a visitor parking sign is a common visitor parking solution


Key takeaways

  • Managing parking facilities presents many challenges, such as increased demand, limited space, and unauthorized access.
  • Parking permits, management software, and designated parking are just a few commonly used visitor parking solutions.
  • The best visitor parking solution is ButterflyMX.


Regardless of your property, you’re bound to have visitors in some capacity. For that reason, guest management systems are essential, but they don’t serve as visitor parking solutions. Instead, you’ll need another solution in place to manage guest parking.

So, we detail the challenges of visitor parking and the types of solutions commonly used for guests. Additionally, we provide tips for managing visitor parking and suggest the best parking solution for them.

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What is visitor parking?

Visitor parking refers to designed parking spaces or areas that are reserved for individuals visiting a particular location.

In many cases, visitor parking is distinct from employee or resident spaces, usually marked with clear signage. While guest parking may not always be designated, it’s often at apartments, mixed-use buildings, offices, college campuses, public spaces, and healthcare facilities.

Overall, the goal of visitor parking is to provide convenient and accessible parking options for customers, patients, clients, or visitors who are not regular occupants of the property.


Challenges of managing parking facilities

Managing a parking facility is no easy task, as it often presents various challenges that can impede your property’s operations and even raise safety concerns.

So, it’s important you’re aware of the common challenges facing parking facility management:


Limited spaces and increased demand

As urban areas expand, traffic increases and the demand for parking spaces grows. This is especially true when the primary mode of transportation for Americans is their car. As a result, you’ll want to expand your parking facilities, if possible.

Unfortunately, building density may limit the number of parking spaces available at your property and even hinder potential expansion opportunities. In that case, you’ll need to consider other options, such as partnering with a parking facility nearby and shuttle guests to your location.


Improper usage of parking spaces

During peak hours, parking facilities can get extremely busy, which could result in drivers potentially using spaces incorrectly. Visitors may park in reserved spaces for employees simply to save time on their errands or may be entirely unaware of their actions due to the lack of knowledge.

Regardless, enforcing parking policies is difficult without proper monitoring, signage, and personnel. So, it’s critical you implement policies and procedures on how to deal with unauthorized parking or overstaying time limits.


Lack of parking information

Many drivers simply don’t know where to park. If your business has poor signage or doesn’t publish parking policies on its website, you can expect violators.

Therefore, you should install clear signage throughout your property that indicates who can park and for how long. Additionally, it’s ideal to post signage about the towing service you use so violators know where their vehicle has been moved.

We also recommend publishing clear parking policies on your website. This way, when visitors are planning their trip to your business, they’ll know what to expect, reducing the chances of them parking in the wrong place.


Vehicle and property damage

Parking lots and garages are prime targets for break-ins, theft, and property damage—both to cars and to your business. As a result, customers and visitors may avoid parking in your facility or your business altogether.

That’s why it’s essential to install proper security measures, such as:

  • Surveillance cameras
  • Security guards
  • Parking attendants
  • License plate readers
  • Alarms and sensors
  • Gates and bollards
  • Lighting


Unauthorized access

Tailgating is the process of one car driving closely behind another to gain unauthorized access to a property. This method is commonly used in gated communities, parking garages, and other facilities with vehicle barriers.

It is difficult to catch tailgaters, but hiring a gate attendant helps reduce their opportunities. In addition, you should implement security cameras capable of capturing license plate information and integrating it with your access control system. Then, you’ll be notified of unauthorized license plates in your facility, which allows you to take better action against intruders.


Learn how to manage visitors with ButterflyMX’s front desk station:


Types of visitor parking solutions

While it’s optional for some properties to oversee visitor parking, those that opt for management have many solutions available.

The most common visitor parking solutions include:


Designated visitor parking

The most commonly implemented visitor parking solution is designated spaces. As such, this solution requires you to assign a certain number of current parking spaces to visitors only. Designate spaces by installing visitor parking signs and informing your tenants or employees.

Your visitor parking signs should:

  • Clearly indicate the parking space is for visitors only.
  • Specify the hours or duration in which the spaces can be used.
  • Include directional arrows to inform visitors of the spaces they can park.
  • Inform visitors of accessible parking spaces, if available.
  • Detail your property’s contact details.
  • Provide visitors with a tow warning if they do not follow parking policies and provide the towing company’s contact details.

On the other hand, you could set up a visitor parking garage or lot, but not every business has the financial resources or available space to undertake such a project.


Visitor parking management software

Visitor parking management software is suitable for those who want more oversight. With this software, you can send invites to visitors, providing them with detailed information via email, SMS, or mobile sign-in app.

Furthermore, parking management software lets you customize how tenant and visitor parking is used. You can even set up your own pricing to charge visitors or the public when using spaces. In that case, you’ll install a QR code to your parking signs for drivers to scan, input their details, and pay.


Parking reservation system

Unlike visitor parking management software, a reservation system requires visitors to submit a request to reserve a parking space. After filling out a visitor parking registration form, the request must be reviewed and approved by an individual or is automatically reviewed by the system.

Parking reservation systems are common at:

  • Hotels
  • Airports
  • Tourist attractions
  • Transit stations
  • Colleges
  • Apartments
  • Condos and HOAs
  • Event venues


Visitor parking passes or permits

Implementing visitor parking passes or permits doesn’t necessarily require you to designate specific spaces for guests, although you may. Visitors can then purchase parking passes through an online portal or in person at a specific office.

Afterward, they’ll apply the sticker or slip to their vehicle’s windshield to designate them a visitor. This way, your parking attendants or patrol officers won’t tow or fine permitted visitor vehicles.


Valet services

While valet services are used for more luxury properties, they are effective at managing visitor parking. If your business is high-end and has the capacity for valet, your guests will benefit from the convenience and peace of mind that comes with valet parking.

Valet parking services may be best suited for:

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Event venues
  • Resorts
  • Luxury apartments
  • Shopping centers
  • Corporate offices


Parking attendants

Finally, parking attendants are individuals who help direct drivers where to park. They are often employed at properties that experience high traffic at certain times of the day.

For example, amusement parks will employ parking attendants during the opening hours to direct visitor traffic to specific spaces. By doing so, parking attendants can fill the spaces efficiently without the chaos of drivers competing to find an open spot.


parking attendant is an option for managing guest parking


Tips for managing visitor parking

As we already mentioned, managing visitor parking presents many challenges. Although there are plenty of solutions to choose from, they won’t provide all the answers.

So, here are some tips we’ve outlined for managing visitor parking at your property:

  • Create and enforce parking policies. Meet with the necessary personnel to establish clear and concise parking policies for your business. Establish parking rules for guests, employees, residents, vendors, and anyone else who may park on your property. Afterward, work with the right people to enforce these rules to remain consistent.
  • Inform drivers of parking rules. Educate the people who will be impacted by the parking policies you’ve established. Publish the policies on your website, include them in newsletters, or add them to your resident lease. Above all, the affected people should be informed where they can access the policies at any time and updated on any changes in the future.
  • Monitor and secure parking facilities. There are many ways to monitor and secure parking areas, but choose the system that works best for you. That way, you can better enforce visitor parking rules and take appropriate action when necessary. Not to mention, securing your parking facility will make those who frequent your business feel safe.
  • Appoint a parking operations manager. Hiring or appointing a parking operations manager to serve as the point of contact and decision-maker for parking operations helps streamline communication and processes. This approach minimizes confusion and saves time by centralizing the responsibilities for addressing parking-related issues.
  • Seek feedback. Survey drivers about the parking situation and policies to understand how they’re being impacted. Based on the feedback, consider potential changes you can make to improve the parking experience.


Best visitor parking solution

The best visitor parking access control solution is ButterflyMX.

ButterflyMX is a cloud-based access control company that has been installed in more than 10,000 buildings. Our system simplifies managing visitor access to your property and its parking facilities.

Thanks to our cloud-based infrastructure, ButterflyMX lets you manage access to your property remotely. Use the ButterflyMX mobile app or online dashboard to grant access, edit permissions, and review audit logs.


ButterflyMX products for visitor parking management


Video intercom

Visitors can request access to your property’s gate using the ButterflyMX video intercom. A staff member using the front desk station software may see and speak with the visitor, or the visitor can request access from a tenant using the directory.

With a 156° wide-angle camera, tenants and staff can talk to visitors via two-way video calling before granting them access remotely. As a result, tenants or staff feel safe knowing who they’re letting inside. Not to mention, the video intercom takes time- and date-stamped photos of door entry events, which are stored in a detailed audit log. Therefore, you can better act on potential security breaches, increasing the safety of your property.


Front desk station

The front desk station software enables you to see the live video feed of all your property’s intercoms. This way, when a visitor approaches the gate, your on-site or remote staff member can see and speak with them. From the front desk station, staff members can grant visitors access, view past entries, and verify the guest’s identity with residents or tenants.


Vehicle access control

The ButterflyMX vehicle access control is comprised of a vehicle reader and windshield tags. With this system, you can grant temporary and independent guest access.

Visiting drivers can apply the windshield tag to their vehicle. Then, when they approach the gate, the reader scans the tag, granting them access. Once the visitor’s access has expired, the reader won’t grant them access. Plus, the visitor can’t transfer the windshield tag to another vehicle because once applied, the tag does not peel off in one piece.


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Bryson Hile

I love learning about new technologies, especially within the real estate market. I currently reside in Fishers, Indiana.

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