Service Member Profile: Self Storage Investments

Creating Investment Opportunities in Self Storage

2014 was a big year for Self Storage Investments having been a part of several large transactions for some of our clients and providing new development consulting for others.

2015 was similarly a very active time for our group with increased activity and interest in Self Storage within Australia and the Australasian region.

The Self Storage Investments team has grown in 2015 by welcoming a new addition to the group. Michael Yip has joined the team as an assistant project manager. Michael comes with a background in Construction Management.

As it stands, Self Storage Investments is working on a number of Metropolitan Self Storage development opportunities in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. We are seeking Joint venture partnerships to develop these assets.

If you are looking for opportunities to be involved, we would be interested to have a confidential discussion about potential partnership opportunities. Please contact Simon Degaris at

Other Services include:
• Development Consultancy
• Divestment Services
• Joint Venture Creation.

For more information about us please see our website

Member Spotlight: Southern Boat and Caravan Storage

Only an hour away from Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula seems like a world away with its historic colonial homes, beautiful beaches and cellar doors. Its close proximity to Arthurs Seat State Park, Point Nepean National Park and Western Port and Port Phillip Heads Marine National Parks makes it a popular spot for camping and boating. Significantly Southern Boat and Caravan Storage have capitalised on this niche with their Mornington Peninsula facility.

  1.  What is your background and how did you become involved in self storage?

We are relatively new to the industry, and decided to diversify due to our large land holding. Research played a huge part in deciding to be involved and we are still in the early stages at the moment.

  1. How do you advertise your business and what do you find most effective?

We are currently implementing our marketing strategy.  It will be a combination of internet and Print Media.  A large advertising sign will also be located on the property.

  1. What opportunities do you see in the industry?

We believe the industry will continue to grow given the aging population and smaller size of blocks that people are living on, especially in urban areas.

  1. What do you see as the challenges for the industry?

I think maintaining a regulatory body to eliminate unscrupulous operators will be a significant issue for the industry. Storage land is also becoming increasingly difficult to purchase and develop closer to populated areas.

  1. What are the points of difference in your particular market?

Obviously the boating and caravan storage, but we are focusing on larger open and covered sites with easier access and drop off points. 

  1. Where do you see your business in the future?

Growing strongly hopefully!  We are currently at Stage 1 of the development with another 2 stages yet to be completed. Over the next 3-4 years larger storage areas will become available to our customers. 

  1. What’s your best tip for new entrants to the industry?

Do your research, find your market and accommodate that market 

  1. What is the best part about what you do?

Making the storage transition as easy as possible for our ageing clientele, and meeting people from all walks of life and solving the problems of the world with them!

Southern Boat and Caravan Storage,  147 Mornington-Tyabb Rd, Mornington VIC 3931 –

Board Profile: Malcolm Collins

1. What is your name and what is your position?

Malcolm Collins, Board Member – Service Member Representative and Director, Collins & Associates


2. How/Why did you first become involved in self storage?

I was working at Arthur Andersen in the mid 1990’s and I was asked to value a facility in Box Hill operated by a bloke called Bob Marsh.  He spent two hours telling me about the business before we even inspected the building.  I was hooked by his passion for the industry, his willingness to answer all my questions, and his candid view on the world.  I decided there must be something special about the people in this industry – and I was proved right!


3. What do you think has been the biggest change to self storage since you first entered the industry?

It’s changed from being a “mum and dad” industry with bored people on front counters filling in their time baby-sitting “industrial” properties and ignoring customers, to being a much more dynamic, retail-orientated industry based on and around committed service providers, people and service.  Some businesses are much better at this than others!  And let’s not forget about the internet, technology and the digital world – and the owner’s ability to use it for commercial advantage.  Knowledge is value.


4. What is your best tip for managing staff in self storage?

From what I’ve seen over more than twenty years – employ good people with a passion for what they do, then empower them to “own the store”, give them concurrent responsibility to make decisions….. and make you redundant.


5. What is your message to members of the SSAA?

Be involved with the industry.  Attend regional meetings where you can, go to the conference, use SSAA staff training, give the Board ideas.  Meet other owners and operators, swap ideas and tips.  Trade-off your competitors in an intelligent manner – strong discounting is a great way to financially bleed to death.  Operate your business as if it’s ready to sell – with excellent data, great service, positive ownership, a good story to tell.


6. What do you see as the biggest threat to, or competition for, self storage?

Apathy.  If you don’t care, or if people are happy to just commercially survive, it shows.  An inability to learn better ways to operate.  An inability to learn from mistakes.


 7. What do you think are the opportunities for growth in self storage?

Keep up with the digital age.  Online and modern business is fundamentally altering our lives.  Many small businesses need storage without leases and adaptable space(s) with easy access.  Post-box and parcel delivery space.  Many older people (like me) need storage to keep our treasures in – or the kids stuff!  Talk to your clients, find out what they need.


8. If you could look into the future, what do you see for self storage?

Opportunities to buy, sell, amalgamate, expand – or just do better with the asset you have.  Remember you have a saleable commodity.


9. Describe your ideal holiday destination.

The Greek Islands in summer, a large sailing boat, my family and best friends – and a crew!


10. Finish this sentence – “Nobody likes a… 

Smart-arse”.  Genuine people attract other genuine people.  I don’t have time to waste on time-wasters.


11. What is your favourite meal?

The next one!  I love simple food (see Greek Islands above).


12. Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Dog, absolutely.  My kids and I still remember all those bike rides and cliff-races with “our Bess” when they, I and she was young.


13. What ‘life advice’ would you give to a younger version of yourself?

Enjoy life, see the silver linings and don’t worry about what you can’t control.  This is a big world, there’s always something new to find and someone new to meet.

Storage Is The New Rock’n’Roll

Just how Rock’n’Roll is Self Storage? According to Ciaran Gribben, lead singer of INXS, very! Check out the final session of our first ever Staff in Storage Training and Development Retreat where Ciaran forms a band ‘The Potatoes’ with self storage staff.

This video was created using a smart phone by Liam Driver – Video Lift.

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