Contributing Editors

A Day in the Life of a Self Storage Employee

by Winnie Hsiu January 10, 2014 1:40 PM
People who work at self storage facilities might think that their workday is predictable, ordinary, and not very exciting. Rent units to customers. Check out customers when their contract ends. Repaint the facility to keep it looking nice. Vacuum the carpet in the office. These are things that are in a typical day in the life of a self storage employee.

But sometimes, just sometimes, something more exciting happens. [More]

So Who Would Leave a Half Million in Gold in a Self Storage Unit?

by John Stevens November 29, 2011 5:57 PM
Thanks to the ever-growing population of cable channels, there is a reality show about all sorts of interesting things. The self storage industry has taken center stage in a few of them; more specifically, the auctions that occur when tenants fail to pay their rent after a few months. Shows like Storage Wars and Auction Hunters have shown the viewing public some of the treasures and amazing stories that can lie behind the door of a storage unit. [More]

How Will Wall Street Securities Fraud Affect the Self Storage Industry?

by John Stevens April 19, 2010 12:15 PM
Investors interested in self storage should keep a watchful eye on the Goldman Sachs crisis, for two reasons. First of all, self storage businesses historically have been included in some real estate deals structured by Goldman Sachs and other investment bankers who are starting to be accused to mortgage fraud. As long ago as 2001, Bruce Taub, the then senior vice president of acquisitions for Storage USA commented that some equity deals structured by large firms such as Goldman Sachs and Prudential Real Estate were looking unrealistic: "A number of joint ventures purchased or developed assets in the last few years with an exit strategy that proved unrealistic," he noted in Commercial Investment Real Estate, in words that now seem prescient.

Secondly, at the end of 2009, almost seven percent of Goldman Sach's Real Estate Securities Fund was dedicated to self storage investments. If Goldman Sachs and other major investment bankers lose a lot of money or go out of business, capital for self storage acquisitions and development may have to come from other sources. Developments in one aspect of the market are likely to affect other aspects of the market. [More]