In this Q&A-style interview, Rennie Schaefer, Chief Executive Officer at Self Storage Association UK and FEDESSA, talks to Mike Wilson, CEO of SureStore, about institutional investors, expansion, 5th-generation stores, finding good sites and post-COVID challenges.
How did you first get involved in self storage?
I was approached due to my experience in the property, health care and hotel sectors as a finance director for a private equity backed self storage start up, Smart Storage, in 2007. The industry was in its infancy and they were looking for someone who had transferable skills. The theory was that self storage was operational real estate, similar to the other industries.
What do you find attractive working in this industry compared to your previous roles?
Self storage is a small but personable industry. We are all competitors but most of us are very open and honest with each other about furthering the industry. We also appreciate that it has a strong industry association that represents the bulk of the operators, runs some great networking events, and provides really good resources to its members. These events are really valuable in terms of our business growth. We have missed them over the last 12 months since the pandemic struck ...
Photo: SureStore Directors Andy Wood (left) and Mike Wilson.