Self-storage units are everywhere. The industry is booming. That also means there is a lot of competition among storage businesses to attract customers in their direction. Self storage statistics can tell us a lot about what consumers are looking for in self-storage. Let’s look at what some of those stats are and what self-storage business owners can learn from them.
Self-Storage Stats from the Self Storage Association
The Self Storage Association is the nonprofit trade organization for the self-storage industry. It lobbies congress and state legislatures for its members in the U.S. and is one of the premier data collection organizations for the self-storage industry. The association’s 2014-2015 fact sheet, released in January of 2015 included a wealth of information for owners of self-storage facilities.
- In the U.S., 8.96% of all households were renting a self-storage unit in 2014
- The majority, 67% of self-storage renters, live in single-family homes. Only 27% are apartment dwellers. Of these renters, the majority also have a garage and 33% also have a basement in their home.
- 52% of self-storage renters surveyed said they rented their storage unit for one year or more, while only 13% rented storage for less than three months.
- In communities with a heavy military presence, military personnel often make up a significant amount of the storage renters, anywhere from 20 to 95% of rented units. Nationwide this number is only 6%.
With these self storage statistics in mind, we can conclude several things. First, that even those with extra storage space at home (garages and basements) still have a need and desire for additional storage space. Secondly, that the majority of people are looking for long-term storage, a year or more) not just a few months.
Convenience, an Essential Ingredient for Consumers
I want it now; I want it fast; and I want it easy. This is the mantra of today’s generation of consumers. This emphasis on time-saving convenience is making a big impact on how self-storage providers do business. Valet services, pick up and delivery of storage items, is on the rise as a result of this ‘you do it for me’ mentality.
Storrage, one of the most innovative of the new valet storage services, recently polled over 500 consumers from major cities across the U.S. to determine their views on self-storage and valet storage services. The feedback they received is worth taking note of.
- Of the women, millennials and urban dwellers polled, over 50% said they’d prefer to use self-storage with a valet service than the traditional DIY model, citing convenience as the number one reason.
- 68% of those who said they’d prefer a valet service versus traditional self-storage cited time savings as the main reason for their choice; 57% said the convenience was in not needing a vehicle to haul their items to and from the storage unit that influenced their choice.
- One of the most interesting figures among the survey results was the fact that 65% of those who said they’d prefer a valet service option over the DIY self-storage model had never used self-storage. Terry Drayton, owner of Storrage, sees this as an indication of untapped market for storage providers. “For smart incumbents, that’s a huge opportunity to add the valet storage option to attract these new consumers and grow the overall market.”
The self-storage data is both encouraging and enlightening. It tells us that a large percentage of consumers continue to see self-storage as servicing a valuable need. The Storrage survey data challenges the industry to make convenience and time-saving offerings a bigger priority. Consumers seem to be asking for self-storage with a little less ‘self’ involvement.
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