Despite the current post-GFC environment going concern, Self Storage facilities are still selling (albeit in small numbers), scattered around the country. Several provincial city facilities have recently sold at yields indicative of the lack of good quality assets in particular areas. The attraction of properly-run, estate agent operated (small) facilities that essentially provide constant cash flows in otherwise uncertain times to local investors, remains a good investment option to some.
All estate agents are not alike however. It is imperative that agents running your business are (preferably) members of the SSAA or at least fully conversant with the laws relating to Self Storage, that they keep and maintain computer-based records (hopefully StorMan) and provide legible, easily understood financial reporting to you as owner.
Good records ensure your investment and your estate agent perform to their best. Knowledge, as always, is power, and this particularly relates to your estate agent’s operational skills and marketing awareness in its particular catchment area. You as an owner need proactive asset managers who are not spread thin over too many rented properties on the rent roll to look after your interests.
If you are happy to own a passive investment, your estate agent should at least understand the industry, advertise your facility regularly, train identified staff in SSAA management and legal matters, and be retail-orientated, focused on your business and proactive.
Good agents should provide the detailed information by which good valuers properly value your facility. The difference between good and bad agents, similar to good and bad valuers, is written in dollars.