How to Maximize Parking Revenue Through Smart Enforcement
How do you ensure your parking structure (lot) is being properly enforced and all the vehicles have paid in full? If you’re like most parking asset owners, you probably don’t know -- and this could be costing you thousands of dollars each month.
It may seem simple, but effective enforcement is the most operationally complex and costliest aspect of managing a parking structure.
To understand why enforcement can be difficult and expensive, it’s helpful to know the two ways most parking lot owners and old school parking operators manage violations:
- A parking attendant at your property (or several properties in close proximity) walks around to check for payment receipts displayed on dashboards and issues tickets or triggers towing against violators.
- A gate arm at the exit prevents drivers from leaving until a payment is made.
These approaches each have their pros and cons. Attendants can be helpful in situations where a driver needs help, but paying them to be present all day, every day can really add up, and you risk cash ending up in their back pockets instead of on your bottom line. Gates, on the other hand, seem like a tech-enabled improvement, but their ongoing maintenance can cost you thousands in missed revenue -- and don’t forget about their upfront costs & installation fees.
If you’re a parking lot owner operating independently, these costs can be the difference between your asset producing income every month or becoming a financial burden. Or, perhaps you’re not interested in self-operating and you’ve partnered with a large parking management company, so you aren’t concerned with their enforcement methods or associated costs, as long as you’re still receiving your monthly lease payments. But you’re leaving money on the table by not choosing an operator with a cost-efficient enforcement strategy.
If you own a parking lot with 50 spaces, it costs the average operator over $160 per day to ensure every driver on your property pays to park. Operators try to recover these costs by issuing tickets and towing as many cars as possible, but ultimately the costs are passed on to you through a lower monthly payment than you’d receive if they operated more efficiently.
So how does AirGarage increase enforcement activities and provide a better experience to drivers while improving your monthly revenue with a 10x reduction in costs?
AirGarage uses a 4-point enforcement system to ensure drivers pay in full, and our progressive violation management increases your revenue without upsetting your customers.
1. License Plate Reading (LPR) Cameras
- AirGarage provides free LPR Cameras for your parking garage, these cameras, mounted at access points, scan every vehicle’s license plate upon entrance and exit.
- For repeat AirGarage customers, their rental is automatically started upon entry scan and ended upon exit scan.
- For new AirGarage customers, a camera scans their license plate upon entry, and if a payment or exit scan doesn’t occur within a predefined grace period then we dispatch an enforcement team member.
2. Peer Enforcement
- Drivers are incentivized to catch & report violators directly through the app, providing constant, random license plate scanning.
- When a driver identifies a violator, they receive parking credits, and an enforcement team member is dispatched automatically.
3. Space Force
- We pay a specialized team of contractors to scan license plates, and our payments increase as a lot gets busier to ensure an appropriate level of enforcement at all times.
- The Space Force is also incentivized to respond to violations by immobilizing vehicles.
4. Local Partners
- We work with top-rated local tow companies to provide additional on-site enforcement at peak times as well as to remove violators when necessary.
Progressive Violation Management
The key to maximizing your property’s revenue isn’t difficult -- deliver a great experience to build trust with drivers and turn them into repeat customers.
Some drivers park at the same property for years, dutifully paying a machine each and every day, only to receive a huge fine if they forget to pay one day -- or worse -- if they tried to pay but the machine was down.
Unfortunately, there are even parking operators that intentionally make the payment process as difficult as possible to reduce compliance so they can issue more tickets to maximize their earnings. This may work in the short term, but drivers won’t return to a parking lot they feel treats them unfairly.
AirGarage takes a different approach -- we improve the customer experience and build trust by prioritizing parking revenue over impounding vehicles or issuing tickets.
In AirGarage lots, when a license plate is scanned (by an LPR camera, peer enforcer, the Space Force, or a local partner) our system automatically detects if that vehicle has paid to park. For most parking lot operators, there are two options at this point: if the driver paid they are left alone, or if the driver did not pay they’re issued a ticket, or towed.
AirGarage has a third option: if a vehicle has not started a rental by the time it is scanned, our system checks to see if the driver has previously parked with us. If they have, we start a new rental automatically and text the driver as a courtesy -- free of charge the first time, then with a courtesy fee each time thereafter. This means repeat customers aren’t forced to pay several hundred dollars to a towing company for a simple mistake -- they’re treated fairly and will continue coming to your lot to pay day after day.
Can AirGarage’s multifaceted approach to enforcement and progressive violation management help increase your bottom line?