When it comes to self storage, many people assume it is only used by those who are in the process of moving or renovating their homes. However, self storage facilities are used by a wide variety of people for many different reasons. In this article, we will explore the demographics of self storage customers to help you better understand who uses self storage and why.
Self Storage Customer Demographics: Who Uses Self Storage?
Age and Gender
Self storage is used by people of all ages and genders. While many assume that younger people are the primary users of self storage, this is not entirely true. In fact, a survey conducted by the Self Storage Association found that the majority of self storage customers are between the ages of 35 and 64, with the median age being 55. This age group accounts for over 50% of all self storage customers.
In terms of gender, self storage use is fairly evenly split between men and women. The same survey found that 54% of self storage customers are women, while 46% are men.
Income and Education
Another common misconception about self storage is that it is primarily used by those with lower incomes and education levels. However, this is not the case. In fact, the same survey conducted by the Self Storage Association found that the majority of self storage customers have a household income of $50,000 or more per year. Additionally, 87% of self storage customers have at least a high school education, and 54% have at least some college education.
Reasons for Using Self Storage
While moving and home renovation are common reasons for using self storage, there are many other reasons why people choose to rent a storage unit. Some of the most common reasons for using self storage include:
- Downsizing: As people age, they may choose to downsize their homes and move into smaller spaces. Self storage allows them to keep their possessions without cluttering their new home.
- Business storage: Small business owners may use self storage to store inventory, equipment, or documents.
- Travel: People who travel frequently may use self storage to store their possessions while they are away.
- Hobbies: Some people use self storage to store items related to their hobbies, such as sports equipment or musical instruments.
- Seasonal storage: People may use self storage to store seasonal items such as holiday decorations, summer/winter clothes, or outdoor furniture.
Location and Type of Facility
The location and type of self storage facility can also have an impact on who uses it. For example, urban areas tend to have higher demand for self storage due to smaller living spaces and higher population densities.
The location and type of self storage facility have a significant impact on the demographics of the customers who use them. Self storage facilities are typically located in urban and suburban areas, with some facilities located in rural areas. The type of facility can also vary, with some facilities offering climate-controlled units, while others offer outdoor storage options.
Location is a key factor in determining the customer demographics of a self storage facility. Self storage facilities located in urban areas tend to have more diverse customer demographics, with a mix of residential and commercial customers. These facilities may be used by city dwellers who live in apartments or small homes with limited storage space. They may also be used by small businesses that need extra space to store inventory, equipment, or tools.
Urban areas tend to have higher demand for self storage due to smaller living spaces and higher population densities.
Suburban self storage facilities tend to have a higher concentration of residential customers. These facilities are often used by homeowners who need extra storage space for seasonal items, sports equipment, or household items. Suburban facilities may also be used by families who are downsizing or relocating and need temporary storage solutions.
Rural self storage facilities, on the other hand, tend to have a smaller customer base, with customers typically coming from the surrounding rural areas. These facilities may be used by farmers who need extra storage space for equipment or by outdoor enthusiasts who need a place to store their recreational vehicles.
The type of self storage facility can also influence customer demographics. Facilities that offer climate-controlled units tend to attract customers who are storing valuable or delicate items, and are more popular in areas with extreme temperatures or high humidity. These customers may be more affluent and have a higher disposable income. Facilities that offer outdoor storage options, such as RV and boat storage, tend to attract customers who are outdoor enthusiasts and have a higher disposable income.
Another factor that can influence the customer demographics of a self storage facility is the level of security offered. Facilities with advanced security systems and surveillance tend to attract customers who are storing valuable or sentimental items and are willing to pay more for a secure storage solution.
Overall, the location and type of self storage facility play a significant role in determining the customer demographics of the facility. Urban facilities tend to have more diverse customer demographics, suburban facilities tend to have more residential customers, and rural facilities tend to have a smaller customer base. The type of facility, whether it offers climate-controlled units or outdoor storage options, can also influence customer demographics. Finally, facilities with advanced security systems tend to attract customers who are willing to pay more for a secure storage solution.
Evolution Of Self Storage Usage
Self storage facilities have become a popular and convenient solution for individuals and businesses looking for extra space to store their belongings. Over the past 20 years, the self storage industry has evolved significantly, with changes in consumer behavior, technology, and industry trends shaping the way self storage facilities are used.
The early 2000s saw the self storage industry continue to grow as more facilities were built to meet the increasing demand for storage space. In this era, self storage was primarily used by individuals and families for personal storage needs, such as storing seasonal items, household items, and vehicles. Self storage was also used by small businesses for storing inventory, tools, and equipment.
As technology advanced, the way people used self storage facilities began to change. Online rental platforms and payment systems made it easier for customers to rent and pay for storage units online, eliminating the need for in-person visits. This trend was further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to an increase in online rentals and contactless payment options.
Another significant trend in the self storage industry over the past 20 years has been the growth of climate-controlled storage units. Climate-controlled units offer protection against extreme temperatures, humidity, and pests, making them ideal for storing delicate and valuable items such as artwork, antiques, and electronics. Today, climate-controlled units make up a significant portion of self storage facilities.
In recent years, the self storage industry has also seen an increase in the use of self storage facilities for commercial purposes. Small businesses, online retailers, and e-commerce businesses are using self storage units as an affordable and convenient solution for storing inventory, tools, and equipment. Self storage facilities are also being used as flexible workspace solutions, with businesses renting out storage units to use as offices or workshops.
The rise of the sharing economy has also impacted the self storage industry in the past 20 years. Peer-to-peer storage platforms have emerged, allowing individuals to rent out their own unused storage space to others. This has created a new revenue stream for individuals while providing an affordable storage solution for those who need it.
In conclusion, self storage is used by people of all ages and genders, with the majority of customers being between the ages of 35 and 64. Self storage customers also tend to have higher incomes and education levels than many people assume. While moving and renovation are common reasons for using self storage, there are many other reasons why people choose to rent a storage unit, such as business storage or seasonal storage. The location and type of facility can also have an impact on who uses self storage. Understanding the demographics of self storage customers can help self storage facility owners better serve their customers and tailor their services to meet their needs.