End Parking Nightmares: Tame the Troublemakers with Data

by Todd Katler

Some communities don’t have to worry about parking. The funny thing is parking isn’t “a thing” until you don’t have it…and then it’s a “big thing!” No one wants to arrive home at the end of their day only to be confronted with parking inconveniences. Any hiccups in the process can lead to frustration, complaints to onsite teams and friction between neighbors.

The reality is that about 1.7% of residents are responsible for almost all parking hassles, according to Zark Parking Solutions. So, what’s the best way to deal with the troublemakers and return parking harmony to your community? Data, of course.

Implementation of an automated parking management platform can provide the information you need to identify the habitual offenders, set fines for parking violations and easily arrange for a tow truck if needed. Identifying and addressing the problem parkers can lead to significant savings for owners and operators.

An automated platform allows property managers to collect the license plate data of problem residents and proactively address what results in increased turnover and bad reviews. Depending on the terms of the lease, this can also give leverage to the onsite teams to escalate and even possibly evict any continuously troublesome culprits. We have all heard the expression about a few bad apples spoiling the whole bunch — parking violation data presents a path to avoid this.

It’s important to address these issues because even though it’s usually only a few residents causing the problem, the number of people affected by it is far greater. Studies have shown that parking is one of the top considerations when searching for a home. For some, it’s a make-or-break situation, so evidence of complicated or difficult parking will discourage them from considering your property.

Frustrated residents are unlikely to renew their lease, choosing instead to find one with fewer hassles. The loss of any resident carries turnover costs, which can run in the thousands of dollars, depending on the type of property and its location.

The departing residents are also prone to leave a less favorable review of the community. If your reputation scores drop, onsite leasing teams face an uphill battle to fill the available units. Owners and operators can face increases in ILS and ad spending to help get prospects through the door. Your team also must handle conflicts with frustrated residents and take time to try to resolve the parking issues. This is time better spent building solid relationships with residents who live there.

Let’s add it up. Take the turnover costs, add in the increased ad spending, plus the time taken from leasing teams, and it equals a noticeable impact on net operating income. There’s no need for a handful of residents to cause all the disruptions and make such a difference in the financials of your portfolio.

Parking isn’t typically an amenity that receives the bulk of attention or consideration, but its influence on NOI is undeniable and it should be one of the top considerations across your portfolio. Who wants to give a small group of people that level of power to influence a community? Nobody. Taking the steps necessary to identify and address your parking problems can restore instill resident confidence and pay off in the long run.

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