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  • Writer's pictureCory Cleveland


Updated: May 28, 2023

Jacob-Vanderslice on The Insider's Guide to Business show
From firefighting to real estate investing and now self-storage. What are the pros of investing in this asset class?

Today’s guest is a former firefighter who got into the self-storage business in 2015. Now he has $235 million in self-storage facilities around the country.

Joining us today is Jacob Vanderslice, Partner, and Principal at VanWest Partners -- a private equity firm based in Denver focusing on self-storage.

"All sins in real estate are cured with time, but the question is can you hang on long enough to get through the downturn? And the way you hang on is cashflow." — Jacob Vanderslice [0:21:32]

He discusses how he made the change from self-storage to real estate investing. He also shares pros and cons of investing in this asset class.

We learned about the economics of self-storage, the growth it has seen since the pandemic, and the numbers Jacob looks for when investing.

He explains what he likes about this asset class, and the different deal types he’s involved in. His current deal types include income, lease-up, in-occupancy acquisitions, expansions, and ground-up development projects.

The best way to learn is to go out and take a risk. If you lose a little bit of money on your first deal, let’s say you want to do a fix and flip, for example, you can read all the books in the world, listen to the podcasts, listen to webinars, whatever, but the best way to learn is to go out and do something and take a risk.” — Jacob Vanderslice [0:27:56]

Find out what metrics Jacob looks for before going into a deal, his views on the unprecedented economic times, and how he prepares for the future.

He shares insights that can be extremely helpful to anyone who may be considering doing their first real estate deal. We hope you enjoy the episode!


  • The economics of self-storage, and the growth it has seen since the pandemic

  • What deals Jacob looks for and what numbers he pursues when investing in self-storage

  • How Jacob got into self-storage from real estate investing

  • What he likes about the self-storage asset class

  • How VanWest competes in acquisitions

  • The main metrics Jacob looks for before going into a deal

  • The value of IRR and what metric Jacob thinks is more important

  • Opportunistic real estate, and an example of a recently completed deal

  • Thoughts on the unprecedented economic times we’re experiencing

  • Concerns over the rise in interest rates and the drop in cap rates

  • Reflections on the 2008 financial crisis and what he learned from that

  • What Jacob predicts from the monetary policy going forward

  • Advice to anyone considering doing a real estate deal

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