There are over 54,000 self storage facilities in the United States. That may seem like a large number, but the truth is that it is not enough to meet the demand that continues to grow. Statistically, it means there is one storage facility per 6,000 citizens. That means the market is far from being over-saturated. Moreover, only a fraction of the businesses within the storage industry have invested in mobile storage solutions.
Mobile Storage is a Solid Investment
Those that make the investment now will be well-positioned in the future as consumer needs and desires are clearly shifting in favor of mobile storage solutions. For example, in 2005, PODS’ revenue was nearly $200 million. Ten years later, it was more than double that. While PODS is the largest and most recognized example of mobile storage providers, the revenue growth for smaller providers offering the same portable storage solutions has been similar.
Right now, interest rates are low and banks are eager to lend money to recession-proof industries. That makes the present the right time to invest in property and equipment to facilitate offering mobile storage solutions. With revenue growth within the industry expected to increase at a steady clip, self storage will continue to produce the safest and strongest long-term returns on the investment.
Self Storage Remains a “Mom and Pop” Industry
In fact, the “big boys” of the industry only control about 11.5% of the market share in the United States. The vast majority of self storage businesses in the country are independent operators. Of these, roughly 150 are privately held companies that operate 10 or more facilities. A further 4,000 firms operate between two and nine facilities. That means that over 27,000 firms operate just a single facility. Indeed, it is clear that even the little guy has plenty of room for successful growth within the storage industry, and offering mobile storage solutions is an added service that can give them an edge in the future.
Moreover, companies can capitalize on the “mom and pop” image of the industry. People are more willing to work with people within their communities. When consumers know that the self storage business they patronize is owned and operated by locals, they will be eager to open their wallets.
Consumer Needs are Evolving
Nationwide, Americans spend roughly $33 billion per year to store their possessions. Thus, mobile storage currently represents a fraction of their overall spending pattern. However, as the economy improves, people are becoming more mobile. This means that they are seeking solutions that ease their moving burdens. Mobile storage offers an affordable, convenient, and safe method of moving their lives from coast to coast, or simply a few towns over.
Additionally, people are turning away from massive homes and seeking smaller, more affordable housing arrangements. They are putting their extra possessions into storage as they seek ways to downsize and streamline their lives. Statistics from the National Association of Home Builders show that the average new home square footage has peaked at 2,600 square feet. If previous trends hold true, it’s likely that this number will begin a steady decline before leveling off somewhere around 2,000 square feet as builders build more entry-level homes. As this occurs, it means people will have less space for all their “stuff” and will seek to stuff it away until they decide what to do with it.
Mobile storage is a recession-proof investment that can pay off handsomely for even the smallest investor. As consumer needs evolve and change, the public is looking for easier and more cost-effective solutions to their storage and moving needs. Storage companies that position themselves now to meet these needs will be equipped to capture greater market share down the road.