Speaking to Time Magazine, Miami urban planner Galina Tachieva described parking lots as “probably the largest underutilized depository of real estate in the country.” Indeed, many real estate investors scratch their heads when they consider the income potential of their parking real estate.
In truth, a parking lot is a blank slate – it is exactly what you make of it. If you allow a parking lot to fall behind on industry trends and basic upkeep, it won’t generate much income. However, if you embrace new technologies, novel ideas and augmentative features, it can become a powerful income generator.
Below, let’s explore a few ways you can realize the potential of your parking real estate.
Tech-Forward Parking Solutions
Technology is a common facet of modern life. Customers in virtually every industry expect a basic level of technology adoption – whether it’s customer service-improving apps or convenience-improving hardware.
If you want to unlock the income potential of your parking real estate, it’s time to start thinking technologically with a new parking management system. Find a parking network to partner with that offers cloud-connected equipment, intelligent software, and a user-friendly mobile app for your customers.
Multi-Functional Parking Real Estate
Who says a parking lot is just for parking? As mentioned in the intro, a parking lot is a blank slate, an often “underutilized depository of real estate” that can host several creative applications.
Take REEF, for example, a company that licenses parking lot space to fill with modular businesses like delivery kitchens, micro-warehouses and pop-up clinics. You can partner with REEF to determine the best uses for your space, and then they will activate and operate businesses on the premise. It’s a creative way for parking real estate owners to earn passive income.
Your PARCS (parking access and revenue control system) is the backbone of your parking operation. It allows you to collect payments from customers and control access (through a combo of software and equipment, like gate arms, ticket machines, cameras and payment stations). But not all PARCS are created equally.
Some hallmarks of an exceptional PARCS include:
- Cloud-based connectivity (as opposed to just local connectivity)
- In-depth financial reporting that includes budget information and operating expenses
- Innovative gate-vending options like LPR (license plate recognition) and QR codes
- Future-proof potential through automatic, cloud-based software updates
- And the ability to accommodate extra revenue-generating parking lot activities (as opposed to a system that solely accommodates parking).
If your PARCS is out-of-date or – worse – non-existent, consider upgrading your system to generate more income from your lot.
Add-on Services: Valet and Shuttle
Finally, consider providing add-on services to increase your parking revenue. Valet services that cater to on-the-go professionals can be lucrative, as can shuttle services.
As with all the points listed above, do not feel like you have to implement these processes alone. It’s better to partner with a parking network that can launch and manage these features, which makes your job as owner much easier.
Don’t let your parking lot go underutilized. Embrace technology, customer convenience, and cutting-edge ideas to turn your parking real estate into a powerful income generator.