The Growth of Self Storage: Market for Improved Visibility

In the last two decades, the self storage industry has evolved rapidly, and the United States makes up almost 90% of the global market with more than 50,000 locations nationwide. The most substantial growth occurred in the early 2000s when the total quantity of properties doubled in size from one billion square feet in 2000 to over two billion in 2005. Although new construction projects have reduced in recent years – fewer than 450 properties were built from 2010 to 2011 – gross revenues total more than 22 billion dollars, or almost $500,000 per facility.

It’s evident that there is a significant demand for self storage, and the marketplace has become an industry dominated by entrepreneurs. While 9% of storage facilities are owned by Public Storage, Uncle Bob’s, CubeSmart, Extra Space and U-Haul, a staggering 75% of all self storage companies are owned by small business entrepreneurs who operate just one primary public storage facility. Whether you manage a mom-and-pop in a small local market or you run a string of locations throughout a competitive area, the self storage industry isn’t slowing down any time soon.

If you’re an owner, operator or investor, competition is probably one of your biggest concerns. Sure, there are numerous brands and facilities constantly competing for renters in a specialized market, but…there are also a lot of renters. In 1996, only one out of every 17 households leased a storage unit; compare that with today, in which nearly one in ten households are tenants, and we’ve seen a substantial increase (65%) in public storage rentals. Visibility is considerably important to the success of any business, but that is much more evident with self storage. It doesn’t matter if an entire city needs storage; if consumers can’t find your facility, they’ll go somewhere else. From campaign marketing to web development, a strong business presence is how to succeed in one of the fastest growing industries of our time.

Visit the SSA website for more statistical information.

photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via photopin cc

Kendra Bozarth, Former StorageAhead Writer

After graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in creative writing, she moved to Kansas City where she developed her innate love for beer. When Kendra isn’t writing, she’s cuddling with her 120 pound French Mastiff named Tamba (Go Chiefs!).

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