Rhino Steel Buildings Blog

Mini-Warehouse Expansion- Part 1

How to Increase Profits for Your Self-Storage Facility

There are three times a mini-warehouse business should consider expansion:

1. When the current facility reaches 85% to 90% occupancy

2. When newer, more upscale self-storage competitors move into your market

3. When the demographics in your market change

Self Storage ExpansionPLAN AHEAD: Do not put off expansion until your facility maxes out at 100% occupancy and you must start turning customers away. Building projects take time. Begin planning and executing your expansion plan in preparation for increased business.

WATCH the COMPETITION: Self-storage is a highly competitive market. The competition has an eye on your clientele. If a new mini-warehouse business in your market offers a more attractive facility, a more convenient location, and better amenities than your operation, it is going to cost you.

KNOW YOUR MARKET: Markets change. Your self-storage business must evolve with your marketplace to thrive. Large businesses move in and out. Populations alter or age. Demographics transform. That old saying is true: “You snooze, you lose.” Keep abreast of market shifts in your area.

How to Expand Your Mini-Warehouse Operation

The obvious choice for expansion is adding more rental units, space permitting. But what type of units would best fit your market? Consider these questions:

  • Are baby boomers a significant part of your market? As baby boomers retire, downsize, move, or join multi-family households, you may find an increase need for larger units.
  • Are there popular parks and lakes nearby? Perhaps there is an increased need for RV and boat storage.
  • Are upscale housing developments underway in your area? Consider renovation. Updating the look of your facility may attract clients that are more discriminating.
  • Is there an influx of larger businesses? Many businesses now … Read more »

Green Self Storage Facilities Start with Steel

Eco-Friendly Metal Buildings and Mini-Warehouses

Environmentally conscious builders, developers, and investors overwhelmingly turn to pre-engineered steel buildings when planning green self storage projects. Building mini-warehouse businesses with steel structures cuts building costs, reduces operational costs— and delights eco-friendly customers. What could be better?

The Green Qualities of Steel Self Storage Buildings

Green Self StorageTo meet green guidelines, a building material is examined for its recycled content and its recovery rate.

As the most recycled material on the face of the earth, steel is the epitome of green building. There are three reasons for the high success rate of recycling steel:

1. The recycling steel pipeline and infrastructure has withstood the test of time. North American steel companies have been incorporating old steel in the creation of new steel for over 170 years.

2. Recycled steel’s strength never changes. Steel is the only material which maintains all its strength though infinite recycling.

3. Steel’s magnetic qualities make it easy to handle. Electromagnets swiftly move discarded appliances, dismantled bridges, junked automobiles, retired ships, and other steel scrap. Magnets quickly and economically separate steel from other debris, too.

All steel self storage structures contain recycled steel. Structural steel contains as much as 90% recycled steel.

Steel is 100% recyclable.

Steel scrap has value. Crucial in the production of new steel, the industry constantly collects used steel. The recovery rate of steel far surpasses all other materials.

Building Green with Steel Actually Saves Money

The environmental cause is both worthy and noble. However, the bottom line still rules in construction— including self storage projects. If a building material or system scores high environmental points— yet costs … Read more »

3 Reasons to Start a Self-Storage Business

Starting a Self-Storage BusinessWhy Storage Facilities Appeal to First-Time Real Estate Investors

Many people begin their foray into real estate investing with a self-storage facility.

Why? Because operating a self-storage business is easy, safe, and profitable.

1. Entering the Self-Storage Market

No real estate venture offers an easier way for entry-level investors to get into the game than the self-storage business.

  • Self-storage facilities involve far less initial capital outlay than many other real estate ventures.
  • Because their high success rate, lenders look favorably on self-storage startups. Down payments may run as low as 25% on conventional business loads. Loans through the Small Business Association (SBA) may require only 10% down.
  • Operating a self-storage business is straightforward, requiring little experience. If operational training is warranted, it is readily available. The Self -Storage Training Institute (SSTI), for example, offers online certification classes in self-storage management.
  • Although 80% of self-storage businesses are independently owned and operated, many companies offer self-storage franchise opportunities. Marketing is handled by the company, relieving the owner of that expense and responsibility.
  • However, the franchise company requires royalties for the use of their name and system.
  • Unlike residential real estate ventures, well-built self-storage facilities demand little upkeep and maintenance.

2. Self-Storage Businesses Constitute a Safe Investment

While no business venture promises a risk-free ride, a self-storage operation comes very close.

  • Only 37% to 47% % of office, multi-family, and retail real estate ventures succeed. A whopping 92% of self-storage business succeed. (No wonder banks eagerly finance loans for self-storage projects!)
  • Americans’ reluctance to jettison their stuff is legendary. Consequently, the self-storage market continues to grow at an astounding rate.
  • The self-storage business is practically recession-proof:
  • One in 10 Americans currently rents self-storage space.
  • Each year 12% of Americans move. … Read more »

Self-Storage: Cashing-in on Our Love of Stuff

The Race for Space in Our Homes and Businesses

Like any other successful U.S. business, the self-storage industry began as a solution to a need: SPACE.

Americans are perpetual collectors. We buy stuff, collect stuff, inherit stuff, create stuff, receive gifts of stuff— and we store stuff. The stronger the economy rises, the greater our addiction to stuff.

Self-Storage- end the clutterMost U.S. homes contain about 300,000 individual items. Is it any wonder that one in ten Americans rent storage space?

Forward thinking American entrepreneurs foresaw the market for additional storage almost 60 years ago.

Self-Storage History

The first self-storage rental units began in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the late 1950s. By the early 1960s, self-storage businesses began popping up all over Texas.

Public Storage— the largest of the publicly held storage companies— was founded in August 1972. They built first warehouse in Cajon, California. Two years later, the company had expanded to 20 self-storage warehouses. Today the Public Storage boasts 2,266 locations across the U.S., generating $2.38 billion in annual revenues.

RHINO Self Storage infographicSelf-Storage Today

According to the “Wall Street Journal”, four “Ds” drive the success of the self-storage industry: death, divorce, downsizing, and dislocation. The first three are self-explanatory. Dislocation covers people requiring temporary storage due to job changes, buying new homes, marriages, college dorm shifts, or military deployment.

Although the top five publicly owned self-storage giants operate over 6,000 facilities nationwide, the lion’s share of the market is privately held. Almost 80% of all self-storage businesses in the U.S. are independently owned and operated.

Commercial businesses account for approximately 30% of space rental. Military personnel rent about 10%.

Consumers rent the majority of self-storage space. Sixty-eight percent of these renters live in a … Read more »

Termites Cannot Make a Meal of a Steel Building

Wood Structures Invite Termites to Lunch

Termites look so tiny and harmless. Don’t believe it. Those relentless wood-munching monsters lurk in dark places, quietly devouring every cellulose-filled object in their path.

Outnumbered and Outflanked

The sheer number of termites on this planet boggles the mind. Forty-five different species of termites inhabit the U.S. Worldwide, over 2,700 termite species exist.

Termite QueenWe are completely outnumbered in this fight. Experts estimate there are 1,000 pounds of termites for every human on earth.

Termite colonies contain millions of the little creepy crawlers. Formosan colonies populations may reach two to ten million. (I cannot help but wonder who got the job of counting the colony population.)

Termite Facts

In North America, termites are found as far north as British Columbia, Canada. Every state in the U.S.—with the exception of Alaska— hosts some type of termites.

Termites need only two things to thrive and multiply: moisture and organic cellulose material to feed on, including wood, drywall, and paper.

Termites are tireless, working 24/7 to consume wood.

Each termite eats as much as 3% of its own weight each day. That’s equivalent to a 185-pound man consuming 5.5 pounds of food daily! In fact, a mature termite colony may gobble a pound of wood per day.

Termite workers live about four years. Formosan termite queens live 25-30 years, laying 2,000 eggs per day!

In the forests, termites provide beneficial services, breaking down fallen trees and deadwood. However, as urban sprawl spreads across previously rural areas, termites turn their attention to a readily available source of nourishment: wood-framed homes and buildings.

Lumber of any kind attracts termites. Lumber with moisture present is an open invitation to belly up to the wood buffet. Termites can enter a structure through a hole only 1/32” wide.

Dollar for dollar, termites inflict … Read more »