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The self storage industry is alive and booming. In fact, it's thriving.

Despite the 2022/23 recession that has hit the world like a ton of bricks, self storage companies worldwide have continued to see jaw-dropping profit growth. The self storage industry has always been a profit-turning business, and the changes over the past four years due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent worldwide recession have only helped propel the industry into further profitability.

In short, the self storage industry outlook is incredibly positive. It is excellent news for investors, current self storage providers, and those looking to start their journey into this lucrative industry.

This self storage industry report will look at the statistics that prove why this industry is constantly growing despite the recession, as well as take a look at the self storage industry trends that drive them.

Before we go into the specific self storage industry trends and statistics behind the sector's growth, let's start with a self storage overview to get you up to speed with the industry.

The storage industry is often thought of as recession-proof, thanks to the fact it is the cheapest alternative to exist in a time when real estate continues to price out overwhelming proportions of the population. That's why the self storage market is valued at just over $ 54 million1, which is expected to rise to almost $ 90 million by 2028.

Many trends have driven the profitability of the self storage industry, especially over the past four years.

Many businesses have changed their company structures drastically to move to a remote working or hybrid work structure (primarily forced by the pandemic and having to accommodate social distancing). In addition, many businesses are downsizing their infrastructure and looking for better, more affordable storage options.

As a direct result of the uptick in remote working, the idea of having a single home base has been changed, with more people than ever choosing to move around more frequently, leaving their homes for long periods and relying on self storage facilities.

Finally, the biggest self storage industry trend is the use of technology. In the face of the rise of AI technology, the self storage industry has developed sophisticated software that helps automate all business functions, from accounting to security to marketing.

Now that we have the self storage industry overview out of the way, it's time to put on our investigative hats and look closely at what's happening in the self storage industry.

Self Storage Market

The self storage industry, a subsection of the real estate industry, is growing in popularity globally. So much so that the self storage market is set to have a CAGR of approximately 5.8%2 over the next five-year period (2023 - 2028), mainly due to the rising urbanization trend of the general global population. Across the world, more and more people are flocking to the big cities, searching for opportunities in growing industries such as technology and finance, leaving the countryside for the concrete jungle. However, in big cities, the cost of real estate is expensive, which prices out a lot of people looking for a spacious abode. The solution most have found is to turn to self storage units as a cheaper alternative to keep their belongings and then rent or buy smaller homes. It's an economic trade-off that has contributed to the rise in self storage industry profits.

As we said, the self storage market is growing globally at varying rates. For example, while some regions, such as Asia, are just getting into the industry, North America has the world's biggest self storage market share. It's believed that the U.S. accounts for a staggering 90%3 of the global self storage market. The U.S. self storage market size is 10% of the population4, although some reports believe this figure is closer to 20%. And with recent studies estimating that the average American citizen owns 300,0005 items, it's no surprise that they are looking for places to store their sentimental treasures.

So, as you can see, despite an increase in the cost of living, demand continues to rise for storage solutions, driving growth for the self storage industry.

Self Storage Data

We can't discuss self-storage industry trends without understanding the data that drives them.

Self storage data can be used to analyze and provide insights into self-storage industry statistics, such as vacancy rates and occupancy rates, which is precisely what helped us create this self storage industry report talking about the future trends that will help you create your own profitable self storage business (or upscale the one you already own).

We're so passionate about looking at data to drive our self storage insights because it goes beyond just making informed decisions. With the help of self-storage data and industry statistics, we can help industry professionals like you better understand the market, identify trends, and make predictions about future growth. For example, understanding that between 10-20% of the U.S. population uses self storage can help you as a self-storage provider plan for future growth and make informed decisions about expanding your empire.

We're also looking at the data points that will help you track performance and measure success. For example. U.S self-storage industry statistics show that the average occupancy rate for self-storage facilities reached 92% in 20226 while the national average rent for a 10x10 unit was $180.7 Or how about the fact that self storage PPC marketing boosts local business visibility by 80%. By accessing these valuable statistics from reputable sources, including studies done by self storage businesses and real estate businesses, this information will help you track the performance of your self-storage facilities and allow you to adjust pricing and marketing strategies.

And our self storage industry report is just the start of your story. Collecting and analyzing self-storage data is an essential component of the industry, and monitoring the trends in your facility against national and global averages (such as the ones in this report) will help you make informed decisions and identify the trends that work best in your facility.

Self Storage Demographics

Back to some more trends and data. When looking at the growth of the self storage industry, it's vital to understand the demographic of the customers buying into the services.

According to Rent Cafe, Gen X9 are most likely to rent self storage space due to a significant shift in downsizing. The average self storage facility size costs less per sq. ft. to build compared to building a home, making it a cheaper endeavor for investors and, as a result, a more affordable alternative for buyers and renters - as we see with Gen X.

Interestingly, millennials were the second biggest demographic, as they now have more money and are better positioned to become homeowners. Not only this, but many millennials have also shifted to remote working or have shifted from the "nesting' mentality and are more likely to move around geographically more often.

Another one of the vital self storage demographics is businesses that have been affected by the pandemic. As a result, there has been an uptick in businesses choosing to use self storage over warehouses, creating a trend of storage units as part of a "safer" business model. The recession has hit everyone hard, and storing inventory and office equipment in warehouses is expensive and a big contractual commitment.

Simply put, self storage businesses have better contract flexibility for a fraction of the price. So if anything happens to their business, self storage is one less problem to deal with. This has become a big part of the self-storage industry's growth.

Largest Self Storage Companies.

There's one key thing the top 100 self storage operators have in common, and it's the most significant trend driving self storage industry growth in 2023 and beyond.

Adopting sophisticated technology in self storage facilities has allowed business owners to drive down their maintenance costs and improve their ROI, leading to the growth we see today. The largest self storage companies use automated self storage software to manage bookings, security, accounting, and marketing. Automated booking means customers are more likely to rent from you as there is less time between seeing you online and "making the deal." The added security of technology puts your customers entirely in control of their possessions. And as we know, the most profitable business has its customers' best interests at heart. People aren't willing to pay for something they don't trust. Full automation in the self storage industry eliminates the invisible barrier and improves trust between client and business.

And thanks to this automation, we can use real-time marketing strategies such as demographic tracking and PPC to get the right people's eyes on your self storage facility. This in-depth view helps the industry understand its customers better and improves conversion rates, which again adds to the growth of the self storage industry. No wonder people want to buy self storage companies stocks these days!

As well as the use of technology, the top 100 self storage operators such as U-haul, Public Storage, and CubeSmart are ranked by criteria such as:

  • Annual revenue
  • Facility square footage
  • Number of franchises

But above all, they are ranked on the innovation of the technology they use, which serves as the driving force behind the rest of the ranking criteria.

So if you want to grow your own self storage business within an industry that shows no signs of slowing down, remember these four key trends:

  • Technology and automation are a MUST for self storage market growth.
  • Enhanced security through technology increases consumer trust.
  • People are downsizing but don't want to lose storage options - self storage is the cheapest option.
  • Businesses are moving from warehouses to self storage, so self storage companies need to make sure they are marketing to them, too.