It has been well-documented that self-storage REITs have pushed street rates down in recent months, and we are now seeing evidence that the so called “race to the bottom” is clearly affecting self-storage valuations and performance. Today unit pricing and Existing Customer Rate Increase (ECRI) programs have more to do with the success or failure of a project than ever before. In some markets we are finding that REIT-operated properties have street rates as much as 50% lower than non-REIT operated properties. This has allowed REITs to steal occupancy from the smaller operators that are slow to respond. However, when you dig into the unit pricing strategy of the REITs, it is much more complex than just lowering street rents.