How Smart Map transformed parking at a Blanton Turner community
With 500 parking spaces to keep track of, Radford Court managers Alison Darcy and Alex Zamora struggled to find a parking solution to help them manage resident and guest vehicles.
From resident complaints coming at all hours to a lack of guest parking spaces, Alison and Alex knew there had to be an answer out there, they just hadn’t found it yet. It wasn’t easy to look for a solution that could help them manage hundreds of assigned parking spaces.
About Radford Court
Radford Court is a Blanton Turner multifamily community nestled in Northeast Seattle, WA. Located ten minutes away from the University of Washington, it’s a popular community for students, staff, and faculty. The community features multiple housing situations within their 400 units, including one, two, and three-bedroom lofts, townhomes, and flats.
Radford Court stretches across 24 acres and provides free reserved and flex parking for residents, as well as free covered bike storage. The community offers package lockers, in-unit washers and dryers, and a 24-hour fitness center. Residents can also enjoy a modern community room and complementary UW internet service.
With 500 parking spaces to account for, Alison and Alex had a big challenge in front of them if they wanted to solve Radford Court’s ever-looming parking problems.
Residents regularly parked in one another’s spaces, making for frequent angry phone calls to management. Another challenge came from a lack of guest parking spaces. Only about 6 guest spots were available, making it difficult to honestly park as a guest.
It didn’t help that parking was handled with outdated systems. Without a better solution, management was using spreadsheets and binders to organize the parking information.
Records were kept with memos on Yardi and in binders, making accurate staff communication difficult. Without a clear place or method used to keep track of parking data, it was hard to maintain a sense of uniformity.
- Not enough guest parking
- Outdated systems
- Inconsistent communication
- Yardi not helpful for parking
- Too many spaces and vehicles to track accurately
What led to Parking Boss
In 2017, a conversation with Parking Boss co-founder, Joel DuChesne, sparked excitement in Alex and Alison, leading to a subsequent rollout of the Parking Boss platform. Radford Court had finally found something to bring uniformity to the chaos.
The real game-changer for Alison and Alex was the option of a Smart Map. With so many spaces to account for, they were attracted to the idea of a tool that would allow them to select a space, assign a decal, and see the parking history in one place. It would give them the ability to virtually assign spaces and look at the entire community from a birds-eye view.
When it came time to pitch the new parking solution to the client, Alison and Alex had almost no doubt in their mind it would get approved. They had finally found a parking platform that would work and couldn’t imagine implementing it without the Smart Map feature.
Rolling out the new parking solution
After Parking Boss was approved, management sent an email blast out to all Radford residents to let them know a new parking system was coming. Parking Boss provided custom resident documents to help communicate the rollout of the new program.
Once everything was set up behind the scenes, documents, magnets, and decals were posted to all residents’ doors. Everybody was notified of the consequences of not registering their vehicles. Alison and Alex followed up with a community taco party to answer questions and help residents register their Smart Decals.
They also opened up more spaces for guest parking and implemented additional flex spaces for residents.
Custom Smart Map for managing assigned spaces
The Smart Map has changed how management handles parking complaints and space assignments completely. Alex enjoys having it in the office. “The map has really exceeded my expectations,” he said. When residents call in with issues, “it’s a lot easier to just look up the history and see what’s going on in that space”.
The overhead view is helpful for signing new leases. They can easily assign parking spots on the map and show new residents where their parking spaces are. The resident Smart Decals have unique barcodes that are assigned to their vehicle and parking space, making tracking easy.
In terms of productivity, Alex said, “just having the visuals of the spaces is a major time-saver, alone. I like that we can have an infinite parking record that isn’t oodles of binders. It makes my life easier.”
“The map has really exceeded my expectations.” –Alex Zamora
Efficient and consistent team communication
Team communication is more streamlined with the new platform. All parking data is logged in their Parking Boss account, keeping everyone on the same page. Goodbye, to the spreadsheets and binders. Hello, to greater internal efficiency.
Alison said there have been fewer complaints with guest and event parking since rolling out Parking Boss. As of the end of 2019, over 2,000 guest permits have been registered and almost 1,700 Smart Decals have been assigned.
“People really enjoy the printed passes for community center events and being able to register guests,” she said. The clear rules and system have simplified the guest parking process. It’s also made it easy for people to know how to register temporary yet frequent visitors such as dog walkers or housekeepers to park.
Signs and materials to make rules clear
When complaints come, they can reference Parking Boss to identify repeat offenders. The provided Smart Warning stickers have been an effective way to issue warnings. Tows are less frequent with a better awareness of who’s parked in the community.
The custom signage Parking Boss provided has helped to clearly mark spaces and reduce confusion. Resident documents and signage were designed to match the community’s branding and style. In regards to the materials, Alison stated that “the design angle is huge.” Parking Boss’ in-house designers create custom documents and materials for communities.
New residents have taken well to the platform and Alex has noticed they’re vigilant about communicating things like updated plate numbers or rental cars being in their assigned spaces. The older residents like the idea of using new technology.
- Smart Map to track assigned spaces
- Smart Decals to manage resident vehicles
- Warning stickers to help avoid tows
- Vehicle and space history for updated inventory
- Custom documents for resident communication
- Additional guest and flex spaces
- Custom signage for clear parking direction
- Easy for management to assign parking spaces
- Residents are pleased with guest and event parking
- Improved staff communication
- New residents readily adapt to the system
- Modern technology is a plus for residents
- Increased staff efficiency
Not only do Alison and Alex feel like they save a lot of time with Parking Boss, they agree the increase in productivity pays for the service itself. “We looked for a really long time and couldn’t find anything until Parking Boss...there was nothing out there.” They’re happy to have brought something in to help fix a problem that went for too many years without a solid solution.
Thanks to Alex and Alison ushering in Parking Boss as their parking solution, Radford Court residents, guests, and staff can enjoy harmony and consistency in the parking lot.