5 Things to Do Before Rolling Out a New Parking Solution

January 27, 2020
Multifamily

Are you considering a new parking program? Are you tired of residents taking advantage of your parking? Are you looking for a more organized and fair parking solution? There are a few steps to review before you roll one out.

If you want to have a smooth transition into a new program, the more prepared you are, the better. To help you get started, we’ve put together a helpful list of things to consider before implementing a new parking solution.

1. Take inventory

Let’s start at square one: take a look at your current parking situation and the challenges you face. An organized parking lot doesn’t come naturally. 

Examine the parking ratio. How many spaces do you have per home? How many guest spaces do you have? If maintenance uses garages for storage, consider turning those into rentable parking spaces.

Your spaces may need to be restriped or renumbered. If so, you’ll want to take care of this before you put a new program in place. Create clear parking zones, such as resident zones (assigned or open), premier parking, guest parking clusters, and ADA spaces. Zoning parking spaces makes enforcement easier and more efficient.

Familiarize yourself with the specific parking challenges you face. For example, do you have too many cars in the lot? This is where understanding your parking ratio comes into play. If the lot is always full but you should have more than enough spaces, residents may be parking extra unauthorized cars. Or you may even have unauthorized occupants.

2. Outline parking rules

Establish clear rules to keep everyone on the same page. Set up rules for how long guests can park and where they are allowed to do so. Do you have someone who checks for valid tabs? Designate someone to do so monthly.

Set limits on how long guest vehicles are allowed to park in order to weed out which cars are unauthorized or inoperable vehicles. With something like a 24 or 72-hour limit, you’ll be able to find cars that might be parking long-term.

How are you differentiating resident and guest vehicles? We recommend keeping track of residents with unique decals and using virtual permits for guest vehicles so that you always know who’s allowed to be parked.

3. Update your lease agreement 

Next, you’ll want to make sure the parking addendum in your Lease agreement is up to par with the rules you’ve established. Your lease agreement should identify rules and regulations regarding the use of any parking space.

Clear language is necessary for everything from how many vehicles each residence is allowed to vehicle repair policies. You might choose to allow for one vehicle per licensed driver, but will there be too many cars if so? Another option is limiting the number of vehicles based on the number of bedrooms or lease-holders per home. This leads back to knowing your parking ratio and also having an awareness of your resident demographics. 

Establish rules for speed limits, parking in non-designated areas, what types of vehicles are permitted, and specify if you will be issuing fines for violations. Make sure you send out proper notice for any parking rule or lease and addendum changes.

4. Enforce the rules

How do you plan to enforce your rules? Is it in your budget to hire a third party for enforcement, or will you self-enforce with the help of your staff? 

Outline how many warnings are to be given before taking action such as towing or booting. We recommend giving at least one warning before action is taken to allow people to comply with rules and correct their actions. This helps avoid unnecessary tow issues. If you’re looking for a tow partner, check out our tips on how to hire a reputable tow company. 

Creating a reasonable enforcement plan is just as crucial as solidifying your parking program. You have several points to consider. When and how often will parking be enforced? How will you enforce it? Who will do it? Will you check every license plate each time or split patrol up by zones? What will your consequences be? Be sure to make decisions on each of these factors. If you or your staff need to self-enforce, we have tips for that, too.

5. Look for revenue opportunities

Lastly, have you thought about the revenue opportunities you can utilize within your parking lot? According to NMHC and Wakefield Research Survey, 60% of residents are willing to pay more each month for reserved spaces.

Offering premium reserved parking close to stairs, elevators, and entrances might prove beneficial for you and residents seeking prime spots. Garages and carports are also good opportunities for income if you charge for those desirable spaces. 

Paid guest parking is another great revenue option. If guests want to park overnight or on the weekends, you can implement paid parking for those times. For example, if you have 10 guest spaces and charge $3 per night for each space, assuming each one is occupied each night, you could potentially make an extra $700 in monthly parking income  (after processing fees). Charging $5 a night per vehicle could bring in $1,200 in revenue. 

To summarize: 

  • Make sure you understand the big picture of your parking lot and its challenges
  • Outline your parking rules
  • Create an updated lease agreement to keep everything lawful
  • Whether you outsource or do it yourself, create a game plan for enforcement 
  • Don’t ignore the revenue opportunities to be found in your parking lot or garage
  • Find a comprehensive solution

At Parking Boss, we offer a free parking consultation to discover your parking challenges and tailor our platform to your community’s needs. 

Our team provides you with training and support documents as you roll-out the program to make the process go as smoothly as possible. We offer Smart Decals and virtual guest permits so you can always know who’s parking in your community. Our custom interactive Smart Map has been proven to make leasing and assigning spaces easier.  We also offer pay-to-park options so you can generate parking revenue.  

Being prepared is key when it comes to revamping your community’s parking. Follow these steps and set yourself up for a successful new parking program.

Take the next step to better parking

Get a Free Demo & Pricing