Managing Bad Parkers In Residential Communities

How Software Solves Parking Problems in Residential Communities

Residential parking management is an increasingly challenging aspect of community living, with limited space and growing demand adding complexities to the equation. With an already busy schedule and limited staffing, manual monitoring and enforcement can seem impossible.

Luckily, there’s an easier method of managing parking.

Integrating parking management software (PMS) can significantly improve residential parking experiences for parking managers and residents alike. From the efficiency and accuracy achieved by automating time-consuming admin processes to better enforcement of parking guidelines, there’s a lot to gain by adopting a PMS.

This article will cover the specific advantages of parking management software in the residential sector, and tips on choosing a PMS platform that fits your unique needs.

What is Parking Management Software?

Parking management software (PMS) is a digital solution designed to streamline and automate various aspects of parking operations. The software typically offers a range of features that enable residential parking managers to:

  • Support day-to-day parking administration by automating numerous processes (creating time-based permits and passes, offering payment processing integration, and detailed reporting, to name a few).
  • Improve enforcement with features like License Plate Recognition (LPR) that help parking managers record and track parking violators.
  • Manage the occupancy of multiple types of parking spaces and sections (i.e., basic guest spaces versus accessibility parking spaces versus private resident spaces, etc.).

Implementing parking management software is an excellent way to increase efficiency and accuracy while saving your company the time and staffing accommodation needed to execute these tasks manually.

Key Benefits of PMS in Residential Parking Areas

Residential parking areas (such as condominiums, apartment complexes, or gated communities) can require a somewhat nuanced approach to parking management and enforcement. Trying to manage these lots manually can be a challenge and could cause unnecessary frustration for parking managers and their residents. Parking management software can change that for the better. Here are the main benefits of PMS for residential properties.

Benefit #1: Improves resident safety by monitoring permitted and non-permitted vehicles

People want to know that their parking spaces will be waiting for them when they get home after a long day, and that their vehicles are always safe when they lock their doors at night. Parking management software usually provides advanced access controls like license plate recognition, NFC tags, or RFID that help parking managers monitor and control access to residential communities.

  • License Plate Recognition (LPR) is a camera monitoring system that identifies, records, and tracks vehicles based on their license plate.
  • NFC stands for Near Field Communication. They’re convenient tools that help automate processes like transferring data, operating appliances, or making payments. Parking management software often uses them because they’re an identification tag that’s more secure than a QR code, but equally convenient to use. Much like hotels use them in their room keys, PMS integrates NFC to ensure only those permitted to enter the private parking area can do so.
  • RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, and they work similarly to NFC tags–but exclusively for automobiles. It can also show data on available parking spaces and identify permitted versus non-permitted vehicles. RFID tags sit on the vehicle’s windshield or an antenna. RFID systems typically consist of:
    1. The tag (which the resident keeps)
    2. The reader (a kiosk/gate/point of entry and exit that identifies the tag)
    3. The PMS system that tracks and manages the whole process/interaction automatically

Benefit #2: Lowers staffing and resource strain

One of the most significant benefits of parking management software is its cost-efficacy. By automating payment processes, permit creation, entry management, and much more, residential parking managers save money on staffing while providing a faster and more convenient experience for residents and visitors alike.

They even help you prepare and adapt as your parking area evolves by tracking traffic and parking patterns. That way, parking managers can identify ways to improve layouts, traffic flows, and safety.

Benefit #3: Streamlines parking enforcement by identifying and tracking re-offending vehicles

No matter the measures you take, sometimes you will encounter parking violators. Whether they’re parked incorrectly, overstaying their permitted time limits, or occupying private parking spaces, there will come a time when you’ll need to enforce consequences on those who violate parking guidelines.

PMS systems can help you monitor and identify parking violators, keeping track of repeat offenders. This provides you with an easier and faster method of addressing parking violations… and The Barnacle® is the ideal PMS companion for those who want an ethical, effective, and user-friendly parking enforcement tool.

What to Consider When Choosing a Parking Management Software Solution

There are numerous PMS platforms on the market, all of which have advantages and disadvantages based on your sector, the size of your lot, etc. The following section outlines some questions that can give you a head start when researching the right parking management software for your needs.

What features do you need?

This one seems obvious, but knowing which features you need (and what you don’t) will help you maximize your PMS and save as much money as possible. 

Review your current parking operations to identify your primary parking challenges so you’ll know precisely what PMS needs to do to resolve those issues. Here are some additional questions to consider to get you started:

  • How big is your parking area? How heavy is the traffic flow? 
  • Are you located in an area that may require high levels of security? 
  • Is the community gated?
  • Do you need the ability to accept automatic payments or provide guests with parking permits? 
  • Will you need a platform that integrates with a parking enforcement system like The Barnacle®?

Here are key features to look for when choosing a PMS software for a residential parking area:

  • Security monitoring that helps you track resident versus guest vehicles.
  • Self-service guest parking kiosks.
  • Communication features that help you notify residents about new rules, events, or security information.
  • Assigned parking spot management capabilities.

What are you willing to spend?

Define a budget on what you’re willing to invest in parking management software because prices can range widely from $250 per space to $800 per space (per a report by Intelligent Transportations Systems). Will the PMS of choice require additional set-up or installation fees? What do those look like, and how will they impact the quality of life for your residents?

Does the provider partner with other parking solutions? 

Your residential parking area may require privacy and security mechanisms like gates, meters, or parking enforcement systems, so ensuring the PMS you choose is compatible with such integrations is crucial. 

Is it user-friendly? 

Parking management software should accomplish one key thing above all else: make life easier and safer for everyone. When researching automation, integrations, and security features, ensure the process is user-friendly across the board. Read reviews from parking managers and residents, and consider arranging training opportunities or educational resources so staff and residents feel comfortable interacting with the new system. 

Bonus tip #1: Look into platforms that allow you a test run, as some parking management software brands offer demos or even a free trial!

Bonus tip #2: A great way to spread the word about your new PMS is with a newsletter, mailer, or fliers. 

Your Future of Residential Parking Management

Parking Management Software (PMS) emerges as a game-changer in addressing the challenges of residential parking. From automating administrative tasks to enhancing enforcement with advanced features, PMS proves to be a beneficial solution for both parking managers and residents.

We hope this overview of all things parking management software helps you decide whether it’s the solution to your residential parking pains.

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