by Michael Patton
Apartment managers had all been through the holiday package crush before, but they had never navigated a holiday shopping season compounded by COVID-19. Even before Black Friday, e-commerce trends in 2020, fueled by health concerns over in-person shopping, had established package volume levels that surpassed the holiday season from 2019.
Multifamily communities were already struggling to manage resident package volume, which made the 2020 holiday shopping season a truly eye-opening experience. Package deliveries inundated apartment communities like never before, exacerbating an already untenable situation. Leasing offices struggled to keep pace, only to be left with the blame for the delayed or lost holiday shipments, and strained resident relationships.
As we move into 2021, the baseline delivery volume is projected to remain 30% higher, rendering traditional package management infrastructure ineffective. A solution with the ability to scale alongside the increasing number of deliveries is a requirement moving forward in the multifamily space.
Package Storage Overflowing, Overworking On-site Teams
Apartment communities that planned to lean on their package rooms or package lockers to accommodate pandemic-level package volume have already experienced the shortcomings of those package management systems.
Those amenities were installed with the intention to relieve on-site teams of package management responsibilities. In reality, those on-site package facilities are overflowing and have been for most of the year, forcing short-staffed leasing offices to resume package management duties.
Package rooms and package lockers weren’t designed to handle the current package flow that is funneling into multifamily properties, and once their storage capacity is surpassed, couriers stop using them anyway. The resulting mess becomes the problem of leasing teams, and the task of sorting deliveries, notifying residents of package arrivals and facilitating pick-ups is endless.
Resident Satisfaction Depends on Package Security
With package rooms and lockers overflowing, tracking and securing packages becomes nearly impossible. Delivery companies end up leaving packages in lobbies, outside package rooms or stacked in front of lockers, and inevitably, packages get lost or end up in the wrong hands.
Unfortunately, it only takes one such incident to sour a resident experience.
Renters expect reliable package management services from their apartment communities, regardless of package volume, and a lost package can become a reason not to renew.
Package management is an essential component of overall renter experience, and it can dictate a resident’s perspective about their community. That’s why many management companies are turning to a third-party, off-site package solution.
Outsourcing Package Management Reduces Risk
Even if an apartment community had enough available space within the property to adequately manage incoming packages, the staffing costs and profitless square footage allocation make it a losing proposition from a ROI standpoint.
However, by outsourcing package management to a vendor with off-site storage facilities and the ability to deliver directly to residents, operators remove liability by removing themselves from the equation.. Third-party package services work directly with residents, giving them the ability to select delivery days and times, and eliminating the unnecessary exposure that can potentially lead to package theft.
Package rooms and locker space can be repurposed into revenue-generating amenities, or even converted into an additional apartment. And without the chaos created by those amenities, on-site associates can return their attention to generating leases and providing next-level customer service.
By removing package responsibilities from their teams, property managers can turn package services into a plus from a resident standpoint, rather than a liability.
Categories: Package Management