A friend who is also a parking operator called the other day. Yes, I do have friends that are operators. He asked if we had any articles that focused on the reasons a company would hire an operator rather than run the parking “in house.” I looked back through about five years and we didn’t have much. So I decided to try it out here on the blog. Here goes:
- An operator always has back up personnel should someone in your facility be ill or on vacation. They can provide trained staff at a moment’s notice. No need to have the janitor taking tickets in your garage.
- How hard can running a garage be? Here’s one question: ‘Which is better, a turnaround grace period or a floating grace period?” Do you know the answer? The correct answer can make you 20% or more in bottom line income. An operator knows.
- Did you know that you can often sell 750 monthly permits in a 500 car garage? Your operator does.
- If that leaky pipe on the third level ruins the paint job on your largest tenant’s Mercedes, guess who he is going to call? Wouldn’t you rather the operator took care of that little PR problem.
- How many good car repair places do you know? Your operator has relationships with a number and sends them a lot of business. I’ll bet they get a better price than you when that Mercedes needs repainting
- What about hiring and training. Your operator has entire departments that do nothing but ensure that there are trained people always in the pipeline so when there is turnover, staff is ready.
- Who deals with terminations? This is a high turnover business. Do you want to be the one who makes the decision to terminate?
- How about unions. Do you have union contracts? Your operator works long and hard ensuring that they get the best arrangements when unions are involved.
- Marketing is important. Do you know what garages are full in your area? How about where to look for after hours and weekend customers. Are you prepared to cut deals with that restaurant across the street for after hours valet? Your operator is and knows how to control it.
- Who is going to audit your garage? Your accounting firm? HA – they have no clue as to the techniques used in controlling a business where the inventory is fluid, most income is in cash, and the staff is mostly low paid.
- What about equipment? When was the last time you bought a gate, loop detector, ticket dispenser, computerized revenue control system? I’ll bet an operator can get volume discounts.
- An operator carries insurance, Yes, you will pay for it, but the insurance is the right kind for parking operations. Is this something you need to worry about?
- Then there’s signage, uniforms, background checks, lighting, steam cleaning, sweepers, supplies, cards, hangtags, tickets, receipts, and oh, we haven’t even discussed validations, selling and tracking monthly permits, reserved parking, nesting, anti-passback, insertion cards, prox cards, AVI, license plate recognition…..
Still want to run your garage yourself? You are successful because you are the best at what you do. Why not hire a company that knows what it’s doing in your garage?