How to evaluate parking management solutions

January 26, 2024
Hannah Michelle Lambert
Content Writer

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Technology is working its way into every aspect of property management as advancements offer up the possibility of increased efficiency. Fully manual processes are becoming fewer and fewer. Parking management is one of the more recent innovations to hit the market. 

Properties are increasingly looking for solutions to streamline their parking operations and shift the burden away from their team. 

Traditional parking management is tedious and time-consuming, typically looking something like this: 

  • Parking is manually managed by the onsite team. 
  • Enforcement is accomplished via paper tags and stickers.
  • Frequent updates to a spreadsheet and rentable items.

If you make the switch to the right parking management solution, on the other hand, you can eliminate many of the pain points associated with traditional processes. 

In turn, you’ll:

  • Reduce staff workload with instant reservations and easy visitor parking
  • Maximize building revenue with dynamic pricing and new revenue streams
  • Automate enforcement by deputizing your partners
  • And generally, create a system that makes both your staff and residents happy

But how do you know which parking management solution is the right solution that will deliver all of these results? Here’s everything you need to consider. 

Step 1: Your current challenges and future goals

Pain points

Consider the biggest thorn in your side when it comes to parking. Is it long commutes to open spots? Unfairly hogged space? Stagnant revenue?

Top-priority parkers

Consider who you want to prioritize parking for. Is it your residents, your staff, guests, retail customers, or some combination of all of these parkers? 

Goals

Decide on your primary and secondary goals for improving your parking management. Common goals are Increasing revenue, improving resident satisfaction, and reducing staff time spent on parking, especially on records and enforcement. Decide which of these goals are a must-have, and which are a nice-to-have, and evaluate your solution accordingly.  

Step 2: Assess available features 

Automatic resident parking enrollment

Adding another disconnected system may do more harm than good, and cause even more work for your staff or inefficiencies in your process. So it’s important to determine if the parking management app integrates with your other property management tools to help you drive the most efficiency. 

Access integration

If you have a parking gate and are trying to move away from fob-based entry, you may want to consider the ability of the solution to integrate with the access system, helping residents open the gate with a tap of the button on their phones. 

Utilization

Consider the ways in which the solution can help you maximize utilization of your parking lot. Does it only offer long-term reservations, or does it also let residents and staff book short-term reservations to help you take advantage of all available spots at any moment?

Ease of use

You want your parking management solution to improve your resident experience, not impair it. The best solution offers a user-friendly app and/or web-based interface where residents and guests can handle reservations, payments, and access control. 

Automated enforcement

Enforcement can be one of the biggest issues with parking management. Consider the solution’s ability to automate this enforcement process. 

You’ll want to make sure that its enforcement capabilities align with the availability of the team you have on-site. If you’ll have few team members available to manually patrol and enforce parking, you probably want to find a solution that can shoulder the brunt of this weight by sending reminders when reservations are ending, assigning penalties for violations, and calling a tow truck if necessary. 

Solutions that deliver the most efficiency will also give residents the ability to report unauthorized parking right in the app and give them in-the-moment resolution by redirecting them to another spot if theirs is taken. 

Perhaps the most important consideration when it comes to enforcement is how the resident experience is prioritized. You’ll want to ask questions to see if their enforcement relies entirely on towing, or if the system has ways to mitigate towing, such as instant access to records to quickly identify unknown vehicles. The last thing you want to do is accidentally tow a resident or guest's car.

Data & insights

We all know that parking isn’t as simple as it appears on the surface, and your parking strategy isn’t a “set it and forget it” situation. The best solution should provide real-time data on parking usage and trends to continue to optimize your strategy.

Scalability & security

Whether your property is currently large or small, you always want to be forward-thinking and prepare for whatever growth may occur in the future. Consider whether the solution can adapt to your parking needs as they grow and ensure the safety of vehicles and users.

Step 3: What to Ask For 

Flexibility

Are you locked into a year-long commitment, or is it month-to-month? 

Hidden costs

What are the costs around implementation, revenue share, etc.? 

Financial model

Request a financial model to see the potential revenue and costs of implementing this parking solution. 

Specific details

When evaluating a piece of technology to integrate into your property management process, there’s no such thing as too many questions. Don’t be afraid to ask probing questions, seek details, and ask for in-depth demos or explanations of how things work. 

Parkade checks all of the boxes

Parkade is a modern parking management solution for multi-family buildings and offices. Our software integrates with property management systems to automate all aspects of parking operations, including tenant parking assignments, guest parking, payment, problem reporting and more. But we don’t stop there: our customer service team is available 24/7 to resolve issues in real-time, even calling for towing.

With Parkade, properties are able to maximize their parking capacity, keep their properties secure, boost their parking revenue, and prevent staff from getting bogged down with tedious parking management tasks.

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