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Indianapolis Business Journal: Forty Under 40
January 7th, 2013 by

FortyUnder40

Article PDF : 40 Under 40 (To download the PDF, right click on the link and choose “Save as”)

After earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan’s Flint campus in 1991, Scott Meyers set his sights on working in a large corporate environment. Initially the Indianapolis office of telecommunications company AT&T Technologies/Lucent Technologies. (now Alcatel-Lucent, headquartered in Paris) seemed like a good fit.

“It wasn’t until I was in the working world for a while that I realized I didn’t like people limiting my success by forcing me to conform to the company’s direction,” he said.

In 1994, while still with AT&T/Lucent, he founded Zion Management LLC, a residential real estate investment company, and began buying, rehabbing and selling single-family homes to supplement his retirement.

“It took on a life of its own,” he said.

In 1998 Meyers got his real estate license and a year later he founded Fishers-based Temple Asset Management, the holding company for all his companies. To date, Meyers has purchased, rehabbed and sold 77 single-family homes and four apartment complexes, totaling 186 units and valued at S55 million. He also owns and manages The Brigadier Apartments at Fort Benjamin Harrison, a 72-unit complex, through Brigadier LLC. From 2001 to 2004, Meyers taught classes on how to run a real estate business through the University of Indianapolis and the Central Indiana Real Estate Investors Association, a not-for-profit agency designed to educate investors. He now serves on its board. Meyers said branching out into small business incubation, via the Indianapolis Enterprise Center (formerly the Entrepreneur Business Center), which he acquired and reopened in 2005, was a “natural step,” although a totally unexpected one.

“I was looking to buy an office building for my business,” he said.

“I was searching for a building that currently had other ten-ants to help offset the costs and ran across this facility. During our due diligence, we discovered that it was formerly run as a small-business incubator, and decided that its highest and best use was to return to its roots. So I bought the building and bought myself a job as the executive director.”

Since May 2005, its client companies have created about 200 jobs. Meyers reestablished partnerships between the incubator and U.S. Small Business Administration and Small Business Development Center and joined the National Business Incubation Association. The center has a resource library, shared access to business services and equipment and helps businesses apply for SBA-backed loans. Temple Asset Management offers an internal “micro-loan” program for businesses that don’t qualify for other funding. Since opening the facility, Meyers has added 16,000 square feet to accommodate growth. The center ranked second on 113.1′s list of largest Indiana business incubators in 2007—up two spots from the previous year. The rankings are based on total square footage. Last year Meyers added self-storage to his list of businesses. He owns Alcatraz Storage, which has one facility in Muncie and other locations under construction, and is a partner in Storage Now in Fortville. He considers his major business accomplishment to be self-funding his businesses and the fact that they have survived.

“When you look at the fact that 80 percent of all small businesses fail, survival is probably the greatest accomplishment so far,” he said.

In April 2006, Meyers was invited to serve on the Indianapolis Economic Development advisory board, which acts as a sounding board, lead generator and advocate for the group’s economic development efforts. He is an active budget counselor and leader for Crown Financial Ministries in Central Indiana, a national religious organization, and serves as Crown Financial coordinator for Northview Christian Life Church in Fishers.

In addition to running five businesses and working in the community, Meyers and his wife Christina have three children — Sydney. 6: Gavin, 4; and Ella. 1. They adopted Ella from China in December. Meyers reverts to a tactic from his childhood to make time for family—delegating.

“I think we all get better at delegating as we go along,” he said.

“I keep good property managers in place and I have a very qualified operations manager. Outside of that, it is just working efficiently and only focusing on what is important and what absolutely has to be done and making family a priority.”

Things To Know When Starting Your Own Self Storage Business!
March 8th, 2013 by

Things To Know When Starting Your Own Self Storage Business!

It’s a start! A first-time self-entrepreneur in the industry of self-storage business has understandably a lot of questions in mind. Is there a guarantee that I will profit from this? What are the chances that this is not a dead-end industry? What are the business’ limitations? Obviously, a first-timer has their own jitters as they dwell into the land of the unknown. It is normal and expected. However, anxiety draws the thick line that separates the novices from the pros. That is why it is a big no-no to for a first-timer to ask direct and specific questions about the self-storage industry. Just calm down, relax, and take first to a macrocosm point of view of a self-storage business.

1.) Focus. Focus. Focus.
The glitz and glamour of having a personal business attracts a lot of people. This fact alone makes any business competition all the more difficult. The swarming number of people who knows nothing about a specified industry is enough to condense and drown abled-type entrepreneurs. But never worry. Create a boundary that will separate you among the others; focus on what type of business you really want. Don’t be fooled by the notion of jumping everytime opportunity presents itself. If possible, shift to another industry after the mastering the first. Always take one step at a time. Never rush and always focus.

2.) Know the reason why we have two eyes, two ears and one mouth.
Business is like life; there is no universal formula to acquire the desired result to start with nor the perfect knowledge applicable to its every aspect. That’s the reason why it is very important to be always surrounded by well-knowledgeable person and consider them as advisors. Learn to listen attentively. Even their mildest and gnomic responses to an everyday conversation can unlock the barrier of ultimate success. And no matter how exciting what you might say is, learn to control the mouth. It is essential in every business especially in the self–storage business to keep the mind sharp to ensure the substance of every word.

3.) Help is always on the way.
Admit it: when having a hard time, don’t fool everyone by saying everything’s fine. In business, it is given that entrepreneurs don’t always bathe in the warm and inviting ray of success. There are ups and downs in every business but this roller coaster ride is to test the determination of every first-time entrepreneurs. Admit to a trusted friend or a family member that everything’s not going well as planned. Learn when and how use the phrases “Everything’s fine,” to “Everything’s gonna be fine.” There is like a whole universe that divides the two phrases. Who knows? A family member might retell the story to a friend who turns out to be the person you just need?

4.) Learn the difference between life and Hollywood films.
The great thing about movies is that it simplifies everyday occurrences and makes it more interesting with background music. Yes, there may be successful businessmen or investors featured in a film but never refer their success stories to a movie. Remember that you cannot fast-track success unlike in a two-hour picture. In reality, no matter how established an industry is, success and expertise must be earned to reap the fruit of triumph.

Marketing your self-storage business
March 4th, 2013 by

“Hey, have you heard of *business name*?”

“Who what now?”

Novice business owners might think that it’s a waste of time, but marketing plays a huge part in any form of business, even in the self-storage industry. It won’t matter how good your product or service is, if they haven’t heard about it, no customers.

You want your potential customers to be aware that your business exists, therefore, your marketing materials should:

Be eye-catching

“I can’t stop not staring at that.”

Interesting ads not only attract people but also impress them. Avoid making it too distracting or loud though, there’s a fine line between eye-catching and annoying after all.

Give a good first impression

“First impressions are everything.”

Amazing ads stays in the mind of people for a long time, but the same goes for horrible ones too. You want to be the guy who made that amazing ad. If it’s really good, it might even go viral, which will boost ad exposure immensely.

Target people specifically

“Know your enemies and know yourself.”

In this case, enemies mean customers. Knowing the type of people around the area is crucial so you can advertise ads specifically directed at them and know what type of units or products they need.

I hope these tips will help you make the best of your marketing, but if you’re serious in investing in self-storage, we have more learning materials that can help you, like our big guide to marketing, The Ultimate Marketing Guide.

Defining Self Storage
March 1st, 2013 by
Defining Self-Storage

Photo Courtesy of: deviledmegs.com

Last 2012, the self-storage business reached $2.1 billion in sales. This number, along with the business’ minimal planning for tenants to rent space, has attracted investors who are looking a way to expand their business operations. With eyes on the prize, there is no surprise why there are investors who don’t even know what self-storage business really is.

Because there is always a constant need for space, self-storage units became popular in recent years especially in America. Out of 58, 000 storage facilities in the world, 46, 000 is in the United States and that was in 2009. Years after, the number of storage facilities continue to grow actively.

People who owns a lot things but cannot store it in their own garage resorted to renting a space with a binding agreement. This binding agreement encompasses a bargain that requires the tenant to pay a specified amount of money on a month-to-month basis for the self storage company. Given that the tenants will provide their own locks, this will ensure that the tenants have only the sole access to their rented space which is very unlike in a warehouse-system. Certain companies, however, enforce a strict schedule system where tenants can only visit or check their possessions on at given time.

When renting a storage unit, always consider the things you’re going to and you will store. This will help you understand the type of unit that you may need and estimate the cost. For example, regular storage units are advisable for a client who simply has to store household articles like an extra furniture or legal documents that has to be kept outside the home. However, a client with valuable books, old paintings and other family heirlooms is advised to use a climate-controlled storage units. This type of self-storage unit uses a heating or cooling system to maintain air temperature since some of valuables can deteriorate over time or in excess heat. Upon request, the client can also ask the company if they the tenants can have access to their possessions if there is a viable reason.

Also, ask for the company’s insurance despite some articles being under the client’s home insurance policy. As a form of risk management to mitigate unwanted loss, some storage companies have their own insurance policy that will cover damages over the articles under their care. Understand this very carefully, if there is any. Some company policies dictate that there is a limit on how much the company will pay when things get a little offhand.

Using a self storage unit is like basically trusting the company wholeheartedly since the client will hand personal articles into their care. It is, then, the responsibility of the customer to know everything that there is to know and ask relevant and responsible questions. In return, since this service is not free or charge, the self storage facility has to guarantee the service that the costumer will receive.

What does a Self-Storage Business Manager really do?
February 18th, 2013 by

Self-storage is a business where a tenant rents out a unit or space from a storage facility for personal or professional use. He can access it anytime while he’s renting it.

  

The self-storage business manager is the person who runs and operates a self-storage business facility. On-site self-storage business managers (living within the facility) and off-site managers (living outside) perform the same basic responsibilities. Companies will frequently hire teams of at least two managers to manage the facility more efficiently and to provide around-the-clock service to the tenants. They also have relief managers for the weekends or if one or more of the managers can’t make it that day for some reason.

 
So, what are the responsibilities of a self-storage manager?
  
Rent Collection
Their most basic responsibility in managing the facility is of course, collecting the rent from the tenants at the start of every month, but like everything in life, it’s not that simple. Its` generally known that collection is never as simple as it seems. There are late payments, fines and tons of paperwork.
 
Acquisition of new customers
Self-storage managers interact with the customers; the current tenants who are already renting some of the units, and new customers (and possibly future tenants) that are looking for a unit to rent. They cater to their questions and read them policies and guidelines.

 

Inspection of the units
Checking and maintaining the entire facility, inspecting the security (units broken in, areas that can easily be broken into, security cameras, the lighting, etc.)
 
Operational Duties
Depending upon company policies and job descriptions, they could also be responsible with handling the facility’s accounts like — paying the taxes, overhead costs, salary of the other employees, etc.
 
Transport and logistics
Negotiating contracts with transport and freight firms if the employer or company doesn’t have it.
 
Marketing Strategy
Marketing the facility, printing out flyers and posters and posting them in appropriate places to attract new customers to the facility.


Supervision

Supervising and monitoring the staff. They should be able to guide them in doing their job well and manage all their employees’ concerns.
 

This is pretty much the gist of being a self-storage manager. Some self-storage investors became managers in handling their own facility after they learned a bit more about managing.

Scott Meyers (self-storage guru since 2005) has been able to orient, train and make profitable self-storage ventures for many self-storage startups.

Looking Back at the Self Storage Industry
January 4th, 2013 by

In the last decade, the most profitable and sure-fire real estate investment was not grand office buildings or trendy restaurants or luxury resorts – it was simply just self storage.

 

Self storage continues to grow year over year mainly because of two things. First, Americans move a lot. There are only a handful of families that live out their whole lives in the same neighborhood. People change jobs multiple times over their lifetimes and almost all of those require living in a different place.

 

Second, as time goes by, people just keep on getting more and more stuff. With their hard-earned money, it’s difficult to throw away old things before buying more possessions. As a result, basements, attics and even garages get filled up with unused things and families clamor for more space.

 

Between 2001 and 2011, storage facilities earned an increasing 3% net operating income yearly, a significant sustained growth in an otherwise harsh real estate industry. This translated to twice the cash flow growth of other property types. Also, storage facilities have doubled in this time to over 58,000 all over the US. The total rentable space is now over 2.3 billion sq.ft.

 

Though families and individuals still make up the greater majority of self storage renters, businesses have started to turn to storage facilities as low cost options for their inventory.

 

Small and local business owners continue to control 84 percent of the self storage market. The big public companies on the other hand do buy up more mom-and-pop facilities but only control 16 percent. It’s still very much an entrepreneur’s field, with about 75 percent of local owners having only that one primary storage facility.

 

Where the self storage industry goes from here in the next decade is unknown, but it certainly looks bright and promising.

 

Self Storage Business Expansions Prove Market is Stable
November 8th, 2012 by

With the current strain that the economy has caused many businesses, it’s not hard to see why many have began to broaden their horizons.  In uncertain times, small business owners are the first to realize just how much a bum economy can affect their profits.  And as property owners, their services may be some of the first to be seen as “trimmed fat.”  However, rather than selling, jacking up their prices, or, just closing up shop, many self storage companies have chosen a different option: branching out. In the past year we have seen a number of property investment companies not only join up their businesses, but begin to offer more for their current customers. A business that used to offer self storage services is now providing moving truck rentals — an all-in-one deal.

 

And a company that once focused on storing documents or other climate-controlled items, might now break into the real estate market and start its stint with property rentals.  Other businesses are simply partnering with one another to ensure shared patronage, an example of networking to the extreme.

 

These company expansions are a show of the self storage market’s willingness to adapt and change in order to continue its success.  It’s also proof that the storage business continues to thrive.  A failing company does not have the ability to expand its empire. The fact that storage company after truck rental business continues to do so shows they have the collateral to support it.  Seeing others expand should be reassuring to any small business owner.  It reassures that the self storage market, despite a down economy, is profitable and stable.

 

Insurance Programs for Self-Storage Tenants
November 5th, 2012 by

People store their belongings to self storage facilities for various reasons. However, some people who rent the units assume that the self storage owner will automatically provide insurance for every belonging that they store.

 

It is true that self-storage facility providers are responsible for ensuring that the clients’ possessions are protected. On the other hand, they are, by contract and by law are not responsible for any loss or damage of property. Self-storage providers should discuss the contract carefully to their renters especially the new ones to avoid misunderstanding in the future. And since client satisfaction is very important, self storage owners might as well discuss the different ways on how renters can insure their goods.

 

The first method is to inform new customers that the self storage facility is not responsible for protecting what they store inside the units. Offer a brochure of a reputable company that they can contact, in case they want to insure their belongings. This way, the facility is out of the loop, since the self storage facility does not collect the insurance premiums. Also, the tenants are the ones who will contact the carrier to set it up. Just make sure that the tenants understand the importance of having their belongings insured by providing actual circumstances that the insurance coverage has been useful.

 

The second method is known as the “Pay-With-Rent” program. This is quite similar to the car rental business wherein renters will tick off the box that adds the cost of extra insurance to the car rental price. In self storage, the cost of the premium is integrated in their monthly storage space rental bill.

 

This method is highly popular with renters because it means lesser burden on their part as they do not have to contact third party providers. The self storage owners can also benefit with this program because they can charge an administration fee to the clients for managing the supplementary insurance arrangements.

 

Natural disasters, hurricane, earthquake, weather, fire and theft can happen to anyone. These events are beyond man’s control. Insurance is a form of risk management that is used primarily to protect belongings against risk of uncertain loss.

Self-Storage Facility Buying and Selling Trends in North-Central Region
November 4th, 2012 by

Hi, everyone!

 

Scott here, with some info on the development and recovery of our industry in the nation’s north-central states. Some of the big guns from Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas, Wisconsin and Michigan are weighing in and the information may be useful to those who are considering buying or selling properties right now. The full article can be found at: http://www.insideselfstorage.com/articles/2011/06/the-state-of-self-storage-real-estate-in-the-north-central-states-recovery-and-development.aspx.

 



So far, it looks like 2013 is an opportune time for buyers and sellers alike in the self-storage industry. Interest rates are still phenomenally low, which gives motivation for buyers to act now before they rise and also gives sellers a better chance of obtaining a higher price for their properties. With many operators reporting a near 90% occupancy rate, even during the economic downturn affecting almost every other industry, investors are looking favorably on the self-storage sector.

 

Well-maintained, properly managed and well-located facilities are definitely seeing buying interest in the north-central region. Whether this is the best time to sell, however, still comes down to the individual goals of each operator. If your facility is operating profitably, with a high occupancy rate, this could be the perfect time to sell if you are so inclined. Plenty of investors are looking for ways to secure even a 10% ROI.

 

As far as building new facilities, this may not be the best time. Banks are still skittish about lending and there was a problem with overbuilding in the past, where supply was ahead of demand. Rather than building new, the trend seems to be in the acquisition or expansion of existing facilities. These are both viable alternatives for those wanting to grow their current base.

 

Hope this information is useful. Feel free to comment on this or any other topic!

 

How to Start a Self Storage Business
October 11th, 2012 by

You’ve probably read from Inc. Magazine or Wall Street Journal or Entrepreneur Magazine why self-storage is the fastest growing sector of real estate and small business in the U.S. over the past several years especially during this recession.

 

 

I was like you several years ago, an almost bankrupt landlord in the tenant-toilet business with over 400 apartments, office buildings and single family rentals until I found self-storage and the benefits that it holds, and I sold off everything I had to invest in nothing but self-storage.

 

There are several reasons; the first of which is the fact that there are no tenants or toilets or trash in self-storage. You only have steel walls and a concrete floor and if the tenants don’t pay you, you can lock them out and auction all their stuff off.

 

 

Also, it works in a good economy and a bad one. In a good economy, people buy more stuff and they need to store more stuff so they take it to self-storage. In a recession, people and businesses are downsizing, so they need a place to store their extra stuff until things turn back around.

 

The financing is also much easier to find compared to all the other asset classes. Self-storagehas the lowest loan-default rate in any form of commercial real estate, about 6 to 7 percent versus 50% for apartments, which means that banks favor lending money to self-storage.

 

Self-storage is also very easy to run and manage. Several of our facilities are actually run by a kiosk that looks like an ATM machine. People can drive in and get their picture taken and their card or cash accepted, sign a lease, and access their unit outside of normal office hours.

 

There are also many additional profit centers that you can add such as U-Haul, truck rentals, locks, boxes and moving supplies, records storage, business centers, and the list goes on.

 

Top Three Mistakes for Newbie Self-Storage Investors to Avoid

 

Self-storage is one of the best new businesses to invest in today, with over 24 million units in the country and almost 1 in 10 households having rented one. Demand continues to rise, either from our insatiable need to acquire more stuff and store it somewhere or from the current recession which causes downsizing companies and families to look for additional storage space.

 

Also, Self-storage has higher returns than any other form of commercial real estate. The next closest investment is apartments at 8.8% compared to the national average of 34.5% for self-storage.

 

But you have to do your homework.  Here are the top three mistakes to avoid if you’re interested in investing in self-storage:

 

Improper Analysis

 

A lot of new investors have difficulty finding out if they’re overpaying for their units and actually knowing how much it’s worth. There’s a lot of apprehension here that can simply be solved through the use of self-storage software that analyzes deals, the most widely used being www.selfstorageanalysis.com.  This software helps you get down to the bottom line so you know exactly what the important figures are for your business, all but eliminating any guesswork.

 

Moreover, you should also take a look at the market to determine if it will support the facility? You also  need to find out what the supply index is in a 1 to 5 mile radius around your self-storage facility. You also have to check your competition – can you beat those already there and how hard will that be? Plus, what’s the overall demand in that market – are people moving into the area, are they finding new jobs?

 

Plan, What Plan?

 

A lot of people make bad deals because they were structured incorrectly and weren’t able to create enough value in the facility to refinance it. Sometimes there’s no operating agreement between the debt and equity partners which causes the deals to go south. Investors are also wary of hiring an attorney because of the expense, so they don’t have someone to look at the deal structure or the operating agreement. Other mistakes include poor due diligence and not having an exit strategy.

 

It’s Not an ATM

 

One thing that people have been saying about self-storage is that it’s a cash-cow — that once you set up, you can forget and just let it bring in the dough. It’s not an ATM, folks, it’s a business and you have to treat it that way. You need to have process-based management in place and you need systems that will help you run it such as kiosks and web-based software.

 

A solid marketing plan that helps you determine where you’re going to be and what you’re targeting is essential. Just advertising in the Yellow pages isn’t enough. You want to dominate your local competition – you need to get all the eyeballs from five miles around your facility to your website and your facility.

 

Finally, after you’ve stabilized your business, you also need to consider expanding and adding the profit centers mentioned above. Building new buildings and offering value-added services such as truck rentals, boxes, locks and moving supplies will help you improve increase value and force the appreciation of your new asset.

 

 

The Anatomy of a Private Money Self Storage Deal
October 2nd, 2012 by

Here’s our latest quick tip on on the Private Lending forms needed to do a Private money deal in Self Storage, along with the common questions that private lenders ask us, and how to address.

 

[youtube width="500" height="350"]http://youtu.be/rccvg-a7JP0[/youtube]

 

How to Analyze a Self Storage Facilty
August 27th, 2012 by
  • Eliminate the “Guesswork” When Evaluating Facilities
  • Capitalize on Undervalued Bargains in This Recession
  • Profit by Predicting Market Trends and Future Values



Check out this YouTube video about How to Analyze a Self Storage Facility


http://youtu.be/Z-u8a4Tt_MM

 

REGISTER NOW FOR THE FREE WEBINAR

 


Self Storage Franchises Explained
August 8th, 2012 by

We’ve had a lot of visitors to our website seeking information on Self Storage Franchises.

 

I just posted a video on our YouTube Channel where you can learn all about it or check it out below.



 

From the Brickyard
August 1st, 2012 by

This past weekend our Private Money Mastermind students attended the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Watching the race from Scott’s suite, the day provided great weather, great racing, great food, and a great time. Check out their VIP experience from a day at the track.

Self Storage Employment Law Explained
June 29th, 2012 by

 

I realize that running a self storage business is not easy when you’re mostly trying to rent units, but self storage facility owners need to also avoid legal pitfalls to make sure they are complying with all of the laws involved with having employees. This video and accompanying article will discuss a few topics about employment law and the risks of liability.

 

What the risk-management process lacks in excitement it more than makes up for in importance. Since the absence of an effective risk-management plan can undermine even the most successful business, minimizing or eliminating risk is the cornerstone of any profitable self Storage venture.

 

When developing a risk-management strategy, self storage facility owners typically focus on protecting against the most obvious source of potential liability to the exclusion of others. For self storage facilities, this often means risk-management focus is almost entirely on the physical site as well as the property stored on the premises for others, and any liabilities that may result if such property is lost or damaged. But there is another considerable exposure.

 

Consider this: An employee in your organization files a discrimination lawsuit alleging she was not promoted because of her gender. You’re confident the promotion went to the better-qualified candidate and have sufficient documentation to support this decision. Still, having to defend your company against her claim in court could be costly; legal fees might seriously deplete your business’s cash reserves, perhaps even lead to bankruptcy.

 

Such a scenario is quite possible in today’s increasingly litigious business climate, in which even the most proactive employers can find themselves in violation of one of the many employment laws governing the workplace. In fact, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the likelihood of experiencing such a scenario is greater now than it has been in the last decade.

 

Although a precise explanation for the recent surge in employment-related charges may not be available for quite some time, it is possible that the struggling economy may play a significant role.

 

In any event, the result for business owners is the same: a significantly increased risk of exposure to employment-related liabilities that can push already struggling businesses over the edge. That’s why EPLI and simply minding your state’s employment laws has become an almost necessary part of a Self Storage business’s insurance umbrella.

 

This is where a great attorney and insurance agent can more than prove their worth. If you haven’t implemented a risk-management program in your self storage business, it’s time to begin the process.

 

And be certain to watch all four videos in our series on how to avoid the four most common legal pitfalls in self storage to keep yourself safe, and retain the hard earned money your facility earns.

 

How to Start a Self Storage Business
May 20th, 2012 by

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Certainly there’s more to starting a self storage business than I can cover in this post or in the video above, so I’ll just list some bullet starting points for you. But first, smart move & mdash this is absolutely the industry to be investing in. Surely you’ve been reading all the positive press recently about the self storage opportunity. So with that, here’s the short list of how to start:

 

  • Begin by creating relationships with the commercial and self storage brokers in your area and let them know the types of facilities you are looking for.
  • Begin mailing owners in your area with a simple letter explaining that you welcome the opportunity to talk with them directly when they decide to sell.
  • Once you begin reviewing deals, my secret weapon is a software that can be found at www.SelfStorageAnalysis.com. Don’t ask, just buy it.
  • Then you need to analyze the market to determine the supply index and the overall strength of the players in the trade area within five miles of your site or facility.
  • Financing — it’s not as difficult as you think. Lenders loveself storage as it has outperformed all other forms of real estate four to one in this recession in terms of sheer returns. We like community banks, savings and loans, and credit unions along with the SBA.
  • Hire an attorney to draft your purchase agreement and review closing docs including any operating agreements, LLCs, PPMs, syndicates, and all partnership agreements.
  • Once under contract, be certain to either hire out, or perform your own thorough due diligence to verify the financials and the overall condition of the facility.
  • You may also want to have a feasibility study done in turnaround facilities, and should alwaysdo one with a development site.
  • Once closed, be certain to establish a process based management system with defined marketing plans, and best business practices focus on increasing income and reducing expenses. And for goodness sake — hire a great manager! Spend the extra time interviewing, and compensate them well.

 

For more detailed information on each of the steps above and more, please browse our site and utilize the multitude of free resources available to launch your self storage career.

 

To your success,

 

Scott Meyers

 

Self Storage Facilities: “Best U.S. Real Estate”
May 12th, 2012 by

When it comes to owning property, there are a number of avenues that one can take. But, despite all of the available options, one seems to stand above the rest –self storage facilities. Because of their low maintenance costs (no carpets, no toilets, low capitol rates, etc.) and ability to bring in high returns, self storage facilities have continued to grow into the best form of real estate investments over the last decade, according to studies by Bloomberg. Self storage companies, located all over the country and the world, are showing the highest total returns, paired with the third-lowest volatility, as shown by Bloomberg’s riskless return rankings. These self storage facilities have continued to gain private investors, obtain properties with low debt ratios, and grow their profits considerably, said the article. Public Storage, the country’s largest self storage company, sits at a debt to asset ratio of 22.5 percent, and their average REIT is about 45 percent.

 

While self storage’snumbers have continued to grow, they’re slated to grow even higher in 2012. Investors are learning the value that can come with a low-maintenance property. While traditional landlords have to paint, schedule carpet cleanings, etc., self storage owners can turnover a rental to a new tenant as quickly as the same day. All that’s needed is access to a broom, the article said. With high stock numbers, increased awareness about profitability and low maintenance, it was only a matter of time before the market began to catch on.

This year alone, both rent prices and tenant numbers are scheduled to be on the rise. With fewer facilities being built, the demand – and therefore the cost – will hit an increased level, having already risen by of $2 (sitting at an average of $90 per month) in the first quarter of 2012. According to Bloomberg’s studies, average rents will continue to rise between 3 and 3.5 percent, and occupancy levels will grow between 1 and 3 percent. In fact, occupancy is already on the upswing, growing by 1.1 percent (now sitting at 81.1) in 2012′s first quarter.

 

Now more than ever the self storage industry is continuing to grow. Especially in a time of economic uncertainty, owning storage units has proved to be a profitable, easily maintained source of property ownership. And as it seems, 2012 is only looking better.

To find out more about getting started in the self storageindustry, head to SelfStorageInvesting.com.

 

[Bloomberg]

 

How to Raise Private Funds to Buy Self Storage Facilities
March 30th, 2012 by

In this week’s video, I share a few tips on how to find private investors to fund your self storage acquisitions. Click to learn frequently asked questions and tips for turning a profit, staying within the law, and more.

 

The biggest question of all is usually “Where do we find money?” How do we find and prequalify those who may be interested in investing? The answer is easier than you may think; it’s the folks right under your nose. Ask family members, business associates, your CPA, real estate agents, your attorney – anyone who is already on your team. Chances are they may know people who are looking for alternate forms of investments, rather than the stock market or risky, low return forms of investment. Tell them you invest in self storage facilities and you use private investors to fund your growth.

Often the next big question next is “How much” and “what is my ROI” – how much to give them so they’ll be interested, while still making money for yourself. However, this isn’t something that should be worried about upfront. You just want to get to know the potential investor and get them to feel comfortable working with you and investing in self storage facilities.

 

There are also a few SEC laws that regulate what can and can’t be said in initial meetings; it’s important to get a good real estate attorney to avoid breaking any of these laws.

 

To learn more about working with private investors, check out the video below.

 

 

Self Storage Investing in the News
February 8th, 2012 by

Here at Self Storage Investing, we’ve been helping newcomers advance and get their start in the business through our mentoring program. And after years of service, I’m happy to announce that others are taking notice. This past week, our efforts were featured in Extra Space Storage’s blog, as well as IBT PR Center’s website, highlighting the outline of our plan.

 

In her blog, Holly Robinson of Extra Space Storage, expresses the importance of a program to help buyers obtain finances and show them the ropes of the self storage business. She states how most businesses don’t come with a how-to manual, but that’s exactly what we’re doing: teaching investors what to expect. But we don’t stop there.

 

During the program, students learn the ins and outs of self storage through several mediums including software, seminars, eBooks, and one-on-one mentoring. Then we help them sign up for specialized loans or meet with private lenders to make their business a reality. In fact, last year alone we were able to help four students obtain storage facilities, across the country, worth a cumulative $6.9 million.

 

To find out more about our mentoring program, comment or click the academy tab above.

 

Self Storage Aggregators Explained
January 31st, 2012 by

Most of the folks in the self storage industry have seen or heard a number of articles – whether located in blogs, chat rooms, etc. – about the war on the aggregators right now, which is being led by one self storage operator in Texas. During this controversy, I’ve been sitting back in the sidelines, talking with quite a bit of others in the industry and hearing different views on the use of aggregators.

 

As a self storage owner, I’ve used the aggregators sites for advertising; I teach people multiple ways to generate traffic. So with an unbiased opinion, I’ll explain the controversy from both sides of the issue. Just click on the video below.

 

Tips for Video Marketing
January 18th, 2012 by

If you’ve ever wondered about video marketing, in this video Scott gives a quick glimpse on how to market your facility online, primarily through social media. A few tools of the trade don’t have to be progressive as you think. You don’t have to have a production company or a $1,000 camera. In fact, it’s pretty incredible what the iPhone 4s can do as far as video and uploading capabilities. Editing software such as iMovie or profiles on Feverr.com can also help with the production aspects. There are also plenty of cost-saving outlets once the finished product is ready as well, such as YouTube and a personal or company blog.

 

To find out more details and tips from Scott on video marketing, check out the video below.

 

 

Scott Meyers of Self Storage Investing gives an overview of video marketing to help promote your self storage facility. Use his easy-to-follow tips to help get the most out of your internet marketing efforts.