A Hidden $220 Billion Industry

Today I’d like to introduce you to a brand new weekly feature exclusively for League of Power subscribers.  In addition to Freedom by Friday on Mondays, written by yours truly, and Easy Street on Wednesdays by Nancy Patterson, you’ll now receive the Weekend Business Blueprint on Fridays.

While you continue to enjoy the financial and money saving advice we currently provide, many members have asked for more proven business information.  They want to supplement their existing income with easy to operate home businesses and alternative income opportunities.

Often times this will require a little more effort than placing a trade or making a small change that saves a fortune.  That’s why we figured Friday would be the best time to give you this powerful information.  So each weekend during your spare time you can start on some small steps to supplement your income.

To take you along this journey each week, I’ve enlisted the help of League of Power member Marc Charles.

Marc is referred to as “The King of Business Opportunities” ….and for good reason.

He should be known as “The King of Legitimate Business Opportunities”…because he’s launched, bought, sold, reviewed and advised on hundreds of businesses and money making opportunities. He understands legitimate opportunities.

Marc has agreed supply League of Power members with crucial updates regarding legitimate business and money making opportunities.

So without further ado here is Marc Charles with your first Weekend Business Blueprint.

Regards,

Mark Patricks

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A “Hidden” $220 Billion Industry

Generates More Money Per Square Foot Than Most Home Rentals, Apartment Buildings, Office Space, Strip Malls, Medical Office Space and Las Vegas Hotel Rooms!

Dear Entrepreneur:

A close friend of mine and entrepreneurial genius passed away last year. We were very close.

Phil S. was also a world class entrepreneur and a personal adviser.

Phil launched dozens of very profitable businesses.

But his claim to semi-fame came in the early 70’s when he almost single handedly developed a unique twist to the self-storage business model.

I’ll explain everything in a second.

But know this…

The business model he developed generates more money per square foot than home rentals, apartment buildings, office space, strip malls, medical office space and even Las Vegas hotel rooms!

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Self storage or “mini-storage” as it was known at the time started gaining momentum in the late 70’s. Experts claimed it peaked in early 2000.

But my friend’s twist on this concept is still producing money like a printing press today.

The essence of his approach is the “go to” real estate investment of super rich players like Wayne Hughes.

My friend’s concept was to place self-storage holdings within a real estate investment trust or REIT.

His strategy worked … and today self-storage REIT is a multi-billion dollar concept.

I’m going to give you a brief background into this business, and show you how to get profit on small scale (single location) or on a large scale (multiple self-storage locations and REIT).

The Self-Storage Phenomena

The mini-storage business started in Texas in the late 60’s.

But believe it or not – self-storage units were recorded in the UK more than 800 years ago!

Today, you’ll find thousands of self-storage buildings dotted along interstate highways throughout the U.S.

What’s more, there are self-storage properties in almost every town and village in North America.

Have you seen the commercials for Pods ?

Pods are portable self-storage units which are dropped off at the customer’s home or business.

A truck returns after it’s been filled and delivers it to a huge Pod warehouse.

Anyway, the average size of a self-storage facility today is 100 units.

In larger cities, facilities with 500+ units are pretty common.

Each self-storage rental unit varies in its dimensions.

But the most typical sizes are 5′ x 10′, 8′ x 10′, and 10′ x 10′.

You can rent a self-storage unit for as little as 30 days or as long as 5 years (or longer).

The average rent for a 10′ x 10′ storage unit in the U.S. is about $77 per month, according to Inside Self Storage magazine.

The rent in larger cities can be as high as $300 per month.

Late fees are also a nice source of revenue for this business too.

Late rent fees are usually anywhere from $5 to $25 per month.

Forfeiture and the auctioning of storage unit contents is another source of revenue too.

If you do a quick search for “self storage auction” on Google you’ll get an idea of the size of the industry.

The Development of Self Storage

In the 1970’s and 80’s, self-storage owners usually purchased back-lot properties which were hidden from view by other buildings and structures.

Today, large self-storage operators are buying prime frontage and Class A retail lots, and paying a premium for them.

Gary Monroe, for example, president of GMI, a California-based general contractor has developed dozens of self-storage projects in prime areas between San Diego and Northern Los Angeles County.

What’s more, entrepreneurs are converting existing structures (or abandoned buildings) into self-storage locations. This option is welcomed by most city governments where abandoned and foreclosed properties have become an eyesore.

Former big-box stores used to be the main draw for self-storage entrepreneurs, now out-of-business retail sites (such as car dealerships, shopping centers and warehouses) have become targets.

Major self-storage markets like Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orlando, Miami, New York, and Chicago have seen a substantial “shift” in market characteristics, according to the 2009 Self-Storage Almanac:

>   There’s been a notable change in the number of self-storage brokerages which manage the buying and selling of self-storage properties, businesses, and franchises.

>   There has been a reduction in rental rates. Mom-and-pop operators (less than 5 self-storage locations) have reported an increase in rent rates nationwide. Larger operations (with 10-40 locations) have reported a reduction in rent rates on the benchmark 10′ x 10′ units

>   There has been a growing rural and “exurb” demographic. The new exurb areas are typically within 3-4 hours (or more) from major metro areas.

>   Layoffs and corporate downsizing effects self-storage operations. Corporate business accounts for up to 30% of the revenue for self storage operators. However, smaller operators have reported an increase in traffic, rental rates and ancillary business.

There are many products and services which cater to the self-storage industry.

You’ll find self-storage consultancies, brokerages, REITs, and financing companies which specialize in this market.

On top of that, self-storage development seminars are selling out nationwide!

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Three Ways to Profit from a Self-Storage Business

1. Building a self-storage facility from the ground up.

This approach has some flaws – not the least of which is expertise, capital, location selection, as well as signage and marketing. But this is the preferred method of the largest operators because of the potential for significant cash flow and capital appreciation.

2. Acquire an established self-storage business.

There are hundreds of self-storage facilities for sale at any given point in time. When the economy is down you can find owners eager to negotiate pricing and extend terms. In most cases, small mom-and-pop operators are the most flexible. But large operations are available too.

How To Determine If an Existing Self Storage Business Could Be Successful . By asking two simple questions you can determine if a self-storage business is worth what they are asking and it has the potential to make money:

>    How many units does the self-storage facility have?

>    What is the current (actual) occupancy rate?

The owners can’t fudge the numbers regarding how many units there are…but they might try to “cook the books” regarding occupancy.

If you do your homework, you’ll know if a particular self-storage business could ever be profitable.

First, if a self-storage business has at least 100 units … and the occupancy is 40%-50% … AND there are more than 3-4 competitors in the Yellow Pages … this would be considered a “prime target” for self-storage insiders.

This is according to my friend Phil S. and his associate of 30 years Paul K.

Direct marketing is the key to boosting the occupancy to 95% (or more).

For example, if you market the business by offering to help people move from their home, business, or a competing self-storage facility and throw in two free months of rent in addition to offering a reduced monthly fee – you could fill up your self storage location in very short order.

You could also acquire a self-storage facility in a prime location – one where the traffic (and cash flow) is very strong.

But prime self storage locations are always pricey….so be prepared to spend.

Here are a few self-storage businesses for sale in prime areas around the country recently:

Loudon, NH – 27,200 sq ft, $1.2 million
San Clemente, CA – 22,760 sq ft, $3.1 million
Augusta, GA – 29,900 sq ft, $545k
Bow, NH – 16,900 sq ft, $450k
Las Vegas, NV – 74,800 sq ft, $3.2 million
Coos Bay, OR – 13,500 sq ft, $550k
Lubbock, TX – 54,445 sq ft, $1.1 million
S. Chicago Heights, IL – 49,600 sq ft, $1.2 million
Hickory, NC – 21,240 sq ft, $300k
Paris, TN – 7,800 sq ft, $225k
Prescott Valley, AZ – 40,300 sq ft, $2.1 million
Gainsville, GA – 14+ acres, $1 million
Ankeny, IA – 10 acres, $1.1 million
Kissimmee, FL – 35,200 sq ft, $2.4 million

3. Convert an abandoned building or structure.

There are rundown buildings in almost every city, town and village across the country which could be converted into a profitable self-storage operation.

In some cases, you can acquire old buildings for 10 cents on the dollar!

City officials often welcome this type of businesses because it’s “clean”, trouble free and they’re losing business due to the economy or depression or real estate fallout. There has also been a slow moving exodus to the suburbs and “exurbs”.

Here’s an example of what an entrepreneur (K.S) in Atlanta did recently:

He purchased an older, 3-story building in a rundown section of Atlanta for $350k (owner-financed), and converted it to a mini-warehouse consisting of 110 units.

The mini-warehouse is currently 86% full.

The monthly rent for a 10′ x 10′ unit is $100.

The math is simple: 93 units x $100 = $9,300 per month in revenue.

The mortgage payment is about $900. The site required a surveillance system, as well as a full-time (night and day) -manager.

But this is an example converting an older building into a profitable self-storage business.

Here’s another example…

An entrepreneur in North Chicago (L.M.) found an abandoned warehouse which was scheduled to be demolished.

L.M. was able to lease the building for $1,000 month.

She converted the space into a self-storage facility with 75 10′ x 10′ rental units.

Each unit rents for $200 per month. The facility is 95% full!

On top of that, L.M. converted the small upper section of the warehouse into a hip urban apartment. She lives there, rent-free, while her self-storage business generates more than $14, 000 per month.

By the way, you don’t have to limit yourself to older buildings in the center of town.

There’s a growing trend to convert empty barns and steel buildings in rural areas to self-storage facilities. You see this lot in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Upstate New York….as in other parts of the country.

Compare this revenue with what you could expect from a typical house rental.

Let’s compare revenue with the gal in North Chicago. She has 75 10′ x 10′ units, for a total of 7,500 square feet.

Her potential revenue (with 75 units rented at $200 per month) is $15,000 per month.

$15,000 divided by 7,500 gives her $2 per square foot.

Meanwhile, a typical 3-bedroom home with 2,500 square feet rents for about $1,500 per month.

$1,500 divided by 2,500 equals only 60 cents per square foot!

Can you see why self storage warehouses are so attractive?

Before you get into this business, here’s some of the “homework” my friend recommended you do:

1. Locate and identify every self-storage warehouse in your area or state.

2. Physically look at the locations – and take notes.

3. Talk to the managers of the facilities as if you were a customer looking to rent a unit.

4. Spend one hour per day getting up to speed on the industry. Most people won’t do this, but my friend did and that’s how he became an expert….and multi-millionaire.

5. Subscribe to the industry’s main trade publications (listed below).

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Do the math!

Self- and mini-storage is a great business opportunity!

The profit margins can be as high as 70%.

One attractive aspect is unlike other kinds of real estate investments there are no people in the units!

Therefore, there is no plumbing, heating, air-conditioning (with some exceptions), complaints, or other things which constantly need to be fixed.

There are other ways to profit from this industry too, including publicly traded self storage real estate investment trusts.

There are also investment partnerships which specialize in self storage facilities.

Regards,

Marc Charles

***Action Plan***

One of the best ways to learn about the self-storage market is to attend the largest trade show event of the year – Inside Self-Storage Expo. This year, the expo is in Las Vegas. Check it out.

It’s a good idea to subscribe self storage trade publications featured below.

Search the Web!  You can bring yourself up to speed quickly on this fascinating business opportunity by searching the web and devouring trade websites.

Talk to current self storage owners! The best way to do this is at trade conferences. But nothing is stopping you from talking to owners in your area.

Determine which approach works best for your situation: starting from scratch, buying an established location, converting an existing structure or barn, forming a self storage REIT, or by investing in a publicly traded self-storage REIT (Public Storage is one of the largest: symbol PSA.)

Additional Resources:

Self Storage Association

Mini Storage Messenger

Inside Self Storage

MiniCo Inc.

Metal Construction News

Inside Self Storage Buyers Guide

Extra Space Storage (franchises)

Mobile Storage Units

SmartBox (mobile self storage)

     
     
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