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Why Your Next Storage Facility Should Be in the Backyard of a McDonald's
Posted 9/11/2019
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No matter where you live in the U.S., you have probably seen the eye-catching black and yellow climate-controlled storage buildings in growing metro areas. With over 200 self storage facilities across the U.S., Canada and the U.K., StorageMart is one of the largest self storage operators in North America. Recently, Cris Burnam, President of StorageMart, penned an article for Forbes with advice for self storage real estate investors. Burnam’s main advice? Location is everything in self storage investing.

McDonald’s: The World’s Greatest Real Estate Company

“When I am asked how my company chooses our facility sites, my favorite way to answer is, ‘I have to smell a McDonald’s.’” - Cris Burnam, President of StorageMart

What business is McDonald’s in? If you said, “well obviously, McDonald’s is in the hamburger business,” you are wrong – they are actually primarily a real-estate company andnd an extremely successful one. McDonald’s actually makes most of its revenue off purchasing and leasing real estate to franchisees, rather than selling hamburgers. Burnam has a similar philosophy when building and expanding the StorageMart business: he uses the McDonald’s approach of putting property values first and thinking long-term when choosing a storage facility location.

Location is Everything

As storage owners, you should always keep in mind that you are a real estate investor first and a self storage provider second. In his Forbes article, Burnam suggests self storage investors ask themselves the following questions when evaluating a new investment or facility location:

1. What is the market like?

2. What are rates and taxes like?

3. What is the square footage per capita?

4. What is the competition like?

Whether you are buying or building your first storage property or acquiring another location, be wary of investments that promise quick profits. Focus on the future return of the asset instead of past returns and always put the value of the location first. With these strong principles for investing in property, you will be able to grow a successful “real estate” business no matter what kind of fluctuations happen with the economy, interest rates or the stock market.   

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