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Cruising Toward Greater Self-Storage Profit With Boat/RV Storage and Related Services

By Krista Diamond Comments

The next time you’re driving down the highway, take note of how many RVs and boats you see cruising alongside you. Chances are, it’s a lot more than you would’ve seen just a few years ago. Like the self-storage industry, the RV and boat business is booming. Fortunately for storage owners, the two are a match made in heaven. After all, those drivers need somewhere to park their vehicles when they’re not out on the road or water.

Adding boat/RV storage to your self-storage facility will position your property as a solution for these vehicle owners. In addition to offering space to this unique market, you can generate even more revenue through extra services and products. Here’s how to capitalize on RV/boat storage to make your business more profitable than ever.

Building the Space

If you’ve seen how much money goes into acquiring and maintaining a boat or RV, it’s natural to assume that designing storage for these vehicles will come at a steep price, but it doesn’t have to. You can maximize profit by keeping overhead as low as possible.

At its most basic, boat/RV storage is essentially a parking lot with spaces available for rent. If you have extra land you can pave, this is a relatively inexpensive renovation that will guarantee a big return on investment. If you want to take it a step further, offer covered outdoor storage. This typically looks like a stall with a roof and two or three sides. The most luxurious vehicle-storage option calls for installing enclosed units with individual alarms, locks and roll-up doors.

When deciding which option is going to make the most money, it’s natural to assume the least expensive choice is the right one. Given how sparse the availability of RV/boat storage is in most markets, this might be correct. In fact, in areas where storage availability is low, many tenants are willing to pay for their spots year-round, even if they spend most of the year on the road.

That being said, take the time to assess your market. If it’s saturated with RV/boat storage, offering a better solution than the competition will increase your occupancy. If your business is in an area with a lot of luxury vehicles, it’s likely these owners will be on board with spending extra for covered or enclosed units, allowing you to make considerable profit by building and renting them.

Offering Amenities and Services

There are a number of valuable services you can offer to RV/boat owners, either for a fee, as a justification for higher rent, or showcased as part of your marketing program. For example, a vehicle-wash bay will be a welcome sight to tenants who’ve just spent time on the long and dusty road. Similar services include propane sales, or air and water stations.

One service that can generate extra revenue at no cost is 24-hour access. Many RV/boat owners are eager to get an early start and beat the traffic or would love to come home late from a weekend of camping but are unable because of strict facility hours. You’ll be surprised by how many tenants are willing to pay extra for the luxury of coming and going as they please.

Additional services you can offer at an extra cost include printing and faxing services (great for those on the road), concierge or shuttle service, and electricity and lighting in units. Some operators even partner with local mechanics to provide vehicle maintenance to tenants.

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