Using Demographic Data to Understand Your Self-Storage Facilities Target Market

Demographics New Storage ProjectsWhether you’re a seasoned veteran or new to the self-storage business, it is key that you learn how to identify and understand your target market using demographics as a tool. The correct use of this date is vital to your facility’s success. As with any real estate business or investment, location is of the utmost importance for a self-storage facility. It’s critical to understand your market, particularly if competitors are closing in.

Demographics are the statistical data of a population within a defined geographic area. This usually includes population, age of the population, race, housing types, income levels, education levels and more. Knowing these details about your market will help you to make decisions about how to attract and service customers.

Demographics for New Projects

Sometimes you find a tract of land that looks good for self-storage. You may have driven around the area and become familiar with all the competitors, watched the traffic flow by the site, feel the price is right, and think local government officials will approve your development plan. When you look at the demographics reports for the area, you may find the region has a very low-density population and a very low-income level per person and household. However, you also may discover the majority of local residents rents their homes, and most of those live in multi-family units such as apartments or mobile-home parks. By doing some shopping, you find out the competitors are all full in their smaller unit sizes, and they’re all comparable in price. Second, you learn there’s sometimes a waiting list for certain unit sizes.

This information would tell me that in spite of the low density, a lot of this population appears to need storage, since the housing units are small, and they’re probably already using storage on a regular basis. The fact that unit prices are all on par indicates that price is important to this market, but there may be an opportunity to get slightly higher rents. The data also indicates that you probably shouldn’t build a “Cadillac” storage center when a mid-priced Chevrolet might work.

This information is, of course, just the beginning of what you would need to decide about whether to build, but it demonstrates how knowing market demographics can be extremely useful.

Demographics for Existing Projects

If you already operate a self-storage facility, and you’re noticing some drops in occupancy, using demographics reports can help you find out information such as:

  • The average age of the local population is 35 years old.
  • The average income level per household is $56,000.
  • The majority of your population is Hispanic (75 percent).
  • The average education level per person is two to four years of higher education.
  • The majority of your market is single-family homes in the $125,000 to $150,000 range.

Demographics Existing Storage ProjectsThis presents a couple of interesting possibilities. For example, should you create any of your marketing materials in Spanish? What about putting some marketing materials together that show how freeing up room in the garage or carport makes for a less cluttered home and allows the homeowner to enjoy his space? You can even demonstrate how the average household should have some disposable income, since each home is well within the average income level for the area.

Using this data, you could also tell you that your market population is somewhat sophisticated and, thus, more prone to have a mobile device or computer. Now your method of advertising delivery can be varied and less costly.

Other Uses

These are just a couple of ways demographic information can be helpful. This information can also be used to determine unit pricing. If you find your area has a higher than average per-capita income level, it would be safe to assume your pricing could be a little higher. Conversely, if you’re having a hard time renting at your asking rates, you might want to look at the income levels in your market and make the appropriate adjustments.

Once you’ve identified your market using demographic data, it can be a useful tool in managing your marketing campaigns, determining which advertising sources to use, adjusting rental rates, predicting the unit types most likely to rent, etc. By knowing your market income levels, housing types, educational levels and more, will make your facility more productive and efficient. The use of demographic data is key to having a successful self-storage facility, whether it’s new to the market or well-established.

When you are ready to build or modify your self-storage facility, the team at Forge Building Company can help you achieve your goals. Give us a call to discuss your project.

To view our some of our recent project, see https://forgebuildings.com/project-gallery/completed-projects/

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