AJ Osborne was an apple that didn’t fall too far from the tree. He started out by getting into the insurance industry just like his dad. And even though he wasn’t a huge fan of real estate, he eventually changed his tune when he and his dad went in on a self storage space together because he was tired of seeing his income constantly roller coaster. At the time it was pretty risky because it wasn’t popular…which meant the banks didn’t really lend out with cheap interest rates.
But Aj and his dad wound up liking it a lot. It was certainly much more of a “business” than having a bunch of rental properties and less than ideal tenants. They were able to constantly work on the business, increase their storage rates, and buy more storage units. They did this rinse and repeat method for years. “Then one day, I became paralyzed,” AJ says, forcing me to replay that part just to make sure I heard him right. “Completely just, my legs stopped working. And I became a quadriplegic. I was hooked up to life support. All the tubes. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t do anything. Paralyzed all the way up to my eyes.”
“I was on life support for months,” he continues, as I’m over here like, Bro, what happened? “And then I went to rehab facilities. And because I had these real estate assets that were passive income, I didn’t lose my house. Me and my wife had just had our fourth child. I didn’t have to worry about her having to leave her kids and paralyzed husband to go get a job just to pay the bills. And that was due to real estate. And that moment really changed everything that I was doing. I went back home, still paralyzed.”
AJ’s brother stepped up and moved in to help them all out. Over the next 5 years AJ relearned how to do all the basic things we often take for granted. Unfortunately, it turns out that AJ had a rare neurological condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which is basically where your nerves go on the fritz if I understand it correctly, sad. But still, while he was recovering all those years, his cash flow and profit from the self storage space just continued to increase. No wonder he preaches so strongly about this business model.
So what are some Basics AJ teaches you about the self storage model? Well for one, the model is its own biggest threat. What he means is that if you buy up or build too many storage units, you could over supply the market and drive down prices for yourself and others. Secondly, it’s hyperlocal. Think of as small as a 3 mile radius…compare that to a city like phoenix and its 100 different markets!
The third thing is that these aren’t actual rental markets like homes and apartments. It’s an actually business that needs to be treated like one. Think of it like running a retail store. People will walk in and you will sell them your different storage options. For example someone who wants a 5×5 climate controlled unit is looking for something different couple that needs to store their RV for the winter.
AJ is better than most gurus in that he actually gives value and knowledge in his ads instead of getting too lifestyle focused. But I do have some questions still. Like how do you know if a market is oversaturated exactly? How do you find deals or secure funding? How do you maximize your rates and market your storage space in a way that’ll convince others to go with you instead of the other guy? How do you hire for this type of business? Of course AJ has a bunch of paid programs to offer you that answer those questions. Inner Circle, Private Storage SSI Community, CRE Circle, among others. His prices are on the website at the time of this writing, not bad.