Storage Yard Real Estate Development with Chris Long


Storage Yard Real Estate Development with Chris Long


Guest: Join us in this captivating interview with Chris Long, a visionary entrepreneur who transformed a simple solution into a booming real estate venture. Chris, a licensed carpenter, identified a gap in the market and embarked on a journey that led him from the cold capital of Canada to the sunny shores of Tampa, FL, where he currently spearheads Long Yards, a revolutionary concept in real estate targeting an unmet need for affordable storage space.


Big Idea: Chris shares his remarkable journey from identifying a market need to building a successful business empire in the real estate sector. He delves into the challenges he faced, the pivotal decisions he made, and the strategies he implemented to overcome obstacles and achieve exponential growth in the storage business.




Chris Long: Yeah. So I’m a licensed carpenter by trade. I was in the construction industry for 15 years and I discovered a problem in the market that didn’t exist and I needed a small affordable space for my equipment, tools and trailers, and you go to a self storage facility, but I needed a yard, but there was a gap in the marketplace. I don’t need a one to three acre parcel that I pay half million, a million dollars with it or I lease it for triple net lease for three or five years. No, I’ve seen a small medium-sized yard month to month that was secure and closed. Sometimes I believe I’m a simple person, simple problems have simple solutions. I’m like, if this doesn’t exist, I’m going to build it and sure enough, no investor would get behind me. They thought I was crazy. So I had to sell both my houses and I only had a small rental portfolio of two duplexes. So to go in on my vision, I had to literally put my mouth where I believed it and sell everything I had and it was a success. So I mean, I spread myself then getting it going. I couldn’t even afford to put the gates on the front, but I had to pre-sell the first units in full to afford to complete the buildout. But since then it’s been off to the races. We leased up completely in Ottawa, Canada. We’re building out central Florida. We have parcels and I built a franchise system, so I’m a franchisor. We have franchisees parcels under our contract in Florida, in Texas. We’re looking at Carolina and we have both five active lois and we’re just looking to expand with great people with a great business.

Dan Breslin: Yeah, it’s pretty cool and it’s timely. We’re going to dig into the 8.9 acres that I currently own that’s owned industrial that I’m deciding what I want to do with it, Memphis, Tennessee a little later in the show. But before we get into that, let’s back up to that first deal. What year was that, Chris?

Chris Long: So I bought it with my brother in 2017. We sat on it for a little bit, being brothers, we just had a different little view and it took about two years to kind of arm wrestle and figure it out. But I cut the rivet in October 1st, 2019, and my first location, Long Yards in Ottawa, Canada. Then I moved out to the states about two years ago to expand internationally.


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Chris Long & I Discuss Storage Yard Real Estate Development:

  • Identifying Market Gaps: Chris discusses the inspiration behind Long Yards and the unmet need for affordable storage space. (00:02:51)
  • Strategic Partnerships: The importance of choosing the right partners and maintaining alignment in business ventures. (00:06:48)
  • The Concept of Long Yards: Chris introduces the concept of Long Yards, explaining how it combines land banking with cash flow generation. (00:13:04)
  • SBA Financing Advantage: The competitive advantage of utilizing SBA financing for real estate acquisition and build-out within the Long Yards framework. (00:22:38)
  • Stabilized occupancy rate and turnover: Chris discusses how Long Yards maintains a 90% stabilized occupancy rate, with lower turnover due to catering mainly to small businesses (00:42:41).



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The transcript of this episode can be found here.
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