Store Space Self Storage has sprinted out of the gate after opening shop last spring. The company is spearheaded by Chris Harris and Rob Consalvo, former executives at iStorage.
The Orlando, Florida-based company already is operating seven locations in its home state, Texas and Indiana, and recently purchased three more properties in Philadelphia.
What enabled such a fast start?
“We have very strong relationships from the iStorage days, and people have faith in our ability to close quickly and with certainty,” said Harris, CEO (he and COO/President Rob Consalvo worked at iStorage before its 2016 sale to National Storage Affiliates).
But Harris said it still can be a challenge to find opportunities that make financial sense. That’s because some sellers have overly optimistic evaluations of their property, Harris said, noting that rent prices rose at high rates of 8 to 10 percent from 2014-2016, enabling property buyers to make up some of what they paid for a facility.
“Now, we’re seeing more consistent 2, 3 and 4 percent rent growth and you can’t be as aggressive,” Harris said.
“I think the future is bright in storage,” Consalvo said. “This has been a long expansionary cycle, with pricing and evaluations going through the roof. We’re starting to see that soften a little, which is our reason for re-entering the market.”
Other key players include Stephen Sandecki, Chief Marketing Officer, who has worked in the industry for 15 years, and Eric Schmiedel, director of software development, both NSA veterans.
Ready to soar
Store Space hopes to expand quickly nationwide via acquisitions and select conversions/development. The company also will partner with owners via joint ventures, tax-deferred exchanges or through Store Space’s third-party management platform.
The company touts its management platform, which is available to operators of self-storage facilities. Its capabilities include a consumer website, revenue management, call-center operations, internal kiosks that customers and managers can use anywhere in the facility (not just in the office), and a CRM system that Sandecki said is used to stay in touch with customers past, present and future.
“We treat any third-party management facility like it’s our own. We use the same approach and they receive everything identical to what we do in our own locations. Our goal is to build strategic partnerships that enable both parties to benefit. Our goal is scale, not a deal pipeline. We believe that helps us better align interests,” Harris said.
A breath of fresh air
“Our claim to fame always has been, and is, breathing new life into a facility,” Consalvo said.
“We’re coming in and putting a new physical face on these projects by cleaning them up, painting, rebranding, etc.”
Also, Sandecki upgrades the online presence. “The combination creates dramatic changes to property performance,” Consalvo said.