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3 Impactful Trends That Can Help Your Self-Storage Business

The self-storage industry, like many industries, is impacted by trends in society. The following is an update to an article discussing such trends by blogger Hunter Thompson in 2018 that is still pertinent today.

These three significant trends impact the self-storage industry. They involve Millennials and their reliance on mobile apps, increased automation, and the effects of older citizens downsizing.

1. Millennial Influence

One of the hottest topics in the self-storage market has been the rise of valet-storage startups. These companies pick up customers’ items from their homes, store belongings in a secure warehouse, and return them upon request.

As Millennials gain spending power, their consumer preferences shape how companies market and conduct business. Millennials are accustomed to accessing apps for all manner of services, and storage is no exception.

While many traditional storage investors and owners have, for decades, focused on getting near highly desirable urban markets, they are not front door service. This could be highly disruptive with valet operators offering competitive rates and an on-demand experience.

2. Automation

Another significant trend in self-storage has been the increased adoption of automation. Many self-storage operators are fully or partially automating their properties. Their goal is to eliminate the salary of onsite employees. However, this strategy comes with a potential downside. It’s doubtful that an automated system will effectively upsell customers on premium products such as larger units, climate-controlled space, or drive-in access.

Other forms of automation include integrating the various applications that serve customers and handle company tasks. Making it easier for customers to interact with different business units promotes higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

It’s still unclear what effects full automation will have on the bottom line. Nevertheless, it’s certainly something investors should keep their eyes on since technology has disrupted most business models in recent years.

3. Residential Downsizing

The continued aging population phenomenon creates a unique data set when analyzing self-storage. This demographic shift will likely result in continued, significant downsizing over the next several decades. This shift should be positive for self-storage investors and owners, as downsizing is one of the most frequently cited reasons for customers to use self-storage.

Interestingly, this demographic’s acceptance of automation or new services does not clash with the Millennial population, as one might imagine. Requiring different application interfaces and methods, yes, but here in Japan, our aging citizens accept technology more. Figuring out how to service both of these markets is one of the challenges the self-storage industry faces today.

So there you have it. Three trends with the potential to disrupt the market shape the future of the self-storage industry. If you should have any questions about the information contained in this article please feel free to contact Unwired Logic at info@unwiredlogic.com or click on the “Learn More” button to be taken to our contact form.