Online shopping isn’t a new trend, but it’s one that has slipped by apartment owners and managers for far too long. A new survey of more than 84,000 renters sheds some light on the issue of package delivery, and reveals that around-the-clock access to package lockers is the new must-have amenity for today’s renters.
Internet eCommerce sites used to be a nice way to shop for the holidays, but nearly 87 percent of multifamily residents have a package delivered at least once a month. More than 20 percent of your residents expect to receive five or more packages monthly, and that’s a lot of traffic for office staff to handle. Some complexes have moved to allowing doorstep delivery, but that option comes with disappearing package issues and lots of delivery traffic—and delivery trucks in the parking lot—that could disturb residents.
Enter: Package Lockers
Package lockers aren’t a new idea, either, but managers need to be aware that providing one or two lockers per 100 units is no longer a viable solution in the age of online shopping. In fact, a 100-unit complex typically receives a minimum of 25 packages a day, with volume easily doubling as the holiday shopping season gets into full swing.
Package lockers are the preferred way to handle large delivery volumes, but they aren’t the only solution. Another approach is a package delivery room, managed by a private company such as Parcel Pending or Luxer One. These rooms can be pricey to install (although the Luxer One room is a no-cost installation) and require monthly maintenance fees, but they provide a one-stop-shop for delivery drivers and pickup, and take apartment staff out of the equation. Residents receive an e-mail alert with an access code, which they then use to enter the delivery room. They scan their package and sign, and a photo is taken to verify identity. While not as secure as package lockers, these closets are a decent solution for large-volume properties (as long as lease agreements specify that packages are solely the tenant’s responsibility).
The Price of Convenience Shopping
Any addition or retrofit to accommodate e-commerce needs has to be seen as an amenity, and figured into pricing for your property. Almost 30 percent of surveyed renters said they’d be willing to pay $5 or more per month to enjoy glitch-free and unlimited, 24-hour package delivery.
Before you start hiking the rent to install package lockers, however, it’s a good idea to first assess your community’s needs to determine how much space makes sense. Poll your office staff to find out how much of a burden package delivery is putting on your human resources, and task your community action group with putting together a list of needs that address increased online shopping.