Self-Storage Investing With Michael Wagner

This episode of the Franchise Secrets podcast is all about self-storage investing. Erik is joined by Michael Wagner, creator of Storage Rebellion, to talk about his journey into the business and what he’s learned along the way. From finding the right deals to finding the money, Michael breaks down the entire process and gives some golden nuggets.

Self-storage investment could be right for you

Michael spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in schooling to become a physical therapist. But with a schedule he had very little control over, Michael quickly found out it wasn’t right for him. Instead, self-storage investment caught his eye. Using a nest egg he had built up, Michael took a failing location and turned it into massive profits, and he’s now teaching others to do the same.

Listen to Erik and Michael talk about self-storage investing:

  • Introduction
  • Michael’s journey to franchising (2:00)

Erik introduces Michael, who shares how he got into franchising. After earning degrees to do physical therapy, Michael realized it wasn’t for him. He got into real estate investing and eventually franchising.

  • Why did Michael quit his day job? (4:16)

Michael dove headfirst into owning his own business, quitting his day job and buying a failing storage facility that was actually losing money. Erik and Michael talk about his motivations for the sudden shift.

  • Teaching and investing (5:41)

Michael’s focus when investing is about finding the right conditions. By being pickier in which opportunities he invests in, Michael not only makes money but still lives a free and fulfilling life. In addition to still investing, Michael teaches others about self-storage investing, taking them to even bigger heights.

  • What would Michael do differently now (8:30)

Michael has steadily shortened the amount of time his investments take to pay off. He shares some of the tips and tricks he’s learned from personal experience and some things he’s seen his students do to improve ROI quicker.

  • Different roles in investment (10:10)

A successful deal is all about merging the money and sweat equity together. You don’t necessarily have to have all the money to invest or be the one running the operation on a daily basis. Some deals come together as partnerships between investors and those that can run the business.

  • Storage Rebellion (15:36)

Michael talks about his newest venture, Storage Rebellion. Michael launched Storage Rebellion as a community and give away his knowledge to others. He talks about his motivation for giving away amazing information for free.

  • What’s it cost to start self-storage investing? (19:26)

Though it can range wildly due to partnership investing, Michael breaks down the basic costs to get started with storage facilities, including how little his students have had to invest to make a deal happen.

  • How long does it take to find a deal? (21:39)

Michael talks about the timeframes for those looking to find and make a deal for a storage facility -- From initially learning about storage facilities to finding the right location and getting a deal done.

  • Self-storage franchises (24:00)

Michael discusses why the franchise model doesn’t necessarily make sense for storage facilities. Erik and Michael talk about why some businesses don’t fit franchising.

  • Difference between real-estate investment and storage (25:48)

While they seem similar at face value, there are some significant differences between investing and running a self-storage facility compared to the typical multi-family real-estate. Michael breaks down the key differences between the two, especially the pros for storage.

  • What’s the hardest part of storage? (29:51)

It can’t all be easy money, right? With so many of the positives of storage out of the way, Erik and Michael talk about the biggest hurdles with storage investment. From not quitting too early to taking the leap and investing in a location that isn’t near you, there are some difficulties that can handicap any storage business.

  • How to find the best deals (35:00)

While leaning on the appropriate relationships is always going to be the best case, there are other ways of finding the best deals out there.


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