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Posts Tagged ‘self storage’
Name: Josephine Chang
Designation: Country Manager
Job Description: Responsible for the daily operations and the expansion of the Lock+Store portfolio in Malaysia
What you like most about your role at Lock+Store: Able to meet different customers from all walks of life
Name one experience at Lock+Store that makes you smile when you think about it: An elderly lady kept thanking us for giving her more time to make her move-in payment as she relies on her children for transport
In your opinion, what’s the typical profile of the storer in your facility? The typical customer profile: those whose houses are undergoing renovation and business owners storing inventory
Asia’s foremost industry body for the business of self- storage, Self-Storage Association Asia, hosted their first Self Storage Expo Asia 2015 in Tokyo, Japan from May 13-15, 2015. Global guests and speakers united to share their extensive knowledge about today’s most lucrative alternative investment in the region most poised for opportunity and growth.
The topics were Asia-focused, taking into account what the industry has learnt about self- storage growth in other parts of the world and what obstacles countries in Asia may face. Special emphasis was given to the Singapore and Hong Kong markets on which Lock+Store CEO Helen Ng spoke.
Ms Ng who is also the Deputy Chair of the SSAA said, “This is an exciting period with tremendous growth opportunities for self-storage in Asia. Land scarcity coupled with rising affluence and a strong demand base comprising middle-income families, a sizeable expat population and thriving SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) will fuel the demand for self-storage services in key markets like Singapore and Hong Kong. Currently the penetration rate is only about 0.3 sf/person in both countries, which is significantly lower than that in more established markets such as the US and Australia. There is much room for growth. The Expo is positive for the healthy and strong growth of the industry and community, and provides a dynamic platform for industry players to get up-to-date information, business opportunities and network under one roof.”
The opportunity to learn and grow was a big theme throughout the three days. “The numbers speak for themselves and yes, the industry in Asia is teeming with opportunities for suppliers and facility owners. While Singapore may not reach 7.8 sf/person of self storage like in the US, the amalgamation of a consumer driven society and continually smaller apartments – as well as only 0.3 sf/person of self storage – means that Singapore and Hong Kong, and the rest of Asia for that matter, is poised for growth in this industry,” Ms Ng emphasised.
Amid rising office rentals and tight supply in Singapore, Lock+Store has launched 1300 sqft of net leasable office space at its flagship Chai Chee self-storage facility. Previously a self-storage-only facility, Lock+Store Chai Chee now offers serviced offices ranging from 81 to 481 sqft and suitable for one to five persons.
Ms Helen Ng, Chief Executive Officer of Lock+Store said, “Based on our survey conducted in 2013, we found that about 40 percent of current storers were looking for office space to complement their storage units. We built our serviced offices to meet this unique demand among our start-up and SME storers.”
This initiative is in line with SingPost’s focus on helping local small medium enterprises to expand their businesses in domestic market as well as extend into the region. It will also allow young entrepreneurs and ecommerce startups to tap into SingPost’s eCommerce value chain – comprising four key areas, i.e. freight, customs & regulations management, warehousing & fulfilment, last mile delivery & returns, and eCommerce web solutions to grow their businesses.
Mr Rocky Ang, Director of SR Data Dynamic Pte Ltd, said he rented an office space at Lock+Store Tanjong Pagar as his business operations had expanded beyond his current office space. He said, “I needed an extra office space where I could set up and get to work speedily. I wanted the office to be located next to my storage unit at Lock+Store to remove the hassle of travelling whenever I need access to my inventory. I chose Lock+Store Tanjong Pagar because it is centrally located just outside the CBD and because of the flexible lease period. It helps that the front office staff are also friendly and helpful.”
Affordability preferred over ancillary services
According to Lock+Store’s 2013 survey of current self-storage users, those who expressed interest in an office space responded that they could do away with ancillary services such as an on-site receptionist as long as the rentals were affordable.
Ms Ng said the new Chai Chee serviced offices “strike an effective balance between affordability and functionality.” She said, “Apart from basic services like air-conditioning, a meeting room, a pantry with refrigerator, high-speed wifi and 24/7 access and security, we also offer free calls to local numbers and photocopying and scanning services at very competitive rates. Our front-end customer service officers will also accept deliveries on our customers’ behalf. Everything is set up for small businesses to function efficiently from the time they move in.”
Lock+Store has also refurbished its existing office space at Tanjong Pagar and will expand the net leasable space by 850 sqft “to meet the demand in a prime location just outside the CBD.”
“Currently our occupancy rate at Tanjong Pagar stands at 90 percent. There is pent-up demand for serviced offices in a prime location like Tanjong Pagar among SMEs who want to be centrally located but who do not wish to pay high rents,” said Ms Ng.