By Paul Kobylnyk
Choosing a monthly parking spot used to be easy for commuters. They’d find a facility close to their destination, park, and they were good to go. Easy, right?
But these times, they are a-changin’. The parking industry has evolved into a multi-faceted marketplace — one that now extends beyond product to unequivocally include service.
As a result, the one-size-fits-all parking facility of decades past — unyieldingly reliant on price as its competitive advantage — is no more. Budding monthly parkers now have access to a much wider range of amenities, giving them plenty to ponder before locking in a monthly parking purchase.
With the competition for capturing and retaining monthly parkers taking place along a much broader front, it helps to have a parking professional on your side that can provide a well-rounded assessment of your facility and identify where you can outshine your competitors.
Below are just a few of the areas we consider when conducting preliminary parking facility assessments.
1. Is Your Parking Facility Well Lit?
Yellow, fluorescent lights can cause dark corners or security blind spots that could deter potential monthly parkers. Upgrade to white LED lights to easily elevate your facility’s security and accessibility — two fundamental considerations for both transient and monthly parkers.
2. Is Your Parking Facility Green?
Green parking facilities usually have well communicated car-share programs, digital/electronic payment options, and a waste management plan — just like our Parksmart-certified operation at Silver Spring Metro Plaza. These features demonstrate a commitment to green initiatives and sustainable practices that are high priorities for today’s eco-conscious buyers — and monthly parkers are no exception.
3. Does Your Parking Facility Have Charging Stations?
Electric vehicles (EVs) are moving from niche to mainstream at a steady pace. Global sales were up by 59% in Q1 2018 compared to Q1 2017— and early forecasts suggest there’ll be over 5 million electric cars and trucks on the roads by the end of this year.
Naturally, the presence of EV chargers will be a high priority for EV drivers who want to avoid range anxiety. However, careful consideration and partnership with professionals are essential in order to keep costs low, avoid delays, and maximize operational efficiency. Impark’s Greg Chapman offered his advice in this recent article and video interview.
4. Does Your Parking Facility Have Clear Signage?
Good signage and wayfinding is multi-disciplinary, drawing on architecture, communication, and psychology principles to successfully convey messages to prospective monthly parkers in a short amount of time.
It’s also a tricky art form to perfect. Too much signage, and your message is lost in noise. Too little, and your message is non-existent.
“Having the right amount of information, and information that people recognize quickly, is key,” Tripti Ninan, Impark’s marketing specialist, explains. “We assume people need extra words or images to make sense of information, but simpler is better.”
Key signage and wayfinding techniques include progressive disclosure, jargon elimination, and complementary digital services.
There are still five more steps to go. Don’t miss Part 2 — sign up for our monthly Parking Insights e-mails below!
Paul Kobylnyk is Director of Strategic Accounts at Impark. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.