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Self Storage Insight Blog

3 Things to Know Before Getting Started in Self Storage



Bob Copper is a name synonymous with expertise and innovation in the self storage industry. With over 30 years of invaluable experience, Copper’s insights are a treasure trove for anyone looking to navigate this dynamic sector. Recently, we had the privilege to unpack his wealth of knowledge during an enlightening podcast interview.

A Journey of Three Decades
Bob embarked on his self storage odyssey in the 1990s, holding a pivotal role as a district manager at Public Storage in Alabama. The journey didn’t stop there; in 2002, he founded Self Storage 101, a consulting firm designed to empower independent operators with training and educational resources. Today, the firm is a nationally recognized entity, offering an array of services including feasibility studies and acquisitions across the U.S.

The Art of Feasibility Studies and Due Diligence
Copper underscores the cardinal role of comprehensive feasibility studies and due diligence. The bedrock of any successful self storage venture lies in a thorough understanding of rental rates and occupancy levels, as highlighted in a study by IBISWorld. Bob advocates for an independent third party to conduct on-site audits, ensuring that critical elements like actual unit counts and property conditions are meticulously evaluated.

The Rise of Remotely Managed Facilities
The property management paradigm is evolving. Bob points to a burgeoning interest in unmanned, remotely managed facilities, a trend bolstered by the recent pandemic. Advances in technology, as detailed on TechCrunch, are facilitating contactless rentals and automated payments, marking a shift towards efficiency and customer convenience.

Exploring New Frontiers: Boat and RV Storage
While traditional storage facilities continue to dominate the market, there’s a noticeable upswing in the demand for boat and RV storage. However, as reported by Inside Self-Storage, these facilities demand more land and a distinct infrastructure, given the unique size and storage requirements of boats and RVs.

Wisdom for the Newbies
For those poised at the threshold of the self storage industry, Bob emphasizes the indispensability of education. Engaging in trade shows, devouring industry publications, and enrolling in coaching programs are pathways to illumination. A discerning approach to property underwriting and financial analysis, supported by insights from platforms like Investopedia, is paramount before plunging into deal-making.

Wrapping It Up
Bob Copper’s narrative is not just a tale of profound experience but also a guide, illuminating the path for newcomers and seasoned professionals alike. His emphasis on meticulous due diligence, adaptability to emerging trends, and an informed approach to investment coalesce into a blueprint for long-term success in the self storage industry.

Embarking on a self storage venture or looking to elevate your existing enterprise? Dive into the rich insights encapsulated in our full podcast interview with Bob Copper, and step into a world where knowledge meets opportunity.

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