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5 Hot Topics in Self-Storage for 2024

Self-storage has truly become a cornerstone of modern living, offering convenience, flexibility, and peace of mind to individuals and businesses alike. On April 16th-17th, we were thrilled to take part in the Self Storage Association (SSA) 2024 conference. It was a fantastic opportunity for us to connect with both new and existing customers, gaining an insight into their experiences and hear how their businesses are performing in the first quarter of 2024.

We were also able to proudly showcase our innovative exhibition box, crafted by our skilled conversions team, which served as a valuable resource for new customers seeking creative container solutions.

After speaking with a range of self-storage business owners in attendance, it’s clear the self-storage industry is in for some exciting changes. Let’s dive into five ‘hot topics’ that we think are driving innovation and transformation in the industry this year:

  1. Utilising Self-Storage for New Homes

Ryan Vickery, Sales Manager of Storage On Site, caught our attention when he shared his experiences of the year so far. Ryan commented, “The self-storage industry is growing! With a lot of new build homes being so compact, more people will need storage containers at self-storage sites.” This sentiment was shared by a number of people we spoke with throughout the day.

With the rise of new build homes struggling with compact living spaces and non-load-bearing lofts, the demand for self-storage solutions is on the rise. Homeowners are finding themselves in need of additional storage space for belongings that don’t fit within the confines of their own space. This dilemma presents a unique opportunity for self-storage providers to cater to this growing market. By offering convenient and local storage solutions near housing development sites, providers not only meet the evolving needs of homeowners but also secure a reliable revenue stream in an increasingly competitive market.

Sarah Green, Senior Sales Manager at S Jones, highlights that many operators asked the same question: “In the midst of the cost-of-living crisis, how can we attract more inquiries and convert them into revenue?”. Tapping into a steady stream of customers needing additional space could be just the answer.

  1. Embracing Sustainability

In today’s climate crisis, sustainability is no longer just a buzzword—it’s an increasingly important business imperative. Potential customers are actively seeking out suppliers and service providers who prioritise sustainability in their operations. Demonstrating consideration for the environment indicates a commitment beyond profit-driven motives, resonating with potential customers who prioritise ethical values, trust, and sustainability in their purchasing decisions.

‘An increasingly important topic now, is that more people are seeking ways to understand how they can please their customers through sustainability,’ says Simone Smith, Marketing Manager from Kuboid.

For self-storage facilities, adopting eco-friendly practices not only aligns with customer expectations but also contributes to a healthier planet. From implementing energy-efficient lighting on-site to utilising solar panels, small steps can secure big wins in the self-storage market. Moreover, offering customers suggestions such as using sustainable packaging materials ensures they understand that storing with you means giving back to the environment and reducing their environmental footprint, in addition to helping attract more eco-conscious customers.

  1. Harnessing the Power of Digital Marketing

In today’s interconnected world, digital platforms provide unparalleled reach and accessibility, allowing businesses to connect with larger audiences. Unlike traditional marketing channels, digital marketing has precise targeting capabilities, harnessing tools like Google Analytics and search engine optimisation (SEO) to analyse customer behaviours and preferences. With real-time insights into key word searches and online activity, self-store businesses can tailor their marketing strategies to effectively engage their target audience. This is where SEO becomes invaluable. By aligning online messaging with popular internet searches, businesses can seamlessly reach their desired demographic. This can be enhanced further by utilising paid online advertisements, ensuring that your self-storage business remains prominently visible amidst customer search trends.

Alongside tools such as SEO and Google Analytics, it is important to craft diverse content for social media and online platforms. This content not only enhances brand awareness but also cultivates the desired brand image among customers. Each of these digital tools plays a crucial role in empowering self-storage businesses to not only increase occupancy rates, but also attract their ideal customer base.

  1. Innovations in CCTV Technology

Security is paramount in the self-storage industry, and advancements in CCTV are now revolutionising surveillance capabilities. During the conference we had the chance to talk with Adrian Standerwick, Founder of Active CCTV and Surveillance, who gave us an insight into the new technologies he has seen being embraced.

“Up until this year, of a night time, cameras go to infrared meaning mono or black and white pictures. This means security monitoring companies can only see shades of grey, for example dark grey hoodies might suggest a darker colour is being worn but the actual colour cannot be known. With newer CCTV cameras, the area is illuminated meaning you can see in full colour no matter the time of day. So, if someone gets into a site wearing a blue jacket for example, this means the police or monitoring service have a lot more information to identify the intruder to move forward.”

This enhanced visibility enables self-storage facilities to remain safer than ever. By investing in state-of-the-art CCTV solutions, self-storage providers can offer peace of mind to customers and ensure better safeguarding of their valuable belongings.

  1. Integrating AI in Security Monitoring

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the way self-storage facilities monitor and respond to security incidents.

“The last three shows we’ve been too have all been about how we could use AI chatbots on the website but now, we’re hearing more people asking, ‘how can we use AI relevant to security?’ says Ant Hebblethwaite, Sales Manager from Doncaster Security Operations Centre (DSOC). By employing advanced analytics algorithms, providers can proactively detect suspicious behaviours in real-time ahead of a serious incident occurring. This can help eliminate any potential threats before further damage is done. It’s amazing what AI can do but, in our opinion, this initiative is revolutionary and could really help self-storage businesses deliver a higher level of protection and enhance customer trust in their services.

It’s clear the self-storage industry is experiencing rapid growth driven by technological advancements and revised audience demographics. By embracing innovation, sustainability, and digitalisation, we believe self-storage providers, including our ‘U Can Store It’ brand, can position themselves for greater success in 2024 and beyond. Whether it’s catering to the storage needs of new homeowners, implementing eco-friendly practices, or leveraging modern technology for enhanced security, the future of self-storage looks promising with endless possibilities for growth and innovation.

Are you looking to set-up or expand your self-storage?

To take advantage of our numerous years’ experience as both a self-storage business operator and supplier of containers to self-storage companies, take a look at our dedicated StoragePro service – your one-stop-shop for external self-storage expertise.

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