There is a growing awareness among people who have never heard of self-storage facilities like storageManchester. As the levels of awareness improve, it is expected that occupancy levels will significantly get better. The improving economy makes operators of self-storage facilities more optimistic about their future. With more disposable income, people tend to buy more goods and they will certainly need more storage space.
Hong Kong has the most expensive residential properties after Monaco and about three-fourths of the 20 square meter apartments that sell for HK$4.5 million (US$580,000) have no dedicated storage space. Entrepreneurs in Hong Kong are developing innovative ways in order to help those who are living in tiny apartments through suitcase rental to external goods storage managed through smartphone apps.
Prices of apartments are rising but apartment space is getting smaller. In an effort to gain decent housing, young professionals from London to Hong Kong are opting for the micro-apartments that are the product of ill-fitting conversions to slickly-designed buildings with shared facilities like gyms and lounges. In many instances, a suitcase takes up a huge amount of space and it is not used frequently.
Rent-a-Suitcase leases upmarket Rimowa suitcases from HK$68 a day and the company has already served about 300 customers. The company is currently looking for investors to help with expansion.
Norman Cheung who is a former investment banker has gotten much further with his micro-storage startup because it was able to raise $8.1 million since January from some of Asia’s biggest investors. Boxful is Mr. Cheung’s company and it is offering a much more flexible version of the traditional self-storage model.
Customers no longer have to travel to distant warehouses and rent large amounts of space for fixed period because Boxful’s staff goes to the customers and provide them with standard sized crates with an offer of on-demand pickup and drop-off service for HK$49 a month. Boxful also makes use of apps that allow users to photograph their belongings to generate an online inventory.
Most of the customers have never used self-storage before and Boxful is creating a new market. Boxful has stored about 3,500 boxes since April with growth accelerating every month.