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Top Trends in Self Storage Construction

Current Trends Provide Opportunities for the Self Storage Business

Self Storage is one of the few industries that continues to grow despite a tough economic environment.  In addition to an expanding market, self-storage business owners are getting creative and finding new ways to expand their businesses and increase revenues.  In this article we explore some of the top trends that impact the Self Storage Industry today and how self-storage owners can take advantage of these opportunities.

From repurposing or refurbishing existing buildings, to climate controlled facilities, green building practices or highly specialized self-storage options and amenities, self-storage owners are finding all kinds of ways to increase the return on their investment.

While construction in new self-storage facilities has declined from its peak in 2005, more existing self-storage operators are choosing to expand and make improvements to their existing facilities to attract new clientele to their business. 

In this article, we identify some of the top trends in self-storage and give you ideas about how you can take advantage of these trends to increase your revenues.

Trend #1 - Baby Boomers Downsize for Retirement Years and Need Long Term Storage.

10% Households Rent Self StorageAll those baby boomers are hitting retirement age and are moving into smaller homes. According to a fall 2011 poll by Associated Press and LifeGoesStrong.com1., just 40% of the population expect to stay in their current homes throughout their retirement.  After a lifetime of accumulating possessions they can not bear to part with, they will need storage for their furnishings, mementos, collections and other items.

This expanding market presents significant opportunity for the Self Storage industry. With construction costs at an all time low and a growing market demand, this is the time to consider expansion. If you have a single story self storage facility with nowhere to grow, find out how you can cost effectively add a second story.


If you are thinking about getting into this lucrative market for the first time, consider a multi-story facility to maximize the rentable space per square foot.


Trend #2 - Depressed Housing Market Forces Many to Temporarily Store Their Belongings

The housing crisis, while devastating for so many people, has been a significant boon for the self-storage industry.  Home owners that face foreclosure or the need to downsize look for temporary storage for their belongings. 

The depressed housing market has also resulted in more people choosing to remodel rather than move into bigger homes.  While these home owners renovate their homes, they need to temporarily store their belongings.

These trends provide opportunities for Self Storage Businesses to expand their existing facilities to accomodate this growing market and upgrade a least a portion of their facilities to Climate Controlled Units

Trend #3 - Online Retailers Need Warehousing

Small online businesses are opening up every day.  These small retailers are looking for facilities that are close, convenient, clean and secure to warehouse and ship their inventory.  

To take advantage of this trend, think outside the box. Make it easy for these small retailers to pack, ship and even receive deliveries at your facility.  Offer rental shelving and tables for packing, provide green shipping materials and put in the systems to accept deliveries on behalf of these tenants.

Trend #4 - Specialized Storage Needs

We have seen successful self-storage operators quickly respond to changes in their markets.Self Storage Market Growth
Some have converted units into office space with telephone service, Internet access and common area meeting rooms. Wine rooms are becoming wildly popular in the self-storage industry. These facilities require the proper temperature, humidity and low light to properly store the wine.  RV and Boat Storage also continues to be a growth market.  There are many examples of how Self Storage Businesses have attracted customers from outside their traditional markets by catering to audiences with specialized requirements. See how one Self Storage Operator cashed in on this trend.  

Opportunities abound for the savvy self-storage business owner that understands the regional market and reacts to new demands from increasingly sophisticated customers.

Trend #5 - Lower Operating Costs by Going Green

High efficiency heating and cooling systems, solar panels and other environmentally friendly features can help you to reduce your energy costs.  While there may be some upfront costs, they do offer opportunity for significant savings over the long term, especially with increasing utility costs.  There may also be federal and state tax credits available to offset your initial costs.

Self storage owners can also make small changes that can make a big difference such as motion sensor lights and faucets. These changes can appeal to customers who are increasingly aware and concerned about the environment.

From concept to completion, MakoRabco will give you expert advice throughout your self-storage construction project.  Whether you are expanding or upgrading an existing site or building a new self-storage facility, our engineers will help you maximize the return on investment for your self-storage project.  Take advantage of the most knowledgable team of experts in the Self Storage Industry with our Free Consultation and Site Design Services.


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