Sovran Self Storage may not be the ruler of all storage companies, but it does have the power to store your goods. A self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT), the company operates self-storage facilities under the Uncle Bob's Self Storage brand name. The REIT owns and manages more than 440 facilities, totaling some 29 million sq. ft. of storage space. Its properties usually offer features such as humidity-controlled spaces, outdoor storage for cars, boats, and RVs, the use of a free truck to help clients haul their stuff. Serving both individual and business customers, the company owns properties in about two dozen states.
In addition to income from rent, Sovran Self Storage also makes money by selling storage-related products and services, such as boxes, locks, tarps, truck rentals, and renters' insurance, as well as by leasing space to billboards and cell tower operators.
The company pursues growth by purchasing self-storage facilities in a largely fragmented industry dominated by independent operators. The REIT concentrates its acquisition efforts in metropolitan areas of the South and Southeast; occasionally, it acquires multiple facilities in new markets. Texas accounts for more than a quarter of its sales; Florida is its second-largest market.
The recession, coupled with hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, led to same-store sales declines for Sovran Self Storage in 2008 and 2009 after five years of growth. As the economy showed signs of recovery, the company experienced upticks in same-store sales in 2010 and 2011 and expects the trend to continue. – less