Tips for Talking to Self-Storage Owners and Brokers with Marla Colic

Tips for Talking to Self-Storage Owners and Brokers with Marla Colic - Feature Image

Marla Colic – is a former self-storage owner and now broker from Missouri who has been in the industry since 2010. Marla’s knowledge of the storage asset class includes storage ownership, management, consulting, and brokerage. In 2016, Marla joined Marcus & Millichap as a real estate broker where she facilitates the acquisition and disposition of Self Storage assets across Missouri and the Midwest. Marla is a partner with First Vice President Investments Anne Williams-Blackwell and the Williams Storage Group, which includes over 30-year storage experience. The Williams Storage Group sold over $60 million in storage in 2019.

In this episode, we talk to Marla about how she bought her first Self Storage Facility fresh off giving birth to her daughter, her journey into becoming a self-storage broker, and some fantastic advice about how prospective buyers of self-storage can build relationships with owners and brokers.

Post-Interview Analysis 

  • Key Lessons Learned. If you are considering buying a self-storage facility, start making calls to lenders first. Those relationships take a while to build and you want to be able to answer yes when a self-storage broker asks you if you’ve lined up a lender. It also gives you an idea of how large a facility you can afford. Now, given that commercial lending is based on the asset, not the borrower, this is not as big an issue as it would be for a piece of residential real estate.
  • How did they acquire their knowledge or what knowledge did they need to acquire? She had a paid mentorship with her eventual business partner Anne Williams.
  • How much money did it take to get started? She and her husband put down approximately $150,000 to purchase a $750,000 facility. Most of the funds for that property came from credit cards and a home equity loan on their primary residence.
  • How much time does it take now? This is a full-time job.
  • Could they do this strategy from anywhere in the world? No, she is focused on helping put together self-storage buyers and sellers in the Midwest market of the United States.

Episode Highlights: 

  • Schedule a video chat with Neil Henderson at
  • How she networked with other self-storage owners in order to acquire her facility
  • What works better for contacting self-storage owners, a targeted market-specific approach, or a shotgun mass mailing approach
  • How does the typical first conversation with a self-storage owner go
  • The challenges of building rapport with self-storage owners during the time of COVID-19
  • And much more…

Books and Resources Mentioned

Follow Us:

Other Stuff:

  • If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes? It takes less than 60 seconds, and it really makes a difference in helping to convince hard-to-get guests.
  • For show notes and past guests, please visit
  • Discover the tools and services we use, visit

About the author, Neil

This bio can be edited in your profile inside Dashboard > Site Management > Users.

Simply hover over your username, click "Edit" and change this biographical information to something that you prefer.