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Curious about self storage? CEO, founder, and icon AJ Osborne has you covered

Osborne brings with him an impressive track record of 20 years in the self storage industry as an owner, operator, and developer.

Photo courtesy AJ Osborne
Photo courtesy AJ Osborne

Opinions expressed by Digital Journal contributors are their own.

By now everyone’s heard about the cash cow investment that is self storage. But where did this investment come from? Why is it so profitable? And, why is everyone talking about it?

Perhaps you are worried it is too late to join the revolution, or that you don’t have enough capital to get started. Whatever the hesitation, this article wishes to present to you the best first place to get started learning and making moves either as an active or passive investor, right now.

Enter bestselling self storage investment author and iconic mentor of the space, AJ Osborne, CEO of Cedar Creek Capital.

Many have heard his backstory: AJ Osborne’s life took a drastic turn when he became paralyzed and lost his high-paying insurance job. During recovery, he relied on self storage investments for financial stability. This tough period made him realize the need for a new path. Inspired to help others, he founded Cedar Creek Capital, aiming to revolutionize self-storage and private equity. His vision was to empower individuals, reshaping capitalism from the ground up. Osborne’s belief in self storage as a wealth-building tool fueled his determination to make this dream come true.

Osborne brings with him an impressive track record of 20 years in the self storage industry as an owner, operator, and developer. He has played a pivotal role in establishing the largest self storage co-op, Storelocal, where he serves as board member, as well as a founding member of Tenant Inc., a self-storage property management SaaS tech company. Furthermore, he hosts a highly-acclaimed and widely-listened-to self storage podcast, cementing his position as a leading figure in the industry.

Cedar Creek is a unique private company that stands out as a national brand. With expertise in construction, architecture, management, operations, and private equity, it also offers consulting services and conducts feasibility studies. This comprehensive range of capabilities enables Osborne to possess the necessary data and assemble a proficient team across all essential competencies, resulting in successful storage ownership for his clients.

Further, AJ founding member Tenant Inc., a SaaS tech company that developed a self storage software platform. He also held a significant share in the company, potentially the largest. Although unrelated to Cedar Creek Capital, AJ’s coined term “Universal Integration” encompasses this venture, showcasing his ongoing dedication to improving the industry.

Wondering why someone so successful would bother, or risk, giving you the keys to the kingdom? Maybe you assume his teachings will only be halfway, leaving much to be desired? Not so. In fact, Osborne shared with us the exact reason why the opposite is true. Read on to discover how joining the self storage investment wave might be the perfect choice for you.

Why More ‘Competitors’ Is Not ‘More Competition’

We asked Mr. Osborne point-blank why he is so open and educational in all of his content. His answer resonated with us, because time and again in various industries we have seen that the leaders who share knowledge and value first are the ones who flourish.

“Consolidation of the asset class with monopolies would kill my business,” Osborne explained. “I need single owners to compete! We started the world’s largest self storage resource center, which includes Storelocal and Tenant Inc., giving new self storage owners the tools they need to succeed. It is my mission to teach people how to successfully join this space, because I know if that doesn’t happen it will ruin the entire industry as a whole. There is no benefit to me for somebody coming into my market and failing. If you come in and build a storage facility in my area and fail, and that does happen, you give self storage a bad name.”

There you have it. That should be reason enough to at least be curious. So what are we peddling here exactly? Osborne’s bestselling book, The Investors Guide to Growing Wealth in Self Storage: The Step-By-Step Playbook for Turning a Real Estate Asset Into a Thriving Self Storage Business, is available now on Amazon, with high-praising reviews such as:

“​​This is a great book to read if you are just getting into Self Storage. It gives a great overview of what it will look like and the pitfalls to avoid along the way. It gives you the basic framework needed of understanding but you will need to do a lot more study to put the meat on the bones. If you begin listening to AJs podcasts and videos after reading this book your understanding of the Self Storage space and how to navigate it will grow in leaps and bounds.” — From Amazon reviews, by Franklin

However, the more exciting piece of news is that Osborne will be coming out with Volume 2 this summer. Read on to discover why it is well worth waiting for.

What’s So Different About Volume 2?

First thing’s first: The second edition of Osborne’s book is 80% expanded. That means readers will get all the informative bells and whistles from the first edition, plus almost double. In it, Osborne shares his Stacking Method™ to building a portfolio, opens up about his underwriting process, gives case studies with never before seen information, and breaks down operations to manage a storage facility with low expenses using technology for automation.

Further, Cedar Creek Capital is not just a property management company; it also offers advertising and SEO services. What sets Cedar Creek apart is that it owns its own data and doesn’t rely on third-party sources. With open APIs and the ability to collect and modify variables in real time, Cedar Creek aids in customer acquisition specifically for self-storage owners. As a national brand, Cedar Creek ranks higher on Google and provides a comprehensive suite of technologies for both the front end and back end of the self-storage business.

Now, this was all pre-Covid-19. As Osborne puts it, “Prior to 2008, self storage, as an asset class, was a child. After 2008, self storage was a teenager. Now, it is an adult asset class that can compete with the big guys. It has gone through Covid, consolidation, new technologies, and more.”

Osborne wrote his first book during self storage’s ‘teenage years.’ So, even if one has already read the first volume, he assures us that the second holds new and invaluable information that will inform on the post-Covid self storage landscape.

Further, Osborne wants to remind us that this book is for everyone. “It is beginner and seasoned-investor friendly,” he says. “Plus, you can reference my podcasts to learn more about topics that interest you throughout the book.”

At this point, we wondered, ‘Does this man ever sleep?’ The thought, care, and organization he puts into every project is astounding.

Osborne is putting the final touches on the book, and we can’t wait to get our hands on it. He also let us know that there will be an accompanying audiobook, which he will voice.

About AJ Osborne

AJ Osborne, CEO of Cedar Creek Capital, is the leading expert and voice in the self-storage industry with the No. 1 bestselling book and top rated and listened to self-storage podcast. He has been featured on top real estate podcasts and is the go-to resource for self-storage operations and investment advice across social media platforms, including YouTube. Accredited investors can find more information here:

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Written By

Jon Stojan is a professional writer based in Wisconsin. He guides editorial teams consisting of writers across the US to help them become more skilled and diverse writers. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

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