Your quarterly look at self-storage industry performance and customer behavior

Credit Cards Processed At Self-Storage Facilities:

Percentages based off transactions processed through SBOA Merchant Services, who service payment processing for over 2,000 facilities nationwide. With an average ticket of $100 and $30,000 processed per month, a typical facility sees ~300 monthly transactions.
Data provided by 

Average Rent Collected Per Unit

  1. January 2012 - $72.41
  2. February 2012 - $75.99
  3. March 2012 - $74.62
  4. April 2012 - $70.90
  5. May 2012 - $73.35
  6. June 2012 - $77.82
  7. July 2012 - $79.67
  8. August 2012 - $79.80
  9. September 2012 - $78.47
  10. October 2012 - $80.09
  11. November 2012 - $79.24
  12. December 2012 - $75.10
  13. January 2013 - $75.10
  14. February 2013 - $74.60

Time spent researching storage

How long do customers spend researching storage before making a decision? You might be surprised to see that the largest segment of storage customers we surveyed spent 1-2 weeks choosing a facility. This suggests you should follow up often to ensure customers move in after making online reservations or phone inquiries. Try planning a series of follow-up calls - 10 minutes after getting a reservation, the day before they plan to move in, etc. - up to two weeks after hearing from them.

Confirmed Move-Ins By Month, By Size

Strange Storage News From Around The Web

Here is our visual representation of all the reports of weird stuff found in self-storage units in 2012 (via Google News).

Storage Trends Quarterly Analysis

In previous storage trends quarterly reports, we've discussed the increase in renting versus buying homes in the US due to the failing housing market. As our previous report showed, self-storage continued to flourish, and with good reason--moving and renting necessitate storage. As families downsize from houses to apartments, it’s only sensical to also downsize in possessions.The self-storage industry is no stranger to seasonality, and storage unit prices will follow accordingly. Generally, April through August sees the most demand for storage and higher prices, while February sees the lowest. As our data above shows, however, our priciest month of 2012 was October and April the least expensive.Additionally, while February still saw the lowest number of confirmed move-ins, the rest of the year remained relatively high and outperformed projected expectations. Average rent collected per unit also follows this same trend--prices stayed relatively static as we transitioned from summer into the fall and winter months. The overall increase in apartment rentals in 2012 may be responsible for combating the dreaded effects of seasonality.Recently, the National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales hit their highest level in more than three years. According to Business Insider, real-estate and property offerings are up nearly 40% from last year’s rates. Overall, investors seem optimistic that this upswing will carry forward into a housing recovery that Trulia predicts to normalize again by 2015. The online real estate company also assesses that the housing market is 53 percent back to normal currently.The national unemployment level is still at 7.7 percent, which means that many Americans still cannot afford to buy a home or qualify for loans. “Recovery” may be a very optimistic assessment of the housing market. With late March marking the peak for home shopping, we can begin to see if this optimism is justified. What does this mean for the self-storage industry? Performance was extra strong in 2012, and how the optimism in the housing market will affect our industry remains to be seen, especially since some analysts remain highly doubtful that the housing market won’t falter again. As of now, however, the self-storage industry is stronger than ever. With oncoming summer months boasting higher move-ins, it seems that we can only grow from here.