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As a multifamily property owner or manager, reputation stands as a cornerstone of your enterprise. In a dynamic and competitive market, it can make or break your success. The idea lies in creating an experience that not only drives renewals and lead generation but also compels residents to share it with their friends, family, and through online reviews.

The feedback from reviews is extremely valuable, and any patterns of unfavorable remarks must be addressed to do the right thing for the resident, as well as for your brand. While numerous factors contribute to a community’s reputation, such as maintenance response and amenities, parking often has a noteworthy influence on the online reputation. However, it is also an aspect that property managers could potentially possess the least control.

Mark-Taylor Residential, an Arizona-based investment manager, consultant, developer, and owner of Class A multifamily real estate, serves more than 35,000 residents. People often choose to live at Mark-Taylor communities due to our reputation; therefore, maintaining online review averages above 4.0 on a 5.0 scale is essential. We have witnessed firsthand how important parking is to our reputation and our residents’ overall experience.

How Parking Affects Retention and Reputation

Parking holds a high rank in the hierarchy of priorities for over 60% of tech-savvy renters who adeptly navigate the online landscape to gather information about their future home. In the selection process for apartment searchers, online reviews act as a paramount influence, even outweighing the perspectives of family and friends. Compromised reputation scores hinder the generation of high-quality leads, imposing greater time and effort demands on your on-site teams.

Resident satisfaction is directly tied to retention rates in all sectors of multifamily and commercial real estate. Residents with easy access to parking spaces enjoy where they live because they aren’t burdened by searching for a spot or parking an unacceptable distance from their building. When residents are satisfied, they are inspired to leave five-star reviews and highlight other aspects of the community.

Mark-Taylor previously managed a community with 1.2 parking spaces per resident, falling short of the recommended 1.7 for multifamily communities. The challenging parking situation was reflected in our reviews, where the community's reputation score plummeted to 2.5, well below the company’s acceptable threshold. Parking emerged as a frequent topic in reviews, particularly negative ones.

Finding Viable and Cost-Efficient Solutions

However, a straightforward parking solution is not always attainable. Implementing a viable and cost-effective solution stands as a key challenge in addressing parking issues.

In certain scenarios, meeting parking demands might prove unfeasible. Depending on the type of building, there might be instances where expanding spaces or altering infrastructure is not a realistic option. Even if such adjustments are possible, the associated costs could be exorbitant. Removal of landscaping is another option, but this reduces a property’s curb appeal. Solutions like gates and license plate readers can also be expensive to install and maintain.

To enhance the resident experience in the community and therefore boost online reputation, Mark-Taylor adopted an automated parking solution platform, enabling residents to reserve open parking spaces. This innovative approach reduced parking issues and improved our online reputation.

Upon addressing the parking predicament, we observed a notable 44% increase in the community’s reputation scores, accompanied by a significant decline in parking-related mentions. The allocation of time to manage parking issues and the subsequent consequences had positive financial impacts.

By understanding the direct correlation between parking and resident satisfaction, implementing cost-effective technological solutions, and maintaining a positive reputation, you are able to elevate residents’ overall experience. Your reputation is part of your foundation, so it’s critical to understand its profound impact on continued success.