With the increasing prevalence of parking counting and parking guidance technology in parking facilities across the globe, asset owners are now provided with new, accurate sets of occupancy data that were not always previously available. As this technology is implemented, managers are now challenged on how to quickly use the data in a meaningful manner to maximize returns from their parking asset(s).
It only makes sense that given the capital outlay required for the parking solution, the data should be integrated into strategy development and decision making.
Below are four quick tips for those that have real time occupancy data for the first time, or for those looking into new ways of using historical parking occupancy data:
Sharing both real-time or historical occupancy data with your regular patrons is one of the simplest ways to manage parker behaviour and more importantly, driver expectations. In large campus environments with integrated networks of facilities, publishing occupancy data for each area will enable drivers to learn of facilities with available space in real time or over a course of time.
In commuter/transit/airport facilities, this value is even more apparent as there could be a direct financial loss incurred as a result of being late for a departure or important meeting. Simply, sharing occupancy data will allow for your regular patrons to better manage their journey and experience.
A common trend in busier urban environments is to sell more monthly passes than spaces allocated for monthlies, under the simple assumption that the not every contract parker is on-site daily, and unused spaces would be better utilized with an oversell program.
With occupancy data, the on-site manager can properly identify the optimal oversell level that will not impede on spaces allocated for transient parkers. This can be done by comparing peak occupancy levels throughout the times of day with the monthly ingress reports from your system. In all cases, availability of alternative parking venues should also be taken into consideration, as if there is little parking nearby, leaving room for visitors may be essential.
Using occupancy data, managers can best identify times of day that are either underutilized or over-capacity, and modify pricing to change customer behaviour (Early Bird Programs).
When dealing with pre-paid parking reservations, occupancy data can be used to set time-based reservation availability to ensure that potential higher transient parker revenues are not always traded off for lower paying pre-paid customers.
Parking occupancy data can be especially powerful for pricing in unmanned facilities without direct supervision such as off-street pay-and-park facilities where hourly occupancy data cannot be accurately determined.
Valet Timing for Self-Parking Environments
For those facilities that support integrated valet services into self-parking operations, occupancy data provides managers with an hourly metric that can assist in staggering valet driver shifts. A manager can use the data to match staffing with the days and times that cars are most likely to be in the facility in an effort to optimize labour costs.
As seen from the examples above, taking the time to analyze occupancy data can be a valuable exercise for both marketing and operational staff. Using the data in a strategic manner will only enhance your return on capital and make you a more informed owner/operator.