Self-Storage Industry Seeing Stability During Challenging Times
Within six months, Mini Mall Storage Properties (MMSP) has flourished at lightning speed, growing from concept to a multi-million-dollar business.
The company, managed by Avenue Living Asset Management, currently has seven self-storage properties across Alberta and Saskatchewan with $18.9 million of assets under management, totaling almost 2,000 units. Expansion plans are underway for other provinces across Canada.
For Adam Villard, MMSP’s Co-Founder and CEO, his initial interest in self-storage was due to the stability of the industry. Several months into the COVID-19 pandemic and among accompanying economic challenges, the concept seems even more prescient.
“Self-storage has historically been a very stable industry, especially when you look at Canadian secondary markets,” said Villard.
“We’ve seen strong results despite COVID-19 and despite economic adversities,” said Villard. “We’ve had little to no decline in any of our revenues across the portfolio. Our receivables remain very strong.”
Aaron Facca, Vice-President of Operations for MMSP, said when it comes to billing and collecting rents, the company’s focus on automation and technology has been an integral part of its success in strong receivables.
“When we launched Mini Mall Storage Properties, we decided right from the beginning that receivables would be a primary focus for management,” said Facca. He added that collections have been steady at about 99 per cent for each of the past three months. “We work with our customers and develop options for payment plans, with a significant focus on ease of transaction.”
Currently MMSP has an additional $25 million in properties under contract, which includes another seven properties with 2,000 units.
“In September, we’ll be moving into our third province, Manitoba,” said Villard.
“We’re always looking at potential self-storage properties. Our goal is to have $100 million assets under management by the end of 2020.”
MMSP modernizes class B & C self-storage properties by implementing industry-leading technology and automation across its portfolio, ultimately providing a streamlined customer experience for its tenants.
“We’re finding many of the facility owners we are approaching about a potential purchase are individuals who are simply at a point in their lives where it’s time to sell,” he added. “We’ve met a lot of mature owners, folks in their 70s and 80s, who have been looking for an exit strategy as they age yet have no real succession plan. We provide a true exit plan, with the I’s dotted and T’s crossed, making it seamless for those who are interested in selling.”
“We’re also actively working on acquiring a number of facilities in British Columbia and Ontario,” said Villard. “We’re on track to become a national brand.”
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