Parking is traffic at rest. Successful parking operations out-compete for traffic. Despite significant operational complexity, it takes just three simple pieces of paper to understand any location:
- A map of the available traffic market, including generators
- An operating statement (P & L) showing the revenue and cost structure
- A narrative explaining the operating standard, including management
Dane & Company standard practice is to improve the market fitness or value of any facility by considering any of a number of key characteristics.
- Occupancy—a full and active garage is always the best NOI answer.
- Revenue Components—the principal driver of success in this business is top line.
- Competitiveness–expense levels and operating style have to be correct for the end user.
- Peer comparisons—parking locations do not exist in a vacuum.
- Data—quality benchmarking and well-crafted statements of operation matter.
- People–good people really matter.
Every operation is slightly imperfect and therefore should be regarded as a work-in-progress. Perfection is a mirage. The object of every revue of a garage facility should be to make it better than it was before and to make its operation more receptive to next steps. We apply the Pareto Principle in all of our work—80% of the effects are due to 20% of the causes. We do not waste client’s time or money on the 80% of causes that produce very little effect unless specifically asked to do so.
That having been said, we look, at least for a brief period, at every aspect of an operation for a simple reason: parking is a high-volume, low-ticket average business and in such businesses, the devil is always in the details. Everything noted above suggests top-down which we can do because we have spent more than fifty years doing it bottom-up. All of the principles and characteristics we have described apply equally to suburban pay-and-display, luxury residential or high turn/high ticket average urban CBD and we have worked in all environments.