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The Impact of Facility Image: Self-Storage Curb Appeal and Refurbishing

Matt Doyle Comments
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Faded self-storage doors are unattractive to renters (left). Replacing them gives your facility a fresh look (right).

Predictably, demand led to growth, and when industries grow, people pay attention. That includes potential investors as well as consumers. Wall Street also began to take notice because entrepreneurs soon discovered self-storage was a much better investment than most real estate. The more self-storage entered the limelight, the more it was expected to meet to the expectations of consumers and communities.

Over time, self-storage evolved from being a marginal investment to where it is today—a business with a good return on investment, but stiff with competition in some areas. It now operates from well-designed, state-of-the-art complexes, often in upscale neighborhoods and retail environments, offering the latest technological features. These are the reasons facility image has become so important.

A New Day in Self-Storage

To fully understand the impact of your building’s appearance on the mindset of self-storage customers, you must realize that they have more choices than ever before. If they don’t like the way your facility looks, they can go elsewhere—without ever leaving the neighborhood. Here’s a good rule of thumb when it comes to your facility’s curb appeal: If your competitor’s buildings look better than yours, it’s time to refurbish.

Another reason to consider refurbishing now is the state of the economy. If you were forced to put expansion plans or new construction on hold, a viable alternative is to refurbish existing buildings to make them look like new. It will cost less than new construction and has other advantages. For example, refurbishing may increase rental rates and occupancies, reduce maintenance, and eliminate roof leaks. Plus, the cost may even be a tax write-off.

Look closely at your buildings for signs of deterioration. From a practical point of view, look at your competitor’s buildings too. If they appear pristine and new, it’s all the more reason to level the playing field and refurbish your buildings to equal or exceed their appearance. If your facility has a few years on it, now might be the right time to consider a facelift. 

Matt Doyle is the national sales manager in charge of repair and refurbishing for BETCO Inc., a single-source manufacturer in the self-storage industry. For more information, call 800.654.7813; visit

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