How to Evaluate a Good Market for a Self Storage Acquisition

Posted: 11/27/2018
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If you are looking to acquire a self storage facility, here are four important things to consider to help you analyze the market.

1. Location

When looking to buy a self storage facility, the most important thing to consider in your evaluation is the location. There are several key factors in determining whether or not a self storage facility will thrive in a specific area. The location, more specifically the demographics of that location, who lives there, how much they earn and what is nearby are all very important things to consider.

2. Demographics/Income of Population

The demographics of the location where the self storage facility is located is critical in determining whether or not it is a good investment. The facility should be located in an area that has a median income between $40,000 - $50,000, and a household population within a three-mile range of the property of over 50,000 and over 100,000 within five miles.

When analyzing the demographics, here are a few things to consider:

  • Who lives in this location (i.e. families, renters, seniors, college students, etc.)?
  • What is the median income in the area?
  • How many people live in this area? 
  • Is the population in this area increasing or decreasing?
  • What is nearby (major chains are a plus, home improvement stores, department stores)?

3. Traffic Counts

When deciding if your target facility is in a good market you should take into consideration the traffic counts passing by the facility. Having a location in a popular area of town can have many benefits. The site should have traffic counts of 25,000 per day at minimum.

Here are some questions to help you:

  • Is the site easily seen by traffic passing by or is tucked far away from view?
  • How many cars pass the location daily?
  • Is the location visible from the road/highways?
  • Does the location have easy access?

4. Supply

In your evaluation of the market, it is important to consider the competition in the surrounding area. If 15,000 cars pass the facility each day, but 25,000 pass by a competitor’s location nearby, you may need to spend more money on advertising to produce the same amount of new business. It is also important to understand how your potential facilities’ pricing and unit size compares to the competition in your area.

Here are some questions to aid your analysis:

  • Are there other self storage facilities nearby and, if so, how close?
  • How does your rent compare to those other facilities?
  • Do the competing facilities charge more or less?
  • Are they climate controlled, indoor or outdoor?
  • Does the competition have more or less units than your target facility?

Acquiring a storage facility is a serious endeavor that requires a thorough investigation of the facility, it’s competition and the surrounding area to determine if it is a sound and worthwhile investment. It can be difficult to research everything, but the above-mentioned areas should help guide you and give you the confidence to determine if your target facility is the right investment for you.

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