“Parkade took the load of parking off my shoulders.”
Centerfield Flats Property Manager
Centerfield Flats Property Manager
Centerfield Flats Property Manager
Revenue (after fees) at Centerfield
Parking utilization at Centerfield
Fewer misparked cars at Centerfield
Revenue (after fees) at Water Street
Parking utilization at Water Street
Fewer misparked cars at Water Street
Crawford Hoying is a real estate developer and management firm heavily invested in the Ohio market. The firm currently manages over 8 million square feet of multifamily and commercial properties, including 15 rental properties split between Dayton, Cincinatti and Columbus. Before Parkade, they had self-managed parking some buildings, while they outsourced parking to old-school parking operators at others, like Water Street Apartments. At most buildings, parking was rented at a fee — creating valuable revenue, but adding significant management overhead.
Wanting to focus on growth and their core business lines (apartments and commercial spaces) and seeing very poor financial and resident-experience results from fully outsourcing their parking, Crawford Hoying started exploring other options.
As is typical of mid-rise apartments in the United States, most of Crawford Hoying’s properties have allocated 1 to 2 parking spots per unit. All parking was assigned to residents for an extra fee on top of the monthly rent.
While parking created a significant revenue source, unfortunately it added too much management overhead. Assigning parking spots and collecting the fees added a significant workload for Crawford Hoying staff. As a consequence, the on-site team could only offer parking on long-term leases. Renting spots for hours or days would be too much effort, with too little reward.
This left guest and visitor parking needs unfulfilled. Despite vacancies in the lot, the staff lacked the manpower to monetize that opportunity. That also forced residents with consistent visitors (significant others, family, etc) to rent spots long-term even if they only needed them a couple nights a month.
Additionally, all parking was offered at the same price to residents, no matter how good or bad a spot was. That created waitlists for good spots, while the worst spots sat empty.
Crawford Hoying utilized third-party services for some aspects of parking management, but much of their parking burden fell back to the on-site team. Managers and after-hours courtesy officers found themselves bogged down with complaints about wrongfully parked cars, requests for parking assignments, or questions about modifying existing lot arrangements.
Even the best-managed parking lot can become a massive time sink for property managers.
If managed manually, the onsite team needs to respond to all resident parking requests, including spot assignments, modifications, and additional parking reservations. Combined with conflicts that result from misparked cars, resident complaints, and towing incidents, parking quickly becomes a headache.
To make matters worse, lot management and enforcement is a 24/7 ordeal. Residents come and go on their own schedule, and resolving a single parking issue can take hours.
Crawford Hoying splits this responsibility between its property managers and after-hours courtesy officers, who field calls and complaints after the office closes for the evening. However, even the extra help from the after-hours staff wasn’t enough to resolve the constant issues.
“I had to manage all the parking,” explains Kristina Ferguson, property manager at Centerfield Flats.
“Whenever someone was parking in someone else’s spot, it was always me having to take care of it, or courtesy officers who were called after hours. It was really distracting.”
Plus, as Kristina points out, the problem can get worse if it’s not resolved quickly.
A single misparked car can create a domino effect as multiple residents park in someone else’s spot because their spot is occupied.
And for managers with other priorities, lot management was made even more difficult because it was impossible to know when an incident would occur.
According to Kristina, between the towing incidents (three to four per week) and the regular requests to secure spots closer to the building, staying on top of everything was always a challenge.
Spots closer to the building are considered more valuable by residents, but due to management constraints, it was impractical to adjust pricing based on location. Rather than maximizing revenue, spots were listed as a flat rate and assigned on a first-come, first-served basis — leading to waitlists for specific spots and arguments over who deserved the premium spots.
For Marla Glander, manager at Water Street Apartments, the situation was similar.
Water Street also offered zero short-term parking and struggled to meet residents’ parking needs.
“Residents don’t want their friends and family to walk half a mile one way each time they visit, right? It just wasn’t good,” Marla says.
A couple of years ago, Water Street Apartments initially turned to a nationwide, old-school parking operator to streamline parking. The company installed a parking gate and switched parking over to a card-based entry system. Unfortunately, this completely eliminated guest/visitor access and created a huge problem for delivery drivers (no access).
Residents’ first experience after moving into Water Street Apartments was having to park off-site before their parking spot had been assigned and their keycard was received. It wasn’t a good first impression.
And staff had very limited access to parking records.
The old-school operator only sent occasional parking lists via PDF. That made it extremely difficult for a courtesy officer or property manager to figure out who owned a particular vehicle on the fly or in the field. That meant residents occasionally got towed for parking in the wrong spot, something no one wants to happen.
Crawford Hoying turned to Parkade to resolve these outstanding issues and create a better resident experience. The company also wanted to maximize the value of its parking, something that Marla saw as a major opportunity for Water Street due to its downtown location.
“The opportunity to make money when guests come to downtown events was a very exciting idea,” says Marla.
Parkade deployed to Centerfield Flats in June of 2021 as the building’s primary parking management system. As residents started using the app at Centerfield, the positive results became apparent for the onsite staff. Crawford Hoying also launched Parkade at Water Street in November of the same year.
“It’s been so much better. Parkade took the load of parking off my shoulders,” Kristina says.
And Marla agrees: “I don’t have to worry about parking. I get very few phone calls about parking anymore. Very few.”
On their side, residents have enjoyed the change. In a direct survey, 83% of residents surveyed reported that it was significantly easier to change or swap parking spots since Parkade launched. Which makes sense, as residents can just use the Parkade app.
The property management teams have also found that it’s much easier to resolve issues when they do occur. Using the Parkade app, it’s easy to determine if an unrecognized car was mistakenly parked in the wrong place by another resident or if the car doesn’t belong in the lot at all.
While some of these issues may still require a towing service, many of the problems can be resolved with a quick phone call to a resident explaining the mix-up. And when a tow is required, Parkade’s enforcement app — which all staff has access to — makes it easy to confirm questions quickly on the fly.
That’s helped improve behavior, a change residents have noticed.
When problems do occur, they’re easy to resolve.
A Water St resident, Denny, said his favorite part about Parkade is that “if someone parks in my spot, I can easily see what other spots are available, and temporarily relocate.”
At Water Street Apartments, Marla has also seen an increase in parking utilization. Empty spots are being used more frequently for guest visitation, and residents have rented extra spots for themselves — both on a short-term and long-term basis — without ever having to go through the office.
“I love Parkade,” says Crawford Hoying courtesy officer Aaron Fraley. His enforcement team “can go into Parkade’s system directly and just check vehicle information on our phones in a few seconds. We know with extreme confidence that we’ve got the right person or car.
Parkade worked so well and made it so much easier for guests to find parking that Water Street even removed its parking gate so that guests (and delivery people) can now park on-site. In addition to reducing frustrations and improving access, they actually tow fewer cars than before Parkade. Guests, rather than trailing someone into the parking lot and getting towed (or not getting caught), can now just book a spot on arrival through Parkade’s mobile app.
Additionally, 89% of respondents somewhat or strongly agreed with the statement that “Parking here is easier and works better for me since we started using Parkade.”
That sentiment is echoed in the survey comments.
Parkade has also changed the way Marla talks about the property with prospective residents, referring to the way they handle parking as an amenity.
“I’ll mention that we’ve got a pool on the river and a movie theater, and we also have guest parking that you can do through our app,” she explains. “It’s valuable because a lot of places don’t have guest parking. Guests are going to end up parking on the street or in a parking garage and walk to the residence. This is much nicer, for sure.”
Centerfield also saw big earnings. In addition to improving lot management, Parkade has also provided more granular control over pricing. At Centerfield, parking spots that all used to rent for $55 per month now range from $50 to $75 per month based on location, desirability, and size.
“We do very little to earn money from the service,” she says, “and anytime a company can make money and not have to work real hard, it’s great!”
Crawford Hoying has also launched Parkade into a third property, Delco Lofts, and the company is making Parkade a standard part of its “property management technology stack.
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