Self Storage Ownership: How to Invest in Storage Units

Self Storage Ownership: How to Invest in Storage Units

Investing in the self storage business can be a very lucrative opportunity, but it requires careful planning and consideration. While this is an exciting investment opportunity, it’s important to understand both the benefits and the challenges associated with this type of significant investment. Here’s how to invest in storage units, as well as various considerations before diving in.

Initial Investment Sources

One of the first steps in investing in self storage is securing the necessary capital. There are several ways to fund your investment, including borrowing from friends and family or seeking capital partners. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and conventional loans are also viable options. Bob Copper, owner of Self-Storage 101, commented, “If you have to borrow money from 20 different people or sources, self storage investment is probably not right for you yet.” If these words feel relatable, it might be wise to reconsider if this is the right investment for you at this time. It’s crucial to have a clear and solid financial plan from the start, especially considering the scale of this investment.

Due Diligence: Ensuring a Sound Investment

Securing loans often requires thorough due diligence to ensure your investment is sound. Here are some key steps to help you assess your potential investment.

Conducting a Feasibility Study

A feasibility study is a comprehensive analysis that evaluates the viability of your proposed self storage project. Self Storage 101 offers a detailed feasibility study service, which includes:

  • Detailed competitor profiles
  • Full financial analysis
  • Input regarding land costs and estimated development costs

This study provides a deep dive into the potential success of your self storage project, offering the necessary information to secure financing. By conducting this detailed analysis, you can be more confident in the viability of your investment.

Market Research

Understanding the market is crucial for the success of your self storage investment. Here are some aspects to consider during market research:

  • Local Demand: Assess the demand for self storage in the area. This can be influenced by factors such as population density, the presence of universities, military bases, and economic conditions.
  • Competition Analysis: Identify existing self storage facilities in the area. Analyze their occupancy rates, pricing, and amenities offered. This helps you understand the competitive landscape and identify any market gaps.
  • Economic Trends: Evaluate the economic trends in the region. A growing economy may indicate a higher demand for storage as people accumulate more belongings or businesses require extra space.

Property Evaluation

When evaluating potential properties for your self storage investment, consider the following:

  • Location: The location of your self storage facility is critical. Properties near residential areas, commercial districts, or transit routes tend to attract more customers.
  • Zoning Regulations: Check local zoning laws to ensure the property is zoned for self storage use. This can prevent future legal complications.
  • Property Condition: Inspect the condition of the property thoroughly. Look for any structural issues, environmental concerns, or necessary renovations that could affect your investment.

Financial Analysis

A thorough financial analysis helps you understand the potential profitability of your investment. Consider these aspects:

  • Initial Costs: Calculate all initial costs, including property purchase, construction, permits, and initial marketing expenses.
  • Operating Expenses: Estimate ongoing operating expenses, such as property management, utilities, maintenance, insurance, and taxes.
  • Revenue Projections: Project your potential revenue based on expected occupancy rates and pricing. This helps you estimate your return on investment (ROI).

Understanding Investment Returns

Self storage investments are known for their potential high returns and low operating costs. Here are a few key points to consider:

High Return Profits

One of the major attractions of investing in self storage is the potential for significant returns. Unlike many businesses with high capital requirements and long periods before profitability, self storage facilities can generate significant annual returns. This means you can recoup your initial investment faster, making it a highly attractive option for investors.

Continual Industry Growth

The self-storage industry is experiencing continual growth, with forecasts suggesting an annual expansion. Several factors contribute to this growth, including:

  • Aging population moving into assisted living facilities
  • Divorcing couples needing extra space
  • Downsizing families
  • College students requiring storage

These demographic and lifestyle changes ensure a steady demand for storage solutions, creating a resilient investment landscape.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Before committing to a self-storage investment, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons.


  • High Potential Returns: As mentioned, the potential for significant annual returns makes self-storage an attractive investment.
  • Low Operating Costs: Compared to other types of real estate, self-storage units typically have lower maintenance and operational costs.
  • Steady Demand: The ongoing need for storage solutions ensures a consistent influx of customers.


  • Initial Capital Requirement: Securing enough capital can be challenging, especially if you need to borrow from multiple sources.
  • Market Competition: The growing popularity of self-storage investments means increased competition, which can impact profitability.
  • Management and Maintenance: While operating costs are lower, managing multiple units and maintaining the property requires effort and expertise. 

How To Invest In Self Storage Units: Final Thoughts & Feasibility Study

Investing in self-storage units can be a highly profitable venture, but it’s not without its challenges. By securing your initial investment from reliable sources, conducting thorough due diligence with a feasibility study and market research, and understanding the market dynamics, you can make an informed decision. The self-storage industry’s growth and the potential for high returns make it an appealing option for investors willing to navigate the complexities involved.

Cost for Feasibility Study and What’s Included

Cost for Feasibility Study and What’s Included

The self storage industry has witnessed significant growth in recent years, and the trend is expected to continue in the coming years. However, investing in this industry requires proper research to avoid a risky proposition. While demand for self storage facilities is evident, other factors must be considered before making a financial commitment. That’s where Self Storage 101 comes in. We understand that each self storage project is unique, and a comprehensive feasibility study is crucial in assessing the likelihood of success. Our feasibility studies are tailored to your project’s specific needs, providing a guiding light for your investment.

What’s in a Feasibility Study?

Before diving into the specifics of our feasibility studies, let’s first understand what a feasibility study entails. A feasibility study is a comprehensive analysis conducted to assess the viability of a proposed project or venture. It evaluates market demand, competition, financial projections, and potential risks to determine whether the project is feasible and worth pursuing.

Self Storage 101’s Feasibility Studies

Whether you opt for the Market and Feasibility Study or the Desktop Market Study, you can expect valuable information. From detailed market analyses and competitor profiles to demographic studies and financial projections, both studies leave no stone unturned. This positions you to make a confident decision about your potential investment.

Do You Need a Feasibility Study?

In short, yes. Investing in a feasibility study is not just advisable; it’s essential. These studies serve as a roadmap, guiding your decision-making process and helping you avoid costly missteps. By uncovering potential challenges and opportunities upfront, you can proceed confidently, knowing that your project is built on a solid foundation of data and analysis.

When to Invest in a Feasibility Study

The timing of a feasibility study is critical. Whether considering a new self storage venture, expanding an existing facility, or evaluating investment opportunities, a feasibility study can provide invaluable insights. By conducting a survey early in the planning process, you can identify potential roadblocks and course-correct before significant resources are invested.

Cost For Feasibility Study and What’s Included

Self Storage 101 offers two comprehensive feasibility study options to suit your needs. Our Market and Feasibility Study, priced at $6750 plus travel if necessary, includes seven years of income statements, cash flow analysis, estimated development costs, ROI and cash-on-cash return analysis, and recommendations on financing, development, and vendors. This study is ideal for both in-house analysis and securing bank financing.

Next Steps: Requesting a Consultation

Investing in a feasibility study is a crucial step toward achieving success in your self storage development project. With Self Storage 101, you can trust that we will provide you with the insights needed to make informed decisions and confidently embark on your development journey. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping you maximize your project’s potential, and we understand the importance of not leaving anything to chance.

By partnering with us, you can rest assured that you will receive a comprehensive analysis of your project’s feasibility, which includes factors such as market demand, competition, location, and financial projections. Our friendly and knowledgeable team is always available to answer your questions and provide you with the information you need to take the next step in your self storage development journey. Reach out!

Unlocking Success: Self Storage Analysis Through Financial Performance Metrics

Unlocking Success: Self Storage Analysis Through Financial Performance Metrics

When it comes to real estate investment, understanding the financial health of your self storage business is paramount. Every decision, from property acquisition to operational strategies, hinges on a thorough analysis of key financial performance metrics. Diving into these metrics can unlock the door to success in the self storage industry, while companies like Self Storage 101 provide a comprehensive suite of services tailored to empower stakeholders like you to make informed decisions.

Why Financial Performance Metrics Matter

Financial performance metrics serve as the compass guiding stakeholders through the labyrinth of self storage investment. They provide crucial insights into a self storage facility’s profitability, efficiency, and overall health. By analyzing metrics such as occupancy rates, average rental rates, revenue per square foot, and net operating income (NOI), stakeholders can understand their investment’s performance and identify areas for improvement.

Feasibility Studies: Mapping the Path to Success

Embarking on a self storage venture without a roadmap is like navigating uncharted waters. That’s where feasibility studies come into play. Self Storage 101 offers two comprehensive feasibility studies tailored to meet the diverse needs of stakeholders: the Market and Feasibility Study and the Desktop Market Study.

The Market and Feasibility Study goes beyond surface-level analysis, providing a comprehensive review essential for securing financing. It encompasses seven years of income statements, cash flow analysis, estimated development costs, ROI and cash-on-cash return analysis, and recommendations on financing, development, and vendors. This study equips stakeholders with the insights needed to make informed investment decisions and navigate the complexities of self storage development.

For those looking for a preliminary assessment of a potential site, the Desktop Market Study offers a cost-effective solution. With a demographic report, competitor map and profiles, demand calculations, recommended unit mix, and more, this study provides valuable insights to determine if a site is worth further investment.

Due Diligence Audits: Safeguarding Your Investment

Acquiring or operating a self storage facility without conducting due diligence is like playing a game of chance. Self Storage 101’s suite of due diligence audits ensures stakeholders have all the information they need to make informed decisions and safeguard their investments.

The Acquisition Audit provides purchasers with a comprehensive overview of a property’s financial and operational status, including onsite analysis, space audit, payment trail and financial analysis, cap rate analysis, and more. Armed with this information, purchasers can proceed confidently, knowing they clearly understand the property’s value and potential.

Operational audits offer a ‘look under the hood’ of a self storage asset, identifying opportunities for revenue improvements, operational enhancements, and asset value enhancements. With on-site manager training included, stakeholders can optimize their operational strategies and maximize their investment potential.

Self Storage Analysis and Data-Driven Decisions

Success in the self storage industry hinges on more than intuition; it requires data-driven decision-making backed by thorough analysis. By leveraging financial performance metrics and Self Storage 101’s suite of services, stakeholders can confidently navigate the industry’s complexities, unlocking the door to long-term success and prosperity.

Whether you’re a seasoned investor or a newcomer to the self storage market, arming yourself with the right tools and insights is essential for success. Embrace the power of financial analysis, and let Self Storage 101 be your trusted partner on the path to self storage success.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Owning Storage Units: A Comprehensive Guide

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Owning Storage Units: A Comprehensive Guide

Owning storage units can be appealing for entrepreneurs looking to invest in a stable and potentially lucrative business. However, like any investment, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider. While there is an ever-growing demand for self-storage, these facilities can be costly, especially when considering operational costs, full-time employees, security, and marketing support. However, utilizing third-party self-storage management services to streamline operations and maximize returns. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of owning self-storage units!

Pros of Owning Storage Units

Steady Income Stream

One of the primary advantages of owning storage units is the reliable and consistent income they can generate. With a high demand for storage space, particularly in urban areas with smaller living spaces, you can expect a steady flow of rental payments. Additionally, unlike other investments such as short-term rentals, storage is not seasonally dependent, translating to consistent ROI. A popular question among investors is, “How much money do storage unit owners make?” While the answer to this question needs to be clarified due to factors such as size, location, and loan payments, on average, some studies, including this guide from Storeganise, show that the annual income of owning storage units is $365,000 and $800,000, respectively.

Minimal Maintenance

Unlike other real estate ventures that may require frequent repairs or renovations, storage units typically have lower maintenance costs. They don’t have the same wear and tear as residential or commercial properties, making them relatively easy to manage.

Tax Benefits

Storage unit owners can take advantage of various tax deductions, including depreciation, mortgage interest, property taxes, and operating expenses. These tax benefits can reduce your overall tax liability and increase your net income.

Flexible Operations & Strategy

One significant advantage of owning storage units is the flexibility it offers in terms of business operations. Unlike many other real estate investments, storage units provide a versatile business model that can adapt to various market conditions. Owners can adjust rental rates, offer different storage unit sizes, and implement creative marketing strategies to attract customers. Additionally, the nature of storage rentals allows for shorter lease terms, enabling owners to respond quickly to changes in demand and optimize revenue streams. This flexibility enhances profitability and will enable owners to remain agile and competitive in dynamic market environments.

Cons of Owning Storage Units

Facility Operations

One significant challenge of owning storage units is managing the day-to-day operations, which can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Running a storage facility requires dedicated effort and resources, from handling rentals and payments to maintaining security and cleanliness.

Initial Investment

Many wonder, “How much does starting a storage unit business cost?” If you are building, studies, like these stats from Storelocal, show that startup costs can range from $1.25-$2.5 million, depending on your facility’s location, size, and scale. While storage units offer attractive returns, the initial startup costs can be substantial. Factors such as land acquisition, construction or renovation expenses, security systems, and marketing efforts contribute to the required upfront investment.

Market Saturation

In some areas, the market for storage units may be saturated, leading to increased competition and lower rental rates. Conducting thorough market research is essential to identify underserved areas and assess the demand for additional storage space.

Utilizing Third-Party Self-Storage Management

To address the challenges associated with facility operations, many storage unit owners opt to enlist the services of third-party self-storage management companies. These companies manage all aspects of storage facility operations, including customer service, marketing, maintenance, and security.

Outsourcing facility management to a reputable company allows storage unit owners to save time and resources while ensuring efficient and professional operation. Additionally, leveraging a management firm’s expertise and industry insights can help optimize rental rates, minimize vacancies, and maximize overall profitability.

Next Steps

Owning storage units can be a lucrative investment opportunity, offering a steady income stream and tax benefits. However, weighing the pros and cons of owning self-storage units carefully before diving in is essential. While facility operations and initial investment challenges may seem daunting, solutions such as third-party self-storage management can help mitigate these drawbacks and enhance profitability.

For those considering entering the storage unit business, conducting thorough research, seeking professional advice, and exploring partnership opportunities with management firms are crucial steps toward success. With the right approach and strategic planning, owning storage units can be rewarding and profitable.

Unveiling the Significance of Self Storage Demand Studies

Unveiling the Significance of Self Storage Demand Studies

When it comes to real estate and investment, having knowledge is crucial. And in the self storage industry specifically, a feasibility study (also known as a self storage demand study) can be a major asset. It helps guide decisions and ensures success. In this blog post, we’ll go over what these studies involve, what’s usually included, and why they’re so important in the self storage industry. Finally, we’ll introduce you to a solution provided by Self Storage 101.

Understanding Self Storage Demand Studies

What Is It?

A self storage demand study is a thorough analysis conducted to evaluate the feasibility and potential success of a self storage project. It goes beyond surface-level assessments, providing a comprehensive understanding of the market dynamics, demand factors, and financial considerations.

What’s Typically Included?

A standard self storage demand study comprises several key components:

Demographic Analysis:

Understanding the local population and their storage needs is fundamental. A demographic analysis helps identify the target market and potential demand for self storage units.

Competitor Analysis:

Examining the competitive landscape is crucial. This includes profiling existing self storage facilities in the area, understanding their strengths and weaknesses, and identifying opportunities for differentiation.

Market Rates and Demand Calculations:

Analyzing market rates and calculating demand projections are essential steps. This helps in determining the optimal unit mix, pricing strategy, and estimating the potential revenue of the self storage project.

Financial Analysis:

A self storage demand study includes a financial analysis that goes beyond mere projections. It typically covers income statements, cash flow analysis, estimated development costs, and various financial metrics.

Risk Assessment and Recommendations:

Identifying potential risks and providing strategic recommendations are integral. A well-conducted study points out challenges and offers insights on mitigating risks and maximizing success.

The Need for a Self Storage Demand Study

Informed Decision-Making:

In the competitive self storage landscape, decisions should be grounded in data. A demand study provides the necessary insights to make informed choices about the viability of a self storage project.

Securing Financing:

Banks and investors often require detailed analyses before committing funds. A comprehensive demand study is a persuasive tool for financing a self storage venture.

Optimizing Development Plans:

Knowing the demand and market dynamics allows for the optimization of unit mix and development plans. This is crucial for creating a project that aligns with market needs and maximizes profitability.

Risk Mitigation:

A demand study acts as a risk mitigation strategy by identifying potential challenges and providing recommendations. It equips stakeholders with the knowledge to navigate hurdles and increase the likelihood of success.

As we learn more about self storage demand studies, it’s important to remember that they’re not just reports. They’re strategic guides that can help you succeed in the self storage industry. In the next section, we’ll take a look at what Self Storage 101 has to offer. Our services include comprehensive insights through our Market and Feasibility Study and Desktop Market Study.

Self Storage 101: The Market and Feasibility Study

What Is It?

The Market and Feasibility Study offered by Self Storage 101 epitomizes in-depth research and analysis. It goes beyond the basics, providing a comprehensive review essential for securing financing for a self storage project. This study includes all the Desktop Study elements, more detailed competitor profiles, and a complete financial analysis.

What’s Included?

The final report of the Market and Feasibility Study is a goldmine of information. It encompasses seven years of income statements, cash flow analysis, estimated development costs, ROI, and Cash-on-Cash Return Analysis. Moreover, it provides recommendations on financing, development, and vendors, offering a roadmap for success.

Self Storage 101: The Desktop Market Study

What Is It?

The Desktop Market Study is a popular choice for clients seeking an initial assessment of whether a self storage site is worth further exploration. It’s a lighter version of the comprehensive study, yet it holds significant value in decision-making.

What’s Included?

This study is designed to provide clients with essential insights. It includes a demographic report, competitor map and profiles, rate matrix, demand calculations, recommended unit mix, income statement, and estimates of value and development costs. The Executive Summary with recommendations offers a quick overview for busy decision-makers.

Want to know more? To speak to a team member about a study, contact us today!