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Self storage industry continues to grow

May 04, 2017
90% of people have now heard of self storage, but only 30% understand it according to Mike Wilson of Smart Storage.

According to Mike Wilson, a member of the Self Storage Association Board (SSA) and CEO of Smart Storage, more people than ever are putting their possessions in self storage, 90% of the population knows about it but 70% of the population still do not know how the units operate.

The figures are from the 2016 annual survey conducted by the SSA. It claims that 30% of people surveyed understand that only they have access to their units. This includes the fact that self storage providers cannot enter the unit once they have handed over the keys.

Mike Wilson is keen to educate the population on what it means to rent a unit within a large facility. He said: “Even prior to this report being published, we saw a drastic increase in relation to reservations of our units over the past 12 months. This is down to people gaining a better understanding of our services but there's always more we can do to promote the benefits of the industry as a whole.”

The SSA’s annual report shows that throughout 2015 and 2016, the industry added another 1.9 million square feet of storage units through new business openings and significant expansion of existing spaces. Self storage units now cover around 37.6 million square feet of space in the UK.

Mike Wilson also attributes this success to the Internet, with the number of leads coming through the web doubling in the space of a year. "The Internet really is a powerful tool and should be used alongside your bricks and mortar to attract even more clients to your business,” he said.

The report says that the worldwide web has become the main driver of recognition in the self storage world this past year, with 11% of people attributing it as the reason they know about the service. It surpasses more traditional methods, such as outdoor advertising and word of mouth, which both are responsible for around 10% of people hearing about self storage.

Photo: Smart Storage’s Altrincham facility.

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