Self-storage business reports an uptick in demand from home office workers
(Text adapted from an article by Jack Needham Sept 4, 2020 originally posted on commercialrealestate.com.au)
Agents for the self-storage unit in Banksmeadow, near Sydney Airport, are reporting an uptick in demand since the pandemic hit, something they attribute to the dramatic change in people’s working environment and the need to clear space at home.
Sales in the facility, developed by Leda Group and opened in January, were initially slow for the first six weeks following the site’s launch, before picking up from mid-March, according to CBRE’s William Gathercole.
Mr Gathercole, who has now sold 15 units in the The Lock Up self-storage facility, said the pandemic was behind much of the demand.
“The pandemic has changed the way people are running their businesses,” Mr Gathercole said.
Spaces in the facility range from 19 square metres to 57 square metres and start at $142,500.
There were two distinctive types of customer emerging among his client base – those looking to store surplus domestic items and those seeking a warehouse-style space for their business inventory.
“We’ve had a string of small business owners who have switched to a home office in recent months, and are now pairing that with space at The Lock Up,” Mr Gathercole said.
“In some cases, it’s as simple as reconfiguring their home to accommodate an office, freeing up space by clearing out gym equipment or a car [and putting it in a storage unit].”
He’s also noticed demand from businesses who need somewhere to store stock but don’t require enough space to justify leasing a warehouse.
“We’re also talking to a lot of occupiers who are looking for somewhere to store stock or run their back-of-house and distribution, while they work primarily from home,” he said.
Mr Hoffman said changes in consumer behaviour emanating from the COVID-19 pandemic presented both “positive and negative factors” for the sector.
“Less movement both internationally and interstate affects move-ins. However [there are] also people like university students not moving into or staying in units near universities – they might be moving back home with mum and dad and, [as a result], the family home is needing more space,” he said.
“Likewise there is more space required if family groups are wanting to co-habitate, particularly bringing older family members into the home.”
He also said there had been anecdotal evidence of demand from small businesses like cafes and restaurants storing excess items including chairs and tables that they were currently unable to use.
(text taken from "Self-storage business reports an uptick in demand from home office workers" Commercialrealestate.com.au - 4 Sept 2020)
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