Storage Auction Trends to Watch

gavel12The storage auction business continues to grow and evolve with each passing year. As a result, it's important for bidders to keep up with the current trends. So, what kind of trends can you expect to see more of in the storage auction business?

Online Auctions

Who says storage auctions must be conducted in person? While this remains the most popular method, there's a growing trend towards the use of online auctions. Rather than conducting the auction in person, the self-storage facility will set up the auction online. There are several benefits to online auctions, the most notable being convenience. Because everything is done online, there's no need to visit the facility. The downside, however, is that you won't be able to see the storage unit in person before bidding. While most online auctions are accompanied by photos, this doesn't have the same impact as seeing the unit for yourself.

More Units Up For Auction

Of course, there are also more self-storage units going up for auction. According to some estimates, there is roughly 2.35 billion square feet of self-storage in the United States, which translates into three times the size of Manhattan Island. With so many storage facilities -- and more being created each month -- there's also more auctions taking place. As a bidder/buyer, this means you'll have more opportunities to scoop up auctions, assuming you go out there and start bidding.

Lien Notifications via Email

In 2013, 10 states passed laws which allow storage facilities to send lien notifications to delinquent tenants via email, assuming the tenant provided an email address. Up until now, storage facilities were forced to use "snail mail" to send lien notifications, which didn't always work because the tenant may have moved since then. By using email, however, there's a greater chance of establishing contact with the tenant, informing him or her about their nonpayment.

Greater Transparency

Last but not least, many self-storage facilities are making their auctions more transparent for bidders. Rather than enforcing a strict "look but don't touch policy," the facility may allow bidders to peek inside the unit and shuffle the items around -- to some degree. This is obviously a major benefit, as it helps bidders determine how much the unit is worth. Keep in mind, though, that not all facilities allow bidders to touch the contents of a unit, so familiarize yourself with the rules before bidding.

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