“Before Parkade, parking was a nightmare.”
Guest parking availability
Avg. monthly revenue gain
Avg. monthly parking hours shared by residents
Increase in residents sharing parking
Built in 1981, La Galleria is 187-unit multi-family building with 184 residential parking spaces — just shy of 1 parking space per residential unit. All parking is located in a structured, gated garage below the residential floors.
Like many properties in the United States, parking is “bundled” with the unit, meaning that each unit is assigned one parking space at no additional cost alongside the purchase of their unit.
Like many other Parkade partner properties, La Galleria is professionally managed by First Service Residential, the largest property management company in North America. La Galleria’s property management team and the HOA board strive to constantly improve the resident (and guest) experience while also keeping costs down. Instead, those in need of extra parking turned to nearby private garages for extra parking, often paying more than $400/mo. Others moved out faster than they’d planned.
Like many urban dwellings, La Galleria’s parking lot has one thing: Location, location, location. Lower Nob Hill is just a short walk from downtown San Francisco. Street parking is limited and difficult, and tow away zones are frequent — just like vehicle break-ins.
For residents, visitors, and staff, parking outside of the property comes with major risk.
But location wasn’t the only problem. La Galleria was able to effectively provide just one parking space per resident. This allocation left both residents and staff with many unfulfilled parking needs:
The tight spaces and limited access left everyone feeling claustrophobic. Limited space made it harder for residents to host visitors and was a significant deterrent for potential residents. Despite having enough spaces to bundle with their units, La Galleria found itself coming up short on all types of parking.
As Mariana Salfiti, La Galleria’s general manager told us:
“Before Parkade, parking was a nightmare.”
To help residents find long-term parking for multi-car households, property managers played matchmaker between residents needing and offering parking.
It was a heavy lift, as Assistant General Manager Nick Furey recalls: “It was such a hassle coordinating long term leases (signed, paper leases, not even electronic), finding tenants, going back and forth on behalf of the resident on price and trying to haggle.”
Residents could also share parking directly via the building’s email system or bulletin boards, but that rarely worked. The tedium of searching for spots and constantly trying to self-manage those needs caused several residents to disengage with the entire process. As a result, only 6% of residents ever rented their parking spot long-term.
Left with zero extra spots and frustrated residents, management began searching for a way to offer guest parking. To do so, management rented spots back from3 existing residents for $200/mo and operated those spots as guest parking.
While this makeshift solution allowed some flexibility, the resident and guest experience was quite poor.
“All residents could do was hope there was a spot available when their guest showed up,” Salfiti says.
“Many guests would arrive and find no such spot available, leaving them to hunt for street parking or pay exorbitant rates in nearby private garages.”
The building also used a paper guest log, which guests would sign upon arrival and departure. The entire process was managed by La Galleria’s front desk staff, which added significant time-sensitive work to their day.
“The front desk team was spending 2 hours a day just registering guests in and out of parking spaces.”
The guest parking logs also needed to be turned into billable items for First Service’s accounting department, a task Furey usually took upon himself and still has nightmares about.
“I used to type out guest parking receipt emails each month/quarter for residents and used a screenshot from Excel to show their total. It was so archaic,” he says.
The final group left in the cold was building staff themselves, who had just a single assigned parking spot shared among a team of six.
Sometimes, staff would park in an empty spot in the hopes it wasn’t needed, then be forced to move their car if the resident returned home. This parking crunch made it harder to find and retain great staff, as many new hires were reluctant to risk their vehicles by parking on the street or taking public transport, resulting in a slower and more costly commute.
With all these challenges stacking up, La Galleria began looking for a solution to all of their long-time parking woes. Thankfully, they found Parkade.
La Galleria found Parkade in October of 2019, and within weeks, Parkade was live and solving the building’s parking challenges.
By the end of day 1, dozens of residents had signed up and were subleasing spots among one another. The system worked so well that La Galleria quickly folded its guest-parking-rent-credit program, giving those three participating residents their assigned spots back instead of paying them $600/mo to create guest parking.
Guest parking, finally, works as it should: Residents book spots in advance or at the last minute for their guests, and know — without a doubt — that a spot will be available. They pay directly in the app, removing the need for billing to be handled later.
Most importantly, Salfiti says, “Guest parking is always available. We have much more guest parking than before.”
And that’s backed up by the data. In the 30 months since La Galleria switched to Parkade, there’s been at least one guest spot available more than 99.8% of the time. When surveyed, 85% of residents reported guest parking was “always” or “almost always” available when needed, while 15% reported it was usually available.
“Residents are super happy that there’s always guest parking available,” Salfiti says. “It’s not that old first come, first-serve system anymore, and yet there’s pretty much always a spot available.
“Residents love it. They really do.”
It’s directly translated to a better social life at an urban building where it used to be tough to host visitors.
When asked whether they agree that “being able to rent spots short-term via the Parkade app makes it easier for you to host visitors,” 81% responded they strongly agreed.
A resident, Joe, echoed that sentiment, telling us “I love having Parkade at La Galleria. It’s made all the difference when accommodating guests.”
Parkade has made it much, much easier for residents to sublease their assigned parking spot to other residents — transforming how parking is utilized at La Galleria.
These days, residents collectively earn between $3,000-4,000/mo subleasing their spaces, with that amount growing monthly. Of the 9,218 hours that residents made their spots available to be subleased in December 2021, 7,728 were rented by fellow residents or staff.
That additional parking capacity Parkade created is the equivalent of adding 13 parking spots to their garage.
When surveyed, 44% of residents said they now sublease their parking spot full-time or frequently, while 19% do it just occasionally. Only 38% of residents reported never having subleased their spot — a huge decrease from the 86% of residents who never subleased their spot before Parkade launched.
Before Parkade, about 40% of La Galleria’s parking spots sat empty even during hours of peak need. Some spots went unused for hours per day, while some went unused for months on end. Instead, La Galleria’s parking utilization has been transformed with Parkade’s innovative, easy-to-use mobile app technology.
These numbers demonstrate that subleasing a parking spot went from pain point to amenity, thanks to Parkade, adding significant parking capacity in the process.
La Galleria’s biggest hesitation when first considering implementing Parkade was concerns about behavior and security. Management worried that it would encourage too much transient use, that residents would feel less secure and that scofflaw residents would jump into spots they saw on Parkade without booking.
Before Parkade, when spots would needlessly sit empty for months at a time, residents would take notice and start parking there without permission. Two-and-a-half years since Parkade launched, Salfiti now says:
“It’s been a solid year since I’ve had to tell a resident to stop parking in the vacant parking stall next to them.”
Rather than being a source of bad behavior, Parkade has helped reduce that kind of bad behavior by helping ensure spots don’t needlessly sit empty. On top of that, Parkade jumps into action if someone does park without authorization, by instantly notifying spot owners and management when a car is reported misparked.
“Once you dive in and start using Parkade, it makes parking mindless for residents and staff. It runs itself!”
“In the very rare cases some kind of parking issue comes up, security has admin access to Parkade and can triage issues or identify vehicle owners in seconds,” Salfiti said. It’s way better than the old days when security “would never really know who was parking where.”
Residents agree. When surveyed, 100% of residents surveyed said they “somewhat” or “strongly agreed” that Parkade had helped improve parking behavior. Parkade has helped tighten building security and improve management’s records of who lives in the building.
Because residents must be approved to use Parkade, access requests “helped us find and identify unregistered renters who have moved in with someone, but aren’t in our building records. It’s a way to constantly audit our tenant directory.”
Between that, and the digital paper trail Parkade creates of who parked where (and when), security improvements have been noticeable. In our survey, 100% of residents surveyed “strongly agreed” that Parkade “has helped improve security at La Galleria.”
The positive impact of Parkade for La Galleria’s management team is unmistakable. Gone are the days of paper logs, inputting parking into accounting systems and manually billing residents.
“Parking can be a real headache,” Salfiti said. “It can get really messy, really quickly. The amount of time it’s saving us is amazing — creating invoices and looking through parking accounting is the last thing I want to do. To have a system just to do it for us is fantastic.”
“Every single interaction our residents have had with the Parkade team or the app has been pleasant,” Salfiti said. Parkade’s team has “always gone the extra mile.”
They were so impressed with Parkade’s digital parking rental system that in 2021, staff moved the building’s 12 motorcycle parking spots onto Parkade’s system, instead of managing rentals of those spots manually. Those spots used to only be rented long-term, but can now be rented for any period of time, including hours, days or weeks. Managing the spots is now on autopilot, yet motorcycle-parking revenue is up 50% . Soon, La Galleria is dedicating some EV parking with EV chargers and, of course, EV parking rentals will be handled in the Parkade system.
“It’s made a material difference to our finances — for sure,” Salfiti said. Management is not only renting all motorcycle spots through Parkade and saving $600/ mo by ditching the old guest parking system, “but we’re getting a revenue share on short-term rentals for guests and long-term rentals between residents.”
Instead of being $600/mo in the hole every month, La Galleria is now earning about $600/mo from Parkade. “So we’re getting a pretty decent chunk of revenue every month from Parkade,” Salfiti says.
Costs aside, Parkade made building maintenance easier. “Parkade has been really helpful re-arranging parking in a whole section of the garage for a day for maintenance work. That’s an extra perk we didn’t expect that I find to be very, very helpful,” she says.
Compared to a few years ago, La Galleria’s parking finally operates as it should. Residents have all their parking needs met, instantly, at affordable prices. Parking spots no longer needlessly sit empty, and residents have more fulfilling social lives, valuable homes and a stronger community as a result.
Best of all, there’s significantly fewer parking tasks and more parking revenue for management.
That’s why General Manager Salfiti tells other property managers who ask her about using Parkade, “You will thank me later.”
“Parking can be a real headache. It can get messy really quickly. The amount of time it’s saving us is amazing: Creating invoices or looking through parking accounting is the last thing I want to do. To have a system just do it for us is fantastic. It’s one less thing off the spinning plates that property managers are trying to balance all day long.”
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