Whether they’re a regular tenant or one of your tenant’s customers, a visitor’s experience starts in the parking lot. As soon as they pull in, the lot can influence their mood. If they struggle to navigate the area or cannot find on-site parking, they may walk in the door already frustrated or leave altogether.
If they instead pull into a fresh, smooth blacktop that provides ample parking, they automatically have a better impression of the company that occupies that space and the company that manages the property. Before they’ve walked inside or met any staff, they may be calmer and more likely to trust the business based on the clean, professional look of the lot alone.
Tenants often look for well-maintained commercial properties that help them make a strong impression with their customers. By offering a parking lot that is attractive, convenient and safe, commercial property owners and managers can appeal to tenants and help them appeal to their customers.
Enhance Parking Lot Curb Appeal
The first way to make your tenants’ parking lot friendlier is by performing regular maintenance to make it look aesthetically pleasing. A well-manicured lot gives tenants and prospective tenants a good impression of your property management company and your tenants’ customers a preview of how efficient and professional your tenants’ companies are. Just as you might invest in occasional landscaping and a fresh coat of paint for a building, maintaining the parking lot helps beautify the property and demonstrate a dedication to quality that tenants will appreciate and their customers will associate with the company on-site.
A simple thing your team can do to keep the lot looking clean is to regularly sweep the asphalt and trim the hedges. If you’re looking to enhance the look of the lot even further, consider hiring a parking lot maintenance crew and other professionals to transform the look of your commercial property. Some ways to enhance a parking lot’s curb appeal include:
- Refresh the striping: The parking bay lines and arrows around the lot help make the lot easy to navigate. When the stripes are a solid, bright white, they provide an eye-catching contrast to the blacktop. If you plan on restriping the lot you manage, consider whether to keep the current layout or rearrange things to improve the parking experience. Talk to your current tenants to find out if they’ve experienced challenges such as crowding or confusing lot navigation.
- Add or redo the curbs: Curbs neaten up the edges of a property and provide a nice frame to parking lots and sidewalks. They also help keep landscaping contained and prevent erosion. If the lot you manage doesn’t have any curbs, consider installing them. If the lot’s curbs are starting to crack and fade, have them repaired.
- Install new signage: Property signage lets tenants and their customers know your company manages the parking lot they use. It can also improve lot navigation by showing visitors where particular tenants are located within the lot. When the signs are readable and attractive, your tenants’ customers can quickly find where they’re going, even in a vast parking lot serving many businesses. High-quality, uniform signage also helps shape your commercial property’s image, which can improve your standing with current and potential business tenants.
- Fix cracks and potholes: Fixing cracks and potholes preserves the life span of a parking lot. Dealing with them as soon as they appear also helps you maintain the lot’s curb appeal.
- Sealcoat the asphalt regularly: Asphalt sealcoating is crucial preventive maintenance that can protect asphalt from rain, UV damage and automotive fluids. It can prevent cracks and potholes and keep a lot looking newer for longer. As a bonus, sealcoating restores the lot’s rich black color, making faded asphalt look new again.
- Upgrade the landscaping: It’s common for parking lots to feature “islands” of flowers, trees or shrubs to break up the sea of black asphalt. If the landscaping on your tenants’ lot is looking a little lackluster, consider hiring a landscaper to plant new greenery, lay fresh mulch and care for the existing plants.
- Add lighting: Installing attractive lighting will make the lot more visible from the road at night, enhancing curb appeal. If there is lush greenery around a property, lighting it at night gives you more hours of curb appeal out of your landscaping investments.
Maximize Parking Lot Space
American drivers spend an average of 17 hours per year looking for parking. What’s more, 63% of drivers say they’ve avoided going to a shopping site or other destination due to parking challenges. If your tenants’ parking lot stays busy, serving many customers each day, the best thing you can do to improve the experience for them and their customers is to provide ample parking. By making more spaces and maximizing the land available, your tenants will be able to serve more customers because they will have more places to park, and there may be fewer opportunities for accidents.
When drivers don’t have to vie for prime parking spaces, they can get to and from your tenants’ businesses faster and with less frustration. If the parking lot is large enough, you can provide enough room for all your tenants’ regular visitors while ensuring there are always plenty of free spaces visible from afar. This saves your tenants’ staff and visitors time when hunting for a free space and gives them more freedom to park closer to the tenant they are visiting.
While maximizing parking space sometimes requires expanding the lot, you can often work with the current square footage to add more parking. Some space-saving tips include:
- Map out the lot before changing the layout and consider options based on the number of parking spaces they could provide.
- Use parking bays angled at 60 degrees, allowing narrower lanes, to save the most space per car, especially in irregular-shaped lots.
- Use “straight in” parking bays to maximize the number of spots.
- Consider the length of parking bays — you may need to provide some longer spaces for trucks and vans.
- Move dumpsters out of the parking bays and away from view, if possible.
- Maintain the landscape and trim back trees and hedges to prevent them from encroaching on spaces.
- Add “reserved” signs for customers or business tenants to prevent neighboring properties’ visitors from using the lot meant for your tenants and their customers.
- Restripe the lot regularly to ensure visitors can see clearly defined parking spots and avoid taking up multiple stalls.
- Consider requiring paid parking if crowding persists — just be sure to provide validation to your tenants so they can provide the friendliest experience for their staff and customers.
Improve Convenience and Safety for Customers
Despite relatively slow speed limits, an estimated 20% of car accidents occur in garages and parking lots. While a huge contributing factor here is distracted driving, you can prevent many parking lot safety concerns as the property manager or lot owner.
By reducing accidents and increasing safety, you ensure a better customer experience for all visitors. Your tenants’ lot won’t face disruptions from first responders, and they and their customers will feel safer leaving their cars behind. Improving safety also has the benefit of increased convenience for customers. For example, making the lot easier to navigate can prevent accidents and improve the parking experience. Keeping shopping carts from becoming hazards also keeps spots free and makes it easier for customers to find carriages.
A few ways to increase safety and convenience at the same time include:
- Add sidewalks: Adding raised sidewalks between rows of cars keeps pedestrians from having to walk behind cars. Since cars don’t have as much visibility when in reverse, sidewalks make people on-foot safer.
- Improve lighting: A well-lit parking lot improves driver visibility and deters crime. People feel safer parking at night in a lot with plenty of light, which improves the tenant experience and can increase business for your tenants.
- Fix potholes: Besides being unsightly, potholes present many safety concerns to drivers and motorcyclists. They can cause cars to swerve or damage vehicles that encounter them unexpectedly. Cutting out damaged asphalt and spot-repairing the area improves parking lot safety and increases convenience.
- Add speedbumps and bollards: Speedbumps get drivers to slow down and stay aware of their surroundings, enhancing safety. Meanwhile, sturdy bollards prevent car collisions and runaway shopping carts from damaging buildings.
Contact ToriTom Services for Professional Parking Lot Maintenance
An inviting, convenient parking lot is good for your tenants’ customers and for your tenants. You can improve your reputation as a commercial property owner or manager and improve your tenants’ reputations by maintaining an aesthetically pleasing, well-designed lot. ToriTom Services can help you maintain your lot by repairing cracks and potholes and sealcoating as needed. We can also help you design an ADA-compliant, easy-to-navigate parking lot and provide clean-lined striping. Let us help you achieve a customer-friendly lot your tenants will appreciate with our parking lot and sidewalk services.