5. Make Minor Repairs
If your facility has dented panels, downspouts and gutters, have them repaired now. Make sure all the lights are working, the paving is good, the gate has been serviced and the fence is in good shape. These items reflect pride of ownership, and buyers will pay more for a property that does not require substantial capital expenditures.
6. Optimize Unit Mix
It can be easy and inexpensive to move metal wall partitions to adjust unit sizes. If you have too many small units, remove some walls and create larger ones. Adjust the balance of unit inventory to meet your market’s specific demands. This will increase your occupancy and property value.
7. Expand if Possible
Buyers today will not pay for vacant space. If your facility occupancy rate is above 80 percent and you cannot meet current demand by adjusting unit sizes, add more units if you can. Any small expansion you can complete in the following year will definitely add facility value.
8. Obtain Approvals to Expand
If you enjoy a high occupancy rate but do not have the time, money or energy to add more units, at least obtain the municipal approvals to expand. Buyers today will not pay for extra land to expand, approved or not, if occupancy is below 80 percent or so. If your occupancy rate is 90 percent, you will receive some extra dollars.
9. Have Subdivisions in Place
If you own a unique property that includes your home, rental homes, a side business or office space in addition to self-storage, and you prefer to retain the other real estate while selling the storage business, subdivide the parcel now. Likewise, if you would require an easement over the property you are selling, get it approved. Completing this ahead of time will make the selling process much cleaner and simpler.
10. Maximize Ancillary Income
In addition to self-storage rental income, you should be receiving revenue from other sources. Retail sales, tenant insurance, truck rentals, billboards, and cell towers are excellent ways to increase your facility value. Obtaining approvals for billboards and cell towers if not already present on your property may be time-consuming or impossible, but selling retail items, tenant insurance and truck rentals is easy to do.
This may not be an exhaustive list, and maybe you've already tried each of these suggestions. But several of these items should spark ideas as you plan that big step to sell your self-storage business. Hopefully, they'll help you squeeze a few more dollars from your years of hard work.
John Barry is the vice president of brokerage at York, Pa., based Investment Real Estate LLC, which specializes in self-storage brokerage in the northeast and mid-Atlantic states. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org ; visit www.irellc.com .