Here’s a sight that no property manager or commercial real estate owner wants to see: an empty parking lot. To others, it’s just a few empty spots. But to owners and managers, it’s unused potential – no different than tenant vacancy.
And like tenant vacancy, the problem requires you to think critically about what people want. What do customers want from a parking lot? And how can you use those insights to attract cars to your lot?
In this article, let’s look at a few essential criteria drivers look for when they choose a parking lot.
Convenience is king. It’s essentially the first thing people consider when making any choice. People want their services to be efficient, quick and effortless.
As it applies to parking lots, convenience means a few things: proximity, easy payment and intuitive layout. People want their car to be close to their final destination. They want payment to be easy. And they want to be able to traverse the parking lot with ease.
If you’re struggling to offer convenience to customers, consider using parking management services to improve your lot. They offer services, hardware and software through management and lease deals.
People use apps for just about everything these days, from their morning newspaper to their evening dinner delivery. It should come as no surprise, then, that people increasingly want to park via an app.
According to Apptopia, parking app downloads surged to four million in the latter half of 2021, a record high. Perhaps spurred by lingering concerns about the pandemic, people continue to choose remote, contactless options like app payments when they can.
When you chat with a parking management company, ask them if they have an app your customers can use.
If your property is catered toward a luxury experience, you may consider adding (or improving) valet services to add another layer of value.
Ideally, valet services should follow the criteria listed above – convenience and app connectivity. You want to offer simple, ticketless check-in and on-demand vehicle retrieval, so your customers aren’t waiting.
Look for an integrated valet management system that offers white-glove staffing, service management and a customizable app.
License Plate Recognition (LPR, for short) is one of the next big things in parking. Essentially, it’s a technology that uses cameras to read license plates as they enter and exit a lot. With LPRs, you can track the comings and goings of cars on your property and create a seamless customer experience.
Integrate LPR technology with an upgraded PARCS system for greater access control and revenue collection.
Lastly, customers want their parking lots to be clean. No one wants to step out of their car first thing in the morning and greet an untidy, neglected parking lot. If you partner with the right parking management company, cleanliness shouldn’t be an issue. But if you do notice your lot getting building up grit or grime, hiring parking lot cleaning services is a worthwhile investment.