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The storage boxes aren't going to fill up by themselves, the facility needs to be in good shape always and customer feedback must be attended to. It's a juggling act in a relatively fast-paced environment. Are you up for it?

Self-storage management sets out the systems and processes to ensure your facility is able to meet the rising demand for storage box units(1). As the competition will intensify (2), without proper management, the weight of growth can be too heavy to bear.

As clique-ish as it may sound, not having a plan is a plan to fail. Let's look at some of the reasons that underline the importance of self-storage management.

First, a self-storage facility is a unique real-estate proposition. Unlike home or office rentals, it is a short-term rental facility. It's monthly, if not shorter. The rapid ebb and flow of customers can be challenging if you do not have a management plan.

Second, customers are spoilt for choice, from independent and owner-operated self-storage facilities to multi-location chains, there is always someone waiting to welcome them. Ensuring your facility is an attractive option cannot be an ad-hoc activity. It is a consistent endeavor with systems, processes, and people in place to execute them.

Third, unwieldy growth can be a liability. With demand ever rising, it is tempting to embrace everything and everyone that comes your way. But without a proper self-storage management plan, the next customer can be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

As the business landscape changes, you will need to adapt the management of your facility accordingly. On this note, conducting storage asset management reviews is a good practice. It gives you the opportunity to take stock of the business. Without it, you will be flying blind.

Furthermore, these reviews can shed light on potential growth areas. As competition intensifies, innovation will take precedence in growth-oriented companies. But they must be guided by data and insights, which self-storage management systems can produce.

Self Storage Management Companies

Whether you choose to delegate completely or in part the management of your self-storage facility is a decision you must deliberate carefully. By and large, it boils down to how much control you are willing to accede to the third party.

There are two types of self-storage management services offered to businesses in the industry - full autonomy and limited responsibilities.

Under a full-autonomy management model, every aspect of the facility's day-to-day operations is the responsibility of the third party. Amongst others, they include marketing and sales, pricing, IT infrastructure, customer management, rental agreements, security, and payment systems. You will receive management reports at periodic intervals.

In the limited responsibility model, you will retain some degree of control over the day-to-day operations of the facility. While some may allow you to choose a selection of the services they offer, others may have fixed packages. In your research for suitable self-storage management companies, take note of the suite of services offered and how they are packaged.

The fee payable to the self-storage management company will be dependent on the choices above. They can range between 5% and 15% of your monthly revenue. Currently, there isn't an industry standard with regard to the latter.

How do self-storage management companies raise your game?

One of the major reasons is their experience and expertise. It is not possible for you to keep on top of everything in the business and industry. As the industry evolves, there will be new things taking shape. Keeping up with these trends can be challenging.

Managing employees is a big task. From recruitment and training to salary and compensation plans, it is not every business owner's cup of tea. With a tight labor market condition, human resources management has become a more acute function now. But with a third party managing your facility, you can strike this off your watch list.

The right pricing strategy is vital in a competitive market. Too low and you may find yourself in the red, too high and you may find yourself priced out of the market. An experienced self-storage management company possesses the local knowledge as well as competitors' prices to develop the right price band.

Finally, neither marketing nor sales are the forte of every business owner. But you will need to get them right, especially in the age of social and digital media marketing. It can be a very complex undertaking when you think of the frequently changing algorithm of social and digital media platforms. While the third party may not have the experience or expertise, they know of marketing agencies with them.

Some of the top 10 storage companies are run by self-storage management companies. With multiple locations, they enjoy economies of scale. But more importantly, it allows the owners to focus on more strategic matters. It is, as mentioned, a fast-growing industry. There is always something new on the horizon.

The top self-storage companies have the experience and expertise to do the job well. Add available technology into the mix and you could well be on your way to greater success.

Best Self Storage Franchises

The self-storage business is not without risks. There are pitfalls, which may not be obvious to some, especially if you are new to the industry. Thus, buying into a self-storage franchise is a plausible alternative.

Self-storage franchising is a recent (3) development in the industry. It provides entrepreneurs and investors with a pathway into it. Like most franchising models, it lowers the risk to the entrepreneur or investor. Sometimes, it is possible to turn in a healthy revenue or profit from the word "Go!". Of course, this is subject to the franchise you bought into.

If you are open to considering a self-storage franchise, below is a list of the best self-storage companies with franchising opportunities:

  1. Go Mini's
  2. Garagetown USA
  3. Zippy Shell
  4. 1800-Pack-Rat
  5. Units
  6. Storage Authority
  7. Myway Mobile Storage
  8. U-Haul
  9. PODS
  10. Extra Space Storage
Apart from the above, you might want to explore the list of the top 100 (4) self-storage operators:
  1. Public Storage Inc.
  2. Extra Space Storage
  3. National Storage Affiliates Trust
  4. Life Storage Inc.
  5. U-Haul International
  6. CubeSmart
  7. Prime Group Holdings LLC
  8. StorageMart9. Merit Hill Capital
  9. SROA Capital
  10. SmartStop Self Storage
  11. StorQuest Self Storage (The William Warren Group)
  12. W. P. Carey
  13. Simply Self Storage
  14. Andover Properties LLC
  15. Morningstar Properties
  16. Reliant Real Estate Management LLC
  17. Westport Properties Inc./US Storage Centers
  18. Amsdell Cos./Compass Self Storage
  19. Store Space Self Storage
  20. Rosewood Property Co.
  21. Advantage Storage
  22. Madison Capital Group LLC
  23. Atlantic Self Storage
  24. Red Dot Storage LLC
  25. Brookwood Properties LLC
  26. Devon Self Storage
  27. KO Storage
  28. Strat Property Management Inc.
  29. Safeguard Self Storage
  30. Urban Self Storage Inc.
  31. Baco Properties
  32. A-1 Self Storage
  33. SecureSpace
  34. Metro Mini Storage
  35. Baranof Holdings
  36. Dahn Corp.
  37. Snapbox Self Storage
  38. Lock Up Self Storage
  39. Spartan Investment Group
  40. CGB Group (A-Affordable Storage)
  41. Arcland Property Co.
  42. Watchman Properties (ManCave Storage Group)
  43. Crystal View Capital
  44. Guardian Storage
  45. Valley Storage Co.
  46. Platinum Storage Group
  47. Highline Storage Partners
  48. SAFStor
  49. Nolan Inc./Nolan Brothers of TX
  1. Superior Storage
  2. VanWest Partners
  3. Value Store It Management Inc.
  4. All-Purpose Storage
  5. All Aboard Storage
  6. Pogoda Cos.57. Budget Store & Lock Self Storage
  7. 10 Federal
  8. Stein Investment Group
  9. Ramser Development Co.
  10. Storage of America
  11. Trojan Storage
  12. Storage Etc.
  13. Gulf Atlantic Asset Management
  14. Etude Capital
  15. Haggar Group LLC
  16. StorageMax
  17. StorPlace Self Storage
  18. Prestige Capital Management
  19. Bee Safe Storage and Wine Cellar
  20. Stor-N-Lock Self Storage
  21. Wentworth Property LLC
  22. Towne Storage Management Co.
  23. Five Star Storage
  24. Keylock Storage/Bitterroot Holdings
  25. UTEX Storage Partners
  26. Tierra Corp.
  27. Next Door Self Storage
  28. America West Management
  29. SKS Management LLC
  30. Purely Storage Inc.
  31. Boardwalk Development Group
  32. Epic Group (WBK-EGI)
  33. Neighborhood Storage
  34. Jenkins Organization Inc., The
  35. Absolute Storage Management Inc.
  36. My Garage Management LLC/Riverbend Development
  37. U-Stor-It89. Cubix Storage
  38. Columbia Storage Group
  39. A-American Storage Management Co. Inc.
  40. LockBox Storage
  41. Ojai Oil Company/Golden State Storage
  42. Polo Properties LLC
  43. Stor-It Self Storage LLC
  44. Nova Storage
  45. RHW Capital Management Group LLC
  46. Access Self Storage
  47. Baldwin Howell Properties LLC
  48. Guardian Self Storage

Storage Unit Management Software

With the introduction of technology into the industry, operators of storage units have greatly enhanced productivity, improved customer experiences, and increased profitability. Technology has helped owners navigate the ups and downs of the business better. Best of all, it keeps them fighting fit!

Most self-storage facility management software is highly versatile. They can handle a wide spectrum of activities needed to run the facility well. Some can be customized or plugged into existing software already in use. This is important because it avoids a complete overhaul of the company's IT infrastructure, which can be costly.

The best self-storage management software possesses the following characteristics:

  • Intuitive sitemap
  • Allow for customizations
  • In-built CRM system
  • Tenant portal to enable self-management of all matters pertaining to their rental
  • User-friendly payment system

The cost of self-storage varies from vendor to vendor. Some vendors charge monthly or annually while others per unit. In addition, you will need to factor in as well the features you are after. Expect to pay more if you are looking for a complete suite.

One that merits consideration is Quickbooks self-storage software. Most recognize it as accounting software. It is subscription-based. Like most, it can be accessed from anywhere.

Other self-storage management software includes:

  • SiteLink
  • Unit Trac
  • 6Storage
  • Storman

Self Storage Marketing.

An essential business activity is marketing. Remember, customers, are spoilt for choice. Unless your brand of self-storage facility remains salient in consumers' minds, you are unlikely to be considered.

Advertising is a major marketing activity. Without it, you will be winking in the dark. Regardless of the number of winks or smiles, you will not be noticed. Your other marketing activities may fail to achieve their objectives as a result. In a nutshell, you have made it easier for competitors to steer ahead of you.

Today, self-storage advertising can take on many forms. From TV, radio, and print to online, you are limited only by your budget. More importantly, you can tailor the message and execution according to the platforms you intend to use. There are a number of marketing agencies that specialize in advertising self-storage facilities.

In the online space, which is most commonly used by businesses, you can opt for any or all of the following:

  • Inbound Marketing
  • LinkedIn advertising
  • Social media advertising, for example, Facebook, Instagram, Tik-Tok or Pinterest
  • Google Ad

If you want a quick return on your advertising spend, Google Ad's pay-per-click (PPC) is arguably the most effective. Over 3 in 5 have clicked on a Google Ad (5). It demonstrates the effectiveness of Google advertising. After all, there is a reason "Google It" has made it into the everyday conversation of people.

Arguments against PPC tend to revolve around its cost. But it doesn't have to be expensive. Depending on the revenue potential of your business, it can be relatively low in comparison. The speed at which it can produce the desired result is the most appealing draw of PPC advertising. With proper targeting, you can expect to achieve the desired result within months if not earlier.

Partnering with the right marketing agency is important. They can guide you on budgets, choice of media platform, messaging, and offers. With their experience and expertise, you can look toward a favourable return on investment.


The future of self-storage businesses is bright. But as argued at the onset, proper management is key. The moving parts must be well-oiled to ensure they run smoothly.


(1) https://blog.gitnux.com/self-storage-industry-statistics

(2) https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2023/03/14/2626474/0/en/7-5-Growth-in-Self-Storage-Market-by-2023-2028-Exploring-the-Growing-Trend-Regional-Analysis-Competitive-Scenario.html

(3) https://www.insideselfstorage.com/investing-and-real-estate/pros-and-cons-self-storage-franchising-it-right-path-you

(4) https://www.insideselfstorage.com/iss-top-operators-facility-owners

(5) https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics