When people think of how technology impacts real estate, the self-storage sector may not immediately come to mind. However, the self-storage REIT sector is one of the most enterprising industries in applying modern technologies to their everyday business.
These REITs are making the most of online search engines to optimize their placement when a household looks for a place to store their precious belongings.
Self-storage REITs also employ modern technologies to understand better the demographics in an area and target those households that are most likely to need storage, from the family that is remodeling or in the midst of a move, to the retirees who are downsizing after years in the family home, or the small business operator with extra supplies and inventories. Self-storage REITs provide a clean, modern, and secure facility for all these needs.
This nimble application of technology gives listed self-storage REITs an advantage over many private operators, who tend to have smaller, localized operations and are unable to optimize their operations over a national platform. REITs have been leading a nationwide consolidation of the storage industry, with net acquisitions of nearly $15 billion over the past five years and a 70 percent increase in the sector’s square footage over this period.