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In this podcast episode, Dave Debeau sits down with Kris Benson, an experienced figure in the self-storage industry. Kris Benson provides an insightful look into how COVID has impacted the self-storage industry-19 and shares valuable lessons for those interested in the sector.
Kris Benson is a prominent figure in the self-storage sector. He is known for his strategic mind and innovative approach to solving problems in the business space, especially when it involves the storage industry. His myriad experiences give him a unique and knowledgeable perspective, which is invaluable for our discussion today.
Dave Debeau, the podcast host, is a business enthusiast who enjoys delving into various business industries and learning from industry experts. Over the years, Dave has hosted numerous industry leaders on his show, accumulating insights, experiences, and knowledge he passionately shares with his audience.
This episode promises to be a didactic session, engaging with the upsides and downsides of the self-storage industry, as discussed by Kris Benson. Expect a revelation of the industry’s navigational strategies amidst the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the problems encountered, and possible solutions. Stay tuned as we unravel the intricacies of the self-storage industry in this enlightening conversation with Kris Benson.
But first, if you want financing for your next investment and want to know what type of collateral may be involved, click the link below for a free strategy call with our mortgage team at LendCity to discuss your specific situation.
Understanding Self-Storage: What is it and why is it important?
As host Dave Debeau and guest Kris Benson discussed, self-storage is a service provided by businesses that offer spaces, such as rooms, lockers, containers, and outdoor spaces for rent. Individuals, families, or businesses use these rented spaces to store their belongings over short-term or long-term periods.
Why important? Self-storage facilities provide extra storage space for items that cannot fit in our homes or offices. These spaces are immensely convenient in moving, downsizing, or decluttering circumstances. But more than that, businesses provide an economical solution to store inventory, machinery, or archives.
Another vital aspect of self-storage is security. Kris underscored that self-storage facilities take exhaustive measures to ensure the safety of their customer’s belongings. These measures often include 24/7 surveillance, coded entry gates, individual locks, and strong perimeter fencing. Hence, customers can rest assured that the goods they store are safe.
The Growth of the Self-Storage Industry
The conversation in the podcast takes a turn as Dave Debeau probes further into the growth of the self-storage industry and its dynamics with guest Kris Benson. As industry insiders, they drill down into the details.
According to Kris, the self-storage industry has been on a consistent growth trajectory for several reasons. He attributes this to two main reasons. Firstly, increasing consumerism has led to people acquiring more possessions than they can store in their homes. Secondly, life events such as relocation, downsizing, or losing a loved one often create a temporary need for extra storage.
Kris highlights that it has been a sector overlooked mainly by investors until recently. However, the industry’s resilience, low operational cost, and steady demand have garnered more attention.
- Increasing Investment: With real estate being a crowded investment space, the self-storage industry provides a new frontier for investors looking for stable, long-term returns.
- The trend towards Urbanization: There has been a trend towards building self-storage units in urban areas, tapping into the needs of city dwellers coping with smaller living spaces.
Despite the industry’s steady growth, Kris points out challenges. Primary among these is the expense and difficulty of executing new development ventures. There’s also the question of sustainability. It’s debated whether the growing consumer trend of minimalism will curb the need for self-storage in the future.
However, Kris is optimistic. “As long as people continue to own items that supersede their storage capabilities at home, the self-storage industry will always find relevance,” he says.
As Dave and Kris discuss, the growth of the self-storage industry isn’t just about providing a place for excess belongings. It’s about meeting a genuine need during different life stages, whether a student moving away for college who needs temporary storage or a family downsizing their home. The self-storage industry’s value extends beyond simple storage—it’s about providing a solution that supports people’s life transitions.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Self-Storage: An Overview
Host Dave Debeau guest Kris Benson to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the self-storage industry. As an expert in the field, Kris shared invaluable insights about the challenges and how the self-storage industry is adjusting to the new normal.
In the initial stages of the pandemic, self-storage saw a significant drop in demand. Fear and uncertainty surrounded the future, causing potential customers to postpone decisions about renting storage space. Kris Benson reported that many facilities experienced drop-offs in March and April 2020 as lockdowns were implemented worldwide.
However, a surprising phenomenon occurred as time progressed and people started adjusting to life in the pandemic. The demand for self-storage began to increase. Beginning in the summer of 2020, facilities started seeing an uptick in demand. Benson described this as a “silver lining” amid a difficult situation.
There were several reasons for this unexpected rise. The pandemic-driven shift towards remote work, homeschooling, and other stay-at-home activities led to a need for more home space. This, in turn, increased the demand for self-storage as people looked for places to store items cluttering their homes.
Benson also noted that many people undergoing life-changing situations such as divorce, downsizing, or relocating for work also turned to self-storage facilities. He pointed out, “Every crisis presents its own set of opportunities, and it’s all about how businesses adapt to these changes.”
Debeau and Benson agreed that the self-storage industry had shown resilience during the pandemic and took the challenges in stride. Businesses are looking forward and prepared to adapt to the future.
How Has the Pandemic Affected Self-Storage Facilities?
When the global pandemic started to impact economies and businesses began shutting down or adapting to new operational procedures, self-storage facilities faced unique challenges. Kris Benson, an experienced figure in the industry, provides us with detailed insight on this matter.
At the onset of the pandemic, Kris Benson said, “Many began questioning the resilience of self-storage facilities and their ability to sustain operations.” Social distancing regulations, stay-at-home orders, and overall fear of contagion significantly affected customer behaviour, which had a ripple effect on the facility’s operations.
Kris Benson clarifies, “Although our facilities remained operational since they were considered essential services, we noticed a sharp decline in foot traffic and new rentals at the beginning of the pandemic.”
The pandemic instigated various concerns among customers about their stored items. Kris Benson confirms that some customers were worried about the safety of their belongings, being unable to hem due to the government-wide lockdowns regularly. Financial instability was a concern for others, given the economic downturn and its direct impact on personal incomes.
From an operational perspective, many facilities had to adapt to the new normal hastily. This quick shift included implementing stringent sanitation procedures, scheduling staff shifts to minimize overlap, contactless methods of customer interaction, and effective methods for managing late payment issues.
Benson confirms, “It was a challenge but a necessary adaptation. We also focused on clear communication with our customers about our changes.”
In the face of the pandemic, as with many industries, self-storage facilities had to change their modus operandi to survive rapidly. Kris Benson’s insights paint a clear picture of the difficulties and eventual adaptation and perseverance that carried them through those testing times.
Challenges Faced by Self-Storage Owners during COVID-19
In the enlightening conversation between host Dave Debeau and special guest Kris Benson, they delve into the challenges presented to self-storage owners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kris Benson brings his wealth of knowledge and experience in this field to help paint a clear picture of the obstacles, offering thoughtful insights and guidance.
Keeping Operations Running During Lockdowns
The primary challenge faced by self-storage operators was the imposition of lockdowns. They had to figure out ways of keeping their facilities operational while ensuring the safety of both employees and customers. Social distancing protocols and other safety precautions made it challenging to maintain regular service levels.
Maintaining Revenue Streams
Another significant strain for self-storage owners was the potential loss of revenue. With fewer people moving or needing additional storage and many existing customers facing financial struggles due to the pandemic, owners had to find innovative ways to stimulate business and support their customers in these difficult times.
The Shift to Digital
“One of the main challenges,” Benson explains, “was the shift to digital.” The pandemic has accelerated the need for digital transformation in the self-storage industry. Digitally signing agreements and other documents, online payments, virtual customer tours, and automated access systems became convenient and necessary. However, for many facility owners, these quick pivots to technology posed a considerable challenge.
Dealing with Uncertainty
Managing the uncertainty that COVID-19 brought into the industry proves to be a constant challenge. “This was uncharted territory for everyone,” Dave comments. Being able to adapt and navigate through the changing landscape is critical.
Through their conversation, Dave Debeau and Kris Benson not only illuminate the problems faced by self-storage owners during an unprecedented global event but also shed light on potential solutions and strategies for dealing with these challenges.
How Self-Storage Facilities Are Supporting Customers during the Pandemic
In this episode, Kris Benson and Dave Debeau delve deeper into how self-storage facilities are stepping up to support their customers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This support comes in various forms and has been crucial in helping customers navigate this challenging time.
One of the primary ways self-storage facilities have been offering support is by providing flexible payment methods. “We understand that many have lost jobs or experienced salary cuts,” says Kris, “so we’re offering options like installment plans or deferred payments. The aim is to alleviate financial stress without fearing losing stored items.”
Safety is a paramount concern. Kris Benson points out how his company has amplified its safety measures. “We are regularly sanitizing our facilities, limiting the number of people inside at any given time, and enforcing mask-wearing and social distancing,” Kris explains.
With social distancing becoming the new normal, Benson’s self-storage facilities have moved certain services online. “Customers can now reserve and pay for storage units through our website. Moreover, to facilitate smooth shifting, we offer virtual tours of the facility,” he notes.
Despite the pandemic, the need for effective and responsive customer service has remained unchanged. “Our staff has been trained to handle these new scenarios and assuage fears. Whether addressing concerns or providing information, we’re still here for our customers,” emphasizes Benson.
Throughout the conversation, Dave Debeau and Kris Benson underscore the inherent adaptability of the self-storage industry during these unexpected circumstances. Due to businesses like Kris’, customers can continue utilizing these services with minimal disruption during the pandemic.
Conclusion: Reflecting on the Impact of COVID-19 on Self-Storage with Kris Benson
In his conversation with Dave Debeau, Kris Benson highlighted the realities that self-storage facilities have needed to navigate due to the worldwide pandemic. COVID-19 has ushered in a host of novel challenges and opportunities alike.
“There’s no question this has been a year like no other in the self-storage industry. We’ve seen some remarkable resilience, but also faced our share of obstacles.” – Kris Benson
Confronted with unprecedented circumstances, the self-storage sector had to become increasingly adaptable. Benson emphasized that those who found success were those who pivoted quickly. They adapted their operations to accommodate social distancing measures and increased online engagements.
- Virtual Interactions: Those facilities that have made online transactions possible through bookings or payments have seen a positive return.
- Safety Protocols: Implementing stringent health and sanitation protocols engendered customer trust.
Despite the adversities, Benson held an optimistic outlook toward the future and mentioned the industry’s resilience throughout the conversation.
“In the midst of adversity, we’ve seen self-storage prove its resilience yet again. We are bullish about the industry’s future and believe the lessons learned in the past year will continue to steer us in the right direction.” – Kris Benson
Benson conceded that while the pandemic has undoubtedly shaped the self-storage industry significantly, it illuminated the sector’s robustness and adaptability.
To wrap up, it’s safe to say that Kris Benson’s insightful analysis gave an in-depth perspective into the self-storage industry’s pandemic experience. COVID-19 presented various challenges, but those willing to adapt and innovate paved their path to success.
If you are ready to start investing today and want more information about how your mortgage may be secured – or are looking to apply for a mortgage today – click the link below for a free strategy call with our mortgage team at LendCity today.