Self-Storage: Exclusive Interview with Andy O'Dell, CEO of Kuboid
Andy O’Dell - Chief Executive Officer
Andy joined Kuboid in 2013 as a Senior Sales Executive. With 35 years of experience in the sales industry, Andy has built successful and long-lasting relationships with the biggest brands in the industry.
He has become a well-recognised and highly respected member of the team. In 2020 Andy was promoted to CEO. Together with the new owners and investors he continues to drive Kuboid forward to become the industry leader.
What is the main purpose, mission, and vision of Kuboid?
We specialise in the design, manufacture and construction of modern self storage facilities and we provide our customers with tailored solutions to maximise every sq. ft. of their investment. Kuboid was built on the foundation of great people underpinned by a genuine passion for self storage, and almost 18 years later this hasn’t changed.
As the self storage industry continues to rapidly grow in the UK and across Europe, we aim to give every one of our customers an exceptional level of service and consistent experience - that is how we differ from others within the industry!
Why did you decide to focus on Self-Storage?
The founder of Kuboid had already built a career within the self storage construction industry. He understood the growth potential, and he wasn't wrong.
We could see that the industry was going to follow trends similar to America, and we knew we had the expertise and experience to facilitate the markets requirements.
The self storage industry has gone from strength to strength, and recently it has had a record breaking 12 months for investment. The past two years have been exceptional for us and we don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.
Can you explain how you feel the industry has changed since you started?
I now personally have a decade of this industry under my belt, and a lot has changed. There are more equity firms and investors getting involved within the industry as self storage properties are one of the lowest-cost real estate investments. Self-storage REITs have significantly outperformed other real estate investments in recent years.
The size of the sites have gone from warehouse to retail, and the enquiry demand in the past 4 years has dramatically increased. I’ve noticed that there has been a rapid increase in the UK’s awareness and people are starting to realise how much of a great opportunity it is to invest in self storage.
How has marketing Kuboid changed since the rise of social media? And do you have any tips for other Self-Storage companies?
Up until 3 years the only marketing we did was a couple of ads in an industry magazine! The majority of our business was by of word of mouth.
At the time, this was all we needed to do, but now as the market is growing and the competitive landscape becomes more congested, we need to continually adapt. We now have an in house Marketing Department, and our marketing strategy focuses on a lot of digital marketing, especially LinkedIn.
Our tip for other self storage companies is that people buy from people, don’t be afraid to show off your team and customers on social media!
Can you tell us more about the products and services you offered? Particularly for Self-Storage companies working to a smaller budget.
We have delivered a range of self storage facilities from 20 units to over 2,000 units so we are very familiar with working with operators who have a smaller budget. For our customers who are on a budget and want to dip their toe in the industry, we always recommend our external storage units – that way you don’t have to worry about the building all you need is unused land. They are a flexible and cost-effective solution.
You’ve expanded into Europe. Is the Self-Storage climate different or more challenging compared to the UK?
I wouldn’t say the self storage climate
is different as the process remains the same, but as we are based in the UK so there are challenges of distance, language and logistics to overcome.
Something really important to us at Kuboid is that we give the same attention and level of care to all of our customers, so for any of our customers based around Europe we ensure we always make time for regular visits. Our understanding of building and fire regulations across Europe is also something we also have to keep up to date with.
You design and manufacture cutting-edge, modern self-storage facilities, what would your advice be to companies who are looking to stand out from the competition?
Don’t be afraid of change and take risks.
Underpin this with a good marketing strategy, a solid brand and people who understand and are passionate about the company’s values. Ultimately, people buy from people.
We had a lovely chat with Kuboid, if you are interested in taking part on our next interview, or want to discuss your marketing, please do contact us.