Whether it is an episode of Oprah (or some other daytime talk show), Tabatha’s Salon Takeover, or the show that Ty Pennington is one, people love to watch makeovers. There is just something intrinsically appealing about the concept of the ugly duckling becoming a beautiful swan or something old becoming something new that people love.
On television it may make for good ratings, but in a business like the self storage industry it is simply good business. So when Extra Space Storage, one of the leading self storage providers in the nation, took over a couple of older facilities from American Self Storage in Middleton and Hamilton, Ohio, they gave them a makeover.
Many of things that Extra Space Storage did for their new acquisitions was to make them look better and be more appealing to current and prospective tenants like repaving the parking lot and combining some smaller units to make larger ones. The changes were not just cosmetic though; many of them were to make the business more user friendly to consumers.
“The previous company basically needed you in front of the manager to make payments,” Joe Meischke, a manager at the Middleton facility said. “With Extra Space, you can set up automatic payments online or even call credit cards over the phone, if you need to.”
Tenants are now able to check out a state of the art website to see if space is available or to reserve one as well as keep track of it in real time once they have established an account. Those in the midst of moving or packing can now find the supplies they need in store.
“[The previous facility] was strictly self storage,” Steve Martin, a manager at the Hamilton facility, said. “It didn’t even sell boxes. We have packing supplies for dishes and wardrobe boxes. It’s just a little easier experience.”
Extra Space Storage, like other large companies, has been involved in a number of transactions over the last year. With the self storage industry being rather healthy in recent years, especially considering the poor economic climate, many have viewed the industry as a safe and reliable investment.
However, due to the economic climate many lending institutions are not lending for the construction of new facilities, but they are for the purchase and refurbishing of old ones.
In recent months there have been a few sales in the hundreds of millions for existing facilities. For example, CubeSmart recently purchased 16 facilities from Storage Deluxe for $357.31 million and look to make a similar deal in the first quarter of 2012 as well.
“Storage company new owner revamps facilities.” Middletown Journal; 29 November 2011.
“$357.31 Million Sale of 16-Property New York City Metro Self Storage Portfolio Closed by HFF.” Market Watch; 7 November 2011.