Property Flash


Joshua Raphael, founder of Parket

You can now live in a world where the cumbersome chore of finding and paying for parking becomes a seamless, effortless part of your day, thanks to the ingenuity of a visionary founder and his team of elite software engineers.

Over the past five years, entrepreneur Joshua Raphael has led a team that has meticulously developed an advanced, adaptive parking software solution called PARKET that not only alleviates the hassle of parking but also turns it into a lucrative process for property owners, without burdening patrons with the dread of a grudge purchase. Raphael has been supported by Liora Raff in marketing Parket. Raff has years of experience in brokering, research, planning and consulting across SA’s real estate industry.

Parking is a tedious, annoying, and inefficient task that millions of people must do daily but if implemented with technology, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, Proptech, is a great example of a technology that will radically improve our built environment.

Parking payment, access and management systems have been lagging for decades. Typically, at a mall, a shopper pushes a button to get a ticket, drives through a boom and then looks for a parking space. Later when the shopper wants to leave the mall, they must queue at a pay station and put their ticket in the machine. It could be a pain trying to find your ticket after a day at the mall or a night out. You may have put it in your car for safekeeping. Losing a ticket results in paying a fee which is often far higher than you would have paid for a few hours of parking. If the pay station doesn’t work, you must find a ticketing office hidden away in the lot or a parking guard at the entrance might let you escape without paying which means the landlord loses out. It’s not ideal that old technology has so many pain points. 

This has prompted people to develop tech which makes parking convenient and safe. The key now is for landlords and customers to choose the best parking application. While other solutions have entered the market, few offer the functionality of Parket. Many other solutions would focus on access control or short-term or long-term parking solutions. Customers deserve an offering which does it all.

Parket is an easy-to-use turnkey ticketless, cashless, high-volume and fast-flow parking solution which can be integrated into existing access control systems.

Its highly-skilled and talented team has created software which is reliable, and which not only makes parking convenient but also enables landlords to rent out unused parking spaces at their office buildings.

Back in 2019, work began on Parket. Four engineers helped to build and perfect the technology. Today, Raphael is CEO of Parket while Raff is Head of Marketing and Business Development. The two appreciate that Proptech exists to make operational processes for landlords, customers, and other parties in the value chain: efficient, fast, and cost-effective.

Parket’s progress has been impressive over a short period of time, with the group signing up an assortment of clients, recently partnering with one of Gauteng’s top blue chip retail centres: Melrose Arch.

Parket’s offering includes software and digital access control. It uses the latest in technology using a license plate reader and a QR code system. A customer drives in and their license plate is read to give them access. The machine gate then lifts. When they leave their plate is read again and they may exit.

The product is built on three cores. There is the in-house built license plate reader access, cloud-based management software using dashboards which integrates directly with the access control and a user app designed for both retail and commercial application. 

Because seamless communication between the parking lots and managers takes place, an up-to-date directory of parking spaces is created. Then users of the app can then find the nearest parking spaces.

Parket is using digital Proptech technology to achieve efficiency, speed, and cost effectiveness for landlords and end users, using spaces.

Benefits for retail centres

Parket provides immense value for retail centres with a turnkey cashless ticketless solution for access, payments, and management for a landlord’s parking lot. It brings down long-term costs and drastically improves convenience for shoppers. The management software makes managing tenants easy and is accompanied by accurate reporting and useful analytics. The efficiency is tangible which is why clients are choosing to stay with Parket long-term.

Growing Success

The software is cloud-based . It takes around three weeks to install the hardware. It is adaptable and fits with any content management system (CMS), working as a parking plugin.

Parket has tens of thousands of users in Cape Town where it initially launched. The recent expansion into Johannesburg will boost its user base exponentially. Melrose Arch has tens of thousands of visitors alone. It includes one of the highest rented office precincts in South Africa as well as prime retail and high-end apartment living.

Raff explains that office owners can use Parket to eliminate lost revenue because of latent bays. Everyday motorists waste time and fuel driving around looking for parking while buildings have vacant bays that they could use. 

“Many landlords own large, secured offices. As people work remotely on certain days, it makes sense for landlords to earn money from latent bays. So, for example, a person might want to store a second vehicle in a bay. They can join Parket and then pay a tailored fee for the storage period. Their plate is read as they arrive and leave,” she explains.

Melrose Arch – Birnam, Johannesburg

Benefits of Parket for the commercial sector – offices, hotels, residential estates

Parket was designed around pain points. Once Parket is installed at an office, the owner gains access to tools such as bay pooling for tenants (with employees being able to view occupancy in real-time in the app) and under one second boom access. Tenants manage their parking with their own dashboard including paying for visitors and validation, and as said, monetising vacant parking to the public.

The analytics available enable owners to make educated decisions about how their parking is used.

Parket’s list of clients includes Boxwood Property Fund, Growthpoint Properties, Rabie, Emira Property Fund, RPA Property Administrators, Ingenuity Property Investments and more.

Tenants can also invite and pay for visitors via their dashboard. This creates more convenience and more revenue for their businesses.

Anybody can sign up and start using Parket on the fly at retail centres. While Parket users get cashless ticketless public parking, non-Parket users who don’t want to download the app, can pay for their license plates using ticketless payment flow via scanning the QR code pay signs. They can also receive the QR access code via text or instant messaging for ease of access. Parket accepts SnapScan, Zapper, Visa, MasterCard, and other cashless payment methods.

In terms of safety and security, the Parket technology has extensive tools. For example, it can turn off the plate reader’s ability to sense specific plates which are flagged. If you think your car is stolen, you can quickly stop its access. Parket is also integrated with security companies who flag certain license plates so these people can be stopped from entering malls and offices using the tech.

Parket shows that there is value in Proptech when it is well-designed and managed. It can add value to landlords’ lives. Parket uses Internet of Things (IoT) technology at its best.  It makes processes efficient, fast and is cost-effective in nature.

“We are able to provide intelligent, seamless real-time commercial information about parking lots, which are, ultimately, assets. Many owners of these assets have not realised the potential returns they can provide in past years, but Parket is here to change that,” says Raff. 

This is a paid for editorial for Parket. 

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