Self Storage in Europe – how do you compare against it?

Rising rent levels, more digital tools & a positive outlook – self storage in Europe in 2021

european self storage market 2021

Where does your self storage stand in comparison to your European and national competition? Let’s have a look at the results from the FEDESSA European Self Storage Annual Survey 2021.

Facility Benchmarks

Rents

Rent is the primary source of income for self storage, so understanding where one is in relation to the competition is vital to maximising profits. Rent levels for self storage vary across Europe to no surprise: The weighted average rent per square meter per annum in Europe lies at 268.74 EUR. This is an all-time high recorded by the survey. In comparison, the weighted average annual rent last year was 7.4% lower at 250.21 EUR. Initially, rents dipped due to the pandemic, but even at the height of the lockdowns, never by more than 3%. This once again supports the observation that self storage is an attractive and very disaster-proof investment. Italy, Portugal, and the Netherlands recorded the highest rent growths.


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The distribution of rent levels across Europe is not surprising. Switzerland and the United Kingdom lead the lot. At the same time, countries with little space scarcity and lower overall rent like Poland and the Czech Republic have the cheapest self storage rental rate per square meter on the continent.

Equipment & Facilities

A few interesting trends emerge when looking at the equipment and services that self storage operators provide for their customers. Across the range, CCTV equipment is present in almost 100% of facilities. Similarly, fire detection alarms, customers’ goods insurance, and fixed electronic access control are widespread. In other words, providing these services is industry standard at this point.

To differentiate yourself from the competition and offer something unique to the customers, you will have to go further. Individual unit alarms and sprinkler systems are declining in popularity, with fewer and fewer operators offering them. This is partly because fire detection alarms are growing. 24-hour access is also falling, however, with a caveat:

More and more facilities started to offer mobile-based access systems. In other words, smart locks with Bluetooth, WiFi, or NFC unlocking mechanisms. At the same time, operators are becoming selective about their 24-hour access service. Rather than offering this as a standard feature, it is a premium service for business customers or those willing to pay for it.

In addition, several operators offer facilities and amenities to cater to their business customers - for example, meeting rooms, courier services, WiFi access, and mailboxes.

Digital Presence

The marketing landscape of self storage is also transforming, and traditional advertising methods – directories, signs, and referrals are consistently falling. The vast majority of inquiries come from the company website. A professional digital appearance is more important than ever. Greater online functionality and sophisticated platforms were rising, but the pandemic gave the technology a big boost.

Price transparency is also on the rise. 82% of operators provide pricing information on their website. In most self storage markets, all operators show prices on their websites, with only a few upcoming markets pulling down the average. Similarly, users can reserve units on the website at an overwhelming majority of operators across Europe.

Some operators encourage customers to call or visit the facility for an in-person tour. But many are embracing novel technologies and have size calculators or virtual tours. Other popular solutions are customer service tools, like live chats or AI-powered chatbots. Because of the pandemic, all customer groups are becoming more comfortable with online tools, especially older age groups.

When it comes to booking and paying for units online or completing the contract, the picture is more divided. The mature markets have a high rate of adoption of the technology. By newer markets lag behind. It is also worth noting that operators in Poland, Portugal Italy, and Spain overall have significantly lower adoption rates of any of the technologies – less than 20%.

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The Outlook

Last year operators considered the pandemic as the biggest threat to their business. But in 2021, the situation is different. Only 13% consider corona a significant threat to the company. In its place come oversupply, rising land costs, and planning permission difficulties in 2nd and 3rd place respectively. But overall, operators have a positive outlook on the future of self storage. 86% of self storage operators expect increased profitability and occupancy in the next 12 months.

The industry did very well in the pandemic, and the future looks optimistic. But change is on the horizon. With this information, how is your self storage performing compared to your competition? Managing self storage does not have to be complicated. With Storeganise, you can bring the newest trends to your customers today. Book a demo and find out.

Related Article: The state of the European self storage industry in 2021

Frequently asked questions

many self storaHow ge facilities are there in Europe?

There are over 4,350 self storage facilities in Europe. About 102.4 million square feet of storage space is provided by these facilities. So you have many alternatives if you’re looking for a self storage facility in Europe. These facilities can give you more room and aid in securing your items.

How do you evaluate a self storage market?

To evaluate a self storage market, consider factors such as location, competition, demand, and demographics. Assess the population density and growth in the area to gauge the potential customer base. Analyse the competition by examining the number of existing storage facilities and their occupancy rates. Understand the local demand for storage solutions, considering factors like housing trends, business growth, and lifestyle needs.

Why is self storage so popular in Europe?

Self storage has become popular in Europe due to several reasons. Firstly, space constraints in urban areas make it difficult for people to store their belongings at home. Self storage provides a convenient solution for extra space. Secondly, the increasing trend of downsizing and minimalistic living encourages people to keep only essential items while storing the rest. Lastly, businesses utilise self storage to store inventory or equipment, saving costs on larger commercial spaces.

What are the different sizes of self storage in Europe?

In Europe, self storage units come in different sizes to accommodate various storage needs. Small units, such as storage lockers or units measuring 5x5 or 5x10, are suitable for storing a few boxes or small furniture items. Medium-sized units like 5x15, 10x10, and 10x15 offer more space for furniture, appliances, or inventory. Large units, including 10x20, 10x25, and 10x30, can hold the contents of a larger home or serve as a commercial storage solution.

How secure are self storage facilities?

Self storage facilities place a high priority on security. They use security measures, including access control systems, CCTV surveillance, well-lit facilities, and sometimes on-site employees. The level of protection might differ amongst facilities, so it’s best to pick one that satisfies your unique security needs.