Gabfocus Spotlight: What amenities & units do millennials look for?

May 23, 2023

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3 min

Millennials are the largest consumer generation in our economy.

This extends into the self storage industry, where they are more likely to use storage—and also more likely to make use of your storage facility on a regular basis rather than storing and ignoring.

But what amenities drive them the choose one storage facility over another? What storage unit types and sizes do they prefer? How can you capitalize on their economic power?

Check out this Gabfocus Spotlight, where John Chang of Marcus & Millichap joins us to talk about the storage preferences of millennials.

Question: "Are there specific amenities or unit sizes that millennials are looking for?"

Check out the video clip below to hear their answers:


In this Gabfocus Session: State of the Industry 2023, John Chang of Marcus & Millichap joined us to discuss the state of the economy and of the self storage industry. He took us on a walk through everything from potential recession to rental trends among millennials.

Check out the full Session to dive deeper! 

Don't want to watch the clip? Here's what John had to say:

I don't know that it's necessarily a type of unit.

They tend probably in general, they tend towards climate control. They tend towards smaller units, especially in urban settings.

They're using it differently. Baby Boomers thought about storage as the place I put the Christmas ornaments, right? And the fold up Christmas tree and the old ugly couch that I can never part with, but I don't want it in my house, but I still want to own it, right? It's a treasured possession, but it just sits there, and they really don't ever come in and out.

I was talking to one owner and they said, this whole Millennial thing sucks because the Baby Boomers were great. They put their stuff, and they paid every month, and they never moved, and they never heard from I never heard from them.

The millennials, they're always shopping me, they're always checking rates. They're online all the time. They're actually paying attention. They're coming in, and they're accessing this unit all the time. I had to put in new abilities for them to get in and out. I had to put electronic entrances on there so that they could access their units more easily.

And there's kind of two clusters, right?

For some, it's a big closet, right? It's like, okay, I put my winter clothes there, or I put the things I don't need every day, but I'm going to go in, I'm going to go get it, I'm going to bring it home. Proximity to my home is very important, and it doesn't need to be a big space. It probably needs to be climate control.

Then there is the recreational user, right? So I have a kayak in there and camping gear and maybe a mountain bike and for activities that I want to take part in, but I don't want to store all that stuff at home. It just takes too much space. And so then again, they're not going to take a huge unit, but it may not be climate controlled.

It just depends on what they're putting in there.

But it's a quality of life. It's a recreational user at that point, and they may use it every weekend. They may go in, have a bike that they use, and go ride their bike every weekend. And they may be in there frequently for that purpose.

So again, I think that they're going to lean towards smaller spaces. They don't have as much stuff at that point, but I think over time, give them a little time, give them another ten years, and they'll accumulate even more stuff. Eventually, their Christmas stuff will be in storage.

There we go. It will be in there, right?

The Griswolds."

—John Chang

Make the Right Choices in 2023

See our list of customer trends and expectations.

Customer Trends 2023 - Cover