In 2013 the SSAA, in conjunction with David Blackwell and his team from Urbis, completed the SSAA Demand Study. The fourth edition of its kind it complies previously unavailable empirical evidence as to key drivers of customer demand for self storage use in Australia and New Zealand. Since its inception, the SSAA Demand Study has provided a wealth of useful information to self storage facility operators, investors, financial institutions and developers to assist their understanding of the levels of awareness, knowledge, preferences and satisfaction of both current and potential self storage customers.
The 2013 Demand Study represents responses from its largest survey sample size, with a 6.7% increase in respondents from the general population (3500) and a 22% increase in current users (1692), when compared to those that completed the 2010 Demand Study survey.
Key trends determined include:
– Declines in usage of self storage facilities by the general population (save for a positive trend in Auckland NZ) over the past three years following constrained demand during the post Global Financial Crisis economic slowdown in 2010. The prevalence of price-based competition among facilities in many regions also reinforces the importance of facility operators employing effective sales and marketing campaigns to build loyalty with and retain current customers.
– The internet maintaining its position as the dominant source for both current and potential users to gather information about a self storage facility. This underpins the importance of an interactive website as a central component of marketing activities. Indeed, the internet has now surpassed site visibility as the most common method of finding a facility for current users.
– Social media trends of potential users seeking friends’ opinions are also evident in this study, whereby 12.3% would defer to this information source (up from 3.5% in 2010) prior to making a purchase decision. Personal visitation also ranks highly, whereby 17.4% of users would undertake to view facilities pre-purchase (an increase from 5.3% in 2010). This trend reinforces the importance of facility cleanliness and well trained staff to secure a sale, when int he presence of a potential customer. Perhaps unsurprisingly, existing customers’ traditional methods of considering self storage options (telephone and Yellow Pages) continue to decline in relevance.
– Sales declines in the retail sector seem to be having a positive flow-on effect for the self storage industry. When considering the reason for self storage use by business customers 62.1% nominate a lack of space in their current business as their primary reason for use (up from 29.1% in 2010). It would appear that down scaling from larger warehouse facilities and minimising stock levels help make self storage a flexible and cost effective alternative.
These are a mere fraction of the multitude of the self storage industry trends detailed in the 2013 SSAA Demand Study. To learn more prior to making decisions on future strategic planning initiatives or development for your facility consider purchasing a copy of the Demand Study from the SSAA – +61 3 9466 9699 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A study of this magnitude would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors:
Kennards Self Storage and National Storage
Rent A Space
The expertise of David Blackwell and his team of consultants at Urbis is also critical to ensure that this document maintains its position as an authoritative information source detailing consumer sentiment in the self storage industry.