National Storage CEO Says REIT Growing Faster Than Expected

Arlen Nordhagen, co-founder, president and CEO of National Storage Affiliates (NYSE: NSA), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWorld 2015: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the Wynn Las Vegas.

NSA, which went public in April, currently owns 277 self-storage facilities located in 16 states with approximately 15.8 million rentable square feet of space. Nordhagen discussed operational growth trends.

“We’ve been really pleased with the growth we’ve seen this year and subsequent to our initial public offering (IPO),” he said. Nordhagen explained that NSA’s participating regional operators (PROs) have grown faster than expected, both in terms of same-store operational results and external acquisitions.

NSA has six PROs located across the western and southern United States. The operators have generally been in the self-storage business for more than 25 years, Nordhagen said, and are the key to driving NSA’s growth.

Nordhagen said NSA provides the PROs with all the tools expected from a sophisticated national operator in areas, including call centers, integrated Internet marketing, integrated management information systems and access to a low cost of capital. For their part, PROs offer NSA their long-term experience and knowledge at the local level, Nordhagen noted.

Nordhagen also commented on NSA’s high level of acquisition activity and the current acquisition climate.

“We’ve never seen greater competition for storage assets in more than 25 years,” Nordhagen said. However, Nordhagen pointed out that NSA’s PRO structure gives it a head start at the local level when operators are considering selling their assets.

Nordhagen attributed NSA’s rapid growth rate to the tax and estate planning advantages the company can offer through its operating partnership units and its high dividend.