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Storage unit pricing is equally important for facility owners as customers, for facility owners need to ensure that their business is profitable to sustain not only their earnings but the services they provide to their existing customers too.

Public storage unit pricing also affects a facility's occupancy rate, for customers will factor the price in when selecting which facility to use for their life storage But, pricing different size units in a public storage facility is not the simplest of tasks, and many factors must be considered to ensure that the facility maintains its profitability and quality of service.

Regarding pricing for storage units in a facility, there are two principal pricing strategies that self-storage facility owners favor, market-based pricing and target-based pricing.

  • Market-Based Pricing — This means that a unit’s price is based on your competitor’s prices, so you’re providing a competitive option for people looking for life storage in your area. Minor adjustments to your market-based prices can be made depending on the location, amenities, and even the size of your facility.
  • Target-Based Pricing — This is setting your prices based on your desired profit margin. This requires calculating potential profit margins with regard to expected occupancy rates—which averaged 82.5% at the beginning of 2023[1]—along with utilities, tax, administrative costs, advertising budgets, and other expenditures.

The pricing strategy that most facilities will drift toward is market-based pricing, not only because it is easier to calculate but also because it can offer a greater assurance for finding tenants as the facility’s price is assured to be close to that of their competitor’s; making them a valid option for those looking to occupy a self-storage space.

However, how you choose to price units in your storage facility is not only determined by the pricing strategy you elect to use. It also depends on numerous factors that will be unique to each facility—factors also included by customers as a part of their decision-making process.

These factors include size, location, amenities, and competitor pricing, and they will all affect the individual unit price at your facility, regardless of which pricing strategy you choose. Let’s look at these factors more closely to understand the potential impact they can have on the price of a public storage unit.

Average Cost of Storage Unit Per Month

The average cost of a storage unit per month in your facility is significantly affected by the demand for self-storage facilities in your area. There are, however, numerous other factors that will affect the average price you set for a unit.

  • Size: This concerns the overall size of your facility and the number of units you have on offer, along with how many of each sized unit there are on offer. The size of your whole facility and the number of units you have on offer of different sizes will help determine how many units need to be occupied each month for you to break even. Height is also a factor of a storage unit’s size, although it is rarely discussed as it only affects some facilities—but to their benefit! The average storage unit is 8ft tall^2^, and if your units are taller than this, then, simply, you’re offering more cubic feet of storage space to your tenants than your competitors in the same unit, an excellent selling point should you wish to use it!
  • Location: How closely a facility is located to its customers is a price-determining factor, as people will always pay more for convenience. This allows for a higher average unit price if you’re closer to a population center. However, people are also willing to travel to a location when the price, and the facility’s amenities, fit their needs.
  • Amenities: Different public storage facilities will have different amenities and features that can be highlighted in [marketing efforts|https://www.adverank.com/features] to entice renters and support a unit’s higher price point. Notable amenities and features for self storage units include climate-controlled units, good lighting, indoor or drive-up units, on-site security guards and staff, keypad access, and 24-hour access.
  • Competitor Pricing: Your competitors’ prices will always affect how you set the average price for your self storage units, no matter whether you use a market- or target-based pricing strategy. Taking into account their amenities, location, the size of their facility, and the level of demand for self-storage in your area can help you understand how they arrived at their average pricing and how you should price yours accordingly.

All of these factors affect both the renters and the facility owner's decision regarding how much to pay or ask for a self storage unit But one other factor, especially for facility owners, is the level of demand for self storage facilities in their area, specifically, the demand for different-sized units.

Average Storage Unit Cost

If you're wondering, "How much does a 10x10 storage unit cost per month in your area?" you're not alone.

Answers to such questions should be considered when pricing the units in your self-storage facility, regardless of which pricing strategy you opt to use.

According to Self Storage Cafe[3], the average 10x10 storage unit price for a non-climate-controlled unit in the USA is $127. At the same time, the average cost for a 10x10 climate-controlled unit in the USA is $142. Both of these average prices represent declines of 2.3% and 3.4%, respectively, over the course of the last year.

10x10 is the most popular size storage unit[4] in facilities around the country, making up an average of 40% of units in a facility. 5x5 units are 3rd most popular, constituting, on average, 15% of self storage facilities. These 5x5 storage units will typically cost 40-50% of the price of a 10x10 storage unit and rarely more than half the price of a 10x10 unit.

Listed below are the average prices for both 10x10 storage units and 5x5 storage units, non-climate-controlled and climate-controlled, in popular cities around the country:
  • N-CC = Non-Climate-controlled Unit
  • CC = Climate-controlled Unit
City 5x5 N-CC 5x5 CC 10x10 N-CC 10x10 CC
Phoenix, AZ[5] $49 $55 $125 $138
Austin, TX[6] $46 $57 $120 $136
Houston, TX[7] $39 $48 $97 $120
San Francisco, CA[8] $110 $105 $266 $260
Los Angeles, CA[9] $115 $116 $259 $279
Miami, FL[10] $68 $68 $175 $185
Atlanta, GA[11] $58 $63 $141 $147
New York City, NY[12] $87 $83 $250 $256
Minneapolis, MN[13] $47 $42 $111 $106
Chicago, IL[14] $47 $49 $125 $140
Detroit, MI[15] $73 $92 $149 $188
Denver, CO[16] $52 $59 $132 $142
Washington D.C.[17] $75 $68 $156 $163
Seattle, WA[18] $71 $75 $193 $194
Nashville, TN[19] $57 $64 $124 $153


As you can see, the average storage unit cost varies a lot by geographic location. In some places, climate-controlled units are offered for less than their non-climate-controlled counterparts!

How Much Does a Large Storage Unit Cost

Large storage units are typically defined as anything 10x15 or larger.

If you’re asking, "How much does a large storage unit cost?" the first question that needs answering is: what size unit do you want? 10x20 and 10x30 are some of the most popular large storage unit sizes, and which size you get depends on how much storage space you need.

Many people will look for how much a 20x20 storage unit costs or where they can find a 20x20 storage unit for rent. However, because of the way self-storage facilities are designed, self-storage units typically have one 10 ft side featuring the door and then stretch backward further and further. i.e. creating 10x20 and 10x30 sized units.

Below are the average 10x20 storage unit prices in the same 15 cities as in the table above, along with the 10x30 storage unit price. Again this table features climate-controlled and non-climate-controlled unit prices.
  • N-CC = Non-Climate-controlled Unit
  • CC = Climate-controlled Unit
City 10x20 N-CC 10x20 CC 10x30 N-CC 10x30 CC
Phoenix, AZ[5] $192 $234 $273 $366
Austin, TX[6] $194 $232 $262 $333
Houston, TX[7] $168 $227 $233 $327
San Francisco, CA[8] $481 $524 $617 $633
Los Angeles, CA[9] $475 $499 $606 $655
Miami, FL[10] $315 $355 $389 $500
Atlanta, GA[11] $243 $259 $321 $384
New York City, NY[12] $479 $504 $621 $673
Minneapolis, MN[13] $202 $211 $276 $322
Chicago, IL[14] $231 $262 $326 $383
Detroit, MI[15] $294 $332 $368 $512
Denver, CO[16] $222 $249 $292 $358
Washington D.C.[17] $313 $307 $445 $442
Seattle, WA[18] $332 $315 $469 $460
Nashville, TN[19] $206 $277 $267 $383


Even though 10x20 storage units are double the size of 10x10 storage units, 10x20 storage unit prices are less than double that of a 10x10 storage unit—10x30 prices come with an even steeper discount per square foot for the renter.

Cheap Storage Units

Cheap storage units are what every renter wants (and they’re also what every facility operator wants to provide). However, depending on the facility’s location, amenities, and the size of the available units, some renters are willing to part with more cash for conveniences, extra security, ease of access, and other benefits.

From the data above, it can be said that as the size of the unit goes up, the cost-per-square-foot for the tenant goes down. This is a common pricing strategy for facility owners to help entice individuals into larger units at a cheaper price, thus increasing their occupancy rates and filling up the less popular larger units.

The two most common pricing strategies mentioned at the beginning for pricing units are market-based and target-based pricing. Both of these pricing strategies have their benefits, and selecting which one offers cheap storage units to entice renters while also providing enough revenue to keep a facility running—and then turn a healthy profit at optimum occupancy—is vital to running a successful self-storage operation.