Most of us have been to a professional sporting event and sat in seats that, while comfortable, could have used a little more leg room. We’ve no doubt wondered why the designer of the stadium or arena couldn’t have given us just a couple more inches between the rows. While a couple of inches for one row of seats doesn’t seem like much, multiply it by dozens of rows and the impact on the total number of seats in the stadium or arena becomes significant.
In short, the owners of the sporting franchise want to maximize the amount of rentable space (seats) while providing adequate, but not excessive, space for the customers. As owners and operators of self-storage, our goal should be the same.
In maximizing the amount of rentable space, the most overlooked factor is the unit-mix layout. Since income is derived from renting storage space, it is fundamental to maximize rental areas and minimize common areas such as office space, lobby and access corridors. This is not much of an issue when developing a traditional drive-up facility, but becomes increasingly important as the industry moves toward interior climate-controlled units and multi-story properties.
You might think maximizing storage would be an easy proposition, but a surprising number of unit layouts do not incorporate some basic rules that maximize rentable space.