The pandemic has changed the landscape of Multifamily business operations at a speed which had not been previously seen. Before the pandemic, several of the largest Owner, Developer, and Management companies were hesitant to implement PropTech at their properties due to either cost or hesitation with vendor selection. As we exit the pandemic, the trend of implementing new PropTech at properties continues at a faster pace than pre-pandemic era.
However, according to the latest edition of the 20 for 20 report released by D2 Demand Solutions, “As the industry exits the pandemic, staff shortages are ubiquitous. Associates and candidates have more leverage than before, and leaders are struggling to fill vacant roles.” As a result, site teams are now burdened with more work as they try to expand their staff back to pre-pandemic levels. This new dynamic is pushing PropTech implementation toward technologies, such as Package Delivery alternatives, that help to provide residents with convenience and reduce unnecessary work for the site teams.
Increase Efficiency and Convenience
Package Delivery alternatives pre-date the pandemic, but they are becoming more of a necessity for multifamily communities than they were prior to 2020. Residents are ordering more items online due to convenience, the number of packages that are being delivered to a property has increased exponentially, and site teams that manage package deliveries in the office are easily overwhelmed.
Package lockers are an easy solution to fix a problem that doesn’t need to exist. Most lockers can be installed in an existing mailroom or secure common area, require only a power source and internet connection to function, and are available in different sizes to accommodate diverse spaces. They can also integrate with most Property Management Software to allow for automatic delivery notifications to be sent to residents. This allows the site team to be completely removed from the process of package management and focus on more leasing and customer services activities. Installing a package locker in a secure location offers convenient access for delivery drivers and residents without being tied to the community’s office hours.
For More than Just Package Delivery
The pandemic also saw increased use of grocery and food delivery services like Instacart, Postmates, and Grubhub. Package lockers can help add convenience to these types of deliveries. There are several vendors who offer temperature-controlled package lockers to accommodate food and grocery deliveries. These lockers allow residents to order food items online before leaving work and not have to worry about being there in time to meet the delivery person. This also enables them to order frozen items from the store and not worry about the items melting before they get home. It can also keep online-ordered restaurant food hot and fresh while it waits for the resident to retrieve it.
Temperature-controlled lockers provide a good, centralized location for delivery drivers to drop off orders instead of having to coordinate with residents to be able to access the property and saves time locating a particular unit, which can be difficult if the property is large. This adds a layer of security for the residents by limiting non-resident access to a property.
If a property lacks the requirements for a package locker solution, the good news is that there are other options available for package management. Instead of having packages delivered to the property, another alternative is having the packages delivered to a secure off-site location. An associated app notifies a resident when a package has been received and, from there, the resident can schedule a drop-off time in the app. The resident also has the option to pick up the item at the storage location.
These drop offs and pick-ups can be scheduled for the same day or on a future day, with times available after hours to provide even more convenience for residents that work late or are out of town when their packages arrive. These services also store and deliver large packages which keeps large items from blocking breezeways and is an extra convenience for residents who are physically unable handle moving a large item long distances or up flights of stairs.
The pandemic has changed many aspects of everyday life for people and its effects linger as we transition to a post-pandemic world. Lockdowns and occupancy restrictions changed the way that people purchased goods and ordered take-out at restaurants, which, increased the number of deliveries that were processed through a Multifamily property and added to the burden of smaller teams working on-site.
Package Delivery alternatives like Off-Site Delivery and Package Lockers provide a solution to many problems with an implementation that is simple and efficient. They are a win-win for residents and office staff alike and provide convenience and safety. By implementing Package Delivery alternatives at your property, you can provide residents with a safe, secure, and centralized way to receive their packages from online retailers on their schedule and for food deliveries to be ordered in advance and maintain freshness until they are ready to be picked up.
Offering Package Delivery alternatives as a premium amenity can increase your community’s NOI and increase resident retention while also freeing up valuable office space and allowing the site teams to focus on more important parts of their job with fewer interruptions.