Learn About the Different Career Opportunities in the Rapidly Expanding Self Storage Industry
The self-storage industry has experienced significant growth and popularity in recent years. This surge can be attributed to various factors, including individuals downsizing their homes, undergoing relocations, or seeking secure spaces to store their belongings. As a result, the demand for self-storage units has soared, creating numerous job opportunities within the industry. If you are considering a career in the self-storage field, it is essential to understand the steps you can take to increase your chances of securing a job in this thriving and expanding sector.
Learn about the latest self-storage industry trends
While modern self-storage facilities have been around for over half a century, the self-storage industry has seen tremendous uptick in growth in the last few decades, particularly in Ontario. If you plan on working in the self-storage industry, it is important that you keep up with the latest news and trends that apply to the self-storage sector.
In 2023, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) found that there was 37.3 million square feet of self-storage in Ontario, which grew by 9% in the last three years with 4.2 million square feet added. Some of the key reasons that contributed to the growth of the self-storage industry in the last several years appear to be people downsizing , clearing space to allow for more work from home options, and smaller living spaces in urban centers.
The development of new self-storage facilities in Mississauga, Toronto, and Ottawa has been particularly pronounced as those are the cities with the largest concentration of condos. As more people move into densely populated cities, the demand for storage solutions increases. Toronto now has more than eight million square feet of commercial self-storage space, followed by Ottawa with three million square feet and Mississauga with two million square feet.
Self-storage continues to be a very stable and resilient industry
The self-storage industry has demonstrated remarkable resiliency, standing strong even in the face of challenging economic conditions and evolving market dynamics. The demand for self-storage units has remained consistently strong. People often require additional space to store their belongings due to various life events such as moving, downsizing, or renovating their homes. The need for secure and convenient storage solutions will always be a necessity for individuals, families, and businesses alike.
Self-storage facilities can cater to a wide range of needs, accommodating everything from household items and furniture to vehicles, documents, and business inventory. This adaptability allows the industry to serve diverse customer segments and maintain a steady flow of demand even during economic fluctuations. While many businesses were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, self-storage remained relatively stable. The pandemic lockdowns led multiple business owners to opt for self-storage. In recent years, as more people are working from home, the need for alternative storage options, like renting out a self-storage unit, increases.
Look at the different types of jobs that are available in the self-storage industry
With the number of self-storage facilities continuing to grow across Canada, and Ontario in particular, there are plenty of job opportunities available for those interested in working in the self-storage industry. There is a common misconception that the types of career opportunities available in the self-storage industry are limited to general labour jobs- this could not be further from the truth. Self-storage is a multi-faceted industry that features job opportunities from a wide array of different disciplines.
Self-storage has expanded rapidly in the last two decades with dozens of new facilities under construction each year. Each new storage facility has a large staff with numerous positions working in different departments, which are all vital for making sure that the day-to-day operations of the storage facility run smoothly. Some of the most common self storage jobs include:
- Facility Manager
- Executive Administrative Assistant
- Leasing Administrator
- Sales Executive
- Customer Service Representative
- Production Manager
- Software developer
- Maintenance Technician
- Marketing Specialist
As the self-storage industry grows, there will be greater competition for jobs in the sector. Whether you’re just starting your career or looking for a change, here are some tips to help you find a job in the self-storage industry.
Do your research
Make sure to research the self-storage industry before you start applying for jobs. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the industry’s key players, trends, and challenges. Read industry publications, attend trade shows, and follow industry blogs and social media accounts. Learn about the self-storage facilities in the area and the specific features that each facility offers. This will give you a better understanding of the industry and make you a more attractive candidate.
Gain relevant experience and learn the skills required for your position
While a degree in business or management can be helpful for many jobs in the self-storage industry, it is not always necessary. Most self-storage facilities are looking for individuals with experience in customer service, sales, and operations. If you do not have experience in the self-storage industry, try to gain experience in a related field such as property management, retail sales, or hospitality.
Update your resume and cover letter
Your resume and cover letter are crucial tools in your job search. Make sure your resume highlights any relevant experience you have, such as customer service or sales. If are a recent graduate or are transitioning into the self-storage industry from another field and you don’t have any direct experience in self-storage, emphasize your transferable skills, such as organization, communication, and problem-solving. Customize your cover letter for each job you apply for, highlighting how your skills and experience make you a good fit for the position.
Networking is always an effective way to find job opportunities. Reach out to your connections in the self-storage industry, whether they are former colleagues or people you’ve met at industry events. Attend networking events and join industry organizations to expand your network. Let people know you’re looking for a job in self-storage and ask if they know of any openings.
Prepare for your interview
Once you start getting interviews, it’s important to prepare. Research the company and the job you’re interviewing for. Think about how your skills and experience make you a good fit for the position. Practice common interview questions and come up with examples of how you’ve demonstrated key skills in the past. Dress professionally and arrive early for your interview. After the interview, follow up with a thank you email or note.
Start off on the right foot
Once you’ve obtained a position with a new self-storage company, understand that you’ll be trained, regardless of how much past experience you have. Every employer has its own expectations and ways of doing things. Be alert, take notes, ask questions, and be prepared to accept new policies and procedures.
The self-storage industry offers numerous career opportunities for individuals with different skill sets and backgrounds. Whether you’re interested in customer service, sales, marketing, or maintenance, the self-storage industry has something for everyone. As the industry continues to grow and expand across Canada, there will be more and more job openings in this field. Finding a job in the self-storage industry requires research, networking, and preparation. By following the tips laid out above, you can increase your chances of getting a job in this growing industry.