To some people the idea of building a self-storage facility is daunting; to others, it’s an opportunity to dream big.
Travis Morrow is no stranger to the self-storage industry. His father-in-law, Bob Schoff, showed him the ropes early on and has been a huge influence in his career. Today, he is a partner in their newest facility, National Self Storage Dove Mountain.
The state of the art facility opened in 2018. It quickly gained attention with its cutting edge technology and sleek design. “We designed the facility to feel more like your home and less like your typical self-storage building. We know small things like wall color and decor make a difference to renters.” The consensus is in. National Self-Storage won MiniStorage Messenger’s 2018 Facility of the Year award.
The facility has 636 air-conditioned indoor units and is one of the most advanced facilities in Arizona. Its technology includes a smart entry system, which allows customers to access their units on their phones. “It’s like everything else. People want to use their phones to speed up the process and not worry about checking in with someone.” There is also a technology-based tenant interface which allows renters to:
- Select a unit
- Enter a reservation
- View a facility map
- Move in without paperwork
- Download the facility’s smart entry system app
National Self Storage is also continuing to expand.
“As the project grew and grew, we quickly realized this was more than a space just for just household goods. Soon we are going to be building out to a multi-level working space for members of our team to use.”
Financing Is Key
When Travis was ready to consider financing for National Self Storage, he reached out to Live Oak Bank. He had met loan officer, Bishesh Shrestha, at a Self Storage Association Young Leaders Group networking event where the two discussed his project and needs.
Travis had experienced the loan process many times. Knowing Live Oak had years of experience lending to selfstorage owners and the leadership provided by industry expert, Terry Campbell, he felt they were his answer. “In general, the financing part of self storage is never fun, but working with a lender that understands every aspect of the industry is critical to getting the project done and to your standards.”
Live Oak provide financing for Travis and his business partners using both an SBA and conventional loan. “I maxed out on my SBA 7(a) loan, but I was able to get an additional loan to bridge the gap. Live Oak made the process transparent every step of the way.”
The Future Of Self Storage
Travis has been busy showing his new facility to owners and operators around the country. “The experience we are offering renters is going to be the model for all my facilities moving forward.”
Noting mentors as one of the main components of his success, Travis says he would not be where he is today without the people who helped pave the way. “My father-in-law and my partner at SPMI, Don Clauson, have had a very big influence on my career. It’s been an amazing experience to share with both of them.”
National Self Storage Dove Mountain isn’t Travis’ last project. He is currently working on a facility in Colorado with a similar technology component and esthetic. His footprint in the self-storage industry is getting deeper as he applies his forward thinking to every project he spearheads.
For self storage owners looking to grow their business, Travis says, “focus on your business and what you can do to keep moving. Leave financing to a partner like Live Oak to help you determine what success looks like.”