top of page
Subscribe Now, and never miss a post
We'll also sign you up for our awesome Newsletter! (It's easy to unsubscribe) 

Do you want to know how many hours it takes to find land for a new self storage project?

Finding Land Faster As Simple as 1-2-3

By Marc Goodin, CEO of Storage Authority.

Step One: Set your personal minimal land standards

Step Two: Follow step one and quickly pass on land not meeting your parameters.

Step Three: Be consistent and spend at least 8 – 12 hours a week looking for land.Too many people spend hours looking at a potential self-storage site when most sites should be rejected in 5 - 15 minutes.  Set your concrete minimum standards for six items and you will have 10 times the amount of time to look at sites that have a chance.  Everyone will have their own standards.  A person with $500,000 cash vs a person with $ 1 million cash vs a person with $10 million cash will have some standards the same but Many will not be the same.

Here are my personal minimum standards based upon building an 80,000 sf single-story facility with me investing $.1.5 to $2 million cash and taking an SBA loan for the balance.


·      Zoned for self-storage

·      4.5+ acres of usable land if rectangle, almost square in shape, otherwise 5 acres.  If the area dictates significant non-climate control units, it will take 6 acres.

·      Parcel width 260 feet

·      Topo grade change in development is less than 10 feet, preferably much less.

·      Priced under $2MM with a maximum purchase price of $1.5MM




·      Office (at the facility) rental rate for a 10 x 10 for facilities considered real competition is $130+ with minimal self-storage In the pipeline.

·      Existing & pipeline Self storage less than 15 sf/person.  At this sf/person I like to have no self-storage in the pipeline.




·      Easy access & great street view.

·      3-mile population of 15,000 people

·      On a busy road with at least 10,000 vehicles/day.  Interstate highway traffic not included.

·      My wife would not have a problem being in this area at night.


Typically, If it a site does not meet these parameters I am quickly looking for the next parcel.  It can take an hour to check all these items out but most of the time it only takes a 5 – 10  minute read of the site and a non-qualifier will jump out and you are done.


Given these are minimum standards it does not automatically mean that if a site has them it is a great site.  It means further research is warranted.


There are exceptions to every rule or standard.  If a 10 x 10 non climates control was renting for $250/month and all the 3-mile facilities were full I could certainly pay more for the land and maybe reduce other standards as well. 


Here you can learn more about land qualification standards:


Here is the math on how long it takes to find land:

Research 100 properties, make 3 offers buy 1.  Timewise the math is:



100 properties researched =                 40 x 1 hours =                                     40 hours

                                                                             30@ 2 hours =                                    60 hours

                                                                             30@ 4 hours +                                   120 hours


3/100 offers made =                                      3 x 20 additional hours =          60 hours

1/100 purchased =                                        1 x 20 additional hours =            20 hours

                                                                                                               Sub Total            300 hours


Additional hours to find land to review:                                                               100 hours

                                                                                                                              Total         400 hours*


*This assumes you are following a proven system to find and research self-storage and have an experienced self-storage team helping you. And that you are looking for land locally to where you live.


Weeks to find land:

@8 hours a week = 400/8 = 1 year

@ 10 hours a week = 400/10 = 40 weeks      

@12  hours a week = 400/12 = 33 weeks

Pros will find self storage land for $400,000. In this case of 400 hours the hourly rate is $1000/hr. ($400,000/400hrs = $1000/hour)  I love self-storage is so hard.  That is what makes the payoff so great for those who do the hard work.


No time?  Why not pay a guy $100,000/year to find land?  Maybe $50,000 salary and $50,000 finder’s fee when he finds the land.

self storage grand opening with Ronalds Mcdonald
Your grand opening is just around the corner of Main street and hard work.


Why doesn’t Storage Authority Find land for franchise owners?  I would be happy to put a team together to find land for franchise owners for $400K    But most  Franchisees understandably want to make maximum profits including saving $1000/hour finding land.  Basically, for nothing Storage Authority provides the guidance and land qualifications they need to find land.  We are available for and highly suggest one-on-one weekly conferences to help guide and provide the know-how on how to find land and review land.  And better than weekly conferences we are available practically  24/7 to help answer questions and share our expertise.




Do you want to know if you qualify for a Storage Authority Franchise?

If you fill out the application (apply icon on our website) you will have your answer in 2-3 days. 

Or we can have a 10-minute call today and not only will you know if you qualify, you will learn the basics of what is involved in developing and operating a self-storage business.  Give me a call or let me know a couple of good times to call you.  (Let me know the time zone - I am Eastern Standard Time)

Or better yet let’s meet up in Sarasota, FL for a day!

Marc Goodin is the President of Storage Authority Franchising.  The only self-storage franchise. He owns 3 self-storages he designed, built, and manages. He has been helping others in the self-storage industry for over 30 years.  He can be reached at or directly at 860-830-6764 to answer your franchising, development, marketing, sales, and operations questions.  His best-selling self-storage books are available on Amazon.





bottom of page