If you’re a business owner, then monetising empty or under-used car parking space can be a profitable endeavour. The oft-overlooked practice has the potential to increase your property’s value, boost returns and deliver a better service to customers.
There are several ways businesses can increase the revenue generated by their car park – suited to businesses of all sizes, operating across a range of circumstances.
Here, we’ll explore the different ways your business can make your car park income-generating whilst also highlighting ideas to increase profitability and even reach new audiences.
Make your car park income-generating
If your car park is currently bringing in no money, there are a few tactics you can implement to turn that space into a useful revenue stream.
Rent out your space outside of business hours
If your car park is used by staff during the working week, or by patrons on evenings and weekends – there could be times when it is sat empty and underperforming. These timeslots provide an opportunity to increase profitability by renting the space to motorists looking for available parking, outside your core business hours.
Whether it’s in a busy inner-city area or close to a popular visitor attraction, motorists will definitely appreciate the extra spaces and the margin-rich revenue this can generate presents serious potential for your business.
Solutions such as Glyde Spaces make renting out your parking spaces easy. Flexible and secure, the free service allows you to rent out parking spaces when you want to, such as on evenings or weekends with the added benefit of attracting new audiences to your site – great for retailers, leisure and hoteliers alike. And because registered drivers will be verified, you’ll always know who’s using your car park, providing the peace of mind and security all car park managers seek.
Parking payments for non-permit customers
Perhaps customers, visitors and members of staff are free to use your business’ car park without charge? If you’re looking to increase revenue, then a simple way is to introduce paid parking on site (where capacity allows) for those motorists outside of your authorised groups. A blend of solutions can make managing multiple user types easy – for instance, virtual permits for staff (with the option to introduce a monthly/annual charge to make it cost-neutral), free parking for customers and pay-on-foot options for ad hoc visitors looking to use your facilities.
Not only do pay-on-foot machines help to bring in revenue, they’re a great way to discourage car park abuse. If your site is near a shopping centre or popular attraction, having this type of parking machine ensures that you only receive the custom of paying visitors. Solutions which use ANPR technology can effectively track visitors on site and ensure that anyone unauthorised or leaving without paying can be highlighted.
However, installing pay-on-foot machines does incur an initial cost, which may put some off. Unlike other business investments, however, pay-on-foot machines are not only classed as capex but can generate revenue as soon as they are installed – offsetting any upfront costs. There are also some providers who may offer a cost-neutral commercial model based on solution make-up.
Extend existing revenue
Some car parks will be passively bringing in a steady revenue stream, but a little creative thinking could increase profits and bolster the bottom line.
Improved payment options
A great solution in busy areas, providing a more efficient payment process will enhance the customer experience and satisfaction – increasing loyalty and repeat visits. For example, someone visiting a city centre could have a dozen car parks to choose from. Alongside location and price, the simplicity of use will factor into their decision-making process.
This could take the form of cashless technologies on sites with existing paid parking to alleviate the scramble for change or even the move to cloud-based solutions such as good2go. This solution automates payments on exit for the ultimate ‘free-flow’ parking experience, without any need for physical tickets or payments of any kind. Making life so much easier for your customers can really drive up repeat custom, on-site payment rates and as a result, your revenues too.
Whilst there could be upfront costs attached to the installation of new payment technologies, savings could be instantaneous. Technology-based payment systems can reduce staffing levels through automation, so they’re a great way to reduce operational cost. Parking fees can also be adjusted to reflect demand, drastically improving the business’ revenue generation as a result.
This may require a small initial outlay for consultation and implementation – but an improved layout could boost profitability in two major ways.
Capacity: Firstly, an optimised layout could mean more spaces, and with it, greater revenue potential. By reviewing the available space, and ensuring none of that space is wasted – your car park could stand to earn you more money every hour of every day. For instance, faded lining can lead to poor parking practices where cars span two spaces or dangerously close to the adjacent vehicle. This inefficient use of space can present a skewed picture of occupancy whereas better organisation can vastly increase capacity.
Positive parking: Secondly, a better layout could deliver a more positive parking experience to those most crucial to your business, improving customer loyalty and repeat custom. Visitors are less likely to return to a poorly considered car park with long queues forming at temperamental barriers and irritating waits to pay due to payment machines not being located in suitable areas. A streamlined and simplified layout can make the customer journey much more enjoyable – so, visitors are more likely to return. After all, parking will form the first and last impression of your business.
Reach new audiences
Here’s where a little out-of-the-box thinking comes in handy. There may be customers who you have never opened up your car park to, who may be ready and willing to pay for your spaces. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Target local events and specific vehicles
If you’re in charge of a church, campus or similar parking facility, then using it for non-parking related events can be beneficial. Consider using your space to host things like food markets, craft stalls or galas at the weekend. Renting out your space to local businesses can not only increase upfront revenue, but it can also be possible to broker a deal that allows you to receive a percentage of the sales taken.
Similarly, office blocks could rent out a few spaces to food trucks at lunchtime – traders will pay for the pitch, in return for a prime location close to lots of hungry office workers.
Another great opportunity for office block car parks is opening their site overnight for campervans to pitch up. This will cost nothing, and bring in a little extra revenue for minimal work.
Help other local businesses
If neighbouring businesses are struggling to meet their customers’ parking demands, you could offer available spaces for their customers to use. This could be paired with a validated ticket system, so your customers receive discounted/free parking when they make a purchase with your business – while customers of nearby businesses need to pay full price (or at least receive validation from the business they’re patronising).
This is a cost-free way to bring a few more grateful customers through to your car park.
How can ParkingEye help with cost and pricing?
Our team of experts can help you understand the full revenue potential of your site and have years of experience across a range of sectors to suit the way you work.
If you’d like to develop a formal car park pricing strategy, we can help and already work closely with thousands of businesses across the UK to drive out operational cost, generate margin-rich revenue and help them thrive.
ParkingEye is the market-leading provider of ANPR on private land. Looking to browse some options? Head over to our car park management solutions page for more information, and get in touch with us today.