As a feasibility consultant, I know there is a ton of data available to help developers make decisions about where to build regular self storage. But when it comes to boat and RV storage, there is just not the same depth of information readily available.
Here are some tips particular to boat and RV storage development to help you compare parcels and find the best site:
- Expand Your Horizons – Because the return per square foot is lower for boat and RV storage, usually you are going to have to build outside densely populated areas.
- Little Boxes on the Hillside – The presence of homeowners associations (HOAs), condominium communities and cooperatives with covenants regulating parking your boat or RV in your driveway, on the street or in your yard will help drive demand for boat and RV storage.
- Summer People – In a boat and RV feasibility study, you are not just looking at the permanent population. An annual influx of snowbirds or sunbirds is indicative of prospective customers who want to store their boats, RVs, snow mobiles, jet skis and toys during the off-season. That brings me to the next tip…
- It’s the Destination – Search out land located by lakes, national parks and other vacation-centric places.
- Fall in Love with a Rich Guy – When comparing one site against another, consider the prospective boat and RV storage customers’ demographics and psychographics of each location. Where can you charge higher prices?
- Alternative Universes – Run the numbers with different scenarios based on the type of facility you think would be best at each parcel you are considering. Online investment calculators are great for this (I like Trachte’s) and will help you narrow down your pool of choices.
When you are ready to proceed with your boat and RV feasibility study, make sure the numbers make sense for your long-term goals and the projections hit your desired return on investment because you are going to need twice as much land for a boat and RV facility to make the money you would in a traditional self-storage business.
Take a close look at the standard research mandatory for every boat and RV feasibility study and finish strong with a full seven years of annual projections, three years of net operating income by month and a sensitivity analysis to make sure your project has the strongest chance of success.