Netintegrity Blog

Property Management Considerations for the New Age of Transportation: Part 1

By Sandra Zimmerman

Property Management Considerations for the New Age of Transportation 1It’s clear that the landscape of personal transportation is rapidly evolving in most major urban centers from coast to coast. This is largely driven by the Millennial generation, who place less importance on car ownership and are looking for ways to be both fiscally and environmentally responsible — which includes turning to such transportation alternatives as:

1. Electric and Autonomous Vehicles
2. Bicycles & Scooters
3. Car & Bike Sharing Services
4. Walking & Public Transit


Notice that in the first sentence we used the phrase “rapidly evolving”. This means that many condo communities and other multifamily residences have not yet caught up to this emerging trend and therefore may not be effectively addressing the needs of their residents. Here are some of the obstacles they face and various ways that they can get on track to better serving their customers.

Get your free copy of The Property Manager's Guide to Proactive Management — And make the time necessary to plan for an extraordinary future.

Electric and Autonomous Vehicles

I think it would be difficult for anyone to deny that electric vehicles are not only good for the environment but also a necessary step towards reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. However their integration into condominium and multifamily rental communities is experiencing a vicious circle of sorts, as residents are not buying electric vehicles due to lack of charging stations at their buildings, and boards are not installing charging stations because they benefit too few residents.

The tide is likely to soon turn on this however, as electric vehicles become even more affordable and more mainstream and as autonomous vehicles (which also run on electricity) begin to infiltrate urban markets. While more and more developers are incorporating electric vehicle charging stations into new buildings, retrofitting these into existing infrastructures can be more challenging and costly. The issue becomes — “who will pay for the installation and infrastructure upgrades and well as the additional electricity used?” — as they will only benefit a handful of residents at this point in time.

Pay per use solutions can track and bill individual users, adding a surcharge that will pay for the installation of the unit over time. And if they aren’t doing so already, many municipal governments will be offering rebates to offset the cost of installation. Changes to parking allocations also need to be considered, as vehicle charging stations would need to be located in close proximity to the utility room.

Although boards may be reluctant to deal with these issues, in the very near future they will need to be addressed, as the absence of vehicle charging stations will begin to have a negative impact on vacancy rates. In the meantime, taking a proactive approach and finding a way to provide this soon-to-be-essential amenity now, can earn points towards LEED certification and also be used as an effective marketing tool for communities that wish to position themselves as leaders.

Stayed tuned for next week, when we will cover property management considerations for the remaining modes of transportation in urban environments: Bicycles & Scooters, Car & Bike Sharing Services, Walking & Public Transit.

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Get your free copy of The Property Manager's Guide to Proactive Management — And make the time necessary to plan for an extraordinary future.


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