Self-storage is a booming industry. Thanks to developing technologies and changing societal expectations, it’s also an evolving industry. Here’s a look at what’s going on now in self-storage.
- Hurricanes create need. Many homes and businesses have been destroyed or damaged as a result of a particularly devastating hurricane season. According to the Wall Street Journal, hurricane damage has led to an increased demand for self-storage in Houston as many victims of the storm seek new places to store their belongings during repairs. Some companies, including U-Haul, responded with donations of free storage to those affected by the hurricanes.
- Self-storage goes high tech. Technology is transforming self-storage facilities in numerous ways. The internet is making auctions better. On the Inside Self-Storage blog, one self-storage owner shares the benefits of online auctions. Apps are helping self-storage owners manage their facilities. With SpiderDoor, one self-storage app, customers can easily pay bills, open gates, report problems and more.
- The robot invasion has begun. If apps and online auctions aren’t advanced enough for you, now there are even robots designed specifically for the industry. Keylo, a robot created by Wyca, has been used in self-storage facilities in Europe since November 2016. It allows managers to check on the facility remotely to increase security and reduce staff costs. It is capable of displaying lease agreements, collecting payments and more. OpenTech Alliance, Inc. signed an agreement with Wyca to bring Keylo to self-storage facilities in the United States.
- Self-storage demand grows. The Chicago Tribune reports that self-storage is growing in popularity, especially in big cities, for a number of reasons. Revenue for 2016 was $35.8 billion, and the industry is still growing. Self-storage is very popular among Americans, but it is also strong in other countries. Bloomberg reports that small apartments in Hong Kong are leading to a self-storage boom there.
- The self-storage boom clashes with local zoning laws. New construction of self-storage facilities has been up since the end of the recession. While this is great news for the industry, not everyone is happy about it. Inside Self-Storage reports several places, including multiple cities in Florida, have placed restrictions on self-storage construction, possibly because of the old stereotype that depicts self-storage facilities as crime-ridden eyesores.
- Self-storage facilities offer new services. The construction boom means that self-storage owners have to deal with more competition. To differentiate their businesses, some have been adding extra services. Inside Self-Storage offers advice to self-storage managers who want to add wine storage to their facilities.
Never forget that Relocation Insurance Group is your best source for self-storage insurance. If you’re renting a unit, remember to insure the goods inside with self-storage insurance. If you operate a facility, ask about our affiliate insurance programs.