When you’re in the storage auction business, knowing the demographics of the tenants whose items you’ll be buying is an important part of gauging how much a unit might be worth. After all, affluent people tend to store more valuable items. In an effort to understand the trends behind storage auctions, we asked the question: Do men or women default on their rent more frequently?
Guesses at our forums varied, with plenty of excellent reasoning behind both sides. Some guessed that men would be more common due to military deployment; others suspected that women would be more likely to abandon their units because the contents might not have been as valuable to them.
To complete our study, we analyzed 1,000 gender-specific names of Texas storage tenants that had gone into default and divided them into male and female. Of the tenants studied, 468 were men and 532 were women, showing women as 6.4% more likely to go into default than men.
Of course, this study is by no means conclusive. For more reliable data, we’d need to know what the ratio of male storage renters is to female. Our guess is that more men rent units than women – since it’s often the man in a couple who handles that type of business – which would skew the results even further as a larger percentage of women would default than men. Also, results might vary from one location to the next or on a nationwide scale. We analyzed data from 157 random storage facilities in Texas, but other states might look different.
All the same, it is interesting to see that more women went into default than men. We can only speculate as to the reason, but our best guess is echoed by commenter “Alias300” – women are more likely to rent storage units only during times of huge change or duress, while men are more likely to use the units to store their belongings under more normal circumstances. In other words, a woman getting a storage unit is likely to be undergoing a divorce or another similar life change. A man – either as part of a married couple or on his own – will probably use storage space for his “toys” like extra tools, machinery, hobby equipment and more.
It’s certainly a question that deserves a second look, though. Who’s renting more units? What are they keeping in them, and why? And, most importantly, who is leaving behind their belongings? Understanding these questions can be the key to finding those elusive treasures we’d all love to find in a storage locker.
So, why do you think women are more likely to get behind on their storage payments? Leave your interesting and creative responses in the comments section below.