That self storage property you invested in is not some kind of dreamy movie sequence where everybody runs through flowers in the field and nothing bad happens. This is the real world and in the real world you should think of it not as a self storage investment, but rather a self storage business. You wouldn’t ignore a retail business and expect the checks to magically fill up your mailbox every 30 days.
A self storage business as a retail business. The key to making money is to control expenses. You should do a line-by-line read through of your expenses regularly to make sure nothing weird is slipping past that could eat into your profits. Here’s an example. One self storage property owner received a property tax bill and realized they were being dinged $5 per month for television service. Obviously, there were no televisions being used there, so what the heck?
Upon calling the television company, the owner received the the following reply, “Oh, we are trying to determine
who uses our service.” Yes, you just read that right. Beyond the completely irresponsible and, we believe, criminal behavior of the television service, the broader point is that the owner would have just given away $60 that year for no good reason. While that’s not a break-the-bank amount of money, the broader point is would you prefer to give away money that is rightfully yours? Our answer would be a resounding, “Heck no!”
And what if you were being charged inaccurately for other services like trash, sewage, or electricity? Unless you keep a tight eye on expenses, you could be in trouble in this economic climate. Our advice is treat your self storage business like it’s a real business, because it is.
The Mobile Home Park Listings Team
Flickr / PatCastaldo