Generational Wealth Begins With Good Stewardship
As Self-Storage Investment Brokers, we daily discuss in great detail the value of self-storage owners’ and investors’ facilities in today’s market, along with their high expectations of the returns on their investments. According to The Green Street Commercial Property Price Index®, “The all-property index increased 24% in 2021 with robust price appreciation occurring in virtually every corner of the commercial real estate market. Self-storage was obviously an overachiever with a 66% increase in valuations.” One definition of stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care. This is the time of year when we reflect on the past 12 months and set goals for the next 12. Stewardship includes our assets – both money and property, talent – yours and others’- and time.
As valuations of our asset class have boomed, what have you done to continue to improve your site? Have you made the most of what you already have? Or do you have the participation trophy mindset and are sitting on the entitlement couch? Let’s talk about practical areas that may need attention: interior items to consider are consolidation of personal units, unrentable units that need springs and latches replaced, and paint touch ups. Take a walk around the exterior of your property with fresh eyes to pick up trash, straighten up bollards, refurbish the doors and revisit your curb appeal.
Regarding financials, are you still chasing the same delinquent people each month? It may be time to have a serious conversation with customers who can’t afford your facility. And what about expenses? Are you watching line items like it’s hard times or living relaxed and passive? Developing the habit of intently looking at each expense will be reflected in your valuations.
On to employees: our greatest asset. Instead of training them, then leaving them to keep the status quo, how are you instrumental in developing their talents to take them to the next level of excellence? When your employees are encouraged to take ownership, it will be reflected in your bottom line as the quality of work increases and turnover decreases. How are you stewarding the talent of each employee you are entrusted with to help them to fulfill their potential?
And finally, as leaders of the community, how are you pouring back into the world around you? Can the local schools and non-profit organizations count on your support? Do you volunteer your time to speak and serve? Do they see you as someone who is interested and invested in the local environment in which they live and work?
It is a great time to be in the storage business, but it is never a good time to be complacent. Good stewardship involves having a positive impact on each other in our daily walk. Life is more than real estate and valuations. Let’s be intentional about leaving people better than we found them.
Sauls Storage Group is here to help. We take our responsibility to help you invest all your assets seriously and are committed to growing by serving. You are more than a transaction to us – you are a relationship.