“See the Big Picture and Execute the Details” It takes a interesting type of individual to open a fully completed new building with no tenants and combine that with the absolute expectation of success and a plan to realize that success. That is the kind of people that we are at Grow Your Storage.
There are constantly emerging opportunities to enter the self-storage business or expand presence in this industry via acquisition. Beware: there has never been a riskier time to enter this asset class, whether by acquisition or development. Buying a facility is the simplest and quickest path to owning and operating a self-storage facility. There are a variety of reasons why this may not work for you. For example, you may want to own in a market where no facilities are for sale or the prices are too high for you to receive an adequate return on investment. Also, you may want to avoid inheriting the problems from a previous owner. Or you may intend to hold the asset for an extended period and want to make sure that you have exactly the type of building that warrants the allocation of your capital and personal resources. When you have made the choice to build, it is critical that you keep this in mind: You only get one shot at getting your project right.
GYSLLC treats each self-storage project as a unique business opportunity and challenge. Each facility is distinct in its location, customer base, growth potential, accessibility, rates, and sponsorship. GYSLLC evaluates each property across numerous performance criteria to assess its productivity relative to its potential. The company does not look at consolidated reports which tend to hide the weaknesses of a facility behind the strength of another facility. Each property is analyzed in detail on its stand-alone performance. It takes persistent effort, market experience, and strategic timing to manage a top performing self-storage facility. GYSLLC reviews each property monthly so that trends are identified as they emerge. More importantly, we communicate with our store managers on daily and weekly schedules, providing real-time feedback, as they continually improve their management methods and skills. Deficiencies are identified and mitigated, and opportunities are recognized and maximized. Our development services include:
- Acquisition expertise and brokerage
- Entitlements & approvals
- Internal feasibility studies
- Unit mix and building layout design
- Real estate due diligence
- Pro forma management
- Specific site go/no go analysis
- Trade area market analysis
- Design team management
- Development management
- Debt and equity structures
- Capital partners
- Operating agreements/JV structures
“Start at the End”
You are building a fully stabilized project. Your self-storage property will start at absolute vacancy (that means zero tenants), but you build it as if it’s operating with a waiting list. Obviously, stabilization will take months (or years) of operation and hundreds of tenants to realize, but you need to start with a clear vision of the finished product. A stabilized property is an outcome that you can achieve by pursuing a comprehensive, integrated approach to self-storage development. Success is not a given. Self-storage developments do fail. There are many challenges that catch even experienced developers unaware. You must begin with a commitment to build an economically feasible project that you will be happy to operate for years to come. Your success must be incorporated into your project from conception to certificate of occupancy. At Grow Your Storage, we know how to locate your site, develop your plan, manage the project, get your facility built, and get your business off of the ground in a hurry.
“Act Systematically or Not at All”
In order to develop your self-storage project, you must have a system. That is to say: without a step-by-step method of project management, you are condemning your project to underperformance or failure. Entitlement procedures that used to take 6 months can now extend as long as 24 months (if you need to hear specific nightmares, give me a call). Construction costs are rapidly escalating as the availability of quality sub-contractors decreases. If you aren't utilizing a tried-and-true project management system, you will lose sight of your critical paths, and subsequently, your opening date (read: revenue) will move further and further away. We have created a project development system that works exclusively for self-storage, and it's part of our Self Storage Science program. If you are just starting and want to get off on the right foot or if you're already in process and are stuck, reach out to us and we'll show you how our system provides solutions for your situation.