Commercial Real Estate (CRE) has undoubtedly had its number of pitfalls and battles over the past decade. From dilapidated markets to the COVID-19 pandemic, CRE managers have had to contend with increased risk. However, as the country recovers, there are stimuli that may directly impact a growing CRE sector and reverse wavering nerves and the canceling of leases.
Government stimulus has the potential to help small businesses get back on their feet and expand, and employees returning from remote work are putting offices back in the picture. The time to understand, plan, and prepare for the future of CRE is now, as the tide shifts and the country recovers.
Trends point to the rise of technology and a return to relatively normal economic spending as positive indicators for CRE. As property owners and managers absorb this knowledge, it’s prudent to discuss the role of commercial parking, office parking, and general mobility in the industry. Below, learn what you need to know to adapt your operations for the years ahead.
Why Discuss Parking and Mobility?
Your customers and tenants have changed. The pandemic has placed a priority on their travel and mobility behavior. You’d be complimenting these changes by reflecting them in your parking practices. Property managers need only research post-pandemic human behavior and infrastructure news to understand these changes. For example, an increased focus on sanitary health means a likelihood of more travel by personal vehicle, which affects your parking ratios. In energy and infrastructure, mass adoption of EV will affect what infrastructure you need in your assets.
A greater level of understanding and proactivity is needed to successfully herald in the new age of mobility going into the 2020s. Have no fear—we’re here to help prepare you.
Embrace the Newest Hardware and Software Technology
The pandemic hastened the adoption of more advanced technology in CRE. Whereas the industry was relatively stagnant in tech implementation, a change in consumer behavior has lit a fire for property managers who are yearning to open doors again. CRE analysts such as John D’Angelo, US real estate leader at Deloitte Consulting, have pointed to aspects of IoT adoption, and data-driven decision making as vital technological undertakings for any player in the industry. When translated to mobility and parking, managers should consider technology focusing on touchless interactions, license plate recognition (LPR), and reservations.
Touchless interactions are amongst the most important changes to make for CRE investments. Employees, shoppers, visitors, and guests will prioritize their safety above all else. And this is an area in which CRE can take cues from industries like healthcare, which have made strong pivots to learn how to run successful contactless experiences. Touchless parking technology, such as the type with FLASH, can allow entry, exit, and payments to be made without contact. A visitor can complete a purchase with extreme ease, making the parking journey less stressful.
LPR technology, though it has been used for some time now, is making strides in sophistication and can now be of great benefit to the parking process. It involves a camera that can read license plates and commit these cars to your system’s database. This cuts down unnecessary processing time. As more people travel, it will become more important to regulate traffic as much as possible to ensure a smooth experience. Today’s LPR can be installed without the use of loops, which typically require machinery to be installed underground. This greatly reduces installation costs, making it easier to get the latest technology.
Reservation or e-parking systems are last-mile mobility services that any driver uses across their travel journey. As shopping centers open and workers return to offices, businesses may be instituting more procedures that may limit the number of vehicles allowed to ensure proper safety precautions. Therefore, it will become even more important to utilize technology that can manage parking with these changes. You’ll want technology that can mitigate hang-ups and help you organize your parking.
Audit and Ensure Your Security Is Powerful
In any large-scale building or operation, security of all types is key. Within parking and mobility, thousands upon millions of dollars are exchanged within customer data. That’s why it’s essential to think of security first when you think of the future. As you entertain new technology and software, your cybersecurity should be able to handle the massive amounts of data flowing through.
To protect the integrity of your data, ensure that your software is updated with the latest PCI compliance and is robust enough to handle many transactions. FLASH has led in security protocol and compliance for many years and it continues to be a key pillar in our offerings today.
Manage the Infrastructure Necessary for Alternative Energy
Alternative energy, mainly EV, is a rapidly growing segment of personal vehicles. As such, any CRE manager or owner will want to consider how they prepare for more EVs in their facilities. Simply understanding and accepting that more EVs will come through your facility is only the first step of the process. The next is to audit your current infrastructure and determine what modifications you need to make in your construction to accept electric charges. This involves having a firm handle on your local building codes and any municipal requirements for the amount of electric-ready spaces. Read our previous piece on the other main questions to ask when scoping your asset for EV.
Having an understanding of your parking ratios will be crucial here as well, because they will again need to be adjusted to compensate for how many electric-ready spaces to include. Whether it’s an office or a large commercial complex, mapping out your spaces compared to capacity for both regular and EV vehicles will be easier to do beforehand than after mass adoption.
Explore New Business Opportunities with Stronger Data
Think not what you can do for parking—but what parking can do for you. A John F. Kennedy quote that is not, but it is a thought-provoking question when it comes to the data you get from your parking if it’s powered by robust software. Parking systems that utilize the power of the cloud and technologies like contactless and LPR, better position you to track a user across their journey and leverage new tools.
Take a retail company within a commercial shopping structure, for example. Suppose a recurring visitor parks and is either registered via account details or LPR. In that case, their favorite retail store can be notified of their arrival and then send them an extremely personalized deal, coupon, or another form of marketing while they’re in the vicinity. The availability of advanced data opens up integrations between parking and other commercial services like never before.
When You’re Expanding—Think Enterprise
So, you’re ready to take your parking and mobility systems to the next level, but you’ve got to reconcile with your current parking systems first. Consider that the best solution forward is to go from fragmented to centralized. If your properties are all utilizing different parking systems, you could benefit from a single system that can connect the services and data from your different locations to streamline your operations.
When you have different degrees of systems in each location, it becomes challenging to make better decisions to maximize your parking revenue. Your sites are speaking different languages and you have to reconcile and find a universal translation. With enterprise services, your locations operate independently while still utilizing the same databases and software across all instances, ensuring that you have a big clear picture for your entire business.
Commercial real estate evolves and changes every day, with new rules for different types of properties. However, your parking doesn’t have to be quite as complex. To learn more about the best solutions for your CRE properties, visit us here.
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