Real Estate Journal — Owners, Developers & Managers — October 26 - November 8, 2018 — 19B


M id A tlantic

O wners , D evelopers & M anagers By William Rhodin, Walker Consultants My building’s parking operator contract term is up soon!


roperty managers are very busy people. With tenant vacancies to be

third-party parking consultant to coordinate this process. The consultant prepares the RFP draft, works with ownership to establish key milestones (response due dates, onsite pre-proposal meetings, ques- tion and answer timelines, etc.) and quarterbacks the entire process. A parking RFP package should include a draft management agreement or lease document, allowing the proposing operator to evaluate potential contract terms. An “RFP Forms” Excel template can be provided for the opera- tor to complete, ensuring that all respondents propose based on the same expense line-items

and key categories, such as management fees, payroll and liability insurance. An evalu- ation matrix is provided to let the operator know what the key rating factors will be, examples being price, qualifications, ref- erences, management plan, pro- posed on-site manager and local or regional support. This gives the operator the opportunity to structure a proposal consistent with the owner’s expectations. The consultant can provide property ownership with an unvarnished list of parking operators who exhibit a level of quality, experience and capability consistent with the owner’s expectations. RFPs

can be sent directly to those operators, weeding out compa- nies that may lack ownership’s required qualities. RFPs may also be posted publicly, espe- cially municipal or other gov- ernment proposals, in which case the initial screening pro- cess waits until responses are received and reviewed. Ultimately, the RFP pack- age is issued, and the clock starts ticking. Onsite operator walk-throughs occur, ques- tions are answered, and opera- tor proposals arrive, just in the nick of time! The next step is to dig into the responses and see howeach proposal stacks up against the

other. The consultant com- pares the operators’ financial offers, checks references, and prepares a summary docu- ment, detailing salient pro- posal points. A “short list” is then developed, and operators who make the cut are brought in for in-person interviews. With comparisons complete, interviews concluded, and pro- posals leveled and evaluated, ownership is ready to move forward with a new operating agreement, confident in the results of a well-informed and well-executed RFP process. Will Rhodin is a senior consultant with Walker Consultants. 

filled, main- tenance re- quests to be s a t i s f i e d , and myriad other tasks in managing an office, re- tail, mixed- use, residen-

William Rhodin

tial, medical center or special events complex, the park- ing facility may play “second fiddle” to other building pri- orities, even when the current operating term is coming to an end. The parking management company seems to be doing a good job. Why not just sign a renewal agreement, and get on to putting out that inevitable next fire? Wouldn’t that be the best use of the property manager’s time? You might want to think twice about jumping right into signing that one-page “same terms and conditions” renewal parking management agree- ment. The approaching end of a management or lease term is a great time to step back and make sure that ownership is achieving its goals for the parking facility, from financial results to service, image and safety. How does ownership know if the operator is really doing the best job possible, especially if the operation has been on “cruise control”? The best way to answer this important question is to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP), laying a framework for qualified operators to present their best case as to why their firm is best to meet or exceed ownership’s needs. An RFP process establishes an even playing field on which operators compete for the property owners’ business. Ownership’s priorities are de- tailed in the RFP, addressing key matters such as: • Agreement Structure (man- agement, lease, concession, hybrid.) • Quality of Service Expectations. • Operating Plan. • Innovation and Technology. • Management Fee and Oper- ating Costs. • Revenue Generation Ideas. • Marketing Plans. • Disadvantaged Business

Entity Programs. • Sustainability. • Capital investment.

• Base Rent and Percent Rent. Property owners often hire a

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