Parking consistently ranks among the top complaints in online reviews of apartment communities. As times and habits have changed through the decades, some communities simply weren’t built to withstand the current demand for parking—and this is especially true as a result of the pandemic. Listen in to this helpful conversation about the root causes surrounding many parking problems, as well as ideas for how to establish and enforce functional parking policies within your community.
"If it becomes a nightmare for you to enforce your parking rules, you’re not going to do it consistently, you’re not going to do it correctly, and it’s not going to get done. And it’s like posted speed limits with no fear of ever getting a speeding ticket."
In this episode, Mindy chats with Marques Oliver, Director of Enforcement and Evan Happel, Director of Marketing about the complaints they hear regarding parking in multifamily communities. These grievances center around erratic enforcement, unclear visitor policies, and claims that communities are in cahoots with towing companies. Marques and Evan share that a key factor in many of the communities’ parking woes is that builders typically allow for the least amount of parking spaces required, and then management teams don’t always know how to effectively establish and enforce policies.
Marques and Evan note that while each community is unique in its own problems, there are key elements that managers should adopt to help improve parking in their community. These include having clear rules and signage, ample space, good communication between residents and staff, and simple enforcement tools. Spreadsheets are outdated, so communities should look into software that can help them know who is parking on their property and have designated permits that elude fraud.
Finally, Marques and Evan share two considerations for improving parking in the community. One is to have established spaces within a community that can generate income, such as unused resident spaces that can be used as paid visitor or retail parking. The other is to have a method of enforcement for warning vehicles that are in violation instead of immediately towing or booting the car. This grace period, combined with the other elements of the community’s parking plan, will help boost confidence in the management team and lead to higher satisfaction overall.
Priyanka Agarwal is a public relations expert with over two decades of experience in the field. In her current role, Priyanka serves as the public relations consultant for J Turner Research. She specializes in online reputation management, corporate content creation, and strategic PR planning. She is a contributory author for NAA, Multifamily Insider, and PR Daily. Priyanka holds a master’s degree in public relations from the Jack J. Valenti School of Communications, University of Houston.