8 Questions to Ask While Scouting Self-Storage Facility Real Estate

(5-min read)

The wrong location can spell disaster for a new self-storage building facility owner.

Since it first took on popularity in the 1960s, the self-storage industry has been an immensely lucrative one. Today, buying new stuff has never been easier, leading to an increased demand for quality storage at a reasonable price point. Though getting into the self-storage industry seems like a no-brainer (no tenants, no toilets, no eviction hassles, etc.), you'll want to avoid the many location-based pitfalls that plague many newcomer self-storage building owners.

Location, Location, Location

When looking to cut costs, many novice self-storage business owners will look for inexpensive properties in which to build their new self-storage building complexes. While it's fantastic to find a great deal, understand that cheaper properties may be priced such for a reason. Here are a handful of questions to ask yourself before pulling the trigger on buying property for a new self-storage location.

1. Is there much passing traffic near the property?

Even though you can always market your center in many ways, your most significant form of advertising will be the visible metal self-storage buildings along a busier street. It can be tempting to buy cheaper land out in rural areas, but if no one ever sees it, you may have to end up spending more to advertise a self-storage facility off the beaten path.

2. Is there another self-storage facility nearby?

Competition isn't necessarily a bad thing. Still, if there is another self-storage facility within about 3-5 miles of where you intend to set up shop, this may overly saturate the area and hurt both entities. If your competition offers exclusive amenities such as climate-controlled storage and onsite security, this may make success even trickier.

3. Can the property accommodate expansion?

One of the great things about self-storage building facilities is that, if a location proves to be successful and you run out of space, you can always build more units. However, if the site is too small or is presently developed, expanding may be difficult or impossible. When assessing the appeal of a location, consider if expansion is possible. You don't want to run out of room to grow.

4. Is there adequate access to your location?

Determining the appeal of a spot has many variables, but one that should not be overlooked is accessibility. Is it tricky to access the property? Is there a round-about way of getting to it? If the roads are confusing or not evident, this will deter potential renters in cars, not to mention full-size vans and moving trucks.

5. Is there enough demand in the area?

So, you found a spot with little competition, easy access, room to grow, flowing traffic...but is there a demand for self-storage? Many people prefer to have their self-storage units close to their home for easy access. When scouting for real estate, be on the lookout for neighborhoods in the area. 

6. Is the area already appropriately zoned?

So, you think you may have found your dream property and are ready to start building. Congratulations! Before you get too excited, you may want to check to make sure the area is zoned correctly. Though it is possible to have an area re-zoned, it can be a costly hassle.

7. Can this location support the required infrastructure?

Some self-storage facilities may not have an attendant onsite 24/7. Even ones that do will usually require limited bathroom facilities and some form of internet-connected gate access and security system. When selecting a location for your new self-storage facility, make sure that it will be able to accommodate the required infrastructure. The more your system can handle, the less you have to!

8. Is this area in the range of your metal self-storage building manufacturer?

The majority of self-storage facilities use metal self-storage buildings. Though there are a variety of manufacturers, finding one nearby to provide service when needed will take a load off your mind. Finding a reputable metal self-storage building manufacturer whom you can grow with for years to come is a recipe for success.

In Conclusion

When scouting spots on which to build your new self-storage facility, you’ll want to find a location that is:

  • Near high traffic areas
  • Away from other self-storage facilities
  • Expandable
  • Easily accessible
  • In demand
  • Zone appropriately
  • Able to support require infrastructure
  • Near your self-storage building manufacturer

Your Source for Quality Metal Self-Storage Buildings

Whether you've nailed down your new location for your self-storage facility or you're looking to expand an existing facility, Lucas Metal Works has your back. The Oklahoma-based steel building company manufactures custom metal buildings that are built to last. Choose from a variety of facility layouts, unit sizes, and even 16 different colors for panels and doors. Enjoy the strongest construction and 

Get Your Free Metal Self-Storage Building Quote Today