Self-storage flourishes after pandemic boosts business

The on-going covid pandemic has provided a stimulus to the self-storage property segment where any volatility or downturn tends to drive user demand for storage space.

So says Marcol International Asset Management’s head of business development Rebekah Tobias. Demand results particularly from businesses upsizing or downsizing, she said, and, in the residential context, relocation and the three Ds, divorce, death and downsizing all contribute to an increased requirement for storage.

Marcol is a private pan-European investor with a preference for real estate strategies operational real estate where it owns both the operating business and the underlying assets, such as self storage and healthcare.

The company launched its self-storage business, Space Plus, two and a half years ago.

“We’re actually repurposing and converting old retail buildings, mainly furniture stores. There’s quite a lot of obsolete big-box retail around in great locations close to the inner cities, closer to your customer base,” she told Real Asset Insight’s Richard Betts.

The company now has a portfolio of about 17 assets across Germany, but particularly focused on the densely populated north-western region.

“Even though we have inflationary pressures, self storage is a sector in which you can actually increase rents in line with inflation, so we’ve hit the nail on the head in terms of key strategies we want to focus on,” Tobias added.

However, buying opportunities are likely to be more limited as more players enter the market, she warned.

Click on the video to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.