By The Numbers: Tracking Demand At Self-Storage Facilities By Elizabeth Ferrin

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    A successful self-storage facility routinely boasted occupancy rates in the high 90 percent range for the past five years. Suddenly, occupancy started to drop as customers were moving out faster than new renters were signing rental agreements. As the business’ numbers—and profits—began to decline, the self-storage owner was left wondering what was causing the drop in storage customers. Exactly where had all the tenants gone? Had something changed at the self-storage facility? Was this the start of an overall shift in the marketplace? Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding the waning occupancy rates, the owner decided to begin studying and measuring demand at the self-storage facility. Tracking demand involves gathering a variety of information, including numbers regarding phone inquiries, move-ins, and move-outs. After crunching the data and talking to neighboring self-storage professionals, the operator quickly discovered that a new self-storage facility had recently opened its doors a little over one mile away. The site was not only newly built and state-of-the-art, but it also boasted great move-in specials and lower monthly rental rates. The owner soon realized his facility was over priced and decided to immediately adjust his rates accordingly. While the above example is a hypothetical anecdote illustrating the importance of tracking demand, there are many real-world examples of self-storage companies that have made a commitment to gather and record important customer data. “We track demand by looking at several operating performance trends in more than 5,000 facilities every 90 days,” says Charles “Ray” Wilson, MAI, CR E, president of Los Angeles, Calif.-based Self Storage Data Services, Inc. “Individual operators can track the same trends within their individual markets which include: changes in asking rental rates, physical unit occupancy, the number of facilities offering concessions, the effective cost of those concessions, and their geographic location across the nation.” Click Here to Read More…]]>

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