What Does it Mean to Pool Monthly Parking Passes?
Parking Advisors’ clients are frequently asking a common question:
One of our tenants is moving to a hybrid work schedule and would like to share their parking passes. Does our technology support this?
For example, a tenant has 150 employees but only has 100 employees in the office on any given day. Therefore, the tenant would like to give their employees 150 passes but only pay for 100 passes. The parking industry commonly refers to this as “carpooling”.
This seems like a simple question but it is more complicated than it appears. Pooling parking passes can impact a building’s parking ratios, financial performance, operations and customer service levels.
Impact #1: Parking Ratio
Building owners and leasing agents typically build an “oversell” factor into the parking ratio offered to tenants. For example, if a 100,000 square foot building has 350 parking spaces, the parking ratio without an oversell is 3.5 per 1,000 square feet; however, leasing brokers will quote a 4.0 per 1,000 square feet parking ratio to tenants, which represents a 15% oversell. The formula for this calculation is: (350 * 1.15) / (100,000 / 1,000) = 4.0.
An oversell is common because a number of parkers don’t show up on any given day at peak time. Peak time is typically at 10:00am to 11:00am on Tuesday or Wednesday. It is not uncommon for 15% to 30% of a diverse mix of office building parkers to not be in the garage at peak time. When tenants are allowed to pool their monthly parking passes, the ability for an owner to oversell their parking garage greatly diminishes and the tenant parking ratio decreases.
- Evaluate if an oversell is included in the building’s leasing ratio.
- Build a parking “stacking plan” that incorporates: (1) each tenant’s unreserved and reserved parking rights, (2) visitor parking and (3) a lower no show factor for pooled parking passes.
- Set a limit of tenant parkers that can be in the garage so it is lower than the tenant’s lease parking rights to account for the impact of the diminished oversell.
Impact #2: Financial Performance Impact
A parking facility typically offers unreserved and reserved parking rates. Since pooled parking passes result in a lower oversell factor, pooled parking passes are somewhat similar to reserved parking which does not have an oversell. However, pooled parking does not typically allow parkers the convenience of a specific reserved parking space. Therefore, the rate for pooled parking passes should be higher than unreserved parking passes but lower than reserved parking spaces.
Recommendations: Parking Advisors recommends considering the items below as a guide to calculate the cost of a pooled parking pass. However, it is important to note that it is not an exact science since this is a new product and there are many variables.
- Analyze the difference between the price of unreserved and reserved parking to determine the range of possible prices for a pooled pass.
- Evaluate the number of additional passes provided to the tenant above the limit that can be parked in the garage. For example, the pooled parking price should be higher for a tenant that has 150 passes with a limit of 100 that can be in the garage than a tenant that has 110 passes with a limit of 100 that can be in the garage.
- Consider the cost of any additional technology that needs to be purchased to implement pooled passes.
- Determine the fees that will be charged if the tenant is allowed to go over the limit.
As a baseline assumption, Parking Advisors recommends pricing pooled parking passes at the mid-point between the unreserved and reserved parking rates.
Impact #3: Customer Service Levels, Operations & Technology
If the parking technology installed doesn’t efficiently manage pooled parking passes, it can have a significant negative impact on customer service levels and operations.
- Select if you want the system to prevent parkers over the limit from entering the garage or if you would like to allow parkers over the limit to enter (and charge for the additional parkers).
- Determine the process when the limit is reached and what is communicated to the parker by the technology.
- Analyze the technology system’s pooled parking pass reporting.
- Determine if any manual processes are required including calculating the charges when a tenant’s parkers exceed the limit.
Parking Advisors also recommends:
- Document the terms of the pooled parking passes in a letter agreement or another form with the tenant. Make sure to include: (1) the parking rate per parking pass (2) the number of passes that will be provided, (3) the limit or maximum number of parkers that can be in the garage, (4) the term of the agreement, (5) the ability for the owner to terminate or adjust the pooled passes and (6) the charges the tenant will incur for exceeding the limit, if allowed.
- Never use the term “spaces” in any lease agreement when referring to unreserved parking passes. Some tenants may interpret the right to a specified number of unreserved spaces as a right to pooled parking passes. Always use the term “unreserved parking passes” or “unreserved parking rights.”
If you would like Parking Advisors to evaluate your parking facility to provide specific pooled parking recommendations, please reach out to Mark Fancher (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kevin Dahm (email@example.com).