We built Uber for Business almost three years ago to help businesses manage employee travel, but it didn’t take long before we realized the billing, reporting, and management platform we had created could be used to solve a variety of problems for different types of organizations that need to use Uber at scale. The quickly changing real estate market is no exception because with Uber, properties become more accessible (and therefore desirable), tenants benefit from increased flexibility, and developers can create space efficient buildings.
This week, Uber for Business is at RealComm 2017 exploring the intersection of technology and real estate. We’ve caught up with some of the biggest building developers in the U.S. to talk about how we can work together to improve tenant transportation as cities evolve, trends change and new technologies come to market.
Take parking, for example, which has long been an issue for property owners and developers – it’s expensive and space consuming in cities, and in suburbs, the idea of a free parking spot at work and home has become table stakes. With all that in mind, residential communities like Parkmerced in San Francisco started a “car-free living” initiative by subsidizing Uber rides and public transportation. Parkmerced was able to increase occupancy within the community by 10%, without adding any additional parking space leases. When we saw this happen, we realized they were on to something.
Here’s why the real estate industry today is partnering with Uber:
- To save space and money on parking: One in ten people no longer purchase a car because of new alternatives, including services like Uber. For many of the companies we talked to, this makes it hard to justify the $35,000 that it costs to build each parking space provided (on average). Developers and landlords partner with Uber for Business to provide rides to residents, saving money on costly parking structures that sometimes take up more space than the building itself.
- To increase desirability of properties: Space in cities is getting more competitive – not only for residential, but also for commercial and corporate real estate. If a building isn’t located in a city center or conveniently near public transit, it can be difficult to attract people to it – whether it’s for work, shopping or living. You can make real estate outside of cities more desirable with Uber by providing a direct and seamless connection between your building and public transit.
- To connect tenants to where they need to go: Uber provides a “last-mile” solution that complements public transit. In fact, this works so well that one in five Uber rides starts by a public transit station. By working with Uber for Business, the real estate industry can provide an attractive solution for transportation to buildings that may have previously been considered inconvenient by tenants.
Some of the leaders in the industry are already making huge strides toward a world with less parking, and more efficiency – here’s what they had to say:
“As one of the larger multifamily developers in the US, we’re working with Uber for Business to offer our residents alternative methods of transportation to meet their day-to-day needs. At The Wolff Company, we envision a future where there’s less space allocated to parking and more space for things that improve the community our residents live in. Uber can help us achieve this goal.”
– Keith Dodds, Vice President of Asset Management at The Wolff Company
“Uber for Business gives us a seamless way to connect our customers with where they need to go, making our business park even more accessible and convenient. Using the robust features available in the platform, we’ve developed a ‘last mile’ program that provides transportation to public transit stops and also offer lunchtime rides to local restaurants, shops, and other local amenities. Customers love it and so do we!”
– Christopher Auth, Divisional Vice President (Washington Metro), PS Business Parks
“As most people know, New Yorkers rely heavily on public transportation to get around everyday. With an upcoming disruption in service for the subway connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan, we explored creative and innovative solutions so that our tenants daily lives are not impacted. Uber for Business can help us provide reliable, safe transportation for our resident’s daily commute, shopping or social activities.”
– Michael Spampinato, Director, Heatherwood Luxury Rentals
Uber for Business is a billing, management and reporting platform used by 65,000 organizations across the globe to cost effectively and efficiently manage transportation programs.
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