Your apartment community’s lease-up period is an important time. It can be exciting if you thrive on the pressure to create a brand for your community and fill it to occupancy, but there’s a lot that goes into it. How can you make parking an easy part of the lease-up process? There are several benefits to making sure you have an effective parking management solution from the start.
1. It’s easier to roll out a new parking program at the beginning
If you’ve rolled out a new parking program at an existing community, you may have faced resident resistance. People are creatures of habit and change is often confronted with pushback, even if the change is good. However, when residents move in and everything is new to them, a technology-based parking solution becomes part of the overall excitement of their new home.
Registering parking permits as residents move in is much easier than trying to get everyone to come to the leasing office to register after they’ve been established.
Depending on how or if you decide to charge residents for their parking permits, you can include the fee in their move-in charges. If you require residents to pay for or register permits along with move-in charges before they can get their keys, every resident vehicle will be registered to park.
Residents will be well aware of the structure of your parking program and you won’t be left wondering how many cars they actually own.
Laina Pickerel, manager at Station House, a Thrive community in Redmond, Washington, rolled out Parking Boss when Station House opened its doors for residents in 2018. “Residents moved in knowing the program expectations from our end and how to use the guest parking program (easily my favorite part of Parking Boss) from the start,” she said.
Her staff also saved a lot of admin work by doing registrations at lease-up, rather than later. “With the volume of new move-ins, we were able to find a lot of savings with the Parking Boss program that we chose for our community as well.”
2. You can prevent parking problems before they start
Nobody likes to go back and clean up a mess, especially if it’s preventable. A good plan of action from the beginning means you won’t fall behind.
“People were a lot more likely to provide us all the information we needed prior to move-in rather than mid-lease,” Laina said.
Many established communities struggle with residents parking extra cars in guest spaces or even other resident spaces. When there’s no parking plan or consistent enforcement, residents can bring in more cars or live-in “guests” without getting caught. Keep in mind that it’s a lot easier to limit how many vehicles residents have if they’re tracked from the start, instead of doing it later when they might have too many cars.
If your residents have decals for their vehicles, you’ll be able to identify who belongs. Smart Decals, a staple of Parking Boss, will allow you to track and verify resident vehicles by scanning their decals or license plates.
With a system that monitors and enforces guest parking, you can keep guests from overstaying their welcome and also prevent residents from taking guest spaces. You can stop guest parking abuse before it starts with a great parking solution and a solid enforcement plan.
3. A good parking solution can be a marketing tool
Laina Pickerel said Parking Boss has been great for marketing. “Parking Boss is an added amenity to our residents in multiple ways, and also makes keeping track of parking a lot easier on our staff as well,” she said. On top of that, it helps staff make sure others don’t park in residents’ paid parking spaces.
Residents also care about good customer service, and parking is a part of that. Good customer service is a dealbreaker for 53% of residents, according to a survey conducted by Appfolio. Parking is the first service residents and guests experience as they enter your community.
If it’s tricky for them to register to park or guest parking is always full, their experience won’t be great. Most residents have cars and it’s nice to know they have a parking spot waiting for them when they get home.
24/7 self-service online guest registration like our Parking Attendant with automatic rule enforcement is also a great selling point. Guests will feel safe from being ticketed if they can easily register to park their cars. Laina said that with Parking Boss, “Our residents’ guests can truly have a place to park instead of it being filled up by other residents.”
Parking is an amenity and good parking is hard to find. When marketing your community, you can advertise secure resident parking as a leasing benefit. If you implement a solution like Parking Boss early on, you’ll face an easier roll-out experience, prevent future problems, and be able to market your parking program as an important amenity in your community.