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.

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.

Maximizing Efficiency and Security: The Comprehensive Approach of Self-Storage Audits

Maximizing Efficiency and Security: The Comprehensive Approach of Self-Storage Audits

At Self Storage 101, we understand that maintaining a secure and efficient self-storage facility is crucial for both business success and customer satisfaction. One powerful tool in achieving this balance is regular self-storage audits. These audits serve as a comprehensive check-up for your property, helping you identify and address potential issues before they escalate. Additionally, performing a thorough audit is crucial if you’re considering acquiring an existing self-storage facility. Let’s explore the why, when, and how of performing audits on your self-storage facility.

Why Conduct Self-Storage Audits?

1. Enhanced Security

Security is paramount in the self-storage industry. Audits provide an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of security measures in place, ensuring that access points, surveillance systems, and lighting are all functioning optimally. By conducting regular checks, vulnerabilities can be identified and rectified, minimizing the risk of theft or unauthorized access.

2. Operational Efficiency

Efficiency is key to providing a positive customer experience. Audits help identify areas where operational processes can be optimized, such as unit layout and traffic flow within the facility. By streamlining operations, you enhance customer satisfaction and contribute to the overall success of your business.

3. Legal Compliance

Staying compliant with local laws and regulations is not just good practice — it’s a legal requirement. Regular audits ensure that your facility adheres to industry standards, minimizing legal risks and potential liabilities. This proactive approach is crucial in an industry where adherence to regulations is paramount.

4. Customer Confidence

Customers value security and professionalism. When customers know that you regularly audit your facility, it instills confidence in the safety and security of their stored belongings. This confidence leads to increased customer trust and loyalty, essential factors in a competitive market.

When to Perform Self-Storage Audits

1. Regular Scheduled Audits

Conduct routine audits at predetermined intervals, such as quarterly or semi-annually. This proactive approach allows you to identify and address potential issues before they escalate, contributing to a well-maintained and secure facility.

2. After Security Incidents

In the unfortunate event of a security incident, it’s crucial to perform an immediate audit. This allows you to identify the root cause of the incident and implement corrective measures promptly to prevent future occurrences.

3. System Upgrades or Changes

Whenever you implement changes or upgrades to security systems or operational procedures, conduct an audit. This ensures that the new systems or procedures are functioning as intended and that staff is properly trained to operate them.

4. Change of Staff

After a change in staff, conduct an audit to ensure that new personnel are familiar with security protocols and are following them correctly. This step is essential in maintaining consistent security measures throughout transitions.

Acquisition Audits: Assessing Business Health

When considering the acquisition of an existing self-storage facility, an Acquisition Audit becomes indispensable. This specialized audit is designed to assess the health of the business you’re contemplating purchasing, providing you with crucial information to make an informed acquisition decision. When you choose to partner with Self Storage 101, you can rest assured this thorough audit will provide an accurate analysis you can use as a resource before deciding whether or not to acquire.

Acquisition Audits Include:

Onsite Analysis: Evaluate the physical condition of the facility to identify any structural or maintenance issues.

Space Audit and Lease Audit: Assess the utilization of storage space and review existing leases to understand revenue streams.

Payment Trail and Financial Analysis: Examine payment records and conduct a thorough financial analysis to understand the financial health of the business.

Deferred Maintenance Documentation: Identify any deferred maintenance issues that may impact the property’s long-term value.

Office, Facility, and Management Reviews: Evaluate the efficiency of office operations, overall facility management, and the effectiveness of current management practices.

Cap Rate Analysis: Perform a comprehensive Cap Rate analysis to assess the potential return on investment.

Executive Summary: Summarize key findings and recommendations in an executive summary, providing a concise overview for informed decision-making.

In conclusion, self-storage audits, including specialized Acquisition Audits, are not just reactive measures; they are proactive strategies for maintaining a secure, efficient, and financially sound facility. By regularly assessing and enhancing your operations and by conducting thorough acquisition audits when considering a purchase, you not only safeguard your business but also contribute to a positive experience for your valued customers.