Research Outline

Self-Storage Companies - US and Canada


To develop an informed marketing communications strategy by understanding key drivers that lead to the use of self-storage solutions. The current objective is to identify 5 drivers for self-storage in Canada and/or the US supported by quantitative data related to the frequency and share these reasons hold.

Early Findings

Designated Temporary Living

  • Military families/singles and college students are top self-storage customer sectors (due to their temporary living circumstances).

Foreclosures/Transient Circumstances

  • While it did occur several years ago, the subprime crisis and subsequent foreclosures (displaced families) boosted demand for self-storage.


  • While millennials have been slow to become homeowners, their status as renters aids self-storage use.
  • As millennials age, this cohort (80 million) represents 1/3 of all non-commercial self-storage renters. This is expected to rise as millennials enter ages where they are inclined to earn more income.

Low Rental Vacancy Rates

  • In US areas where it is hard to find an affordable or accessible location (especially considering millennials’ desire for more exciting metropolitan areas), the use of self-storage tends to increase.

Additional Facts

  • According to research from Deloitte, today’s self-storage owners “face challenges to their future growth and margins due to increased supply and competition from new players.”
  • “The self-storage national vacancy rate rose 180 basis points to 13.4% in 4Q18, the highest since 4Q13.”