Survey: 42% of Consumers Prefer Valet Storage over Self-Storage
While most men are still willing to lug their items to a self-storage unit, women, millennials and urban dwellers of all ages would prefer to have a valet storage company do the heavy lifting for them, according to a new survey released today.
With property and rental prices rising in major cities such as Seattle, living spaces are getting smaller and urban residents are on the lookout for convenient and affordable offsite storage. So it’s no surprise that 42% of consumers surveyed indicated they would rather use valet storage over self-storage. This and other compelling feedback was shared today from a national survey that asked more than 500 consumers about their need for, preferences using and past experiences with off-site storage.
What is Valet Storage?
Valet storage is a growing alternative to renting a traditional self-storage unit. It fills a void for consumers who don’t need large amounts of storage space but have seasonal or infrequently used items that clutter their homes. Seasonal items that are taking quite some considerable living space – such as skis, luggage, bikes, winter clothes, – may now be stored outside from your home but are always available right at your fingertips when you need them. Livible, a leading valet storage provider, does not only store your items but also includes pickup and delivery directly to your door and bill only for items stored, which makes valet storage a viable option against traditional self-storage.
No wonder consumers are quickly embracing valet storage. 42 percent of all respondents said they would rather use valet storage over self-storage if both were available to them; the number jumps to more than 50% among women, urban dwellers and millennials. Moreover, the surveys shows that valet storage appeals the most among people who have never used self-storage with 65% of those consumers saying they prefer valet storage.
“The survey results validate the huge opportunity for valet storage start-ups like us,” said Livible CEO and founder Terry Drayton. “Do-it-for-me is what a growing number of consumers who need off site storage want, especially those who haven’t or won’t use traditional self-storage. There is no question we’re growing the overall market by giving them a new option.”
Why They Prefer Valet Storage?
The survey shows that consumers are demanding more convenient and affordable off site storage options. Convenience was cited as the number one reason for considering valet storage (53 percent of respondents ages 18-44 and 62 percent among respondents 45-59). Among respondents who prefer valet storage, 69 percent cited time savings as a main reason, while 57 percent cited ‘no need to have a car or truck.’ Affordibility was second overall with nearly half of respondents appreciating that they only pay for what they actually stored instead of whatever size the self-storage unit was. About the same percentage cited the ability to rent a smaller unit with many comments indicating that even the smallest self-storage unit was much bigger and more expensive than they needed.
“Consumers who said they’d prefer using valet storage – and namely women, millennials and urban dwellers – expressed that convenience was the number one reason,” said Drayton.“ Affordability, as they only pay for what they store, was second. Our customers are paying an average of $25 a month to store five boxes and a bike or snowboard. That’s affordable for everyone in contrast to the more than $180 a month average for self-storage. In urban environments even the smallest unit is over $100 a month.”
What They Store?
Decorations for holidays and other events was the top item mentioned by over half of respondents followed by stuff that needs to be stored temporarily while moving. Next were seldom used items such as tools and luggage and seasonal items like clothing and sports equipment. Valet storage cater to almost anything that you want out of your home. A few examples are listed below.
- Seasonal Clothing (winter coats, bulky sweaters, ski wear or summer dresses)
- Decorations (for holidays from Christmas to Halloween)
- Sporting goods (camping equipment, boots, balls)
- Household items (extra kitchen items, linens, for students away at college)
- Keepsakes (children’s art, family heirlooms, photographs)
- Tools and equipment
- Personal and business records (tax records, correspondence, accounting files)
- Excess clutter and possessions (junk drawer contents, duplicate housewares, possessions stuffed under the bed, items to re-gift, and other things that you just can’t part with)
- Bulky items such as bicycles, golf clubs, skis, snow boards, and more.
Over the past two years, valet storage start-ups have opened shop in a number of major cities across the U.S. with a specific focus on markets with substantial millennial and urban populations including Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Washington DC, New York and Chicago. Livible polled 567 consumers in these cities to gauge their opinions about self-storage and valet storage. The online poll, administered by SurveyMonkey, was conducted between May 13 – 15, 2015 and involved a wide-range of consumers between the ages of 22-69, gender was equally split with approximately 43 percent living in apartments and 57 percent in detached single-family homes.
Shared-Economy Business Model
Unlike all of its valet storage competitors, Livible uses a ‘shared economy’ business model that partners with traditional self-storage companies and Uber-like independent contractors for pickup and delivery. Livible provides the vans and handles all the technology and logistics including pickup, delivery and billing. Livible rents units in self-storage facilities adding its racking and proprietary app-based technology to maximize space utilization and tracking of customer items. Self-storage partners add the valet storage option to their traditional business to increase the number of new customers they sign and decrease cancellations. If the self-storage partner helps them fill the unit Livible will also pay them double the regular rent so they make more money.
“By partnering with Livible now, traditional self-storage operators will be able to leverage their existing infrastructure and customer flows so they are well positioned to grow revenues and profits from valet storage,” said Drayton. “It’s a business model where everyone wins: customers, self-storage partners and us.”