Self Storage Success with Scott Krone

Today's Guest: Scott Krone

Scott has been in self-storage for the last 9 years after transitioning from real estate to multifamily investments. Scott is a Chicago native whose career in architecture began in 1991 after pursuing his Master of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 2012, Scott founded Coda Management Group, a firm that specializes in managing real estate assets. Scott is also a co-founder of One Stop Self Storage with facilities across the Midwest and the founder of Coda, an award-winning design and build consulting firm. Coda has won numerous design/build awards, including the international Green GOOD Design, Best of Houzz, and Design Evanston Award. Their work has also been featured in notable publications such as Storing Up Profits by Paul Moore, Dream Homes, Midwest Luxury Homes, NBC TV Show Taste, and more.


Highlights From The Show:

We begin the episode with Scott sharing his background story and how he ended up in the self-storage space. Scott shares that he grew up as a creative kid involved in various sports but was fortunate to study architecture in high school. However, Scott gave up architecture to play sports and do normal college things rather than being dedicated to a studio. Scott wanted to get into their family business after graduating from college, which was not possible, so he had to go back to architecture. Fortunately, at that time, they had new programs that allowed him to earn a Masters in architecture. He jumped into it and was again fortunate to get connected to a professor who owned a real estate development architecture company and got right in multifamily. Scott started his own company in 1998, with single-family, multifamily, mixed-use, and institutional properties, and then the market crashed. Scott started exploring other options because it was difficult in the residential market except for apartments. This led him to self-storage, which had a lot of similarities to multifamily, but it was more resilient, especially in recession and massive downturn markets


We then talk about why self-storage is more resilient than other real estate investments, including multifamily. Scott shares that it is difficult in the market, and self-storage gives viable options to address these problems and overcome the challenges. Scott went back and analyzed every recession since 1979 and compared self-storage occupancy in each of them. Scott shares that no other class of real assets has a natural resilience like self-storage, even the housing market. In recession markets, housing slows down, renovation slows down, and construction stops, but self-storage will always continue to thrive.         


Next, we discuss how you can break into the self-storage world of investing as a new investor. Scott shares that there are three asset classes within self-storage, and they all differ from multi-family. They include class A, B, and C assets. According to Scott, Class C assets include first-generation self-storage (small under 200 units from mom and pops), and they give a nice return on a regular basis. The next one is class B which is a more suburban, larger driver facility and sometimes with primary control. At the top is class A, a property with both appreciation and cash flow, which comprises large institutions in the city.  According to Scott, the three assets represent different strategies, and the easiest way to get into self-storage is by buying class C properties. However, if you want to do a B or A, he recommends joining a venture or partnership group.


We then talk about how to find opportunities and people who own self-storage and want to sell. He shares that you get more opportunities by driving for dollars. Scott tells me that if you are looking for class C, it’s pretty hard to find them because they are not corporate, and the properties might be under their own name. They also use them as bank accounts with cash flow coming in to pay their bills. According to Scott, there are similar institutions for self-storage as there are on the residential side, and the larger ones, classes B and A, are predominantly done by brokers.


Make sure you don’t miss another amazing episode of the Just Start Real Estate Podcast with Scott Krone and get valuable information on how to invest successfully in self-storage!


Notable Quotes:

“In self-storage, you can alter the unit's configuration to match the market condition, but you don’t have that flexibility in multifamily.”

  • Scott Krone


“Self-storage unit portfolios are valued exactly the same way multifamily houses are done  using CAP rate and ROI.”

  • Scott Krone


“During recessions, housing and renovation often slow down, and construction stops, but self-storage always continues to thrive.”

  • Scott Krone

Thank You for Listening!


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Resources and Links From Today's Show:

Coda Management Group

Onestop Self-Storage

Coda Design and Build

Scott on LinkedIn

Scott’s Email


More Resources From Mike: