By Barry Sherman, Architect | Founder/Principal, S3 Partners
In the past ten years, boat and RV storage has taken charge of leading the growth of the self-storage industry. More and more developers are looking into niche-specific developments and wondering how this industry will be less susceptible to market saturation. With it, a rising trend is being seized by opportunistic entrepreneurs and investors.
The opportunity? Boat and RV rental facilities. The question? ‘Where do I possibly begin?
A good starting point would be determining what your storage facility will be used for. Thanks to changing lifestyles due to Covid-19, and with help of Millenials and GenX, the popular RV brand Winnebago is currently holding on to a whopping $4.4 billion in backlog orders. Their Q2 earnings report has shown this trend will continue to rise which means Boat, Toy, and RV storage will be in high demand.
While facility types will vary and affect your income possibilities, partnering with a reputable consultant through it all is key. You’ll want to take into account things like their process for mapping out construction and forecasting revenue, the ease in which the entire process will unfold, and future opportunities that you’ll be granted after your facility is up and running.
On the other hand, the cost of deciding to build (without a consultant) can have vast consequences. Don’t be the entrepreneur caught saying ‘well, no one told me that!’ as the unequipped construction provider over-charges you for unnecessary additions. When potential buyers decide to make the first leap, they’re usually bombarded by new suppliers who (oftentimes) just have their own self-interest in mind.
Weigh your opportunity costs thoroughly and carefully. Consider what can be gained when partnering with a trusted advisor and what could be lost without one.
Below are three key components you’ll want to look for in a reputable storage consultant.
Your consulting provider should make your budget their number one priority. Budgeting correctly means the right vendors will be hired and will give you a fair price. In addition, a top-tier consulting firm will negotiate the prices for you so you’re not wondering if you got the short end of the stick. Lastly, obtaining financing can be a huge headache, but you’ll be ensured all your budgeting requirements are met with a consultant.
At S3 Partners, we utilize our knowledge of current pricing, trends, and historic data so partners never have to worry about going over their budget. Our finance professionals have 25 years of experience negotiating the best price for your project.
The saying rings true. Whether through housing, retail, or even a boat or RV facility; location isn’t just something to consider, it’s everything! Ensure that your consultant provider has the reach to not only connect you with vendors in numerous locations, but also has the future forecasting abilities to know what area codes are projected to grow in the next 5, 10, and 20 years.
Ease of Process
Avoid Major Problems
So many new developers dive right in, eager to start their projects. They have a ‘should any problems arise, it will work itself out’ mentality. Unfortunately, these hiccups cause major delays, which then affect the rest of your development. This adds up as late fees and unaccounted for costs. In addition, opportunities are lost due to eager renters moving on to competitor RV and Boat storage facilities. We can’t tell you how many times a city has granted a developer approval, only to find out there were other ‘strings attached.’ These things happen, but can all be avoided with the right consultant in place.
As a new development and facility owner, you’ll want eyes on your project throughout the entire build. Yet, you can’t always be there to babysit every vendor day and night. At S3 Partners, our vendor partnerships have been tested like a steel lock. Whether you’re on-site or under a cabana in the Caribbean, trust that your build is running smoothly under our watchful eye.
Attracting and Retaining Customers
After months of planning, forecasting, and building, your new income stream is almost ready! So how do you ensure a steady flow of customers? First and foremost, the appearance, including your own office, exterior signs, unit numbers, and the level of security; will all play into how much demand you can create for your facility. An experienced consultant will act as a guide to weed away competitors and keep your facility looking sharp.
At S3 Partners, we promise the success of your unit by implementing our NuRENU™ program. That means refreshed and remodeled units when you need them and site expansion and conversions to keep customers coming back.
All that being said, it doesn’t matter how sharp you look if nobody can see you. In comes visibility and marketing. An established consultant should come with partnerships that can help you get the word out about your new business. A key component of attracting customers? Your visual appeal. Drones and professional photography are necessary if you want to attract new parties with eye-catching marketing material.
Learn how Drone Photography at S3 Partners can set your facility apart from every other location.
You wouldn’t start any other business without a consulting partner that has extensive experience in the industry. With so many moving parts, it can be difficult to know where to even began. You’ll want to find a strong consultancy firm that has run the gamut hundreds of times. Your business’s success will not only rely on location but how timely you can be with your development and marketing.
Take your time interviewing and learning about different consultancy offerings. Remember, when it comes to forecasting and promised business security, the experience cannot lie.
See how Experience Deliver Success at S3 Partners and get started on your self-storage business today.