The Top 10 Self-Storage Companies of 2023
Although 2022 was a far less explosive year for self storage, most of the 10 largest owners and operators continued to grow in this fragmented sector.
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The self-storage real estate sector had something of a breakout year in 2021. Sales volumes hit $23.6 billion, and rents climbed to new highs. However, all good things must come to an end.
Or must they?
Last year, investment activity hit the brakes across the country; it’s true. But rents are still growing, and many institutional investors are still eyeing new investments in self storage. After all, this property sector does tend to outperform even in times of economic distress, thanks to sustained demand intersecting with low operational costs.
The self-storage real estate sector is fragmented in terms of ownership. While there are some major investors and REITs who own a large percent of the inventory, the number of mom-and-pop owners involved is massive.
One way self storage attracts smaller investors is due to its significantly lower barriers to entry in terms of pricing — especially compared to industrial or office assets. For inexperienced commercial real estate investors, it can be a great asset type to start with.
If you’re curious about who the largest players are in the sector, check out our list of top self-storage owners and operators to watch in 2023. You can find more information about each company below the table.
The Top 10 Self-Storage Owners of 2023
Extra Space Storage
National Storage Affiliates
Storage Asset Management
Merit Hill Capital
10. Prime Storage
With over 250 self-storage facilities totaling over 15 million square feet, Prime Group and its management subsidiary Prime Storage have solidified their position as industry leaders. The company's investment strategy is focused on undersupplied markets with significant barriers to entry, and it has expanded significantly in the past couple of years to include a greater presence in the western United States.
9. Merit Hill Capital
Founded by industry veteran Liz Raun Schlesinger in 2016, Merit Hill Capital has grown to become one of the largest players in the self-storage market with a portfolio of over 15 million square feet across more than 230 properties in 33 states. The firm's focus on large metropolitan areas has enabled them to acquire some of the most sought-after properties in the country.
Family-owned and operated since 1999, StorageMart has built its portfolio to over 25 million net rentable square feet across the US, Canada, and the UK. In 2022, the company continued to expand, with major acquisitions in Colorado, Wisconsin, and Texas. The firm’s properties offer many features common to higher-end facilities, but it also has established a rewards program for frequent customers to build brand loyalty.
7. Storage Asset Management
Led by CEO Alyssa Quill, Storage Asset Management has seen rapid expansion in recent years, with its portfolio reaching 30 million-square-foot management portfolio. The York, Pa.-based company began operations in 2010 and has grown at a swift pace through the beginning of 2022.
6. National Storage Affiliates
With 70 million rentable square feet in its portfolio, National Storage Affiliates takes the sixth spot in our ranking. The company's focus on strategic acquisitions in undersupplied markets has helped them to build a diverse portfolio of properties in prime locations across the country. As of September 2022, National Storage Affiliates had an ownership interest in roughly 1,100 properties in 42 states and Puerto Rico.
With a portfolio of over 1,200 properties, CubeSmart has grown to become one of the largest self-storage companies in the country. The company's decision to focus on technology and innovation in their properties has helped them to attract and retain customers in an increasingly competitive market.
4. Extra Space Storage
Extra Space Storage, one of the most recognizable names in the self-storage industry, has continued to expand its portfolio, which now exceeds 150 million square feet across approximately 2,000 locations. The firm focuses on high-quality assets with a wide range of storage uses, from RV to other vehicle storage.
U-Haul is one of the most well-known names in the self-storage industry. Having been in business since 1945, U-Haul currently has more than 1,800 self-storage facilities across the U.S. and Canada. Its facilities offer extended access hours, online payments, and a wide selection of packing and moving supplies. Additionally, U-Haul facilities typically offer features such as 24-hour video surveillance, code-controlled gate entry, and individual unit alarms.
Formerly known as Sovran Self Storage and Uncle Bob's, LifeStorage has a portfolio of over 50 million square feet, making it one of the largest self-storage companies in the world. The company has a strong presence in the eastern United States, but has expanded in recent years to include properties in several other regions of the country. The company has continued to invest in technology — enabling, among other things, users to tour self-storage facilities online with 360-degree tours.
1. Public Storage
Public Storage tops our list as the largest self-storage owner-operator in the country, boasting a portfolio of over 200 million net rentable square feet across more than 2,800 properties. The company, which is one of the largest and most recognizable names in the self-storage industry, has a strong presence in virtually every major market in the United States, and has seen consistent growth over the past several years. Oh, and they have some pretty strange ads on their YouTube channel.
There’s a lot going on in the self-storage industry, and it pays to know who the biggest owners and operators are. While ownership is indeed fragmented, the sector’s largest players continue to get bigger — which could ultimately lead to greater consolidation across the country.
If you're looking for our 2022 ranking, find it here.
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- What are the benefits of investing in self storage?
- Some of the benefits of investing in self storage include that it is a relatively easy property to operate, has a low vacancy rate, and is flexible in terms of rental rates.
- What are some of the disadvantages of self storage?
- Some of the disadvantages of self storage include that it generally has shorter lease terms than other types of real estate and that it can be difficult to find a quality asset in a desirable location.