As a self-storage facility owner, you need to maintain your property to keep your tenants happy. Profitable self-storage renovations can increase your property value and make it easier to sell your facility when the time comes. Know which renovations will give you the greatest return on investment (ROI) to make the most of your time and money.
Follow these maintenance and renovation tips for self-storage facilities to meet your current clients’ needs and attract potential buyers.
The Importance of Self-Storage Facility Upkeep
Learning how to maintain your storage facility is vital for customer satisfaction, increasing resale value and improving property value. It helps to follow a maintenance schedule to know what you need to do each day, week and month. Consider adding the following self-storage upkeep items to your to-do list:
- Wash and lubricate doors: Inspect all your entry and vacant storage unit doors for debris, dents and cracks. Apply lubricant to the door to make sure it works properly. If you have roll-up doors in your facility, use a power washer to clean the surface and apply lubricant to the rollers. If you don’t have roll-up doors, lubricate the axles, springs and door tracks.
- Clean vacant units: After a renter moves out their items, get rid of grease, debris and dust with a broom, vacuum or mop. You may also want to wipe down the corners and walls to remove cobwebs. It’s best to provide a clean vacant unit for the next person who rents the space.
- Test security gates and fences: You need efficient security fences and gates to keep your facility free from intruders. Test your gate codes to make sure they work and check the fence for damage. It also helps to lubricate any metal parts, such as the gears and chains, to make sure they move smoothly.
- Deal with present and future pests: It’s challenging to control all the bugs, rodents and birds that could enter your property. You’ll want to spray pesticides around and inside your storage units, as well as around the office, to keep up your facility’s appearance.
- Spruce up the outside of your facility: Keep your landscaping looking pristine to attract potential buyers. Control weeds with herbicides or by pulling them out by hand. Mow your lawn and keep sidewalks, entryways and parking areas clear of debris. Planting bushes and flowers around entrances can also create an excellent first impression for guests and potential buyers.
- Get your roof inspected: Check your roof at least once a month for weather damage and other debris. Cleaning off your roof prevents unnecessary weight and protects your warranty. It’s also helpful to unclog your downspouts to move water away from your property during a storm.
Tips for Following a Self-Storage Facility Maintenance Checklist
Running a self-storage facility involves navigating a lot of tasks throughout the day. It’s easy to forget to keep up your property, but you can implement a standard maintenance routine for your self-storage facility to make it more convenient. Follow these tips for maintaining your self-storage facility:
- Make a clear to-do list: It’s helpful to know what you need to do before creating a routine. Start your list with the items that require the most attention for your facility. Be as specific as possible as you evaluate what you and your team need to do. Figure out how often you need to do each item to know where to put them on your schedule.
- Group-related maintenance items: Save time and energy by taking care of similar items at once. For example, you can organize your whole security system first, then clean all your doors.
- Delegate tasks to local vendors: Instead of doing everything yourself or putting extra work on your maintenance staff, you can outsource some tasks. Call a pest control specialist to deal with the potential bugs or rodents in your facility. Hire a landscaping company to mow the lawn and pull out weeds. You should still put these items on your schedule to know when to expect these professionals to arrive, but delegating frees up time for you to focus on other tasks.
- Establish a schedule: After you’ve figured out what items to do and what to delegate, you can set up a routine that fits your workflow. You can use a calendar or checklist online and give access to your maintenance staff and team members. Make a schedule for monthly, weekly and daily self-storage facility maintenance.
- Be diligent: After making a schedule, you’ll need to stick with it. Using online calendars and checklists, you can help your staff remember when they need to complete their to-do list items. Define what they need to do and incorporate it into their everyday workflow to help them maintain their cleaning tasks.
How Can Regular Self-Storage Facility Upkeep and Maintenance Improve Resale Value?
Caring for your self-storage facility can increase its resale value, especially if you plan on selling your property down the line. Explore some of the reasons why you should invest in lucrative self-storage renovations and maintenance:
- Meet the needs of your tenants to increase occupancy: Renters are looking for accessible, clean facilities to store their valuables. You can make your property more convenient to use by clearing the debris from your hallways, entryways and driveways. Clean up your facility by dealing with pests and sweeping the floors. When you meet your tenants’ needs, you can hold onto them for longer and increase occupancy. They’ll also be more likely to refer you to their friends and family.
- Make your facility more secure: Thieves and intruders can find the weak parts of your facility to access everyone’s valuables. Updating your security system and replacing broken doors or locks can make your facility more secure. A secure facility protects your investment and is more appealing to potential tenants and buyers.
- Protect your investment: Your facility’s locks, doors and building materials should last a long time. By inspecting and maintaining these parts of your property, you can prevent future replacements. Potential buyers of your property appreciate the work you put into your investment because it’ll be less work they have to do.
What Self-Storage Facility Renovations Improve Property Value?
If you want to improve your property value by redesigning your self-storage facility, it’s best to hire contractors who understand your industry. If you invest in professionals who can do the job correctly the first time, you’ll save money in the long run — and your renovations will last much longer. It’s also helpful to let your tenants know when you’ll be scheduling the renovations so they can prepare themselves.
Follow these tips for renovating your self-storage business.
1. Upgrade Your Security System
You can give your current tenants and potential buyers peace of mind by retrofitting new security features to your existing gates, doors, and fences. Instead of having a simple padlock on a roll-up door, which invites intruders to break into your facility, consider upgrading to more modern technology.
A brand-new access-control system manages entry points, protects your tenants’ valuables, and keeps your business secure during all hours of the day. If you have several staff members, you may want to use internet-enabled devices to ensure everyone knows what’s happening at your facility at all times. Inspect your cameras, locks, and security gates and replace worn-out or broken parts as needed.
2. Replace Your Roof
Your facility’s roof enhances its curb appeal and keeps pests and harsh weather conditions outside. You’ll know you need to replace your roof when you notice stains on the walls or worn-out insulation. Check your gutters and downspouts for clogs that may have allowed water to collect on the building.
Even if your roof doesn’t have water damage, you can replace it with an updated material to attract buyers and tenants. Choose durable, aesthetically pleasing roofing to bring people into your facility from the street.
3. Update Your Driveway and Parking Lot
Over time, your parking lot may have developed some potholes that make it difficult for your customers and potential buyers to drive. Consult an asphalt paving professional to fill in the potholes and create a smooth surface for your facility. You’ll need to seal your facility’s pavement every few years to prevent cracks and keep it looking brand new. You may even want to consider covered parking to protect your tenants’ vehicles from the elements.
You can also think about charging for parking, giving you another way to make passive income.
4. Install New Lighting
The lighting surrounding your facility gives your property more than enhanced aesthetic appeal. When you put lighting fixtures in the right spot, they can make your building’s exterior and walkways more secure. Consider standalone solar-powered lights to reduce energy expenditure while providing reliable lighting throughout your whole property. Adding lighting to your facility can make it inviting at night.
You may also want to update the lighting inside your facility. Have replacement bulbs on hand if they burn out, so you can replace them as soon as possible. Check that every part of your facility is bright and welcoming so people accessing their storage units can walk around easily. Consider installing LED lightbulbs inside to enhance energy efficiency.
5. Get a New Fence
Besides creating a barrier around your property, a new fence is also one of the first impressions potential buyers and tenants get from your facility. If the fence is dirty or rusted beyond repair, you should consider replacing it instead of adding a fresh coat of paint to it. You may want to get a new fence to ensure you don’t cover hidden damage, especially if you don’t know how old it is.
Once you install your new fence, you can keep it in excellent condition by keeping shrubbery, vines and tree branches away from it. This vegetation could allow water to penetrate your brick or stone fence, causing severe issues in the future. Practicing continuous maintenance will help your investment last as long as possible.
6. Repair Your Elevator
You may neglect to maintain your elevator or lift until it stops working. Check your elevator often for tripped circuit breakers and blown fuses, then call the manufacturer for further assistance. A professional can replace worn-out, obsolete parts to get your elevator working again. Make sure you follow OSHA safety guidelines when you’re retrofitting an elevator to your older building.
You may also want to install a lift instead of an elevator for convenience and money-saving purposes. Instead of transporting people and their valuables, lifts only transport valuables. These systems are more affordable and easier to maintain.
How Often Should You Renovate Your Self-Storage Facility?
The perfect time to update your property depends on your short-term and long-term business goals. This way, you can make the best financial decisions. It’s best to renovate your self-storage facility under the following conditions:
- After purchasing an old property: Renovating an outdated self-storage facility allows you to add features so you can attract more tenants and possibly charge more for rent. Even if you’ve been in the business for a long time, the industry has changed tremendously over the last few decades. Consider which upgrades would be the most attractive to your clients.
- If you want to get the highest possible rent: No matter what type of renovation you’d like to do to your business, you’ll want to make sure you get the most money out of the deal. You may make some changes that allow you to reduce your need for employees. Investing in modern appliances and features enables you to charge more for rent. It’s also helpful to consider your long-term business plan to know if putting in the money you have now will get you more money in the future.
- When you want to stand out among the competition: Think about what makes your facility different from the one down the street. The self-storage industry features brand-new technology that changes by the minute. You’ll need to stay up to date on the latest trends so you can stand out. If you have other self-storage facilities in your area, you’ll have to make sure yours is better than theirs so your property value will be higher. You can have loyal, reliable customers for years if you renovate to meet their needs.
- To get a positive ROI: You should only renovate your property to get a high ROI. The money you put into each upgrade should yield a profit in some way. When thinking about upgrading your facility, consider whether the renovation will bring in more tenants and allow you to charge a higher rental price.
- To make your facility more accessible: Think about which amenities you’d like to add to your self-storage facility to help lower operating costs and produce a higher ROI. By making some technology upgrades, you may need to hire fewer staff members due to automation.
Contact Our Team of Self-Storage Facility Experts at Investment Real Estate, LLC
Investment Real Estate, LLC has 75 combined years of experience in self-storage facility management. We can advise how to improve performance and prepare to sell your facility in the future. You can also use our free self-storage property valuation services to determine how much your property is currently worth. Reach out to us or call 717-779-0804 to get started.