radius logo
blog graphic

12 Aug 2020

Extra Space Eyes ‘Return to Normal’ as Coronavirus Hurts Revenue


As the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a human and economic toll, Extra Space Storage is not immune to the effects. In the second quarter, a surge in expenses tied to bad debt helped drag down same-store revenue and same-store NOI.

Compared with the same period last year, same-store revenue fell 3.1% in the quarter ended June 30 and same-store NOI declined 4.6%, the Salt Lake City, UT-based storage REIT reported August 4. Extra Space blames those decreases on a higher amount of bad debt from nonpaying renters, along with lower rental rates and a lower sum of late fees.

In the second quarter, expenses related to bad debt were about 50% higher than the usual 1.6% to 1.8% of revenue, said Scott Stubbs, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Extra Space.

As of July 31, same-store occupancy included about 200 basis points of inflated occupancy stemming from delayed lien auctions. Also on that date, accounts overdue by more than 60 days were 325 basis points higher as a share of rental income than normal levels.

The Effect of Non-Paying Renters

During an Aug. 5 call with Wall Street analysts, CEO Joe Margolis said that although occupancy sat at a record-high 95.7% on July 31, the figure is skewed by nonpaying renters. In some states, past-due renters have been allowed to stay because of moratoriums on lien auctions in states like California, New York and New Jersey. Margolis said Extra Space is now able to move ahead with auctions in some states. But because of requirements regarding the timing of auction notices, lien sales in several states won’t restart until September, he said.

Rent Increases Blocked

Stubbs said Extra Space expects same-store revenue growth to remain in the red during the second half of this year. One of the factors driving that projection is restrictions on rent increase. Margolis said the REIT is currently prohibited from imposing rate increases in six states and is limited in its ability to raise rates in another 14 states.

Despite the bleak second-quarter numbers, Margolis said the REIT is seeing a “return to normal” when it comes to customer behavior, such as a significant improvement in walk-in traffic.

Although Extra Space continues to battle pandemic-caused headwinds, Margolis said the company will “focus all our efforts on enhancing shareholder value, regardless of what gets thrown at us.”

Highlighting Diversity and Inclusion

Also during the earnings call, Margolis said Extra Space will strive to create an even more diverse and inclusive workforce. About 40% of the REIT’s employees are people of color, he said.


With all these challenges and changes, Extra Space remains hopeful and is developing strategies to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on its functionality and profitability.

Author: John Egan Thumbnail: Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Other Articles