Looking Forward in Self Storage for 2022!
By Carol Mixon
Well, the good news is that the self-storage industry is booming! We have seen record occupancies at properties and throughout Arizona and the country. The demand for self-storage continues to increase. In 2021, the self-storage industry in the United States had an annual revenue of over $39.5 billion in reported income.
The number of people working from their homes during COVID drove up the storage demand. In addition, many companies have downsized their offices or totally moved out of their commercial spaces and have their employees permanently working from home. Needing more room for offices in homes has caused additional demand for self-storage from homeowners and apartment dwellers.
These and other factors have driven rental rates nationwide from a 2010 average occupancy of 75.7% to 92.2% in 2020 according to the 2021 Self Storage Almanac. The occupancy rate remains high despite the increased supply of net rentable space of over 60 million square feet industry wide.
As an industry, the pandemic has forced us to improve our technology and find new ways to engage customers. Websites are not just for offering prices and information, but actually renting a storage space. Which also brings to the forefront, how we can maintain our rental processes and payments in a more contactless manner. This is an area which all storage owners and managers have had some difficulty. We want to maintain good customer service, security, and safety of our customers’ goods, but we have experienced difficulty in hiring and keeping the stores staffed. The larger operators were certainly more prepared for these challenges with better websites and a pool of employees to cover the properties. Also, many operators had already moved to auctioning goods online instead of the old style auction on the storage property.