Not enough people look into due diligence, says David Rochefort, Vice President of Noah’s Ark Development in the April 2016 edition of the Mini Storage Messenger. In the article “No Stone Unturned: Due Diligence Mistakes to Avoid”, Rochefort speaks at length on the dozens of calls he receives regularly on opportunities found, but lacking in the homework department.
“So many people who want to build self storage don’t do the right due diligence,” he said. They don’t do the market research, trade area research, or radius studies where you can look at the population, the competition in the area, just to see if the site makes sense for self storage.”
In addition to these issues, Rochefort also points to the importance of basic title research, entitlement issues and useable space. He also encourages those interested in the self storage business to ensure they are making time for all of the legwork. For example, he says, if you are buying a site that has to be rezoned for self storage, the process could take months.
He shared one of his favorite stories about the time Mike Parham wanted to build near Austin, where he was told there was a nearby cavern that was home to the endangered Texas blind salamander. Had to invest in a study to prove there were no blind salamanders.
Rochefort added that getting the cooperation of homeowners associations is paramount, not just for approvals, but because they can make stipulations on building material and landscaping.
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