ANCILLARY INCOME OPPORTUNITY- BOAT & RV STORAGE
BY CAESAR WRIGHT - PRESIDENT - MAKO STEEL
“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” – Vince Lombardi
Vince Lombardi - I loved that guy, and as a business owner – and “Coach” of my own team – his philosophies on life and success have a way of inspiring me to reach a little higher when the going gets rough and try to find some new ways to keep my company profitable.
The changing economy and the saturation of Self Storage in some markets have caused us all to have to look a little further for income opportunities than in years past. For the Established Self Storage Operator – Offering Boat and RV Storage may prove to be an opportunity to add value to a property and income to the bottom line.
More important than any other element in determining the viability of offering Boat and RV Storage is space. RV’s take up a lot of it, and the requirements for Drive Aisles and turn radius are twice that of a typical self storage property. The good folks at Winnebego have helped determine a rule of thumb that works pretty well in most scenarios. Whatever it is that you are storing – a 20’, 30’, or 40’ Vehicle– make your drive aisle space a minimum of 45’-50’ to allow safe access to each of the units.
That, of course, applies to a typical fully enclosed type building constructed with units 14’0” wide, and frankly – there are many ways to offer Boat and RV Storage that don’t fit that precise mold. We have seen operators capitalize on the “still in demand” RV Storage by simply offering “outdoor” parking on areas they may have intended for Self Storage Expansion. We have also worked closely with Owners that are looking to increase the potential rents for this product by offering “Covered” parking and developing RV Canopies for a significantly reduced total cost per square foot compared to traditional Self Storage or Enclosed RV.
Whatever the product – Enclosed, Canopy, or Outdoor Parking – the key to success in this business is always supply and demand. The good news for Boat and RV Storage is that in most markets – supply has not yet caught up with demand, and there are still some great opportunities to capitalize on that market. If you have the space – and are trying to figure out “what to do with what you have” – I think you should look closer at Boat & RV Storage – you might just find it measures up to it’s Self Storage counterpart.