All those who are in the self-storage business will know, it’s hard to drive past an unoccupied factory or office block and not see it as the next addition to your self-storage portfolio. For self-storage investors it’s the perfect opportunity for them to take these out of date structures and make them in to modern money makers again.
Refurbishing an existing building, as oppose to building from scratch, could reduce costs by half and still provide a striking looking modern facility. Conversion of a current building should also allow the project to come to fruition quicker than a new build, allowing revenue streams to be created earlier.
Ideal building for conversion would be former warehouses or factories in good locations. Although visibility is important, the once Holy Grail of self-storage is now less important than previously as most people now look with a keyboard as oppose to their eyes.
Building conversions are a popular option for people entering the self-storage industry and although many of the big players look for prime retail sites with good visibility there is still good mileage for buildings in lesser positions and lower running costs. Although buildings in secondary sites may fill at a slower rate, most will still achieve good occupancy rates, it may just take longer to get there!
Talk to people who have already converted buildings into storage:
This can be a critical step. Nobody would know better about the challenges and success of converting a building into a self-storage facility than people that have already done it, so go and talk to them, most would be happy to assist as long as you don’t intend to open in their back yard!. You could also look at discussion forums and attend self-storage conferences and meetings, networking with operators and industry suppliers is a valuable and enjoyable way to learn about the industry, the pitfalls and the successes. These will all help you take that one step closer to knowing what you need to know about converting a building for self-storage.
Call in an architect and contractor to check the property out thoroughly:
Even if you have done it before, you should still get an expert or two to check out the structural strength of the space and see what repairs you will need to safely convert the building you want to turn into a self -storage facility. Experienced fit-out contractors will optimise the available space to ensure that the building in question provides the best possible return on invest, crucial to your future exit strategy!