The pandemic led to many residents' not being able to pay their rent, as well as a decrease in rent prices. Because of this, multifamily residential and apartment managers and owners must look for new ways to bring in revenue. Most have one asset that can do the trick. That's the parking lot or garage.
With fewer people taking public transportation for safety reasons, many have switched to driving. A University of California, Davis behavioral study finds that more than a third will ride the bus less often. Moreover, about 60 percent of respondents say they will drive more.
However, some of these drivers are running into a new problem. The lack of or the price of parking. It remains expensive in downtown where many people work. Besides, most cities' downtowns have limited parking spaces and often require paying by the hour.
Some parking garages charge by the month. These can also be unaffordable. In some cases, the parking areas may have a max number of hours you can keep your parking spot. These are often so expensive that they can't be used regularly.
Apartment buildings can take advantage of the situation. Turn parking into a revenue generator.
The sharing economy has soared in recent years. More so since the pandemic started. With many people losing their jobs, they have found creative ways to make money by sharing the things they own. Sites like Airbnb and VRBO give people a way to earn money by renting their home or a room.
Uber and Lyft allowed people to turn their vehicles into a taxi or food delivery service. You can request a ride through a mobile app. For example, you're leaving a party and ready to go home. You open the ride-hailing app and it will locate an available vehicle nearest to your location.
Before these apps came along, you had to look up the taxicab service's phone number and call them. Their dispatcher would assign a driver to head your way. With these apps, you cut out the dispatcher. You also don't have to go wandering around to figure out the address of where you are. The app lets the driver know your location.
Parking can work the same way. You may have extra parking spaces. Some of your residents may not own a car or only need one parking spot. You have some apartments sitting empty, which means more parking spaces are available. There are parking rental apps that can connect your parking spaces with people in need of parking in your neighborhood.
Your apartment property can set aside parking spaces and mark them. The ideal way to identify these parking spaces depends on how many you have available. Many businesses have a sign-up to identify disabled parking. However, if you have a lot more than a handful of spaces available, a sign might be a blight on the property.
An effective way to mark parking spaces for sharing is by numbering them. Then you can designate those numbers for park sharing. Try to avoid using color to designate parking spaces because some people have limited color vision.
Whether you should charge by the day or month depends on your location. Are you in an area where someone would commute every day and park there? Then, monthly may be an option. That will turn into consistent income you can count on.
If you're in an area with a lot of shopping, then a per-use basis might be the wiser option. One exception for a retail center is whether it has a gym. A monthly option may be more attractive.
You can always experiment with both options. Assign half to monthly and half to per-day parking. See how it works out.
There is a way to take parking to another level and charge more. Add security to the parking lot. You are not only creating a safer space for future parking customers but also the residents in your apartment property. After all, an Assurant survey of renters reveals that over half will pay more for security features.
Since your parking tenants are most likely heading to a destination away from your apartment property, they will appreciate knowing someone is monitoring their vehicles. Customers who park in your lot may worry about someone hitting their parked car then taking off without ever leaving a note. Video surveillance makes it harder for people to get away with hit-and-run situations.
Additionally, implementing remote video surveillance sends a message to your residents that you care about them and their safety. It could increase the chances they will renew their leases. The longer a resident sticks around, the greater the profit. You won't have to deal with the costs of apartment turnover.
Due to being forced to go remote because of the pandemic, many companies are rethinking the no remote working policy. As such, employees who can work remotely full-time may be moving to where they'd like to live. They're no longer required to live within commuting distance from the company's office.
You want to take advantage of the situation to attract remote workers. Standing out from other multifamily residential properties requires providing the right amenities. Apartment security is one of them and video surveillance can help deliver a fast security ROI.
Besides, parking lots are a real problem.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 1 in 10 property crimes took place in parking lots. Furthermore, the FBI Crime Data Explorer reveals they are the No. 2 location for property crimes in 2017. The FBI also shows that more than 650 violent crimes occur in the parking garage. The agency categorizes violent crimes as the following: robbery, homicide, rape, and aggravated assault.
Considering your parking tenants will be walking elsewhere from your property, you'll want to pay attention to the number of violent crimes on streets, sidewalks, alleys, and highways. Almost 2,000 occur every week in these locations. Add the violent crimes from the parking lots and the streets together and they comprise 25 percent of all violent crimes.
This data covers property and violent crimes. It does not include accidents and hazards. A lot of accidents will happen, and hazards will appear. That is because a National Safety Council opinion poll divulges that 66 percent of drivers make phone calls while driving through parking areas. Drivers in this poll have confessed they will program GPS systems, send text messages, read emails, take photos, watch videos, or check social media. Yes, they do all this while driving in a parking lot.
When you boost your parking security, you get a three-for-one special. You make residents happy. You give parking customers a reason to choose your business. You protect your business from liability problems. Besides all this, apartment property managers and owners have a duty to establish and maintain a safe parking environment.
In integrating analytics and human intelligence, you will not need to have someone monitoring the cameras around-the-clock. It's all too easy for a human to tune out when doing the monotonous process of watching multiple screens for hours on end. Pair AI and human operators and you'll amplify your security.
Video surveillance with artificial intelligence and trained monitoring operators work together to keep eyes on the entire apartment property. The security company programs many scenarios into the AI for it to monitor. As soon as the analytics finds a match for a scenario, the system alerts the operator who investigates the situation. If someone is behaving suspiciously, the monitoring operator can alert the suspect on an audio speaker system. This is one layer of security.
The presence of video cameras creates an additional layer of security. They can deter some intruders. If a suspect does not spot the video cameras or dons a mask, the monitoring operators can use the speaker, call law enforcement, or both. This often leads to the capture of the suspect before any damage happens.
A big advantage is that video surveillance systems record and capture everything. This gives you the proof you need for any crimes, incidents, and liability claims. For example, a parking tenant may claim getting hurt on your property. Video analysts can search the video footage to find the person and determine whether or not the person got injured on your property.
Check out these parking lot videos to discover how video surveillance can help you:
To learn more about apartment security and video surveillance, download a free copy of Complete Guide to Securing Your Apartment Building. This guide looks at how you can maximize apartment security keeping your residents, employees, and prospective customers safe.
The guide also surveys the four lines of defense for augmenting apartment security. In reading the guide, you will gain the knowledge you need to choose the right security service without overpaying.
The best elements of your parking security depend on your business and the property. You can work with a video surveillance company's security adviser. The adviser can conduct an evaluation of your business and property. You'll receive recommendations that fit your requirements and budget. If you'd like to talk with our security specialists about customizing a system that fits your needs, please contact us.