In the last few weeks we have seen a fairly underwhelming budget, a slight hardening of interest rates and news that as a country we are becoming more unproductive. Yes, but apart from that, are you noticing any changes to the house moving industry? Probably not I guess as it is very soon after all these stories for any impact to have taken place. However one of my industry sources says moves are currently quite spasmodic, with each day of the week different.

The one element of the industry that still appears bomb proof is self-storage. Big Yellow has just announced excellent financial results for the last six months (ending September) and superb yields on storage space. It seems they aren’t alone in the sector with so many others now recording good returns on investment. So what do they recognise as a driving factor for their success?

Nicholas Vetch the executive chairman said “In our view, it makes no sense to have significant unutilized capacity, and consequently we have focused on occupancy and will continue to do so for the time being. “Our pricing model is largely automated, and higher levels of occupancy deliver more traction on pricing. We know this because we can see the performance of stores with elevated occupancy.”

Interesting….they, like many similar sized firms, now rely on automated pricing in the same way airlines and hotels have. This method appears to be a key element to maximising assets and producing the right yield for the period. So what could a similar programme provide if applied to the moving industry? Would it detect temporary downturns against longer more serious effects of economic recession? If any programmers out there have a programme that does this or are working on one I’d be really interested to hear from you.