Why Parking Should be Treated as an Amenity: Part 1

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There are a lot of articles about improving multifamily amenities for renters. Adding ‘smart’ tech upgrades and revamping communal areas are common. There seems to be a lack of focus on parking as an amenity. But not making parking a priority can be a mistake.

Parking is the most important amenity renters look for in apartments.

In fact, 94% of renters surveyed by NMHC listed parking as the #1 community amenity.

Sure, if you’re in a dense urban area or city center next to a bus line, chances are parking isn’t as big of an issue. Some builders are reducing parking space in anticipation of a future full of Lyfts and Ubers.

But the reality is that most renters still want or need parking spaces, especially in suburban communities. Both Millenials and Boomers are the largest renter demographics. Despite the age gap, both look for similar amenities, including parking.

A study by J. Turner Research states that “the overwhelming majority of renters (67%) own one car, with another 20% of all renters own two.” And some would even pay to avoid the stress of parking.

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Parking is often the first physical touch-point of your community. 

When putting together your new leasing marketing plan, consider your parking. Think of your community like a brand. What does your brand say about your community? Is it welcoming? Friendly? The community experience doesn’t only start inside the leasing office.

If your website promises a great community experience, make sure that starts with a well-managed lot. Removing the frustration of finding a parking spot is the first step in making visitors feel welcome.

Your residents are advocates of your community. Imagine a resident has invited a guest over, and they ask about parking. If they are telling their guests how frustrated they are with parking, what picture does that paint of your community?

Adding more parking spots is typically not an option, but there are ways to optimize what you have.

Set aside designated guest spaces and install clear parking signs to help residents & guests know where they can park. Some managers mark guest spaces in front of the leasing office for “future residents.” Those spots can then become guest parking after-hours.

Track your residents with Smart Decals to regulate how many cars residents are allowed. Decals also make it easy to distinguish guests from residents.

With our cloud-based parking platform, see who is in your lot at all times. Your team can share up-to-date information from any computer or device. 

If part of improving your community brand is upgrading your amenities, don’t overlook parking. It can even clear up other problems, too. These steps can create a community with fair and accountable parking.

 

In Part 2 of this post, we’ll look at the impact of parking on reviews and prospective renters.


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