1.) Property Management is less labor intensive. Operational costs are reduced due to less maintenance issues (ie less plumbing, toilets, etc.)
2.) Operators can evict tenants quickly due to non-payment. Some states have lengthy processes to evict tenants in apartments. However, with self storage, lien laws gives the ability to sell contents of the storage unit after 90 days of non-payment and re-coop lost revenues.
3.) Recession & Inflation Proof - In good times, consumers buy more "stuff". In bad times, consumers downgrade their living environment, but don't necessarily sell their belongings. Also, in self-storage, there is no rent control that exists in larger metropolitan cities around the country. Renters don't take the time to move their stuff to a new facility down the street over a $10/month rent increase.
4.) The US is a country of consumers. The "Amazon effect" has simplified the purchasing of goods.
5.) Transient Population - This "Millennial Effect" where the younger generations enjoys being mobile, but still have possessions to store in the meantime. This holds true across other demographics as well.
6.) The conversion process from an empty warehouse space to a self-storage facility is simpler than if you were to convert to apartments. There is far less framing, drywall, plumbing, appliances, tile, etc.
7.) Warehouse Supply - Empty warehouse space is everywhere across the U.S. Think of how many Sears Stores and Kmart's have gone out of business in the last decade. These serve as potentials for a self-storage conversion.
8.) Self-Storage Occupancy is above 90% nationwide.
9.) Self-Storage has the Lowest Default / Foreclosure Rates in Commercial Real Estate.
10.) Ability to Cash Out / Re-finance is much easier than with an apartment building since Self-Storage is a less volatile product when it comes to vacancies.