Self-storage properties are essentially a steel buildings with a concrete floor - very inexpensive to create yet rents range from 8.50 to 15.00 per ft. Storage needs very few capital improvements (if built right), there are no commissions for leasing a unit, and no tenant improvements. What cap-ex are needed are predictable and scheduled (paving, paining, new roofs, etc.)
We encourage tenants to have rent payments always set up on auto-credit card pay then slightly raising rents each year. (no one likes moving their stuff around)
People just keep buying things. As online retailing and payment methods continue to becomes more efficient for consumers to buy things, people end up with the problem of where to put it all. People like the idea of downsizing to save on the cost to buy or rent a home yet most people don't like throwing things away.
Essentially there are 5 expenses - Taxes, Insurance, Management, Maintenance, a Power Bill, and Admin. An income to expense ration of 20% to 30%... That's it!
The average tenant goes to his/her storage unit 2-4 times per year and the majority pay by ACH or credit card. This creates very little work for the onsite manager once the facility is stabilized.