How an Atlanta Community Turned Guest Parking into Extra Income
Shortly after Stephanie Hawksley took the role as Senior Property Manager at Platform Apartments in Atlanta, Georgia, she knew they needed to find a way to generate additional revenue in the five-level parking garage. Platform is a 324-unit mid-rise in an up-and-coming area near downtown. Visitors to nearby businesses began using up the free parking apartment guest spaces. Stephanie added premier parking near the doors for resident parking, but after seeing so many extra cars frequenting guest parking, she saw an opportunity for another source of parking revenue.
Platform is on a quickly growing street that has five new mixed-use lease-ups close by, all with retail below them. The area has nearby breweries, coffee houses, grocery stores, and even a small music venue. The community offers residents designer apartments with luxury touches, with amenities including a fitness center, pool, outdoor kitchen, and more. But parking was becoming a challenge with so many vehicles parking in the garage.
Not only did visitors to nearby businesses use Platform's apartment guest parking for a free place to park, stolen cars were being abandoned as well. With public transportation within walking distance from Platform, people would also leave their cars in the parking garage before they hopped on the transit.
The busy walkability of the area combined with the size of the community made it nearly impossible for the management team to track guest parking on their own. Seeing a trend for paid parking in neighboring garages motivated Stephanie to find an efficient way to charge for parking while still providing free and fair guest parking for residents and their guests.
Stephanie’s regional manager connected her with Parking Boss by Luminous for apartment parking solutions. And shortly after, it was rolled out at Platform. “The rollout process is so user friendly, and it’s so easy. It’s an extremely easy platform to use,” she said. The plan was to offer limited free parking for guests of residents and charge for all other vehicles using visitor parking. Since implementing Pay-to-Park with Parking Boss, the 20 apartment guest spaces make Platform an average of $2,000 in ancillary income each month.
She was initially concerned if this new parking program would pay off with only a limited number of guest spaces to offer. “I think a lot of people have to get past the idea of ‘why would I do this if I only have 20 spots?’” she said. “It’s worth it because you have [the opportunity] to make $3,000 off of those spots. A lot of people think they don’t have enough parking or that it’s not worth it, but it definitely is.”
Platform’s new parking plan:
- Pay-to-Park for additional parking income
- Online Parking Attendant for 24/7, self-service guest parking permits
- 6-Digit passcode verification for guests of residents
- Easy vehicle lookup with License Plate Recognition (LPR) from a mobile device
- Vehicle history data
- Parking reports for registered vehicle Safelist, violations, banned vehicles, notes, apartment passcodes, and more
- Notifications for vehicles in need of towing/booting
- Manager platform to oversee parking data, reports, and permits
- Field Agent web-based app for parking enforcement partners and team to use
A fair system for residents
When residents were notified about the changes, not everyone was thrilled. However, Stephanie reassured residents that it would benefit them and create more fairness for their guests. Having a guest parking management system in place now deters those who don’t want to pay for parking, leaving more open spaces.
Additionally, Stephanie shared that most people who pay to park leave before residents get home. “As people got used to it and people from the public did come in and park once in a while, it was just very harmonious,” she said. “By the time people get home and their friends come over, there’s room for them to park.”
Platform’s new guest policy includes 72 free hours of parking a month per apartment. Each additional hour then requires guests to register permits for paid parking at $3 per hour. Those who park to visit a nearby business always pay a flat rate of $3 per hour.
Ancillary parking income, streamlined systems, and accountability
Some months have seen over $3,000 in revenue from paid guest parking permits alone. On top of that, other headaches like abandoned cars in the parking garage and lack of accountability are no longer an issue.
When the onsite team notices a car that’s been there a few days, they’re able to check in the Manager web-based app and see who the guest is visiting, making it easy for them to keep track of what’s going on in the community. Enforcement is able to monitor parking through the Field Agent app.
“It streamlined everything for us,” said Stephanie. “It holds people accountable. People will try to say “I only parked there for two minutes!” and Chris, our enforcement partner, will look up the registration.” She added, “Having something that they can’t fight, something to show people, helps us a lot. They can’t argue with us about it that way.”
How it works
“It made us feel like we actually knew what was going on at our property. I would do it all over again.”
When a guest parks in Platform’s apartment parking garage now, they are met with custom parking signs prompting them to register and pay to park. A guest of a resident is able to register for a virtual parking permit by entering a numeric passcode that connects the time to the resident’s free parking allotment. Residents are able to check their usage and pre-authorize vehicles as needed.
Anyone else who comes to park registers for a Pay-to-Park permit and prepays for their parking time. There’s also a threshold set for parking violations before vehicles get booted.
Platform’s enforcement partner and security guard are able to log into the Parking Boss Field Agent web-based app and scan license plates to verify active permits or issue violations for vehicles breaking the rules. Parking Boss also allows for transparency between parking enforcement and management. “He’s super communicative through Parking Boss when he does things,” said Stephanie of their enforcement partner.
“It was just very crazy before [Parking Boss],” she said, “Especially since Platform is only a few minutes from downtown, it just added that extra layer of security. It’s made us feel like we actually know what was going on at our property. I would do it all over again.”
Paid guest parking has created a steady stream of ancillary income each month, which not only benefits Platform now, but can also be shown as a bonus line item in their sales package when the time comes for the property to sell. Other lasting benefits include added security to the parking garage and a system of accountability and transparency.
If you want to take control of your multifamily parking and generate revenue from apartment guest parking, schedule a free Parking Boss consultation and demo today.