Either of the calculators below can help you to estimate how much (if any) unmet demand exists in your community. These calculations should be used in combination with calls and visits to local existing facilities to attempt to determine their occupancy. Use the population method if you have access to total population numbers, or the households method if you have qty of households data. Use both to investigate thoroughly. Be sure to log in to our user system if you wish to save your work and return to it later, or if you are a return visitor looking to access a previous demand estimate. You’ll see a¬†“New Project” and “Save” button¬†below if you are currently logged in.

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Step 1: Survey of Existing Storage
Facility Name Sq Ft

Enter the total sq ft of rentable storage for each site.

This be estimated in a number of ways:
- Visit area sites and count the doors to estimate the size (doors normally represent 10' or 5' wide units)
- Estimate the size using Google earth views
- Check city or county real estate records, most municipalities have tax parcel data online

Note: for buildings with interior access, estimate 80% to be rentable, due to halls and other common areas.

Number of Units

Enter the total qty of existing storage units within the desired radius.

This be estimated in a number of ways:
- Visit area sites and count the doors to estimate the qty of units (doors normally represent 10' or 5' units)
- Estimate the size using Google earth

Distance

Enter the distance from this site to the parcel under consideration for development.

mi
mi

Step 2: Calculating Demand
Enter population and/or household figures for the community surrounding your target site.
  • Population Method
  • Households Method
Population

Enter the number of people living within the desired radius of the proposed facility.

Self-storage consumers prefer to rent from the facility nearest to their home, considering facilities up to a maximum of 3 to 5 miles away.

In urban areas, the distance is lower, while rural users may drive further to find a facility.

Sq ft of Existing Storage Current Usage Level
mi
sq ft
sq ft / person
mi
sq ft
sq ft / person
mi
sq ft
sq ft / person
Demand propensity (sq ft used per person)

Enter a figure to represent average per person self-storage usage. Nationally, the United States consumes approximately 7 sq feet per man, woman and child.

Use a lower figure to calcuate a more conservative estimate. Demand is generally slightly higher in areas where homes do not have basements, or where outdoor storage of cars and boats is prohibited by local

sq ft per person

Total Demand
Total Demand (sq ft)

Total Demand = Population x sq ft per person

Unmet Demand
1 miles 35000 sq ft
3 miles sq ft
5 miles sq ft
Households

Enter the number of households within the desired radius of the proposed facility.

Self-storage consumers prefer to rent from the facility nearest to their home, considering facilities up to a maximum of 3 to 5 miles away.

In urban areas, the distance is lower, while rural users may drive further to find a facility.

Qty of Units Existing Storage

Enter the total qty of existing storage units within the desired radius.

This be estimated in a number of ways:
- Visit area sites and count the doors to estimate the qty of units (doors normally represent 10' or 5' units)
- Estimate the size using Google earth

Current % Households Served
mi
units
%
mi
units
%
mi
units
%
Demand Propensity (% of households)
%

Enter a percentage to represent household storage use. Nationally, a little over one out of ten households use self storage, so consider 10% to be a slightly conservative estimate.

Use a lower figure to calcuate a more conservative estimate. Demand is generally slightly higher in areas where homes do not have basements, or where outdoor storage of cars and boats is prohibited by local ordinances.

Qty of Units per Household
units

Some households rent more than one unit. It is believed that of households renting, they rent 1.2 units on average.

You may adjust this factor up or down.

Commercial users
%

Most facilities will have about 10 to 30% commercial clients.

Adjust this factor to increase the predicted demand from commercial clients.


Total Demand
Total Demand (units)

Total Demand = (Household x Demand Propensity % x Qty of units per household) x (1 + Commercial User %)

Unmet Demand
1 miles units
3 miles units
5 miles units

The "unmet demand" field is an estimation of the qty of additional storage that your local area can support. When planning your facility we suggest to develop site plan that meets current demand, as well as forecasted future demand if in a growing community. We suggest to build only a portion of the unmet demand as a first phase, to avoid the risk of overbuilding and to help your facility reach the break even point faster. Most self-storage businesses do well, but those that fail generally do so as a combined result of overbuilding and excessive debt load.


Next Step: Use our "Basic Investment Calculator" to create a financial projection for your project.