When it comes to property management, the old adage ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ fits the bill perfectly. Specifically when it comes to parking enforcement.
When a resident commits a parking infraction, the worst possible thing property management can do is be lenient. While it may seem like a positive to cut residents some slack and give warnings, or reimburse towing fees even when the resident was obviously in violation, all of that goodwill is counterintuitive to good management, happy residents and positive social media reviews.
That doesn’t seem to jive – being nice can lead to unhappiness and poor reviews on social media? Yes! And in turn, those bad reviews can lead to lower rental rates and a lower quality of clientele attracted to the property.
Since the property management’s most important function is to take care of the property, letting some break the rules without fear of punishment provokes those who are compliant, making them unhappy and resentful.
Those law-abiding residents are more likely to post their outrage of the unfair treatment on Yelp or other social media platforms, especially when they’re following the rules while others can get away with breaking them. They feel it is unfair to pay for permits and follow the parking rules when violators aren’t punished. And it is! Actually, failure to enforce the parking policy is punishing those who are in compliance.
Every layer of warnings and tickets decreases the integrity of parking management and increases negative reviews. Plus, no matter how accommodating management tries to be, there will always be those who are looking for a loophole, even when they were in the wrong. For example, if you have a policy that allows for three warnings before a tow, some residents will argue that they didn’t receive the second warning. And can management prove they were given the warnings?
The more clearly defined the parking policy – basically abide by the parking policy or pay the consequences – the more alignment there will be with following the rules. If residents know there is zero tolerance for illegal parking, and they break the rules and get towed, they are less likely to post a negative review.
Enforcement of the policy doesn’t actually start with the residents following the rules. They already assume they will be punished if they break the rules. Enforcement starts with property management and staff enforcing the established rules. Once residents see policies are enforced, they’ll know they can expect to be towed if they break the rules. And the foundation of enforcement can be found in centralized and accurate data, so there is a lower likelihood for mistakes.
And all of this rule-following not only makes current residents content because parking enforcement is fair for everyone, leaving guest parking for guests and red zone parking for emergency vehicles, all this leads to a more positive reputation for the apartment complex.
In turn, fewer bad reviews on social media platforms attracts better clientele to the property. And a higher quality of people living in harmony, respecting each other and following the rules equates to charging higher rents.
Higher rental rates and happier residents – just from being consistent with the parking policy enforcement – sounds like a win-win for everyone involved.