How to best manage parcel deliveries in apartment communities

Image by Michael Förtsch via Unsplash

Packages flood apartment communities across the country every day, and buildings are even more likely to drown in deliveries as the holiday gift chaos unfolds. So what can property managers do not only to survive the parcel deluge hitting their communities, but also to stay on top of the parcel handling process?

They must continue to evolve, according to Yolanda Gordon, senior regional manager at Chamberlin + Associates, a company that manages more than 70 communities around Arizona and which recently expanded its presence to Nevada, New Mexico, Tennessee and the United States. Texas.

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“New tenant is looking for convenience and ease of use,” said Gordon Multi-dwelling news. Online orders are at an all-time high – with no end in sight – and effective package management is one of the most time-consuming challenges property managers face today. For Chamberlin + Associates, lockers proved to be the solution when on-site teams could no longer meet the demand for parcel management.

“We are heading to parcel lockers and are charging residents a small fee for this service. What was once a courtesy is now a revenue generator, ”Gordon said. Initially, the fees collected offset the cost of installing parcel locker systems in the common areas, then they cover the administrative costs of this service.

However, this solution requires space and handling bulky items ordered by residents, such as furniture or exercise equipment, can be a problem. Another important thing to consider is that perishable goods or valuables such as technological devices require special attention, especially during peak times of the year.

The regular approach

A Fetch warehouse. Image courtesy of Fetch

How do small properties or communities that don’t have enough space handle deliveries? Some reallocate the amenity spaces into package rooms or use part of the amenity space to set up lockers. Gordon thinks it’s a good use of the space and says the owner will see his return on his investment in a year or two.

Laundry rooms or mechanical rooms can easily be converted to packaging rooms or reconfigured to create more space for overflow of packaging, according to Patrick Winters, president and director of Nadel Architecture + Planning. “It can be a great temporary fix during busy seasons such as the holidays,” he said.

Another solution is to designate an area outside of a property for lockers. It can help save limited space in the lobby.

For properties that are in the process of being designed, it is important to consider having rooms with cold storage, a amenity that will help communities stand out. Winters predicts that demand for cold rooms will continue long after the pandemic has subsided, as residents become accustomed to the convenience of these services.

The high-end approach

Anagram NoMad offers a 24 hour concierge service. Image courtesy of Anagram NoMad

At Anagram NoMad, a newly renovated 396-unit tower just steps from Madison Square Park, owned by Global Holdings Management Group, a 24-hour concierge team handles residents’ parcels.

“Packages are… recorded in our online system to alert the resident that they have a package to collect. Packages are stored in our package room and checked by a member of our team, who then updates the system to indicate that the package has been picked up by the resident, ”said Amy Gorman, Senior Community Manager for Anagram NoMad . MHN.

The concierge service is part of the hotel-type equipment set in the luxury building. Residents can also use it to book other services, such as housekeeping or groceries.

Entrust it to a third party

Direct home delivery from Fetch. Image courtesy of Fetch

To remove the burden of parcel management from on-site teams, some operators call on third-party off-site parcel delivery companies. For example, Fetch specializes in last mile logistics for apartment buildings, leveraging an extensive warehouse network in 21 markets across the United States.

By outsourcing their package management services to third-party companies, communities avoid the need for dedicated on-premise space and allow office teams to focus on revenue-driven initiatives like rentals and accommodations, which is often a major problem for communities with fewer staff, according to Jennifer Chestnut, vice president of marketing at Fetch.

“These solutions can save a significant amount of time for on-site crews, an average of 30 hours per week for a 300-unit property,” said Chestnut.

Regardless of how property managers currently manage their residents’ packages, they should know that 2022 is set to be the first trillion dollar year for e-commerce, according to the latest Adobe Digital Economy Index. This means that managing deliveries will continue to be a top concern for property managers.

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