotony of the American road, or maybe it’s because we enjoy the humor and splendor of these unique creations. But would it be a good idea to add some unusual sparkle to your self-storage facility?

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How To Properly Engage A Contractor For Your Storage Facility

Your roll-up door broke off. The electric is flickering in a unit. There’s a roof leak. All of these events require hiring a contractor to make the needed repairs. But how do you do that? Here’s how to properly engage a contractor in a storage facility.

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When Is A Self Storage Cap Rate Too Low?

When you look at most listings for storage facilities, you will note that a common term used to describe them is their “cap rate”. So what is a “cap rate” and how do you know when it’s too high or too low?

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How To Negotiate With A Self Storage Seller: A Primer

Nothing can make or break your deal more than improper negotiation. You can do the greatest analysis and have terrific operational skills but you’ll never own a storage property if you can’t agree to a price the seller will sign the contract at. So what are the main skill sets required to be a great negotiator?

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The Correct Steps To Buying A Self-Storage Facility In 2020

With the New Year upon us, there’s little time to waste if your goal is to acquire a self-storage facility in 2020. But it’s one thing to talk about it, and another to actual do it. When approaching something as significant as buying a storage property, there’s an established play book that has very concrete, step-by-step directions, if you will simply follow what others have learned over the years. So what are the steps?

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Four Reasons That Self-Storage Is Such A Stable Investment

One thing is for sure about self-storage facilities: they are extremely stable investments. They have very consistent revenues and very high levels of success. But why is that?

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Why Ugly Self-Storage Facilities Can Often Outperform Pretty Ones

Most Americans are conditioned to believe that the prettier the real estate asset, the more money it generates. This is normally true, in asset classes ranging from apartments to hotels to retail centers. However, it’s not always the case in the self-storage sector – and that’s a good thing for many investors. So why do ugly self-storage facilities often outperform that pretty ones?

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Self-Storage Investing Has Great Fundamentals In A Troubled World

The U.S. economy is in anarchy. The stock market is plunging, oil is collapsing, and world markets are in jeopardy. So where can you invest in a troubled world? The answer is self-storage. It’s one of the few niches that actually performs as well in times of turmoil as it does in times of economic vibrancy.

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How To Make Money In The Self Storage Industry

There is a ton of bad information out there on the self-storage or mini-storage industry. Contrary to what you may read, there is virtually no money in building new facilities or buying them at a 7% cap rate. If you really want to make money in self-storage, you have to put in significantly more work, and follow a different game plan entirely. Buying an established facility with good occupancy at market rents will not lead to great riches ' only endless concern over making the note payment. The way to success is much more basic.

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How To Buy A Self Storage Facility Properly

Buying a self-storage facility is a lot harder than you think - particularly if you want to make money with it. Over the years, there are some basic traits that separate winning facilities from losers. And that genetic code is hard to break. There are many people who will tell you all about how to buy a self-storage facility, in order to sell you a book, course or boot camp. But they really have either limited or no experience. The concepts we're going to tell you here are based on real-life information (and plenty of it) from operating one of the largest websites devoted to the industry. And it may be a lot different from what you've heard before.

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Why You Can't Manage A Self Storage Facility From Just A Kiosk

There is urban legend going around, created by some "gurus" trying to sell their books, that you can manage an entire self-storage facility from a "kiosk", basically a walk-up automated teller like an ATM machine. Although the concept of having a "robot" manage a self-storage facility is attractive from a cost-savings and low management perspective, it is, unfortunately, a fantasy with about as much practicality as the photon torpedo out of Star Trek.

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