Self Storage Statistics Tell Us What People Want

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.

valet self storage

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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.

Kathleen Krueger

Kathleen is a full-time freelance writer and owner of Crafter of Words LLC. She specializes in providing high-quality blogs, website copy and email campaigns for businesses. She frequently writes on topics of interest to home owners such as remodeling, storage and moving.

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