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The self-storage sector in Europe: looking back at 2021 and forward to 2022

10/06/2022

The end of 2021 is approaching fast. A good time to recap the progress of the self-storage sector in Europe. In this blog we comment on the most noteworthy data from the 2021 report by FEDESSA (Federation of European Self Storage Associations) and outline our expectations for 2022. CONTINUOUS GROWTH In the past decade, the number of self-storages in Europe has tripled. Today, Europe (including the UK) has some 5,173 sites. With an increase in the number of sites compared to last year, the total area of self-storage also increased to almost 11 million m². Per European today, there is an average of 0.022 m² of self-storage. Belgium ranks just below this average, in the Netherlands it is more than double. So the self-storage sector is clearly still growing in Europe. To put these figures in a better context, we can compare them with data from the United States. In the most mature self-storage market of the world, the total surface area of self-storage is 1.9 billion sq ft. or some 176.5 million m². This equates to 5.9 sq. ft. or 0.548 m² per American (source: 2021 Self Storage Almanac). Both markets have their specificalities, but the fact is that Europe has a much higher population density than the United States (112 inhabitants per km² versus 36 inhabitants per km² (source: World Bank). Space per capita is therefore more scarce in Europe and will more often than not lead to a need for additional storage space outside. The responses from the 100 operators who participated in the FEDESSA report alone show that more than 100 new facilities are currently being built, with another 53 in the pipeline. Further growth of the self-storage sector in Europe therefore appears to be a certainty in 2022. OCCUPANCY RATE - TYPES OF TENANTS - RENTAL PRICES The average occupancy rate in Europe increased last year by 1.7% to 81.5%. This is higher than in February 2020, just before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. One explanation may well be that during the various lockdowns, many people were confronted with items that took up too much space in their homes and found a solution in self-storage. An interesting observation is that the percentage of professional tenants fell from 32% to 27%. This is the opposite of the evolution we have seen in recent years. It is likely that the economic impact of COVID-19 for (small) companies has played a role in this. With the economy recovering, it remains to be seen whether we return to the trend of an ever-increasing number of professional tenants. Small businesses and start-ups - with special attention to those active in the e-commerce sector - remain an interesting target audience for self-storages. Tip: A flex office with Wi-Fi in your self-storage helps you to attract these types of tenants. Besides the occupancy rate, the average rental price went up as well. Whereas in 2020 this amounted to EUR 250 per m² per year, it rose to EUR 268 per m² per year in 2021. This increase of more than 7% is also the largest increase reported by FEDESSA in the past 10 years. With the expectation that the occupancy rate as well as the rental prices will remain the same or even increase slightly, the vast majority of the self-storage companies surveyed in the FEDESSA report have a positive outlook for 2022. ONLINE PRESENCE - BOOK YOUR BOX Perhaps the most eye-catching statistic -and at the same time not so surprising- is the evolution of the online presence of the sector. Based on the FEDESSA report, we note that self-storages are increasingly aware of the importance of reaching and serving tenants online. Whereas in 2019 only 74% of self-storages surveyed published their prices on their website, by 2021 this already stood at 82%. The possibility of reserving a unit via the website rose from 71% to 80% in the same period. At 58% of the self-storages surveyed, tenants can reserve a unit today and also pay via the website. In 2019, this was only 25%. Joining Book Your Box is obviously a very easy way to join this online trend. FEDESSA already announced: "The trend towards greater online functionality and more sophisticated platforms has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic." As a unique online marketplace for the rental of self-storage storage space, Book Your Box is such a trendsetter. We bring the concept of self-storage closer to the online audience and provide a platform on which a tenant can immediately search, compare and book his self-storage unit. This way you save on your own website and online marketing costs and you only pay when you actually rent a unit through our marketplace. Book Your Box is the right forum to put your self-storage on the map and attract new tenants in 2022! Register here!   Register easily and start renting via Book Your Box! Click here for more info! Questions? Visit our tenants page with handy space calculator or contact us via the chat function! Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Four trends in the self-storage sector that deserve your attention

10/06/2022

Over the past decade, the self-storage sector gained popularity and has become a competitive industry. Moreover, thanks to its recession-proof nature, the sector has enjoyed an uninterrupted influx of capital. As the sector grows, trends often emerge. Below, we discuss four trends that we observe today. 1. Supply and demand Before the coronavirus pandemic, the self-storage market in the United States had an oversupply in certain cities or even in entire states (see e.g. Texas, Sacramento, Atlanta and Charleston). Oversupply leads to lower rents. However, the pandemic caused new building projects to be postponed or cancelled, which inhibits oversupply (source: Inside Self-Storage). In addition, more and more cities are imposing restrictions on building a self-storage facility. Such restrictions also have their effect on the supply side (source: Forbes). The evolution of the (pending) oversupply in certain regions in the United States is something that deserves attention in the coming years. In Europe, the situation is quite different. Demand for self-storage is still far exceeding supply. Europe may have seen a significant increase in the number of new facilities and self-storage space in recent years, but demand remains higher. In Europe, the average area of self-storage space is 0.02 square metres per person. The United Kingdom has the highest percentage with 0.068 (source: Fedessa 2020 survey). By comparison, in the United States in 2018 the national average self-storage storage space per capita was 5.4 square feet, or 0.50 square metres. We do not anticipate an oversupply of self-storage any time soon in Europe. .  In the future, the demand for self-storage units will be driven by the baby boomers who are about to exchange their larger homes for something smaller and more practical. Rising property prices are also causing people to live smaller today. In addition, the demand for self-storage is also increasingly fueled by companies who are discovering the benefits of self-storage. The fastest growing geographical market for self-storage is (South) Asia. The region has many metropolises with a high population density and extremely expensive square metres of living space. Countries in the region have a growing economy, so inhabitants earn more money and spend it on non-essential items which creates a lack of space in their homes. In addition, because the wider society is familiar with digital developments, the region has a strong e-commerce sector. The companies active in this sector as well as the many start-ups focused on efficiency are turning to self-storage for their storage needs (source: Storeganise). 2. Online channels Gone are the days when consumers were forced to physically visit their self-storage facility to inspect it as a possible option. The new generation of tenants are increasingly looking online for their storage options. The corona pandemic has only accelerated the transition to online storage. Today, however, there are not many self-storage operators that offer the service of 'booking and paying online'. This requires an optimized website with an integrated payment system. Book Your Box therefore offers a plug-and-play solution for self-storage operators. As an online marketplace for self-storage, Book Your Box connects self-storage operators and people looking for storage space on the internet. Book Your Box makes sure that your online presence increases without charging advertisement fee or website costs . An additional online channel can be seen as an opportunity for emerging self-storage innovators and providers to take the industry in a new direction and differentiate themselves from non-innovative self-storage providers. 3. Technology and automation At first glance, the self-storage sector is not considered to be technologically advanced. Only a few components seem necessary to make renting out storage space a success story. "With a vacant property and electricity supply I can go a long way, right? Think again! The standards within the self-storage sector, as well as the expectations of tenants, have evolved rapidly. Investing in technology is one of the ways to distinguish your self-storage from those of your competitors.  In addition to an increased customer experience, technology also allows for the automation of a series of administrative or repetitive tasks that are involved in running a self-storage unit. Through automation, savings can be made on personnel, which in turn increases your competitiveness. Read more about the technological developments in the self-storage sector in our blog on technology. 4. Appearance The location of a self-storage unit will continue to play an important role. A busy city center or industrial areas that are easily accessible via motorways will always score well in terms of occupancy. In addition to the location, however, the 'look and feel' of the self-storage facility is becoming increasingly important. Facilities that look good, catch the eye. Develop a house style. A sleek façade with matching fencing and entrance gate creates a tough image, which is associated with security. The same applies to good lighting. Your building will stand out in the dark and at the same time it will give a feeling of security. Also, don't be afraid to use a little color! After all, self-storage has the bad reputation of being drab and grey (literally and figuratively). Discover here some tips for the use of colors. Do you have a unique location? Then do not hesitate to let your self-storage blend in with that location. It would be a pity not to play off the uniqueness of the location in the design of your storage. Do not forget to extend the corporate identity of your facility to the interior design. As an extension of the home or a business, a self-storage must also present itself in this way. This all contributes to the customer experience. Moreover, price is not the all-decisive criterion for the tenant. Factors such as a good location and a ditto image carry weight too. A modern establishment with cachet gives a secure and inviting feeling, which is an important factor for many prospective tenants.   Want to join our unique online marketplace for self-storage? Simply register and start renting via Book Your Box! Click here for more info! Any questions? Contact us via the contact form or via the chat function! Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

Meet Wouter, the first tenant via Book Your Box!

08/06/2022

Meanwhile, the first users have rented their self-storage unit through our marketplace. But the very first reservation, that was a milestone. We thought that we should give this tenant a small gift. No sooner said than done! We met up with Wouter at Skwer's in Houthalen-Helchteren, the self-storage where he reserved his unit via Book Your Box. Hi Wouter! Congratulations, you're the first one to rent through Book Your Box! Really? I didn’t expected that. Thanks for the attention. Very nice! You're welcome. What was your reason for renting a self-storage box? As a self-employed interior builder, I was looking for extra storage space for my building materials, including plasterboard. I can store some things at home in the garden shed, but over time I had materials for three different projects in the house. As you can guess, my wife wasn't too happy about that (laughs). Now that I have my unit, I can pick up the things I need in the morning and drop them off in the evening. Moreover, everything is stored safely here. The flexibility to cancel the rental contract every month is a great added value. How was your experience at Book Your Box? Very good! The website is very user-friendly. I entered my location and found a provider near me with available units. After choosing my unit, I filled in my details and easily paid the first month's rent. A few moments later I received the confirmation of my reservation by e-mail. Nadine, as a self-storage operator, do you share this positive experience? Absolutely. The reservation was made in the evening via e-mail so the next day I contacted Wouter by phone to arrange a moment to sign the lease and hand over the key. In this way, we acquired a tenant outside office hours. Good to hear, both of you. Thanks for the trust in Book Your Box and good luck!   Through Book Your Box you can now search and book your self-storage unit online. Compare providers that meet your criteria and book directly at the best price. Without any extra costs! CLICK HERE Questions? Visit our tenants page with handy space calculator, FAQ section or contact us via the chat function!

Self-storage, technology and an improved customer experience

08/06/2022

Over the past decade, the self-storage sector has seen a surge in investment in technological innovation. Being able to run a self-storage unit remotely is something that concerns many self-storage providers today. The use of technology can create a competitive advantage. On the one hand by increasing the customer experience of the tenant-customer (see below), on the other hand by saving costs for the owner-landlord after an initial investment. After all, technology goes hand in hand with automation, which in turn can lead to a reduction in personnel cost. For self-storage providers who are just starting, it is obviously advisable to include technological gadgets in the planning and development phase. Providers who have been successfully operating in the sector for a while, should not make the mistake of thinking they can ignore innovation. Instead, their unique knowledge and experience allows them to to innovate in the best way possible. Below we discuss four tools that have already been introduced in the self-storage world. 1. Mobile app Figures from 2020 show that 89% of Belgians have a smartphone (source: Deloitte). Young and old therefore rely on the smartphone to help them in their daily lives. Just think about making payments, identifying yourself, checking the weather, buying a train ticket, etc. Mobile applications, apps, make all this even easier. That is why an increasing number of self-storage operators offer an app. This way, tenants can manage their unit remotely. A key or access card becomes superfluous. With the app, tenants can also cancel or extend their unit. Reporting a problem by uploading a photo, for example, is also done via the app. Just like paying the rent and communicating with the staff of the storage. Benefits for the operator? A well-functioning app improves the customer experience, which in turn has a positive effect on the retention rate. Through the app, interesting data can also be collected, for example on how often someone visits their unit or at what time they usually do so. An app can also have a positive effect on rent collection. A push notification via the app is often more efficient than an e-mail that gets lost in a crowded mailbox and is less threatening or inconvenient than a reminder on a smartphone. 2. Self-service kiosks Self-service kiosks are already established in many sectors (think about buying a ticket for the train, placing an order at a popular fast-food chain or buying a ticket for the cinema). We also see them popping up more and more in self-storage facilities or just outside, at the entrance. Signing the lease can be done by using the (outside) kiosk (for example in combination with an identity card reader). At the kiosk, tenants can open the facility gate or the door of their unit by using their personal access code. Do the units in your facility have a padlock and key? If so, there are also kiosks that can dispense and collect these. On the kiosk's LED screen, tenants can often also see a map of the facility showing the shortest route to their unit. Similar to a mobile app, such kiosks can provide the option to renew, cancel or pay rent (for example, by scanning a QR code). The self-service kiosk also often functions as an intercom, with video. A tenant can contact the facility's staff via a video call. This means that the staff does not necessarily need to be present at the facility. Kiosks are also usually accompanied by a software or management system that ensures that every action taken by the user is registered. Through this system, reports or databases can easily be run without requiring any action from an employee. 3. Robotics People are no longer surprised when they hear the term 'robot'. Robotics has also gradually made its appearance in the self-storage sector. In Europe, there are already some branches in France that work with robots. These robots function as self-service kiosks on wheels. The advantage over (stationary) kiosks is that robots can give tours and thus guide the tenant to his/her unit. Like the kiosk, the robot can provide a live connection to the store manager who can then answer questions from the tenant.  Robots can also be used for hygienic purposes. The coronavirus pandemic has made hygiene an absolute priority more than ever, also in a self-storage facility. In Thailand, for example, a self-storage facility uses a robot that uses ultraviolet radiation to destroy viruses and bacteria that are present on surfaces or in the air. 4. Biometric security Security is a core value within the self-storage sector. Tenants pay to have their belongings safely stored. Surveillance cameras are already standard. Biometric security, on the other hand, is still rare. However, this type of security is practically impenetrable and is therefore the best solution for securing a unit. Biometric security can range from voice analysis to fingerprint or facial recognition. Nowadays, every new smartphone is equipped with this technology. Why not a self-storage (unit)? One thing to consider when installing biometric security is the possibility of someone other than the actual tenant having access to the unit. In some cases, this is indeed desirable, for example when a couple rents a unit. Customer experience Introducing technology correctly in your self-storage unit contributes to improving the customer experience of your tenant. After all, consumers want to be helped quickly and efficiently. An app, self-service kiosk or robot can provide this by, for example, answering to standard questions or automating the performance of frequent actions. Does this mean that human interaction has become superfluous? No, it does not. Contrary to what many people may think, it is not a question of machine or man, but of machine and man. In order to be assisted efficiently, it is necessary that the (tenant) customer is well understood. If not, you risk a frustrated customer. A self-service kiosk or robot with a live video chat function, for example, can prevent this problem. Customers should feel that if the technology does not provide them with the answer they are looking for, they still have a person to turn to. An important thing to keep in mind is that in a society where technology is increasingly becoming the norm, it is the human touch that makes the difference. Therefore, try to make your digital interaction with your tenant-customer as personal as possible. In the software of your app, kiosk or robot, for instance, provide a number of tenant profiles so you can categorize your tenant-customer and deliver information that is relevant to him or her. The data you collect through the use of technology will help you do this.   Want to join our unique online marketplace for self-storage? Simply register and start renting via Book Your Box! Click here for more info! Any questions? Contact us via the contact form or via the chat function! Photo by Anton Maksimov juvnsky on Unsplash

The 7 biggest misconceptions about self-storage

08/06/2022

Compared to the United States, the concept of self-storage is relatively new in Europe. The term "self-storage" is also not yet known to the general public. A few words of explanation may ring a bell, but we have noticed that there are still some misconceptions about self-storage. In this blog we refute seven common misconceptions about self-storage. 1) Self-storage is not much different from a shed or garage A garage or garden shed may protect your stuff from rain and wind, but not from high or low temperatures or the risk of humidity damage. Self-storage facilities, on the other hand, are often well insulated so that climate cannot have an adverse effect on the condition of your belongings (for example rust or damage due to frost). Some locations even provide temperature control at the level of units (climate controlled storage)! Ideal for storing wine, for example. Admittedly, a garden shed is easier to get to than a self-storage unit. Items that you use frequently and that do not risk being damaged from the weather can be stored in your garden shed. Delicate or seasonal material, however, can be optimally protected in your self-storage unit. You are bound to find a self-storage facility in your area with 7/7 -and often 24/7- access.   Last but not least, a self-storage unit is also much safer than a barn or garden shed. More on this under misconception 2 below. 2) Self-storage is not safe Some people might feel that self-storages are exposed to certain security risks. It is important to note that owners want to differentiate their self-storage from sheds or garage boxes. Investing in the security of the facility and units is a top priority for any self-storage company. The vast majority of self-storages are equipped with 24/7 camera surveillance (both in and around the facility) as well as smoke detectors and an alarm system. The storage units have a cylinder lock or access code. Self-storage sites are often secured with a gate and fence. Good lighting is also the norm. Storing things outside your own home may make you anxious. Understandably so! However, in the average self-storage unit your belongings will often be more secure than in your own home. 3) Self-storage is expensive Renting a self-storage unit might be more expensive than renting a warehouse, but your stuff will be stored in much better conditions. In terms of costs per square meters or foot, a self-storage unit will always be cheaper than residential property. Self-storage units are also available in all sizes, so you only pay for the space you actually need. Very cost efficient! 4) Self-storage facilities are dirty Horror scenarios in which a self-storage facility or unit looks dirty are often just Hollywood creations. Pests are preventively controlled and many self-storages prohibit the storage of goods that could attract pests (e.g. perishable food or live plants). Self-storages often employ staff to maintain and clean the premises or hire a professional firm to do so. 5) Self-storage is only useful in case of relocation Moving is the most common reason why people use self-storage, but it is certainly not the only one! Renovation of the house, creating space at home, a temporary assignment abroad, archiving of company documents, storing stock for a web shop or the working materials of the self-employed, death of a family member, etc. These are all reasons for households and businesses to rent a self-storage unit. 6) Self-storage is only for people with a lot of stuff You don't have to be a hoarder or someone who has trouble getting rid of old stuff to use self-storage! Self-storage is there to create order in your home. It is very possible that you have stuff that you still use, just not on a daily basis (e.g.  only during weekends or during a certain season). In that case a self-storage unit is very convenient: easy access to your stuff and better use of space in your house or apartment. 7) Self-storage means a long-term lease Are you hesitating to choose self-storage because you think you will be stuck on a long-term rental contract? Don’t! Self-storages almost always include the possibility of cancelling the contract every month in their open-ended rental contracts (*). Often you just have to inform the self-storage a couple of weeks before the end of the month that you want to end the contract. This flexibility is what makes self-storage so popular! (*) Promotional prices on the first month's rent may require a minimum rental period. We hope this blog has relieved any concerns you may have had about self-storage. At Book Your Box we want to inform self-storage tenants as good as possible. Do you still have questions? Do not hesitate to contact us via the chat function or the contact form. Are you fully convinced of the advantages of self-storage? Then book your self-storage space online at Book Your Box, the independent platform for self-storage! Compare our self-storage providers, make your choice and rent at the best price. At no extra cost! CLICK HERE Questions? Visit our tenants page with handy space calculator, FAQ section or contact us via the chat function! Image ID 529192678 by Kunal Mehta used under license from Shutterstock.com.

How self-storage can be of added value to businesses

08/06/2022

Businesses have also found their way to self-storage. In Europe, an average of 32 percent of all available self-storage space was rented by companies in 2020. In Belgium and the Netherlands, this figure hovers around 25 percent (source: FEDESSA 2020 Industry Report). A recent survey in the United Kingdom shows that more than 80 percent of companies using self-storage have a maximum of 10 employees (source: SSA UK 2021 Industry Report). Retail and e-commerce Retailers are the largest group of businesses that make use of self-storage (source: SSA UK 2021 Industry Report). Their premises often only offer limited storage space and the available space in the shop is primarily used for displaying products, not for storage. Year after year,  the e-commerce sector is growing. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated this evolution even more. Where some companies use a dual business model - a physical shop and an online web shop - there are more and more businesses that focus exclusively on sales via the Internet. Physical premises are no longer necessary. Retailers and web shops still need storage space for their products. For these companies, self-storage is a much cheaper and more flexible alternative than renting a warehouse. Self-storage allows these companies to only rent the surface they effectively need. Moreover, it allows them to anticipate booms and busts. In the busiest period of the year when there is more stock (for example during the Christmas period or in the summer holidays), it is easy to upsize to a larger storage unit. Archive Although society is becoming increasingly digitized, documents from the past often remain in paper form and possibly have to be stored for a certain time (often up to 7 years). To keep your office orderly, you can choose to rent a self-storage unit to safely store accounts, files and other confidential documents. Equipment and tools Just under 10 percent of businesses that rent self-storage units are in the construction industry (source: SSA UK 2021 Industry Report). Independent contractors and even SMEs make use of self-storage to store their tools and building materials. They select a self-storage facility where they can pick up their tools in the morning and drop them off in the evening. This way, their tools remain in good condition, are safely stored and they avoid their home (or car) becoming a warehouse. Sales representatives For sales representatives who are often on the road, a strategically located self-storage unit can be a huge asset. Promotional material and samples are not taken home, but are stored in their storage unit. It is a way to keep  work and life separated.  They avoid having to drive back and forth from their homes to their customers because they forgot that one flyer or sample.   Organize your business more efficiently with self-storage. Choose for space and order in your business or office and avoid that your own home serves as a warehouse or archive. Only pay for storage space that your business actually needs and benefit from flexibility in size of storage units and rental periods. Most self-storage offer 7/7 access -some even 24/7- so accessibility is guaranteed. Last but not least your belongings will be safe and secure.   Looking for a self-storage unit tailored to your business? Compare self-storage providers in your area on Book Your Box. Made your choice? Then reserve your storage unit online immediately at the best price and without extra costs! CLICK HERE Questions? Visit our tenants page with handy space calculator, FAQ section or contact us via the chat function! Photo by Kampus Production via Pexels

Eight life events when self-storage will prove useful

06/06/2022

In previous blogs, we've already mentioned the tenants who use self-storage when moving or when they're facing a lack of space at home (see "How self-storage makes moving easier" and "Lack of space in your home? Self-storage to the rescue!"). An important third group of tenants are people who turn to self-storage for an important event in their lives. We list some of them. 1. You are moving in together Are you going to live together as a couple for the first time? A moment to look forward to! Getting used to each other's habits can be a challenge in the beginning. So can agreeing on what furniture to use. Perhaps you both own a bed, a sofa, a dining table and a wardrobe? Tastes differ, so you may not immediately find a place for all your personal belongings. With the idea of starting a family in mind, it may be interesting to store furniture that you do not immediately use in a clean and safe self-storage unit for the time being. Self-storage is also a diplomatic solution for personal belongings for which there is no agreement on whether they have their place at home or not. Are you moving to a new home? Check out our blog on self-storage and moving. 2. You are breaking up The opposite: a breakup or divorce. You decide to part ways and opt to (temporarily) move to a new and smaller home where there is no space for all of your stuff. It would be a shame to throw out some of your belongings, for example furniture that belongs to you. Aside from being clean and safe, self-storage also has the advantage of flexibility. You can immediately find a place for your belongings with the possibility of cancelling your lease every month. 3. Baby on the way Congratulations! We probably don't need to tell you that this requires quite some preparation, also at home. Your little one will be sleeping in your room for the first few months, but it is worth the effort to already transform that other existing messy room into a real baby room. Store things in a self-storage unit and make room for a cradle, a cot, a pram and changing table. When your baby can crawl and later walk, it's also good to put away potentially dangerous or breakable items (think of that glass coffee table or that expensive crystal vase). Perhaps there will be a little brother or sister? In the meantime, you can always store the baby things in your self-storage unit. 4. A death in your family Right at the start of the grieving process, you are often confronted with the decision of what to do with the belongings of your loved one. Especially when the house has to be sold or vacated quickly. In these circumstances it is a good idea to temporarily store the contents and personal items with financial or emotional value in a self-storage unit. Take your time to deal with your loss first. You and your family can then decide together what to do with these belongings. 5. You decide to downsize If you decide to downsize later in life -moving from a house to an apartment, for example- it may be worth renting a self-storage unit for items you do not immediately have space for (or want to make room for) in your new home, but which you also do not immediately want to get rid of. Self-storage makes the transition easier. See also: "How self-storage makes your move easier" and "Lack of space at home? Self-storage to the rescue". 6. Extra space for students You decide to study and go live you by yourself. Alright! Student rooms are not exactly spacious and you might need some extra storage space. Did you know that self-storage storage units are available from as little as 1m³?. Are you moving to another student accommodation next year? You can then temporarily store your stuff in the nearest self-storage unit during the summer break. 7. Renovating the house Your children have left the house so it's time to finally start that renovation you have been dreaming of. A new bathroom or kitchen? A makeover of the living room or a redesign of one of the children's rooms? Store your belongings temporarily in a safe and dust-free self-storage unit and make sure that you and any contractors have the necessary space to carry out the renovation. 8. Foreign adventure Are you going abroad for work or to study for a while? Great challenge! Store the things you're not taking with you safely in a self-storage unit and leave with ease of mind. Upon your return, you can immediately re-install yourself!   It is not unusual for life events -positive or negative- to bring people to self-storage. The flexibility of self-storage - both in availability and monthly rental periods - is what makes the difference for this group of tenants.   If you find yourself in one of these situations, find extra storage space in your area via Book Your Box. You reserve your self-storage unit online immediately at the best price and without extra costs. Search, compare and book! CLICK HERE Questions? Visit our tenants page with handy space calculator, FAQ section or contact us via the chat function! Photo by Ryoji Iwata via Unsplash

Lack of space at home? Self-storage to the rescue!

03/06/2022

Earlier we explained that people who are moving represent the largest group of self-storage tenants (see "How self-storage makes moving easier"). The -logical- second largest group of tenants are people who are facing a lack of space in their home or just want to be more efficient with the space they do have. They view -rightly so- their self-storage unit as an extension of their home. Seasonal items Ski equipment, Christmas decorations, winter tyres, duvets, etc. during winter. Outdoor furniture, mobile air conditioning, camping equipment, barbecue, etc. during summer. There are many items that you only use at a certain time of year. The rest of the year, these items are taking up space that could be used in a better way. Self-storage offers a solution for this! Collectors A large collection can not always be displayed in full at  in your house. Passionate collectors therefore like to safely store part of their collection in a self-storage unit. Moving to a self-storage unit is also an excellent time to make a detailed inventory of your collection. Sports enthusiasts Is your sporting equipment (or that of your partner or kids 😉 ) taking up too much space? For sports like swimming or running, sports equipment is rather limited. Other sports however require more and larger equipment. Think of a racing bike, skis, golf clubs or a surfboard. These are often expensive items that you not only want to store neatly, but also safely. Hobbyists Creative minds often use self-storage as an extension of their studio. Craft materials, paints and other supplies, as well as finished projects can be stored here in optimal conditions. Home office Since the outbreak of the corona pandemic, working remotely has become more common. A place at home where you can work comfortably is no longer a unnecessary luxury. Often, it is not necessary to carry out major renovation works for this purpose. With the help of self-storage you can transform your cluttered room into a worthy home office in no time!   Are you also struggling with a shortage of space at home? By renting a self-storage unit you instantly create more space for yourself and your household. Your belongings are stored at least as safely as in your home and easy access is guaranteed.   With Book Your Box you can now find your self-storage unit online and reserve it immediately. Compare providers that meet your criteria and book directly at the best price. At no extra cost! CLICK HERE Any questions? Visit our tenants page with handy space calculator, FAQ section or contact us via the chat function! Image ID 1603056412 by trekandshoot used under licence from Shutterstock.com.

How self-storage makes moving easier

03/06/2022

Self-storage and moving complement each other perfectly. In a recent survey in the UK - the largest self-storage market in Europe and the UK - almost 40% of private persontenants cited 'moving' as the reason for renting their self-storage unit (source: SSA UK 2021 Industry Report). Below we explain why self-storage and moving go hand in hand. 1. You can't move in yet You have to leave your current home due to a sale or end of lease, but you can't move into your new home yet? That's annoying, because what are you going to do with your belongings in the meantime? Leaving all your belongings with family or friends is not very convenient, to say the least. Save yourself (and others) the inconvenience and opt for self-storage to cover this period. 2. Create a sense of space for potential buyers You decide to put your house on the market? A tip that estate agents will definitely give you is that your house should look as spacious as possible and to hide personal items. Potential buyers should get a feeling of space and should not be distracted by your personal items. So it is best to remove all non-essential items from your home and store them in a self-storage unit. A nice bonus: it also makes cleaning your home in preparation for a visit a lot easier! 3. Don't move everything at once The day of moving has arrived. You have hired a moving firm or rustled up some family and friends to take all your belongings from your previous home to your new one. All of a sudden, your new home is filled with moving boxes and all sorts of other items. Chaos everywhere! Do yourself a favor: leave enough space to unpack and take your time decorating room by room by storing non-essential items in a self-storage unit for a some time. Moving in is the start of a new chapter. Self-storage can help you start this chapter with peace of mind by eliminating some of the practical worries that arise during the moving process. 7/7 access and month-to-month rents allow for self-storage to be of great value when moving to your new home.    Book Your Box lets you immediately book the appropriate self-storage unit in your area. Rent at the best price at no e! Compare self-storage providers and book your unit online. CLICK HERE Questions? Visit our tenants page with handy space calculator, FAQ section or contact us via the chat function! Photo by cottonbro via Pexels

How self-storages can limit the financial consequences of the coronavirus crisis

03/06/2022

[This blog is a translation of the original Dutch version published on May 21, 2021.] In our previous blog on the impact of Covid-19 on the self-storage sector, we outlined the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis. In present blog we shift the focus to the actions that self-storage operators could take to limit any negative financial impact. We distinguish two situations. What about defaulting tenants? Prevention is the best cure(literally and figuratively). For example, it helps to properly inform tenants at the time of concluding the rental agreement about the payment terms as well as the consequences of failing to meet a payment on time. Direct debiting, if possible, is preferred and can be presented to tenants as a means of avoiding penalties in case of late payments. Follow-up of payments becomes even more important. Verification of contact details when drawing up the lease agreement is advised. Reminder calls have a personal touch and allow for anticipation and a targeted search for a solution, together with the tenant in case of payment difficulties. It is important to maintain a balance between the right to be paid and understanding the current situation in which a tenant may find himself. In any case, it is worthwhile to read your current rent collection policy and possibly update it in light of the corona pandemic (source: Inside Self-Storage). My occupancy rate is falling, and now? What if the financial consequences result in a decrease in occupancy due to the lack of new tenants? This is a more fundamental problem than defaults. Adjusting your own rental conditions (read: lowering rents) may offer a temporary solution, but is neither structural nor profitable in the long term. We therefore urge self-storage operators to think ahead. As in so many sectors since the pandemic, the self-storage sector will also know an era pre and post coronavirus. The pandemic accelerated the evolution of society. Governments, companies and consumers developed new habits in a very short timeframe and these new habits are here to stay. Just think of remote work, working only by appointment and the boost in e-commerce. Consumers expect to find all relevant information online and to be able to make purchases instantly. In Belgium, for example, internet traffic increased by 60% in 2020 compared to 2019 (source: Telenet). Digitalization can no longer be held back, neither in the world of self-storage. Book Your Box already offers self-storage operators the possibility to reach new tenants through an online channel. Next to digitalization, personal space and (hand) hygiene are here to stay. It is important for the operator to show (potential) tenants that the facility pays sufficient attention to these elements, even after the current coronavirus restrictions are lifted. It is likely that tenants will start to value this and that it will become part of their customer experience. By anticipating these evolutions, a self-storage operator distinguishes itself from its competitors, which will not go unnoticed by tenants. Self-storage operators should realize that 2021-2022 is a transition period and that the sector, although so far spared from a negative Covid-19 impact, is not immune to the many changes the pandemic has set in motion. Key message is to evolve with it. A partnership with Book Your Box offers self-storage operators a means to present themselves to an ever-increasing online audience.   Are you looking for an additional, online marketing channel to find new tenants? Register now on Book Your Box! Click here for more info!   Image by Pixabay via Pexels

The impact of Covid-19 on the self-storage sector in Europe

03/06/2022

[This blog is a translation of the original Dutch version published on May 21, 2021] 2020 has gone down in history as the year when a quirky virus held the whole world hostage. Covid-19 has had an impact on (almost) all sectors. What about the self-storage sector in Europe? The general financial situation of a self-storage can be assessed - albeit simplified - using three parameters: property prices, occupancy rate and rent collection. The impact of real estate prices Property prices are important to the self-storage operator in two ways: it determines the value of current premises and affects expansion plans through acquisition of property . JLL reports that the take-up volume for industrial and logistics property in Belgium for 2020 is at the third highest rate in the past 10 years. Driven by the increase in e-commerce, logistic real estate did particularly well. Although the take-up volume for semi-industrial real estate decreased compared to 2019, demand remains very high. Conclusion: The pandemic does not immediately affect the value of self-storage real estate. Operators of a self-storage facility located near a logistical hub even saw the value of their property rise! (Source: JLL) The effect of the occupancy rate The lockdown months of March, April and May 2020 resulted in a status quo in terms of occupancy rate. On the one hand, no new tenants could be attracted, on the other hand, existing tenants' rent continued to be paid due to the limited possibilities to pick up and move out their belongings. The 2020 Fedessa survey confirms this trend. The occupancy rate at the two reference months, February and June 2020, does not differ much (overall occupancy rate is 79%). The occupancy rate in June was even slightly higher in many countries. We saw the same trend in the United States. Data for the second half of 2020 is not yet publicly available. In view of the still to be expected real impact of the coronavirus crisis on the economy -when government support measures are withdrawn- a decline in occupancy cannot be ruled out. In the professional renting segment, bankruptcies are likely, which may in turn have an effect on the occupancy rate. The fact that private person tenants tend to stay put is an argument for assuming that self-storage owners do not immediately have to fear a decline in occupancy rates in 2021 (source: Inside Self-Storage). What about rent-a-collection? A high occupancy rate is great, but it does not help self-storage operators much when their tenants have trouble paying rent. The lockdown months and the first months thereafter made this (extra) clear. During this pandemic, self-storage operators have to deal with tenants who pay late, request a postponement of payment or ask for a waiver of (part of) their rent. Best case scenario, this disrupts the landlord's cash flow. Worst case scenario, it leads to termination of the lease agreement along with the risk of being left with unpaid rent. The Fedessa 2020 survey reports that in May 2020, 90% of rents were collected within the respective payment periods. In our view, data from May 2020 provides an incomplete picture of the impact of Covid-19 on the timely payment of rents. Indeed, payment difficulties will not occur immediately in the first months of the crisis (or during the period of government support), but at a later stage. Payment problems can be the precursor of a (temporary) decline in occupancy rates. On the other hand, one can assume that new tenants who decide to rent a self-storage unit today, have been able to assess the impact of Covid-19 on their financial situation. This in contrast to current tenants for whom Covid-19 is an unforeseen circumstance.   Are you looking for an online marketing channel to reach new tenants? Then simply register now on Book Your Box! Click here for more info!   Image by CDC via Pexels

What is self-storage?

03/06/2022

The concept of self-storage originates from the United States, but is increasingly becoming more common in Europe too. Self-storage is flexible, short or long term storage renting available to both individuals and (small) companies. Self-storage facilities are extremely professional and not at all comparable with an empty shed or attic. Self-storage facilities are equipped with all the necessary features to ensure safe storage of your belongings. Self-storage worldwide The US leads the way in the self-storage world with over 50,000 locations. The industry is also known from TV shows like Storage Wars, Storage Hunters or Auction Hunters. In Europe, the self-storage sector has experienced spectacular growth in recent years. At the end of 2020, there were 4,800 sites in Europe, representing some 10.5 million m² of floor space (source: Fedessa 2020 survey). Most of that surface area is located in the Big Six: the United Kingdom, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and Norway. However, self-storage is gaining ground all over Europe. Also in Belgium! What does a self-storage unit look like? A self-storage unit (this is the name of the rented storage space) is an extension of your home or commercial premises. You may not use certain things on a daily basis, but they are still your belongings and you want to store them in a neat and accessible way. Self-storages guarantee this through the various features they offer, ranging from camera surveillance to temperature control. From remote control to lift service. In this way, security and privacy are guaranteed. Of course, you also have the freedom to pick up your stuff when needed. When can you make use self-storage? If the number of self-storage facilities is growing, that means there must be a demand for such storage units, right? So who are all these users of self-storage? Well, the group of tenants is actually very diverse. From people who are moving and need to temporarily store their belongings, to families who are looking for additional space for things they do not use on a daily basis. From hobbyists who are expanding their studios to independent contractors who are looking for a handy (and strategically located) storage place for stock and tools. From web shops who find in self-storage the ideal alternative to a warehouse, to SMEs who don't know what to do with their archives. The possibilities are endless. Self-storage can offer a solution for any shortage of space, both in the short and long term. Want to know more about when to use self-storage? We are happy to refer you to our other blogs: How self-storage makes moving easier: with three reasons why self-storage and moving are a successful marriage. Lack of space at home? Self-storage to the rescue! : on how self-storage can be an extension of your home. Eight life events when self-storage will prove useful: many tenants turn to self-storage when there is an event in their life, be it positive or negative. How self-storage can be of added value for companies: find out how companies have also found the way to self-storage. Book Your Box and self-storage What is the role of Book Your Box in the self-storage landscape? Well, we are the first online platform where different self-storage providers are gathered and offer their units for rent. Book Your Box offers you the possibility to compare self-storage units in your area and helps you to choose the provider and unit that meets your preferences and needs. Whereas in the past you had to go visit the self-storage, with Book Your Box you can now directly reserve your unit from your couch. The best thing? We won’t charge you any fee!! Any questions? Visit our tenants page with handy space calculator, FAQ section or just contact us via the chat function!   Image ID 1823056133 by SeventyFour used under license from Shutterstock.com