The available resources for passive self-storage investors are limited and it’s difficult to know who to trust. In this article, I share my top recommendations to help you become an expert in the self-storage industry.
If you want to understand how self-storage compares to other real estate, you’ll want to check Nareit (Reit.com). Nareit compiles data on self-storage real estate investment trust (REIT) returns going back to 1994. You can compare that data to the risk/return profiles of other asset classes to help inform your investment decisions.
Follow these steps to download storage REIT data:
Visit www.Reit.com > REIT Data (menu at top) > REIT Indexes > Historical REIT Returns > Annual Index Values & Returns > Annual Returns by Property Sector and Subsector
Take it a step further by downloading the 10-K reports of each of the storage REITs. A 10-K is a comprehensive annual report required to be filed by all publicly traded companies. Typically, the 10-Ks of the storage REITs will describe their recent acquisition and development activities, and their outlook on market risks. Knowing what the REITs are thinking and doing will inform your understanding of the storage market and investment opportunities.
How do you access their 10-Ks? Visit their websites and look for the “About Us” tab or scroll to the bottom of their
home page where you will find a link for investors. Follow that link to access their financial information. Here’s a list of the storage REITs to help you get started:
Public Storage (publicstorage.com) – Click on “Annual Report.”
Extra Space Storage (extraspace.com) – Click on “Most Recent 10-K.”
National Storage Affiliates (nationalstorageaffiliates.com) – Click on “Annual Report.”
U-Haul is not a REIT, but its parent company, Amerco, is publicly traded (amerco.com) – Click on “Annual Reports.”
CubeSmart (cubesmart.com) – They don’t have a 10K on their site, but they have a 10-Q Form (quarterly unaudited financial statements) posted.
Life Storage (lifestorage.com) – They have a 10-Q Form posted.
My last data resource is Yardi Matrix (yardimatrix.com). Yardi hosts annual webinars and provides monthly reports covering financial news and updates on the self-storage industry. Just about every major self-storage operator watches their webinars and reads their monthly reports. If you want to keep up with the latest self-storage performance, you should too.
If there is a press release about anything related to the storage industry, you will find it on Radius Plus and the Sparefoot Storage Beat. Visit radiusplus.com or sparefoot.com/self-storage/news
The best book on the self-storage industry is The Self-Storage Almanac. It’s full of information such as who uses self-storage, what do they store, how many facilities are in each state, and so on. Most facts and figures quoted by industry experts come from The Self-Storage Almanac. I recommend The Self-Storage Almanac to every passive investor who wants to learn more about the self-storage industry.
Events are a great way to learn about the self-storage industry. I recommend attending your State-specific Self-Storage Association events or trade shows. These state trade shows are a great way to meet local vendors and learn about the storage industry in your state. Depending on the type of event, they usually last a day or two and the cost is minimal compared to national events.
I hope these resources on self-storage data, news, books, and events improve your understanding of this industry and the opportunity self-storage provides to earn a stable, risk-adjusted return. Stay tuned for my next article on due diligence for self-storage facilities.