12 Months To Financial Freedom Using Self Storage With Jon Farling

Jon Farling – is a self-storage investor from Ohio. He started buying single-family rentals in 2015. In 2019, he pivoted to self-storage and has purchased two facilities in just six short months plus one or two more by the time this episode airs.

Post-Interview Analysis

  • Key Lessons Learned: Find a way to take action. So many real estate investors, myself included, get bogged down in analysis paralysis and fear of getting started. If you can find a way to tackle a smaller deal, like a single-family home, rather than trying to go out and buy a $500,000 Self Storage Facility. When you've never run a self-storage facility, that is a daunting task. It is okay to start with a single-family home, or two, or three to help you get used to this game and all the moving parts that go into buying an investment property.
  • How did they acquire their knowledge or what knowledge did they need to acquire? He hired a mentor. He hired Mike Wagner to mentor him through the process of self-storage investing. Jon’s most important and successful lesson from Mike was understanding how to operate a self-storage facility. Especially when it comes to the small unmanned facilities that he's buying. The operations and business model for these smaller facilities are very different from the larger facilities with onsite or third party managers.
  • How much money did it take to get started?  For a $375,000 facility, It took him about $60,000 of his own capital and an SBA loan which included about $30,000 towards renovations for a fence, electrical, and a security system.
  • How much time does it take now? When he is not in an acquisition phase, he spends about two hours a week on it because of the benefit of the systems and operations he utilizes. When in acquisition it involves significantly more time, especially with a more complicated SBA loan.
  • Could they do this strategy from anywhere in the world? Yes! With the facilities he has and the way he operates them, he could go and live anywhere he wants while running a successful storage facility.

Episode Highlights:

  • Schedule a video chat with Neil Henderson at roadtofamilyfreedom.com/selfstoragecall
  • Neil Henderson introduces Jon Farling
  • Neil and Jon discuss Jon’s current storage acquisitions and when they will close, as well as the intricacies of an SBA loan.
  • Jon talks about why he transitioned from single-family homes to self-storage and how SBA loans and investing in smaller towns and storage facilities made sense for him. And why he wouldn’t have skipped his single-family home experience if he could do it all again.
  • What were the numbers on that first storage deal? How big was it?
  • What is economic occupancy?
  • What are the community/population details?
  • How is he managing his facilities, what systems is he using?
  • How did the numbers work out in his favor even though this deal didn’t fit conventional wisdom?
  • Has self-storage met Jon’s expectations?
  • Any unexpected frustrations?
  • What mistakes were made?
  • How did he find the right mentor?
  • What were the main things Jon needed to learn about operations?
  • What kind of “boots on the ground” people does he need to operate?
  • Was there a book that helped get him started?
  • How are his deals funded for his current facilities and those he is acquiring?
  • What does a typical day as a self-storage investor look like for Jon?
  • Jon gives us details on the call center company he works with to run his facilities.
  • How does he find his deals?
  • What is the most critical skill he’s needed to learn for success?
  • How much time does he spend on his business?
  • Can he/will he run his business from anywhere in the world?

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About the author, Neil

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