Halloween changes when you no longer have a trick-or-treating kid in the house. My annual candy intake used to be back loaded between Halloween and Christmas, depending on how many treats I’d pilfer from my daughter. Once any leftover treats were ingested after handing out goodies on Oct. 31, I was in perpetual vulture position all the way into the New Year. This year, there won’t be a surplus of incoming candy to steal, so it’s all about strategic buying decisions.
We’ve had to weigh how much candy to buy before Halloween, knowing full well we’ll need willpower to resist dipping into a bag of tasty morsels before Saturday. Then there’s what to buy? We typically give away only Halloween candy we like so we can reap the sweet rewards of leftovers, but this year we’ll have to consider overstocking just to make sure we have extras to consume.
Each year, self-storage operators are faced with far more serious strategic buying decisions. Not only do you have to consider budgeting for onsite events, marketing promotions, maintenance costs, retail merchandise, salaries, new technology and other key business expenses, you also have to think about paying for industry education and professional development. As the industry evolves, operators must adapt in areas that make the most sense for the business.
We approach our offerings in the Inside Self-Storage Store with this in mind, striving to bring quality educational products and industry insight to facility owners, managers, developers and investors. The beauty of the ISS Store is you don’t have to wait until the kids have stopped ringing the doorbell on Oct. 31 to indulge yourself. The store is always open, and there’s a little something for every industry professional to enjoy.
We’ll be sending out a special Halloween end-of-month promotion this weekend geared for owners. Although I’m not permitted to reveal the sale prior to the offer hitting your e-mail inbox, let’s just say you’ll want to corral some Tootsie Rolls, Milk Duds or popcorn and find a comfy spot on the sofa or in front of your computer to ingest what we think is essential education. It’s an item suited for independent operators and those new to the business, with insight to achieving year-one success, carving out market share against larger operators, strategically studying competitors, manager recruitment and compensation, fine-tuning your rental agreements and much more.
With so much moving and shaking going on with regard to real estate and development, we’ve got several items for those looking to build, buy or expand. To get a good sense for what is occurring among the industry’s leading players, consider our latest ISS Top-Operators List, which ranks the 100 largest self-storage operators by net rentable square feet. This annual release is among the most anticipated products we produce. If you’re not familiar with it, the package includes the complete Top-Operators List in Excel format as well as a 28-page PDF companion comprising a five-page analytical report of the list results and a full representation of the rankings in easy-to-read format. For the first time ever, the list now includes additional data on owned vs. managed self-storage facilities for each company, with breakouts for number of facilities, units and square footage for each.
Other items that work well for gauging industry development and operator performance are the Market Conditions and Self-Storage Performance Quarterly (SSPQ) reports from our partner, Cushman & Wakefield. The Market Conditions report examines the supply and demand conditions in the top 50 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas to determine whether they are under supplied, at equilibrium or over supplied, while the robust SSPQ report reviews national and geographic trends for industry supply, demand, rents, occupancy, concessions, new construction and move-in/move-outs based on data collected from thousands of U.S. self-storage facilities.
For those examining specific properties, we recently added access to Storage World Analyzer, a cloud-based, financial-analysis software designed to help self-storage operators and investors evaluate potential real estate acquisitions or development projects. Created by real estate agent and self-storage investor Mark Helm, the product provides detailed cash-on-cash return estimates and 10-year cash-flow projections based on unit/pricing mix and several assumption variables.
Reports are generated based on data entered for metrics such as acquisition price and other investment costs, income, expenses, occupancy, capitalization rate, and debt service. There’s also a module that enables users to analyze projections based on land acquisition to develop self-storage or expand an existing facility. Follow the link above for additional details.
Helm is also the author of “Creating Wealth Through Self-Storage,” which works well as a companion to the Analyzer software tool. The book provides tips on how to find desirable self-storage properties, analyze risk and compete against well-funded investors. Helm also provides examples for how he uses the software in his analysis of potential buys and projects. The book is available in a softcover version as well as a downloadable PDF.
As you can see, there are lots of educational treats to bite into this Halloween. It’s our goal to provide the best materials possible to satisfy your self-storage sweet tooth. If you’ve got a hankering for a particular product on a specific topic and cannot find it in the store, please be sure to let us know what you would like to see offered by providing suggestions in the comments section below.