Self-storage is a fast-growing sector of commercial real estate that has been called ‘recession-resistant’. Today’s guest is Kris Benson, a Chief Investment Officer for Reliant Investments, which is a subsidiary of Reliant Real Estate Management and was named one of the top 30 commercial self-storage operators in the US in 2018. Investing in real estate has been in Kris’s steadfast path to passive income and he is passionate about inspiring others to change their mindset around investing for their future. In this episode, Kris unpacks what he thinks makes self-storage recession-resistant, and what attracted him to this asset class in the first place. We also discuss some of the challenges when investing in self-storage and how Kris’s company adds value to their self-storage units, depending on the client. Kris goes into detail about rent increases, ground-up developments versus existing properties, and the existing lending structures for self-storage, and we end off the show with the final four questions from Lalita to get to know Kris a little better. Tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Kris introduces himself and explains how he got into self-storage.
  • The reasons Kris was attracted to the self-storage asset class.
  • What about self-storage makes it a ‘recession-resistant’ asset class.
  • Some of the challenges when dealing with self-storage.
  • Kris’s sweet spot in terms of the size of self-storage units.
  • How Kris’s company adds value to self-storage properties, depending on the client.
  • The frequency and cost of rent increases.
  • Purchasing existing properties and expanding vs. ground-up developments.
  • Existing lending for self-storage.
  • The one tool Kris cannot do without as a real estate investor.
  • Kris’s biggest mistake in real estate investing and the main takeaway for listeners.
  • What Kris needs to do now to grow his life to the next level.


“I think [self-storage is] a little bit unique in that it’s very much an operating business first, with a real estate component” — Kris Benson  [0:11:11]

“The best descriptor of us is we’re opportunistic… if we can make it make sense for us and our investors, we are going to do our best to make it work” — Kris Benson  [0:17:55

“I am a huge believer that when you are investing in real estate you are essentially investing in the people” — Kris Benson  [0:20:32]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Reliant Investments

Kris Benson on LinkedIn

National Association of REITs

Wayne Patton’s Asset ProtectionAPT Capital Group

APT Capital Group - YouTube Channel