On Feb 12 2023 / by Cassie Daley

6 ways to reduce and recover facilities spend using PropTech

As we dive right into 2023, uncertainty over the global economy continues to loom. From central banks continuing rate hikes to investors nervously wondering whether a soft-landing remains possible. With this, individuals are looking into cost-cutting measures – whether in their own lives as well as their businesses.

Now for those who manage offices and departments or those who work in real estate to any degree – from facility managers to building procurement officers – this economic reality presents a real challenge. In the world of property use, investment and management, how is it possible to simultaneously meet the needs of everyone using the property while also minimizing the costs of maintaining it?

We have some good news: many tech solutions are available to save money and make workspaces more appealing to those who use them. And, Parkable is an excellent example of just that.

Specifically, here are some cost-saving and recovery areas to look at:

  • Consider energy costs + building footprint
  • Leasing spare office space to other tenants
  • Negotiating new leases or downsizing car parking
  • Moving from free to paid in areas such as parking
  • Using occupancy tracking software (desk or parking reporting) to inform catering, cleaning and other building maintenance and utilization requirements.
  • EV Charger management (including flexible payments)
  • Using reporting to offset levy costs

Now, before deep-diving, we'll acknowledge that it may seem a bit counterintuitive to ramp up tech investment during an economic downturn. However, a recent CNBC Technology Executive Council survey showed that the majority of tech leaders in the US expect to increase their tech budget this year. Notably, though, no one said they'll be spending less.

Cutting workspace costs using tech

Automation, as a concept, is inherently cost-cutting. This is especially true when automating a workspace's utilities. This is because technology can manage building upkeep in a way that drives down usage costs. According to research and advisory firm Verdantix, "With automated building controls, firms can often achieve 20% in annual energy savings by optimizing asset runtime based on changing energy prices or space utilization."

And, when it comes to hybrid workspaces, Verdantix explains that "While the most sizable cost saving from hybrid working is space consolidation, firms should explore other untapped cost-saving opportunities”.

As far as cost-cutting tech solutions go when it comes to better-equipping a workspace, Parkable serves as a great model. Our software is ideal for automating a workplace's parking management to make it more efficient and cost-effective.

Parkable reduces administration time by automating low-level tasks, which means spending less on workplace operations. For example, our platform has been shown to reduce car park administration time by up to 93%. We're able to do this by automatically resolving parking issues, simplifying the management of multiple locations and groups for the same workplace, providing real-time occupancy tracking, generating comprehensive usage reports, integrating with access control and other hardware, and reporting usage so you can reduce your Fringe Benefits Tax.

At the same time, Parkable tech is all about utilizing the parking space to get the most out of that real estate investment.

Did you know that the average commercial parking garage or lot is 20-35% empty at any given time?

Our parking management system lets workplace, building, and facilities managers see which spots are in use, and it facilitates spot sharing to give more people access to parking when it's available. By using Parkable to optimize use of its HQ car parks, BNZ could stop leasing a second car park in Auckland CBD with significant annual savings

In that same vein, using Parkable makes employees' commutes easier because they don't have to stress about finding parking once they arrive at work. An easier commute could translate into more people coming into the office rather than working from home at every given opportunity. So, office resource investments would also be put to better use.

Tech can aid in cost recovery

Apart from helping to cut the cost of running a workplace, contemporary technology is a great tool for recouping what you spend on making the workplace attractive, adaptable, and constructive.

As explained by the 2020 McKinsey report "The recovery will be digital," when technology has been embraced both within and outside of an organization, there's the universal opportunity "to accelerate your pace of learning about, and adoption of, technologies with which your organisation might have only begun to experiment." The more an organisation experiments, the more its personnel can truly learn. Plus, by switching to more current technology, an organisation will be able to see where their old tech hadn't really performed. So, you can then estimate how well your technology will perform in the future.

Fortunately, the property sphere has "adopted new technologies at an accelerated pace because of the pandemic. That laid the foundation for more firms putting additional trust in these products to help them during the current recessionary period." With that in mind, finding spaces that are adaptable to workplace technology shifts is becoming more and more accessible as time moves forward.

To start earning back the costs of running and managing a workspace, Parkable can again be used. This time, it can be looked at as a channel for generating revenue.

With our software, whoever manages parking can charge for it. Parkable promotes easy payments, and automatic revenue payments are sent monthly. This way, management can recoup the cost of maintaining parking space and its operating system, create a new revenue stream and even enable donations to charity donation funds. Unused parking bays or spots can be rented to other tenants, employees, or the general public. Parkable even has an option for EV parking and charging for that, as well.

Switching from free parking to paid parking may seem a little bit intimidating. After all, you want to foster a welcoming environment for workplace personnel. We actually have a great guide for making that transition and keeping everyone on the same page. We suggest that you follow these steps:

  1. Make direct contact with employees, notifying them clearly that this transition will be occurring. We advise you to send an email from a dependable source, like the office manager.
  2. Give ample notice for employees to understand the changes being made and to ask questions or voice any concerns they may have.
  3. Make sure to explain and justify why this change is moving forward. Communicating the reasoning behind this decision can make it more digestible for staff.
  4. Set expectations for how parking will look moving forward.
  5. Walk your staff through the process of paying for parking through the Parkable app. Make the transition as easy as possible by eliminating any confusion on how employees will actually be charged for parking.
  6. Provide a specific avenue for questions and feedback from employees regarding this change.

One of Parkable’s clients, Sarah Kane from the National Restaurant Association, also explained how important customer service is in these transitions, as well. She said, "No matter how good a technology solution is, it's worthless if you are not able to understand or use it. Our Customer Success Manager (CSM) walked us through every step of the implementation process and made herself available to promptly respond to any question, concern, or request we had – and she continues to do so to this day."

When it comes to taxes, Parkable's system can be used to offset the levy tax. More specifically, only pay taxes for the car parks that are actually being used!

As the world's economy shifts, technology adoption may seem even more overwhelming. But, really, successful tech adoption relies on a successful change management process. From adopting a change champion to reinforcing positive behavior – you can follow our suggestions for easing change management to get the ball rolling on these adjustments without added stress and confusion here.

Solve your parking problems

If you have workplace parking spots and want to...

  • Increase revenue
  • Improve employee parking experiences
  • Reduce car park admin
  • Make better use of your space
  • Align your parking with a flexible working culture
  • Implement hardware solutions