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View Full Version : Mini self storage ?? Anybody own one?


Monte
08-15-2007, 11:43 AM
I am looking into building a set of mini storage buildings. Since Sodar brought it up. Why not see the ins and outs.

I can build a Steel 120 unit complex for roughly 150k + land + concrete/ fencing 30k? ( I haven't priced that yet). I'm looking at a site now that I can purchase for 70K. So 250K total. The site is one block from the main Hwy in a relatively busy area yet rural. I have been told that it doesn't matter on the location as long as the area is populated. Which it is.

Payments, taxes, and ins will run me @ $3600 - $4000/month. I am assuming I can rent them at an average of $100/ mo (smaller units less/ larger units more).

Does anybody have any experience with them? Negative or positive?

Links to other builders and or fabricators may be helpful as well..

Sodar
08-15-2007, 12:00 PM
My parents looked into this VERY heavily about 10 years ago. Around here, the killer was property costs. When we looked into it, it was not feasible to buy land, but to lease less desirable land (ie. under powerlines, edges of the airport flight path and brown fields). Since you are in the insurance biz, you have that aspect covered, but you will also need to go down the legal road too! Good Luck!

Monte
08-15-2007, 12:15 PM
My parents looked into this VERY heavily about 10 years ago. Around here, the killer was property costs. When we looked into it, it was not feasible to buy land, but to lease less desirable land (ie. under powerlines, edges of the airport flight path and brown fields). Since you are in the insurance biz, you have that aspect covered, but you will also need to go down the legal road too! Good Luck!

I have been checking with the realtors to make sure the land will qualify for that type of business. Land here is relatively inexpensive. My thought is to build one, pay it off then build another, and so on.. I had been looking into rental homes (foreclosures), but my research so far has led me to believe that that venture is a lot more headache than it is worth.

Sodar
08-15-2007, 12:24 PM
I have been checking with the realtors to make sure the land will qualify for that type of business. Land here is relatively inexpensive. My thought is to build one, pay it off then build another, and so on.. I had been looking into rental homes (foreclosures), but my research so far has led me to believe that that venture is a lot more headache than it is worth.

Cheap land that is already zoned correctly is the way to go! I interviewed a few months ago with a large self-storage conglomerate. They were looking for a land acquistions manager, because they were doing just what you are describing, they were paying off their previously locations and levying them against the purchase of more properties and even small self storage companies with several locations. It would have been a cool job, but I turned it down because of the travel involved.

I agree on the residential foreclosures, but I think foreclosures are only going to get better in the next 12-18 months... we have not hit bottom yet, at least not here in SoCal! I am hoping they bottom out right around next December, when I am ready to pounce on a new house! We will see!

Jorski
08-15-2007, 02:29 PM
My family has been in this business for the last 30 years in Toronto, Canada.

In fact, my father built the first one in Canada after hearing about a startup in Florida called Public Storage.

Ours has just over 1400 units and is built on leased land from the local hydro utility. It is generally an excellent business. Sticky clients, steady revenues, low maintenance/capex costs.

That being said, there are a lot more of them than there was even a few years ago. What you are looking for in a location is population density with in about a 5-10 mile radius. The more the better.

Another thought, is to look into space that can be converted such as old industrial building and warehouses. If there are competitors nearby, make sure to find out how full they are and what local demand is like.


If you get the location correct, it is a terrific business. Good luck !

Monte
08-15-2007, 03:03 PM
My family has been in this business for the last 30 years in Toronto, Canada.

In fact, my father built the first one in Canada after hearing about a startup in Florida called Public Storage.

Ours has just over 1400 units and is built on leased land from the local hydro utility. It is generally an excellent business. Sticky clients, steady revenues, low maintenance/capex costs.

That being said, there are a lot more of them than there was even a few years ago. What you are looking for in a location is population density with in about a 5-10 mile radius. The more the better.

Another thought, is to look into space that can be converted such as old industrial building and warehouses. If there are competitors nearby, make sure to find out how full they are and what local demand is like.


If you get the location correct, it is a terrific business. Good luck !

Thanks for that info.. I'm going to start calling around to find out about the competition.

Should I take the direct approach (tell them what I'm doing)? Or would you take the indirect (call and act like a prospective client)

Flatwaterfooter
08-15-2007, 03:10 PM
Unfortunatly I think this is one of those areas you need to lie.

Monte
08-15-2007, 03:17 PM
Unfortunatly I think this is one of those areas you need to lie.

Kind of what I thought..

Scot
08-15-2007, 03:33 PM
My family has been in this business for the last 30 years in Toronto, Canada.

Ours has just over 1400 units and is built on leased land from the local hydro utility. It is generally an excellent business. Sticky clients, steady revenues, low maintenance/capex costs.

If you get the location correct, it is a terrific business. Good luck !

Sticky is right.... I've been in the same unit since I bought my first boat about 7 years back..., 11x30, concrete floors, $65 per month..

The reason I have not looked elsewhere is because of the low cost. I got a great deal when I moved in becasue they were still building them and they wanted to get the revenue flowing. Something to think about while you are building.... And they have not raised my cost in all of those years....

Just another tidbit... They have units that are 11x60 (pull through) with doors on each end. They also have 22x30 that opens up two side by side units..... more to think about...

Good luck

rcnjson
08-16-2007, 02:27 PM
I have been down this road and the problem, for me anyways, was the money... the bank wanted 25% down. I had just graduated, already had a job (I worked there through school) and thought this was a step in the direction of not working for someone anymore. I was going in on this venture with a friend of mine. We had located the land, it was zoned "Ba$tard" by the city, so it needed some improvement prior to building. It was located in an industrial park and was listed at $19K. Pretty sweet deal. Well, then we got into the buildings. We were going to build a shop for ourselves, and a twin shop to rent to a local buisness (small construction like drywall or a mason) in one building 50 X 50 each. Then we were going to build storage unit buildings, 10 X 20's, and 10 X 40's also to rent. At that time, 10 X 20's were going for $60-80 in our area, and 10 X 40's were $100-150. Our total (yeah we had worked with a builder on all this) for land, improvements, pouring/paving, and buildings was a little over $300K. Included in this was the brick facias on buildings and landscaping that the city requires. Bottom line was he had the money, I didn't so we didn't build. Well, a few months after we went through this, a local trucking company bought the land and built storage units and a shop for his buisness. Looking back, I wish we had just bought the land, and made the improvements when we had the money to do so.
k

rcnjson
08-16-2007, 02:43 PM
I should have added this was almost 6 years ago, and last summer the guy that bought the property and built, went ahead and doubled the number of storage units he had for rent. Some of his new ones are 14 X 50
k

Monte
08-16-2007, 02:45 PM
I have been down this road and the problem, for me anyways, was the money... the bank wanted 25% down. I had just graduated, already had a job (I worked there through school) and thought this was a step in the direction of not working for someone anymore. I was going in on this venture with a friend of mine. We had located the land, it was zoned "Ba$tard" by the city, so it needed some improvement prior to building. It was located in an industrial park and was listed at $19K. Pretty sweet deal. Well, then we got into the buildings. We were going to build a shop for ourselves, and a twin shop to rent to a local buisness (small construction like drywall or a mason) in one building 50 X 50 each. Then we were going to build storage unit buildings, 10 X 20's, and 10 X 40's also to rent. At that time, 10 X 20's were going for $60-80 in our area, and 10 X 40's were $100-150. Our total (yeah we had worked with a builder on all this) for land, improvements, pouring/paving, and buildings was a little over $300K. Included in this was the brick facias on buildings and landscaping that the city requires. Bottom line was he had the money, I didn't so we didn't build. Well, a few months after we went through this, a local trucking company bought the land and built storage units and a shop for his buisness. Looking back, I wish we had just bought the land, and made the improvements when we had the money to do so.
k

It seem like a very doable thing for me to take on.. We are going this weekend to look at some more possibilities for locations. The lenders I have been working with want anywhere from 10% to 20%. Not too bad of an investment.. My only concern is the first couple months of payments until it gets off the ground... Still working on making that fly...

SkiDog
08-16-2007, 03:08 PM
Monte, PM @ ya!;)