Self-Storage - The Popular Solution

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

If your home or office is bursting at the seams, with every nook and cranny filled with years of accumulated goods, look no further than your local self-storage facility. Due to increasing demand, self-storage facilities are moving in closer to suburban and residential areas. Gone are the days of little choice other than driving out to airports and isolated industrial parks to trail that new boat, luxury vehicle or sports equipment, often only used during long weekends and holidays.

Growing demand for quality, easily accessible, secure, and cost effective self-storage is seen across the world for a variety of reasons. Shortages of space in densely populated areas and cities in particular, are resulting both from urbanisation and changing housing trends. Another contributing factor is the inevitable downscaling of residential accommodation resulting from the economic crunch. As elsewhere in the world, much of the self-storage industry’s wellbeing originates from wealthy individuals whose extra disposable income reflects their need for storing luxury items. The same families also become self-storage customers when moving out of permanent homes to facilitate renovations that typically span over months, and in some cases a year or more.

The innovative concept of self-storage developed as a result of different reasons for households and businesses requiring storage space other than inside residential properties, offices, factories, shops and building sites. In many cases, removal companies - usually the promoters of a one- stop shop, were the first to provide household storage, such as Biddulphs International that now has a separate self-storage division. Reason being that a customer gained is a foot in the door of relocating families and businesses that require storage facilities during transition periods between properties.

Many independent operators saw opportunities during tough economic times and shaky property cycles, who instead of struggling to fill vacant properties with long term leases decided to convert premises to benefit from a mixed tenant base and short term leases. And in the case of large professional self-storage providers, such as SA market leader Stor-age, who follow self-storage trends globally, invests in purpose built facilities to provide first generation, hi-tech solutions, within close vicinity of residential and business areas. What can be expected at their newly developed premises include secure drive-in facilities, two ton lifts, easy access to storage areas and even the free use of vehicles.

So common is self-storage in the US that one in ten families buy into this brilliant solution on a continuing basis, with some American states boasting their own self-storage associations. One of the many reasons for this service gaining domestic popularity say operators, is that it offers flexibility in terms of storage periods, where anything from a month to a year or more is perfectly in order, providing monthly payments usually in debit order form, are honoured. In addition is flexibility in size, height, location, out and indoor, as well as payment and insurance solutions to suits individual budgets.

A variety of choices in storage solutions await customers with different needs, budgets and travelling distances. These can vary from rows of traditional shipping containers in the outdoors that have been converted into secure environments for safe, dry and practical purposes. Other services offer undercover space in large buildings with anything from shared storage to post boxes for postage collection.

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