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Your 2019 Guide to Self-Storage

There have been a lot of challenges for the self-storage industry in the past decade, and mostly, it’s because self-storage has been reinvented. The trends in self-storage change every year and these changes depend on the growth in the industry. There are a few of the most significant trends that are already coming to the surface for 2019 in the self-storage industry, and it’s important to keep these trends in mind. When it comes to yearly planning for a self-storage company, knowing the patterns can really help to make a difference.

Some people link the changes to the industry with modern construction and new design techniques, whereas others think about the technological advancements that can affect the industry. Below, we’ve got some of the top self-storage trends for 2019.

Major Self-Storage Trends In 2019

More People Getting Online

People are spending more time online now than ever – this isn’t a surprise. What is still a surprise is the growing rate of people using apps for text reminders, document e-signing, and online payments. Customers that are connected are going to be driven your way as long as YOU are also connected. If you want new leads to your business, you need to ensure that you are updating your profile and your website.

People are online more than ever, and with a wrong site, you can’t pull customers in. More than 70% of customers search online for the self-storage businesses that they are interested in. More people are going to come to your business if you are prepared digitally, and this means either ensuring that your digital marketing team is stellar, or ensuring that you have a marketing agency to back you up. You could add things like:

  • Rent payment reminders for customers on an app.
  • Monthly autopay features so customers can stop worrying about payments going out.

Both of these things could work to make life easier for customers wanting to use your self-storage facility. All of this means a responsive, user-focused website so that you can ensure that your customers are well taken care of at all times.

Millennials are finally gaining spending power. This means that their consumer behaviours are changing the way that a business markets themselves and how they do business. People are going online now more than ever, which means that their expectations and their demands are changing. We’re all used to accessing what we want, and storage is not an exception to the rule.

If customers want convenience, they’re going to find it – even if that means looking elsewhere for what they need. The knock-on effect here is that there will be more pressure on self-storage operators to reduce their prices in the competition to give the customers what they want.


Self-Employment On The Rise

There are a lot of people out there that are using self-storage units for more than just a place to store their items. There are units out there that are still to be used traditionally, and a lot of companies won’t install lights and plug sockets into their units. However, many people are looking to start their own businesses in 2019.

Over 100,000 businesses are using self-storage not only to store their office furniture in between moves but as the actual office. This is especially popular with one-man-bands and self-employed newbies looking for a space to work from. Self-storage facilities need to work to keep up with this trend, with many already looking at extending their units into offices and not just storage spaces. You should think about how getting creative will impact your business and your customers, helping you to diversify a little!

self employment

Businesses Turning To Automation

Self-storage businesses have to put the customer experience as central to their whole company if they want to make it. Given that customer experience is essential, self-storage bosses have to look at the ways to make transactions between customer and business as hassle-free as possible.

It’s something that’s already creeping up to the top of the priority list for everyone, but only a small number of facilities accommodate things like online self-storage check-in and account management. Catering to the growing needs of customers has to mean embracing automation a little; otherwise, you risk not keeping up with the trends ahead.

Companies elsewhere in other industries are using automation to their advantage, and the technological advancements are quickly becoming the norm, which means customers are looking elsewhere if they cannot find what they want.

Self-storage businesses are all about the customer, which means that by investing in more innovative ways to make the experience one that customers can rely on, you get more business. There is going to be more of a chance for your customers to enjoy the experience if you are catering to their wishes.

Residential Downsizing

Did you know that there are 10,000 “baby boomers” hitting 65 every day? This figure is creating a set of data that sees most of them in the miz downsizing their homes, thus needing self-storage for their belongings. This is a good thing for those invested in self-storage, as it means that people are going to be choosing to keep their belongings safe while they live in smaller homes.

Urbanisation plays a massive part in this, too, as homes are being built to be smaller and more accessible. It’s also because there is a high demand for housing, which has seen smaller houses constructed to fit said demand. Fewer people can now afford to purchase property, and this has led to more people renting privately – and thus, needing space to store their belongings.

Students in particular often have a need for self-storage in between school years, as they need a place to stash their belongings.

Following and implementing the right self-storage trends for your business in 2019 is vital and an area where smart investors can genuinely benefit. If you are looking to improve self-storage for 2019, then it’s worth looking at the trends and following them closely!

Ben Sutton-Jones

By Ben Sutton-Jones

Ben has worked in the storage industry for over a decade. His expertise and knowledge is often called upon by colleagues and customers alike. He has a passion for writing, and so branching out into blogging was a natural move. Ben is a keen reader and also follows many sports, especially football. He is a beekeeper in his spare time and enjoys tending to his bees. If he's lucky he may even get to harvest a little honey from time to time.

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