How Package Management Impacts Community Performance

With the average community receiving around 150 packages per week, a structured delivery system is instrumental in keeping your operations organized and your tenants happy.
Infographic courtesy of NMHC

Along with the Renters Preference survey that was released in partnership with Kingsley Associates, the National Multifamily Housing Council also reveal the results from its Package Delivery Report at the 2018 OpTech Conference and Exposition, hosted from Nov. 14-16 in Orlando. This report unveiled the multifamily industry’s response to the continued growth of ecommerce and how packages will impact the sector in the future. 

According to the National Retail Federation, 55 percent of holiday shoppers do so online, and UPS projects delivering nearly 800 million packages between Black Friday and New Year’s. For multifamily, the average community receives around 150 packages per week, according to the report. However, that average number increases 81 percent to around 270 packages, during the holiday season. With this influx of deliveries, more than one-third of property managers say their building’s storage solution for this is not adequate enough to handle the growing amount of packages during these high volume periods. 

“Apartment residents continually rate package delivery as very important to them. As the number of purchases made online increases every year, so does the demand on building managers,” Rick Haughey, vice president, Industry Technology Initiatives, National Multifamily Housing Council, told Multi-Housing News. “More staff time, resources and space are needed to handle all of the deliveries for residents. It’s becoming more and more apparent that apartment communities must find a solution that helps meet the needs of the residents while also helping owners improve their bottom line.”

Technology is key 

Rick Haughey, Vice President, Industry Technology Initiatives, National Multifamily Housing Council

In addition to this, packages are becoming more troublesome to store, due to residents ordering more heavy, oversized and perishable items. In order to keep up with the growing demand, property managers need to embrace the latest technology offerings in order to better deal with these situations. According to the report, 24 percent of communities still notify residents of deliveries by notices or phone calls, but 45 percent are switching to package check-in systems that alert residents by email or text when they have a delivery. 

“We are seeing that many building managers are embracing technology to assist in the delivery process,” added Haughey. “While a small percentage of buildings still put notices on residents’ doors notifying them of a package, the vast majority are now using electronic package check-in systems that alert residents by email or text when packages arrive. We are also seeing communities dedicating more space towards package storage, and installing features such as camera systems and controlled access touchscreens to keep them secure.”

According to the report, 85 percent of property manager say they offer a secure package room, with 58 percent including a camera system and 50 percent having a touchscreen, as stated by Haughey. With 68 percent of staff spending between one and four hours per week on managing packages, having a useful system will offer up free time to work on more important tasks within the office. When package lockers aren’t offered at a community, a whopping 52 percent say they keep them stacked in the management office for pickup, while 32 percent hand deliver them to the residents’ door. 

“Keeping up to date with consumer behavior can help building owners and managers stay ahead of the curve and attract new residents. Making upfront investments, such as installing package lockers or refrigerated storage areas for food delivery services like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron, can reap big rewards,” notes Haughey. 

Waste management

Although 43 percent of property managers reported that their refrigerated lockers are used daily, only 4 percent of communities actually offer them. With the vast amount of packages being delivered on the daily, it begs to question if all these packages are creating an issue for waste management. Of the total respondents, 41 percent said yes, due to the larger amounts of cardboard and packaging materials being disposed of weekly. In addition to this, if packages need to be returned, 54 percent say they are stuck accepting and returning the packages for carrier pick-up.