Franchise owners 4 Paws Development LLC design plans for their facility just outside of Tampa are just about done and will be starting construction this summer. Above is a sneak preview of the facility.
As part of our Dynamic Ease Self Storage Development Series, we help our franchisees around the development landmines, including finding land, designing, obtaining approvals, financing and building a premier self-storage facility.
Nine important things your team/vendors will not always tell you.
An AIA contract should be used as it is the industry standard but it will require a multi-page addendum with a large host of items for clarification and to better protect you from unnecessary cost overruns and other problems.
2 TOWN OFFICIALS/REGULATORY APPROVALS:
Some town employees, elected officials, town planners, and engineers may give your project the nod one way or another before it is in front of the regulatory commissions for approval. Sure, it is best to have the town staff on your side. BUT! Beware: the votes that count are the regulatory commissioners’ votes
3 REAL ESTATE AGENTS
They are not engineers, zoning experts, development experts or self-storage experts. Their statement that the parcel is suitable for self-storage should be considered just the starting point of your due diligence. They will not be held accountable in any way if the property is not suitable for your needs. You, along with your experts, need to do your own due diligence. Also, you do not have to meet any minimum offer price suggested by the agents.
When they tell you they know better than you or the manual, after six months of managing your facility, they are wrong.
Employees will tell you:
They do not need to follow the rental script because they are better if they wing it. Wrong!
It is better not to rent on the phone. Wrong!
Marketing is a waste of time. Wrong!
If they do not follow the standard operating procedures starting day one and every day after, your facility will go downhill until they are replaced.
5 SELF STORAGE BUILDING MANUFACTURERS:
Their conceptual site plans often do not take into consideration all the land features and zoning regulations. A trustworthy manufacturer will tell you their plans are just a starting point and that you need to get a detailed site plan by a local engineer and Architect that is familiar with the local zoning regulations, building codes and has more details about the land and unit mix requirements.
6 WEBSITE DESIGNERS:
“I have not designed a self-storage website but I designed hundreds of great sites and can make you a great self-storage website.” Wrong!
The use of the internet grows every year. A vast majority of self-storage business comes from the internet. Your website has to be functional for the user, including potential clients, existing clients, your manager, Google, 3-mile geo populations, and more.
7 YOUR JOB:
It is your job to coach, educate and teach your employees. It is your job to get the phone to ring and get prospects to stop by your self-storage facility. It is your manager’s job to market the facility, keep the facility in tip-top shape, provide over the top service, and rent at premium prices. http://www.storageauthorityfranchise.com/ helps make sure everyone’s job is done better for more profits.
8 SELLING & MARKETING PLATFORMS:
Sales and marketing are going to make your facility stand out and make oversized profits. Throwing money into sales and marketing is not the solution. It needs to be the company mantra and philosophy. Over the top service, being an expert, overcoming concerns, understanding what today’s internet customers want, guerilla marketing, and providing that just feels right feeling is the future of success. You are going to need help unless you personally are willing to work 10 – 15 hours a week on sales & marketing.
Some banks require a Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) of 1.25 or even 1.35 before they convert your construction loan to a permanent loan. This might be a possible goal for some commercial real estate developments to meet because they have clients signed to rent the majority of the space upon completion of construction. Typically, self-storage will not meet a DSCR of 1.25 until you are over 70% rented. If you do not meet this ratio in their required time frame, they can and will ask for you to repay the loan immediately or provide significant additional money to reduce the amount borrowed so you meet the required DSCR.
Storage Authority Vendor Updates
Radius Plus continues to update its platform. Now it even provides banking information, and information in charts and graphs to easily understand trends and other self-storage information.
And now they even provide articles on the latest self-storage important to self-storage owners. Here is a link to my article on their site on How to develop your first self-storage with only $500K cash equity
And while you’re there take a demo of the site. If you are looking for land this is one site you want to use!
Vendors don’t forget we pay you a $2,500 referral fee for each lead you provide that becomes a Franchise. Call Garrett for detail: 941-928-1354
Things we love to do besides self-storage.
GP and I love to grow gardens of all kinds. We make them part of our life where ever we go. At our self storages, at the fishing cottage, at our home. For me, it is so relaxing and I enjoy watching them bloom day after day! Clockwise: 1) One of five flower gardens at home. 2) An award-winning garden at GP’s self-storage we planted. 3) GP Sunflower crop from last year. (We Just planted 4 packages of sunflowers last month) 4) My latest hillside garden in progress at our fishing cottage.
What would you do with more time & money?
Whats holding you back? You Can do it! You deserve it!