There is no doubt that the COVID-19 Pandemic has hit certain sectors and businesses very hard. Self Storage has not been totally immune to the effects of shutdowns and large scale unemployment.
As an industry sector though Self Storage has not fallen off a financial cliff. Impacts during the GFC of 2008 also showed that Self Storage is a resilient, viable business.
The recent Urbis Index shows that Self Storage in Australia is basically “holding its own” but is showing in some places a small decrease in rates and also occupancy. Given the savage attack on the economy by the Pandemic, the results reveal a resilient industry.
The index was started in 2008 and is a quantitative measurement of Self Storage data gathered from many sites “same for same” over an extended period of time.
Our take out on these statistics is that the growth of the industry in terms of space availability and facility growth has largely soaked up the opportunities for real income and occupancy growth over a long time. The average unit size rented has dropped by more than 10% over the past 10 years.
Image: Urbis storage Index June 2020
What has the Pandemic shown us for marketing Self Storage?
A world wide trend was the large scale adoption of “contactless move ins” formerly known as online move ins during the spread of COVID-19.
Michael Dogger, CEO of R6 Digital in Brisbane commented. “We have seen the numbers of online move ins triple since the start of the Pandemic. Many new sites have opted to try our RapidStor, which is integrated into Storage Websites and works with SiteLink Web Edition”.
Self Storage online marketing can micro target the available Self Storage leads in the marketplace and those sites that continued to market themselves reaped additional move ins when contactless move in technology was implemented.
With forced office closures in some States and Cities, owners have been shaken into rethinking how they rent and some owners have fallen short on capturing COVID-19 Storage business. A “Contact Us’ is not an online move in tool!
Are we really making any real gains?
While Australian occupancy levels stubbornly remain in the 80-85% mark there is considerable scope to build further income and wealth by being proactive and resisting the common urge to discount rates to stimulate occupancy.
Note: Inflation over this chart is 25% or 125.00.
Huge variances in rates, which is prevalent in some markets in Australia is confusing to consumers and can create a reluctance to use Self Storage. If a customer sees one facility with a price of $200 for a space and the same space down the road is $300, they ask themselves “which one is right?” It’s not uncommon to have a spread of rates of 30-50% in some markets. In the US, that spread is lucky to be 15%. More sites benefit when the rate spread is less.
The statistics show that in some markets, rates are retreating, especially after inflation is taken into account.
Can my site do better?
The short answer is yes. To improve you need some help. These are our recommended products that will start you on the journey to better income growth and more profit.
SiteLink Web Edition Used for daily transactions and reporting, SiteLink is accurate and has been voted “Best Management Software” By ISS magazine, 10 years running. Used by the majority of operators in Australia, SiteLink has powerful integrations to third party products that make running a Self Storage site easy. Best software.
RapidStor – Used for contactless move ins. First used in 2009, RapidStor is used all over the world and delivers a full contactless move-in or reservation. Much more than a contact form, RapidStor use has tripled in 2020. Importantly, RapidStor integrates with SiteLink Web Edition and is highly customisable to your facility. Users report many full price move ins, generating more profit. Rent online 24/7
Storage Income Pros – Used for income optimization and granular control of rates and deals. Use this software to fine tune your rates for optimum income. Sites that use this product add value to every space by getting the price right. The software identifies and reports on key areas for improvement and there has never been a site that has not made more money by using this software. Optimise and grow
Your Self Storage site whether it’s coming out of the ground or is mature will benefit from using these 3 core Self Storage products. Using best of breed software has its benefits, while reducing reliance on ‘gut” feelings and using data to drive your decisions will reap more income and higher occupancy. Online contactless move-ins deliver more high price rentals, 24/7.
Do you want to be above average? Are you satisfied with 80-85% average occupancy? If not, contact the above suppliers. They want to help you raise income and profits today.