Car Parks are like LIFTS

Phil Rockliff, Head of Asset Management at Fortius said it best, “Car parks are like lifts, for both you need to use an expert.”

What does he mean by this? Firstly, lifts are an essential building services. Taken for granted until they cause chaos when not working. What’s more, you wouldn’t try to fix a lift yourself if there was a problem. 

Car parks generate a great deal more revenue than lifts but just as being stuck in a lift is extremely frustrating, being trapped in a car park makes for a terrible customer experience. 

I recently heard an example when the Centre Manager was showing a potential new large leasing tenant around a shopping centre. On exit they were stuck in the car park for over 30 minutes along with another 50 customers. 

That is 50 customers who will vote with their feet and not return to that centre and unlikely the new tenant will chose this centre to lease space. If this happens daily, the impact on profits can be devastating for the whole community, other retailers, customers, empty shops. .  

The same way you would call a repairman to fix your lifts, you need the help of an independent parking expert for your car park. 


Car parks are essential building services.

The car park is often the first and last experience by your customer for a retail or commercial asset. 

No matter how much they enjoy the shops or facilities, if parking is an issue, customers think twice about coming back. 

Major REITS like Dexus, AMP, Lend Lease, ISPT and GPT all understand the importance of customer experience. 

However by leasing the parking asset to an Operator they are potentially impacting their ability and control over a major part of the customer journey and experience. 

To overcome a less-than-ideal car park experience, the solution is to align the Operator contract, regardless if leased or managed car park, with the values of the Owner. 

For example, Dexus’s website states they have 3 customer promises. 

1) Listen, Understand and respond to customer needs 

2) Make things simple and easy 

3) innovate to enrich customer experience. 

For the asset to live these promises they should be embedded into the Operator contract with consequences. 

Prior to entering into an agreement, focus on how all parties will work together to result in a win for customers as well as operators and owners. This way, everyone experiences better outcomes.

Generally, Owners only have one chance every five years to get a Parking Asset contract right so that returns are maximised. 

Make sure you use a carpark expert, contact Parking Asset Advisory. 

Parking industry crossroads: Where to from here?


Review your carpark revenue for growth

It is common for people to feel fear at the prospect of an audit or financial review but the outcome can actually be in your favour. An audit/financial review performed by an industry professional can reveal several areas where your facility is needlessly losing money. Audits/financial reviews should be conducted at least annually and include processes, controls, reconciliations as well as ‘just the numbers’. Your condition report should also be reviewed annually to avoid costly disputes at the end of a lease.

It makes sense to know what an industry expert thinks can be improved for your parking asset. For example, by checking reconciliations and programming errors, you could uncover areas where revenue is falling through the cracks.  Don’t leave the financial review process until it is too late. Car Parks sell air so important to get on top of any potential leaks asap or it may be too late to recover. Instead, enlist the help of a seasoned professional who can conduct a thorough review and show you exactly which areas can be improved for more profits. 


Common money mistakes made by carpark asset owners

With car park assets being such complicated facilities to run, it is easy for money to slip through the cracks. 

Having been an industry CFO for over 15 years, I’ve seen all the mistakes listed below too many times: 

Cash shortage: Owners fail to include in the operator contract which party will absorb loss if there is a discrepancy between the revenue reported and actually collected. 

Bad debts: If the operator is not on top of debtors and taking action to block unpaid accounts very quickly, you will be out of pocket.  Missed parking levy payments: These payments are a joint responsibility so car park owners should receive quarterly confirmation of payment.  Faulty equipment: I remember a case equipment was wrongly programmed and customers were given an extra 20 minutes grace time instead of 2 minutes each hour. Revenue jumped by over $50,000 per month as soon as the error was corrected.  

Bank guarantee: Bank guarantees only cover three months rent and this can pass very quickly if rent is in arrears. When Premier Parking went broke, many Owners were owed more than 6 months rent.  

Are you making any of these money mistakes? Often, they are simple to fix and can make overnight changes to profits.


How user-friendly is your carpark?

“I won’t got there, the parking is always a nightmare!”

How often have you heard people refusing to visit a shopping centre or other destination because they had a bad experience? 

Now… do you know how many people say that with your car park in mind? 

Without customers, all you have is a concrete building. Your customer’s journey needs to be mapped and considered, and their entire experience taken into account. 

Consider how customers access your car park, how clean they find it, how safe it feels and how the equipment works. The ability to pay easily, navigate through the levels with ease and exit smoothly are also factors to investigate improving. 

Keep in mind: dropping the cost of parking may not always be a solution to improve customer experience. Sure, you’re still collecting rent but if the operator has to make cuts to upkeep and service, user numbers may drop. This will impact their revenue, meaning rent will decrease at the next lease renewal. 

Create an environment customers never consciously avoid and maximise profits by contacting an experienced consultant in parking facility ownership and management. 


Who can you trust?

I recently witnessed an operator take over a car park because they knew the fund manager. It seemed like an easy win to hand over the contract instead of going through the tender process.  

However, this operator had another car park next door, which didn’t require revenue sharing.  

Guess what happened?  

Yep… the operator moved customers to the next door car park to make more $$$ for themselves.  

Not only are car park operators not all the same, the decision of who to trust with your valuable asset should not be taken lightly.   

When deciding on an operator, you must consider: 

 🚗Strengths and weaknesses 

🚗Marketing plans 

🚗Reporting methods 

🚗Operational expectations 

🚗Equipment specialisations 

🚗Other locations owned 

🚗Outstanding debts 

🚗Potential conflicts of interest 

🚗Revenue mapping 

🚗Bank guarantees 

🚗Customer experience  

🚗Competitor analysis  

If it seems like a lot, it’s because it is. And this is why you need professional support.  Like many people I ‘fell’ into the car park business. Fourteen years later, I’m across all the details of this complex industry.  As CEO of Parking Assets Advisory, I’m here to help you find the right operator. Together, we’ll make sure everybody wins. 


What threats does your carpark asset face?

Parking is complicated and times are changing. 

When you consider that basic economics involve supply and demand, the evolving landscape of demands needs close attention.

  • Consider how new platforms like Uber and other ride sharing services already influence the way people travel and commute. 
  • How will Uber Air test flights in 2020 in Melbourne impact parking? 
  • Changes in car ownership figures and increasingly user-friendly public transport options will serve to reduce the number of vehicles on our roads. 
  • 28 different websites that allow people to share their car spaces on a short term lease, AirBnb style
  • the rising cost of parking means some businesses no longer offer it as a perk for their staff
  • Work from home trend means less visitors and employers driving to the office 
  • Very soon, electric vehicle drivers seeking places to charge their cars while they are parked will be the norm. 
  • Self-driving cars are already here. Tesla now have a car on the market which parks itself inside the car park, while not imminent, they may not need to park during the day at all. 

Future-proofing your business needs to start now. 

Get to know what your customers want. Treat your car park as part of a community and understand your friends and competitors. Find ways to maximise revenue so you can be prepared for what’s coming next, and be ahead of the curve when it comes to customer demand for new technology.  


7 major frustrations for parking asset owners

Having spent over 15 years in the parking industry, many of them as a CFO, I’ve realised that most Car Park Owners face similar problems. 

Do any of these sound familiar to you? 

  1. Ensuring customers get a great first impression and have a positive experience so they keep coming back
  2. Unsure if your Operator is capturing and reporting all the revenue as no independent review 
  3. Rent decreasing on renewal
  4. Only marketing by Operator is just a page on their website so not driving revenue
  5. Operator emptying car park at the end of lease 
  6. No time to nail your lease management agreement so every box is ticked
  7. No time to plan for what’s coming in the rapidly changing future

Are you nodding your head about all or any of the above? 

The good thing about having these problems is that they are often easily solved with the help of an experienced consultant who can bring an outside perspective and deliver a win/win/win (that’s a win for customers, a win for operators and a win for YOU). 

Want to have all these issues off your plate so you can benefit from a profitable asset? Contact Parking Asset Advisory. 

living is giving


At Parking Asset Advisory, we believe in paying it forward. This business was founded to help others SHINE. 

Our ‘Parking Policies’ are:

  • Be Authentic
  • Create a WIN | WIN | WIN | WIN scenario
  • Honest
  • Giving is Living
  • Confidential
  • Respect operator and customers
  • Openly share information
  • Resourceful
  • Allocate 15% of revenue to R&D, training and development
  • Meet deadline: Do what you say
  • No Dickheads
  • Run Lean

When it comes to creating a WIN | WIN | WIN | WIN scenario, this refers to making sure every asset owner, car park operator and paying customer is satisfied. The final WIN refers to our team… because we’re not happy unless everybody else is! 

PAA understands no two car parks are the same and aim to maximise the return of every asset. To do this, we take care of contracts, help source the most reliable operators and create strategies to maximise the value of your car park asset. 

Get in touch for excellent professional guidance and a no-nonsense approach to getting the best results possible. 

Share the big news

Display their FAQs

Customers have questions, you have answers. Display the most frequently asked questions, so everybody benefits.

Who can you trust


I recently witnessed an operator take over a car park because they knew the fund manager. It seemed like an easy win to hand over the contract instead of going through the tender process. 

However, this operator had another car park next door, which didn’t require revenue sharing. Guess what happened? 

Yep… the operator moved customers to the next door car park to make more $$$ for themselves. Not only are car park operators not all the same, the decision of who to trust with your valuable asset should not be taken lightly. 

When deciding on an operator, you must consider: 

  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Marketing plans
  • Reporting methods
  • Operational expectations
  • Equipment specialisations
  • Other locations owned
  • Outstanding debts
  • Potential conflicts of interest
  • Revenue mapping
  • Bank guarantees
  • Customer experience 
  • Competitor analysis

If it seems like a lot, it’s because it is. And this is why you need professional support. Like many people I ‘fell’ into the car park business. 

Fourteen years later, I’m across all the details of this complex industry. As CEO of Parking Assets Advisory, I’m here to help you find the right operator. Together, we’ll make sure everybody wins. 


Who owns your customers?

Consider this: you tell your current operator you won’t be renewing their contract when it expires at the end of the month. Frustrated and panicking, they contact every permanent parker to move them to a site they operate nearby, offering a discount so they can keep the revenue. 

Thanks to online bookings, they also have the emails of many of your casual customers and know their price point. Those customers will be targeted with an email recommending they park elsewhere.  

Your next operator shows up to an empty car park. They have to build customers from scratch, meaning they request a rent-free period. 

Without a clause specifying the sharing of customer information and how the operator should exit their role, you’re at risk of a dispute when your lease ends. Even if the operator doesn’t agree to sharing customer information, at least you can plan ahead when the lease is due to expire. 

The above is only one element of a car park asset lease which can cause frustration and financial loss. There are so many more things to consider. 

You must have the help of a knowledgeable professional so you can tick every box. 

Contact Parking Asset Advisory to find out more. 


Car parks: Creating win/win/win

A quick story:  

A council and their consultant tried to lock a car park asset operator into paying unrealistic rent. This ended up in court.  

The council initially won the $7m lawsuit but had to pay it back, with interest, on appeal. In the end, only the lawyers won.  The problem? Nobody tried to create a win/win/win situation from the start.   

By this I mean a win for the owner, a win for the operator and a win for customers.   

You see, if the operator is pressured into paying too much rent, neither the asset nor the customer will be looked after. As a result, the asset drops in value.   

Who loses then?  

Good car park asset management is a team game. Everybody needs to work together to achieve a common goal.   At Parking Asset Advisory we use our CARS methodology when working with clients. 

This means examining Contracts, doing Analysis, conducting regular Reviews and working on Strategy. By doing so, we cover the five C’s of parking:   

Confidence your asset is maximised 

Compliance with regulations 

Continual review 

Clarity of communication 

Care for your asset  

Create a win/win/win. 

Call Parking Asset Advisory on 0414 018 785 to maximise your asset return.


Who’s in charge here?

The car park is a critical part of your building’s infrastructure. Similar to lifts, if it is not working, your tenants and their visitors will be annoyed and leave your property with no plans to return. 

I’ve worked in the car park industry for 14 years, mostly as a CFO. I remember one case where a car park’s garage door was continually broken. The tenant was so tired of asking for it to be fixed that they moved offices. 

The operator didn’t feel responsible for fixing the door. Neither did the owner. In the end, both suffered due to the loss of a major tenant.  

This is an example of poor groundwork. Without a clear lease agreement in place, a car park asset is at risk of not being maintained properly. This leads to unhappy customers, disgruntled operators and owners losing money.

Instead of win/win/win, it’s lose/lose/lose!  

Parking Asset Advisory works to create a win/win/win situation with your operator starting with a detailed lease agreement, proven quarterly review checklist and openly communicates with operators to avoid disputes. This ensures your asset is maintained and everyone benefits with your car park increasing ROI and value from proactive management.


Set and forget? Not for car parks

When you sign a building tenant, lease is documented, signed and filed, it’s a set and forget situation. For car parks situated in these buildings, golden rule: never set and forget.

When you sign a building tenant, lease is documented, signed and filed, it’s a set and forget situation. For car parks situated in these buildings, golden rule: never set and forget.

As a professional who has spent over 14 years in the car park asset industry, majority as CFO, quarterly, in-depth car park reviews are crucial. 

At a minimum review the following:  

▪️ Operational and lease compliance  

▪️ Financial compliance (including rent payments, overage and debtor reviews) 

▪️ Your car park marketing  

▪️ Competitor pricing 

▪️ Customer experience 

▪️ OHS  

▪️ KPIs 

If you set and forget, small issues go unnoticed and escalate. Before you know it, you have financial problems, declining revenue, run down asset, increased risks and potentially even legal issues on your hands. 

Keep your asset profitable. Rely on an experienced professional to support your quarterly review process. Contact Parking Asset Advisory today.


Parking is far from simple

How hard can running a car park be? Cars go in, cars come out, drivers pay their money. Surprisingly to most, car parks are actually very complicated businesses.

Firstly, car parks are very dynamic, never set and forget. A car park is a means to an end, not a destination, so the community of interest is the key revenue driver. Every car park must be continually monitored. 

Then there’s supply vs demand. Put the prices up and demand falls. Drop them and it rises. The trick is figuring out the balance point and optimising profits while maximising value from your community of interest. 

Thirdly, car park is unique the blanket approach with one operator does not maximise the parking asset. Every operator has different strengths and weaknesses. Two adjacent car parks will have different marketing and operational requirements. How do you know who is right to operate your multi-million dollar asset?

The industry is also facing many challenges of changing technology. With remote work, self-driving and electric cars, what will parking requirements be in 2029?

It’s a minefield. 

To ensure your asset brings value today and tomorrow, get support from the experts at Parking Asset Advisory.


Is your car park losing money?

Some car park asset owners think that because they are receiving steady rental cheques from their operator, there’s nothing to worry about.  This is far from the case. 

For example, if a car park is losing revenue, the operator may take short cuts such as reducing the cleaning spec. They’re still paying rent but the value and appeal of the premises are dropping hence customers disappearing. 

Alternatively, an operator may not maintain equipment. At the end of the lease, this will be returned to the asset owner in poor condition. That means lost $$$. As an asset owner, it’s imperative you are vigilant about your car park’s condition and revenue. Any drop in cash flow could mean there’s a larger issue. By staying on top of things, you’ll prevent small issues from becoming big ones. 

As CFO of Australia’s largest Operator, I centralised our finance team and grew it from 148 car parks to 580 without needing to hire more staff. To keep on track, I created systems, processes and checks to remain constantly vigilant.  Go with your gut and investigate as soon as something doesn’t feel right.  

The right advisor will help you manage proactively. Contact Parking Asset Advisory.


Why your car park asset needs an expert lease negotiator

Would you use a parking expert to understand, negotiate or monitor a lease for a building?  

Probably not.

So why use a property expert to understand, negotiate or monitor your car park lease?

Over 14 years working for a parking operator at CFO level, I have read over 2,000 car park leases. The finer points of every document were different because every car park and every owner has unique aspects to consider. 

When negotiating a car park lease, there is so much to cover. You need to discuss who owns the customers and how to define ‘revenue’.  

There should be clauses about equipment compliance, bank guarantees and end of lease requirements, just to name a few. 

Here’s a case in point:  An initial lease provided to an operator had 78 pages. The final lease signed was 50 pages. Several clauses were removed by the operator. The property manager and lawyers agreed because they weren’t clear on the impact of the changes. As a result, the operator transferred risk back to the owner, exposing them to potential additional costs of $1 million.  

Only an expert in car park leases can prevent your asset from being at risk! 

Contact Parking Asset Advisory for more information. 


How a lack of specialist knowledge could cost you $1,250,000

At Parking Asset Advisory all too often we see asset owners think that because they are experts in property, they also know all about parking. The problem is, running a building is very different to running a car park. A car park is an essential building service; just like a lift, it is complex, unique and needs continual monitoring.

Avoid losing money 

As a result of their assumed prior knowledge, asset owners often fail to use an expert to deal with their car park operator.   In one example, a $1 million annual rent was agreed over 5 years. However, when negotiating the contract, the operator transferred risk and expenses to the Owner valued at approximately $250,000  this meant the “true” rent paid was $750,000, “true” rent paid over 5 year meant they missed out on, min $1,250,000 over the lease term. The asset’s value wasn’t maximised and the cost of this error was significant. 

At Parking Asset Advisory, we apply the CARS (Contract, Analyse, Review Continually and Strategise) method to help you avoid the most common pitfalls.  Relying on extensive industry experience, we help ensure you are not missing returns and maximise your car parking asset’s value.


How PAA brings clarity and ROI to Asset Owners

As CFO for a multi-national parking operator for many years, I learnt about the complexities of  parking from the ground up. I have reconciled Billions in revenue, reviewed over 50,000 P&L’s and read over 2,000 car park leases.  Over time, I learnt how to improve car park value and launched Parking Asset Advisory to help owners maximise their parking assets. Now there is an expert to provide guidance for the unique and complex world of parking.  Solving your common problems I can prevent and eliminate frustrations experienced when dealing with your parking asset. With my help, asset owners experience:

- Comfort knowing their valuable asset has been independently reviewed 

- Improved communication between owners and operators 

- Relief compliance and governance boxes are ticked 

- Seamless tender process with risk minimised 

- Less disputes with clearer lease and management agreements  

- A plan for tomorrow and the technology coming with it 

- Improved asset value in short and long term  

Parking Asset Advisory is focused on win/win/win situations. This means a win for the customer, for the owner and a win for operator. Call me on 0414 018 785 to maximise your asset return.