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Self Storage Industry Challenges and Opportunities

The self storage industry is currently experiencing prolonged, constrained economic conditions, including higher unemployment levels, lower turnover in residential real estate markets and below trend retail spending levels.

Declines in usage of self storage facilities, save for a positive trend in NZ, over the past three years follow a softening in demand post the Global Financial Crisis economic slowdown in 2010. The prevalence of price-based competition among facilities in many regions reinforces the importance of facility operators employing effective sales and marketing campaigns to build loyalty with, and retain, current customers.

The Internet maintains its position as the dominant source for both current and potential users to gather information about a self storage facility and underpins the importance of an interactive website as a central component of these marketing activities. Indeed, the Internet has now surpassed site visibility as the most common method of finding a facility for current users.

The frequency with which potential self storage facility users seek their friends' opinions via social media has significantly increased over the past three years and personal site visitation to a facility has also increased, over that period. These trends reinforce the importance of facility cleanliness and well trained staff to secure a sale, when in the presence of a potential customer. Perhaps unsurprisingly, existing customers' traditional methods of considering self storage facility options (telephone and Yellow Pages) continue to decline in relevance.

These trends are but a small number of the interesting facts determined via the SSAA 2013 Demand Study, where the opinions of 3500 self storage users and non-users were surveyed.

The Demand Study is available for purchase from the SSAA for a member price of only $110 (non-members $410). To order a copy download an order form below. Please return completed forms to e-mail: or fax: 03 9466 8081.

SSAA Demand Study Order Form SSAA Demand Study Order Form (225 KB)