How Parking Has Changed During COVID-19 (And How to Manage It)

May 14, 2020
Multifamily

The state of parking has shifted considerably over the last couple of months. Since COVID-19 was characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the number of people commuting daily has dropped. Those who are able to have been working at home since their respective states and counties issued stay-at-home orders. As phases of reopening go into effect, more people will begin venturing from their homes. No doubt, it will be a slow transition.

Office parking lots, malls, and restaurants are almost void of cars. On the other hand, the parking spaces in your community are probably filled with resident vehicles the majority of the time. Whether they’re students who are learning online or employees who are working from home, most of your residents are spending much more time at home. GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com estimates that 56% of the U.S. workforce has jobs that can be done from home, at least part of the time. Companies that can are utilizing their ability to continue business remotely.

As companies assess the productivity and cost-efficiency of a business utilizing more work from home time, residents may continue to spend a lot of time at home. This could result in a permanent increase in the number of cars consistently parked on the property during the day. What does this look like for renters, and how do you respond to keep parking running smoothly in your community?

Adjust or limit guest parking times

With more vehicles staying in place for days at a time, it’s a good idea to limit the number of guest vehicles each home can have registered. We recommend a limit of one guest vehicle per household at a time, until distancing measures relax. With Parking Boss, you can offer self-service online guest parking with automatic rule enforcement, ensuring fairness and adherence to rules. A more limited guest vehicle allowance will keep the guest spaces from being monopolized. As things open up and more people begin to have guests over, paid guest parking will bea great way to generate revenue when parking is limited.

Limit resident vehicles

GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com also predicts that by the end of 2021, 25-30% of the workforce will work from home multiple times a week. In the future, if more people continue working from home on a regular basis, a limit on resident vehicles will maximize your parking availability. It may be helpful to first take an inventory of resident vehicles to ensure they are all registered.

Use virtual permits for resident vehicles to promote social distancing

When it comes to residents moving in during COVID-19, how are you managing that? While there may not be a high number of moves right now, it’s difficult to facilitate move-ins while leasing offices are closed. With software like Parking Boss, residents can register vehicles on their own upon move-in. Instead of getting decals right away, residents can be assured their vehicles are registered to park and receive Smart Decals to put on their cars when leasing and management offices are open again.

Your parking lots and garages hold the cars that are usually in work locations rush-hour traffic every day. The daily norm has changed and it’s likely to stay that way for some time. The more businesses that adopt regular work-from-home schedules after quarantines end, the more cars you’ll continue to have parked at home. It’s more important than ever to have effective parking management. If you need help managing your parking during this time, we're happy to offer solutions specific to your community needs.

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