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ISS BLOG - Self-Storage Attracts All Kinds of Investors … Including Royalty?

Although the self-storage industry continues to lure a variety of investors, there are some challenges on the horizon. Find out how you can become better informed about what’s happening in this realm.

Amy Campbell

January 19, 2024

3 Min Read

Over the years I’ve had the privilege of meeting all types of self-storage investors. This group has included families opening their first site, long-time commercial investors who were seeking the next “big payout,” and a number of TV and sports personalities. Even business giants like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have entered the arena in recent years. Never did I think British royalty would be a part of this group.

According to an article in “The Onion,” Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, have joined the ranks of self-storage owners after “scraping together” money for a development in West Covina, California. Meghan will handle the day-to-day duties of Archewell Storage Co., while the Duke of Sussex will be on “cleanup at night.” Although the storage property has a “bit of a rat problem” right now, the couple expects to turn a profit within four years. Of course, they’ll need to pay back the construction loan generously supplied by Meghan’s aunt and uncle.

Seem a little farfetched? Well, that’s how “The Onion” rolls! While it’s a fictitious story, stranger things have happened. The truth is the self-storage industry continues to be a huge draw to investors of all kinds. For evidence of this, you can peruse this month’s real estate news, which highlights dozens of market transactions. Then there are the scores of YouTube videos dedicated to the topic, many of which can also be found on our Self-Storage TV page. Our January issue, which is available now, also delves into self-storage real estate as well as financing.

Even though self-storage remains a hot investment, there are some challenges ahead for existing owners and new investors. At the forefront of this is what markets are still thriving—and which ones have cooled. Throw in concerns about higher inflation rates and inflation and it can make investing a bit murky.

ISS contributor John Egan interviewed several real estate experts for his forecast article, which was included in the January issue and is now available online. Their views on what’s happening in this realm are insightful.

Of course, you can’t talk about investing without addressing the money side. If you already own a storage property, you might balk at even discussing refinancing your loan. While interest rates aren’t as favorable as they were a couple of years ago, there are some good options still available. Rather than dismissing the notion, you should consider the pros and cons. Whether refinancing, or looking for funds to expand your property, buy another one or build fresh, it’s imperative to explore the possibilities. To be cliché, you might need to think out of the box.

Of course, the investing market is always in flux. If you plan to be an astute investor, you need to stay informed. There’s no better place to gain knowledge and hear from industry experts than the ISS World Expo, and registration is now open. This year’s education is packed with a variety of sessions that’ll guide your investment—whether new or established—to success. Be sure to check out the seven sessions in the Investing Track. They cover everything from how to get started on your investment journey to securing a loan to closing the deal. In addition, the two-part Investment Workshop returns on April 5. It’s a can’t miss for anyone looking to invest in self-storage this year. No royal title necessary.

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Editor, Inside Self Storage

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