Questions To Ask a Self Storage Broker & How to Present an Offer (Part 2)

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What items should you go over when you're talking to a self storage broker? How to present an offer? Kathryn East has several years experience in the self storage space, she is the Founder of Sopapta Consulting, Management & Auditing, and shares her knowledge.

You can read this entire episode here: bit.ly/3dHeNiR

How do you present an offer that is 30% below what they are asking for?
You explain how you came up with this number based on what they told you, for instance, you are trying to sell it to me at 85% occupied, but your economic occupancy is 60%. I am not going to pay you for what you didn’t do with that facility. So we’re going to go with your 60% economic occupancy, which means it’s worth $1.7M, not $2.4.

If it’s an experienced self storage broker, they will generally come back with “I absolutely understand what you are saying, however, this facility is not using the right kind of website, they’re not really promoting themselves very well. There’s delinquency that you could clear up”. Then your answer is "Okay, you said it right there for me, I have to do it. Why would I pay your client for what they did not do?". Or they will say “I’ve done a market research on this property, as you can see in my OM, based on my pro forma numbers in year one, and you could bring it to this value, which means it’ll actually exceed the purchase price in year one”. I will then say, Great, why didn’t you have your client do that? If you are going to sell this property at a price point that’s less than if you would have instructed that client to do what you state that they can do – why are you selling it? You're selling it short and ultimately affecting your client.

Obviously, they can project numbers, it’s like having a crystal ball in your hand. Sometimes that’s what it feels like when they're projecting exit strategies of three to five years from now. Do I know what cap rates or interest rates are going to be in three to five years? Of course not, all I know is this asset class is in a cycle. We were at the top of that cycle six months ago and now we’re going back down, and at some point we're going back up. After I have said to the broker “If you know it can do this, why not instruct your client to do that, and re-list it after six months of implementing your ideas that created this pro forma"? And they answer, Because they want to sell it now. Fair enough, then the now price is $1.7M.

Brokers are actually really nice, I have never felt disrespected or been disrespected by them. If they're not a self storage broker, your goal is not to offend them with your underwriting, it’s to educate them. It’s a give and take relationship when you are a buyer versus a seller. That’s what we’re looking at. I wish I could say that there is this long process about underwriting, and learning it does takes time, it might take you three hours to underwrite something to where you feel comfortable with writing an LOI, and that can take me 20 minutes, but I have been doing this for many years. I have perfected the way I am looking at it, but to be clear, I learn new things every single day about the underwriting process.

Broker OM's make it easier because they have done a lot of the legwork for you. Just reading that offering memorandum, looking at pictures, getting a good visual identity of what that property looks like currently, that’s all it’s about.

Trust but verify, no matter how you are looking at it.

Kathyrn East
(314) 596-6542
sopapta21@gmail.com

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