6 Most Important Factors To Consider When Choosing A Self-Storage Facility

June 2, 2022 by
Jan Brebaum

The self-storage industry has been booming for years. Consequently, the supply is also increasing. The greater the number of self-storage facilities, the richer and more varied the range of services. Therefore, before choosing a self-storage facility, every tenant must ask himself: What should I look for when choosing a self-storage facility?


Why is the self-storage industry just booming? 

Whether for private individuals or companies - storage space is always a scarce commodity. Self-storage often rents storage space to individuals (usually for storing household items) or businesses (usually for storing excess inventory or archived documents) on a short-term, but also longer-term basis. This is because often one's own space is not sufficient and self-storage facilities must be used. Especially in times during and after the pandemic, self-storage has gained new attention. Because many companies and also private households were exposed to new circumstances. Many companies had to send their employees to home offices, close warehouses or relocate. For private households, there are various reasons for using self-storage. Among them are apartment liquidations, relocations, stays abroad, or job changes. The self storage industry has thus created new space but also new opportunities.


Before choosing the right place to store your belongings, here are a few important factors to consider when you’re deciding between different options. And here are those most important aspects! Let's take a closer look at them! ​ 


1. Location 

Where is the self-storage facility located?

The storage of certain items outside of one's own four walls is nothing new. The self-storage industry has a similar concept as many moving companies have offered before. The advantage of self-storage providers is that the storage facilities are often set up in the middle of cities. This optimal location of self-storage offers more flexibility due to easy accessibility. For private users, it is even more important that their belongings are quickly accessible at all times. For companies that store surplus inventory in self-storage facilities, it is also an advantage if the storage facilities are easily accessible. The optimal location for self storage is therefore usually in the middle of cities with good infrastructure and accessibility. 


2. Security and Accessibility

What does the self-storage facility do for security?
What are the hours of access?

Compared to previous relocation companies, self-storage facilities are often located in city centers and are easily accessible by public transportation. This increases security for many customers. With the help of alarm systems and surveillance cameras, security can be additionally increased. The 24/7 opening hours that make self-storage more attractive to tenants can be ensured by digital entrance controls. This type of flexible access is one of the keys to making any facility a success with all users in any location. Digital access controls can also prevent physical keys from being lost and unauthorised people from entering the storage facilities.  


3. Temperature and cleanliness

Are climate controlled storage units offered?

The most important requirement for storing belongings is that the items are stored safely and cleanly. The right temperature in self-storage can make a lot of difference. For things to be stored well and safely, the rooms need to be dry and cool. Otherwise, things can quickly become moldy or damaged by rain, etc. Air-conditioned storage or heated storage in the winter is an important factor that can make any facility more attractive. This way, all users can feel comfortable both inside and outside the facility. Providers can use digital building controls to ensure that temperature and lighting can be controlled remotely. This can provide additional cost savings and sustainable building management. 


4. Duration of Rent and Size 

What sizes of self-storage units are offered?

How long do I plan to use the storage unit?

What are the best rental offers available to me?

For relocations or similar, it is usually not necessary to rent self-storage with a long-term lease. For tenants, monthly or annual subscriptions that can be quickly terminated are more attractive, as this also increases flexibility. Many self-storage facilities specialise in short-term rentals. Digital management makes it easy to renew or cancel rentals via app. This saves tenants and managers valuable time. In addition, tenants should calculate how much space they really need by calculating so that unnecessary space is not wasted. As a basic rule, it can be assumed that the storage-room is about 10-15% of the living space.  


“The trend towards greater online functionality and more sophisticated platforms has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a big leap in the ability to reserve units via the website (from 71% in 2019 to 80% in 2021), and the ability to reserve, book and pay online (from 25% in 2019 to 58% in 2021)”- Fedessa 2021 


5. Pricing

How much will it cost me to rent a self-storage box?

The best self-storage price is often the deciding factor when choosing a self-storage facility. However, many tenants are willing to pay more if self-storage providers can ensure that items are stored safely through modernisation measures, temperature controls and the best possible security measures. Providers can cut costs and save money with the help of digitalisation measures such as access control, communication with users and managers via app and digital building control. It can also increase flexibility not only for tenants, but also for providers and managers. 


“The weighted average rent across Europe was €268.74 per sq m per annum. The last year has seen the biggest increases in rental rates ever recorded by our survey, rising by 7.4%.”- Fedessa 2021 


6. Multifunctionality 

What type of amenities are provided?

What other options do self-storage facilities offer?

Self-storage is a great way to create more storage space in your home. Nevertheless, many people also resort to self-storage for professional reasons. The pandemic has given many people the opportunity to work from home. Nevertheless, many people lack the space in their own homes. Consequently, there are now many multi-use cases such as a merger of self-storages and co-working spaces, but also cafes and self-storages. For tenants, it's easier to have everything for work in one place and for providers, a whole new and larger clientele is being addressed. 


"No operator is expecting occupancy rates to decrease over the next year, with nearly three quarters of operators anticipating occupancy rates to increase over the next 12 months." - Fedessa 2021 


With the increasing supply of self-storage, choosing the right self-storage is becoming increasingly difficult. This makes it all the more important for tenants to pay attention to what service is offered and what measures are most important. For providers, in turn, it is important to offer customers the greatest possible flexibility and security. This can be ensured by digitisation measures such as access control and 24/7 CCTV and alarm systems. The fact that many processes can be digitised can also save money and make the price-performance ratio attractive for customers.

Sensorberg provides the necessary hardware and software for all necessary digitisation processes for Smart-Storages. From access control to communication with users, providers and administrators via app, to digital building control such as elevator, heating system in the basement and everything in between. Von Access Control über Kommunikation mit Nutzern, Anbietern und Verwaltern per App, bis hin zu digitaler Gebäudesteuerung wie Aufzug, Heizungsanlage im Keller und alles dazwischen.