Having advised through these columns about the rise of the ‘millennial’ market and the expectations they bring into the market place, we thought a recent article from the excellent Inside Self-Storage was worth a mention. It is written by John Barnard who is the sales manager at BETCO Inc., a manufacturer of metal buildings and components for the self-storage industry in the US, however the points he raises are equally applicable in the UK.

He argues that self-storage owners need to consider how to differentiate their sites in an ever-growing and more competitive market. His view is that by creating some ‘green’ space and promoting environmentally friendly policies, not only the upcoming millennial market but people of all ages who believe we need to protect the planet will react in a positive way and maybe feel more inclined to place their storage with such a business.

His vision is to start with new builds and ensure they are eco-friendly, use non-toxic materials and utilise materials such as roof coatings with a higher percentage of infrared reflection to maintain more stable temperatures and drive down energy costs. Such a build should ideally also incorporate solar panels and computer-controlled thermostats.

He also promotes effective landscaping, for example water features, with the argument that not only does this assist with good neighbour relationships but could also be used to re-circulate waste water.

An obvious idea is to ensure you educate your customers about what they are storing. As an example he cites combustible materials that might include paint and solvents, which could leak over time and create a hazardous situation. He even goes so far as to suggest a plentiful supply of ‘well-managed’ bins for customers to dispose of such items including car batteries.

Clearly some of the above could be applied to existing properties and carrying out a retrofit to encompass these ideas may help in taking a larger share of the existing local market. You can read the full article here.