When it comes to apartment parking, we have three things in common: we both want to make our communities better to live in, easier to manage, and more valuable to own. Yet common parking problems like overflowing lots and lack of guest parking can prevent us from reaching our goals.
Here are the top five apartment parking problems and ten solutions for parking problems at apartments—because a residential parking management software like Parking Boss (part of Community Boss) is one of the best ways to reverse those parking problems!
Problem #1: Limited space in the parking lot
It’s no surprise that our neighbors are home now more than ever before, thanks to the rise in telecommuting. According to the 2022 Renter Preferences Survey Report from National Multifamily Housing Council and Grace Hill, approximately two-thirds of renters expect to be teleworking the same amount in 2023 as they were in 2022. That means more cars between the white lines, someone else in your parking space, and neighbors with too many vehicles.
Solution #1: Smart Decals
Use Smart Decals: Smart Decals™ are tamper-resistant, weather-resilient stickers assigned to resident vehicles that help you quickly validate a vehicle. QR codes also make them scannable for more vehicle information.
Limit number of vehicles per resident: The simplicity of Smart Decals allows you to limit the number of vehicles per unit. For example, offer two free decals per unit, then charge for extra vehicles.
Visually detect where vehicle should be parked: Easily distinguish between standard, reserved, and premium spaces based on their Smart Decal color (available in six standard colors).
Enforce use of garages: Smart Decals also help enforce residents to use garages for vehicles instead of storage, since color-coded decals make it easy to identify which cars should be parked in a garage.
Solution #2: Limit guest parking
Designate guest parking spaces: Clearly label guest parking with obvious signs. When you use Parking Boss, your subscription includes custom-designed professional signs with your community name, color, and logo, plus a QR code and unique community URL for the guest to register. You can also choose from our library of standard parking signs.
Set guest parking time limits: Limit guest parking time by vehicle, unit, or a custom rule.
Earn extra income with paid guest parking: If your visitor parking spaces are often full, consider generating revenue with paid guest parking. Offer complimentary time per home before charging, or set hourly, daily, or overnight prices.
Problem #2: Difficulty enforcing parking violations or repeat offenders
There are many reasons why paper parking permits are a thing of the past, but one of the biggest reasons is because they can so easily be thrown in the trash. Besides ignoring the parking rules and filling up the dumpsters, this makes it difficult to catch repeat offenders or provide evidence for towing. On top of that, you may never discover who owns that unregistered vehicle, whether that’s a resident or guest.
Solution #1: Require all vehicles to register
Register residents: Smart Decals are an easy resident parking solution. They can be assigned to residents for easy identification. You can even distinguish between standard, premium, or garage spaces based on the color of the Smart Decal.
Register guests: Any time a vehicle parks on your property, you should require it to register. This prevents unauthorized visitors and cuts down on safety concerns.
Use Smart Map: Use the Smart Parking Map to visualize your parking lots to see designated resident and guest parking spaces. Its digital organization easily integrates with color-coded Smart Decals.
Solution #2: Amp up your parking enforcement
Perform regular patrols: Parking enforcement by your staff or patrol team can identify unregistered vehicles and issue parking violations. Parking Boss includes Field Agent, an in-the-field database where patrollers can lookup a vehicle, issue a Smart Warning sticker, and record violations.
Trackable Smart Warning stickers: Replace your outdated paper parking permits and catch repeat parking offenders with trackable Smart Warning stickers. These are placed on a vehicle that has broken a parking rule, and that information is stored in the Parking Boss software. The vehicle owner can scan the QR code to view their violation details.
View violation history: The beauty of the Parking Boss parking software is that managers can easily view violation reports and observe violation hotspots with our heatmap. Violation histories include photos and time stamps as proof in case a tow is contested.
Problem #3: Trouble paying for parking
There are a few potential ways your community could be losing money from parking: residents aren’t paying for extra vehicles (beyond the amount allowed per unit), guests aren’t paying for additional parking time, and parking violations are getting overlooked. Besides losing money, these practices make residents and visitors doubt your parking rules and enforcement.
Solution #1: Enforce resident vehicle limits
Limit the resident vehicles: Allow each unit a set number of vehicles, such as 2, and then issue them that amount of Smart Decals.
Charge for additional resident vehicles: If a unit requests more Smart Decals for additional vehicles, charge for each decal. This helps limit the number of vehicles in your parking lots and earns your community extra revenue.
Solution #2: Implement paid guest parking
Limits by unit: Provide units with a designated amount of free guest parking time per month, and paid guest parking time after free time has expired. Require guests to enter a unit number in order to park, which tracks that unit’s remaining hours of guest parking.
Limits by time: Offer each visitor a limited amount of free parking time, such as two hours. After that, start charging for paid guest parking.
Charge by hour, day, night, week, or month: Depending on your community and parking rules, you can customize how you charge for guest parking.
Problem #4: Full guest parking
Guest parking at apartments is already tricky: navigating to the property, then attempting to find visitor parking that isn’t a mile away from your friend’s unit. The last thing a guest needs is to show up to a full guest parking lot. Sometimes that means residents, visitors for nearby businesses, or long-term guests are filling these spots. Ultimately that’s frustrating for visitors and the residents who expect a space for their guests.
Solution #1: Digital parking permits and passcodes
Digital parking permits: Require all guests to register for a digital parking permit. This helps enforcement agents identify how long a guest has been on the property.
Passcodes: With Parking Boss, you have the option to include a passcode in guest parking registration so you know who the guest is visiting.
Solution #2: Guest parking time limits and fees
Guest parking time limits: Set time limits per unit to make parking fair for all visitors, with flexible time limits per day, week, or month depending on your community’s needs.
Paid guest parking: After a set amount of free time, charge a guest parking fee to earn ancillary income.
Problem #5: It’s hard to track resident vehicles and unauthorized parking
More than 37% of American households have at least two vehicles. Which means that residents who have multiple cars may be parking in the wrong spots—like yours! And chances are high that they either don’t register their additional vehicles (and probably park them in the back corner) or violators duplicate your community’s generic hang tags/decals.
Solution #1: Register and limit vehicles per unit
Register all vehicles: This process helps you uncover unauthorized occupants or vehicles.
Limit the number of decals per unit: If your parking lots are full, limit how many decals, and therefore how many vehicles, are allowed per unit.
Use Smart Decals: Each vehicle’s Smart Decal has unique numbers that are associated with a license plate. These can be tracked with parking software like Parking Boss, and even gives you the ability to automatically revoke decals when residents move or no longer have the vehicle.
Solution #2: Don’t allow residents to use guest parking
Designate guest parking: Use clear signage and notify residents that there are separate spaces for guests and residents.
Ban residents from guest parking spaces: Don’t allow residents to use guest parking for resident vehicles. Parking Boss automatically bans resident vehicles from parking in guest parking (unless a manager allows otherwise).
Enforce parking rules: Patrol your guest parking lots to enforce your visitor parking rules. This can be done with free, self, or paid parking enforcement.
Have another apartment parking problem? We can help.
Our communities are brimming with real people who have things to do and places to go. That means your apartment parking problems may feel complex. But Community Boss delivers done-for-you solutions for parking problems at apartments, no matter how difficult they are! See it in live action and learn how it could work for your apartment community by scheduling a demo with our experts today.