By: Shad Bookout
The political season is in full swing as Republicans and Democrats crisscross the U.S., debating the validity of their candidacy. Meanwhile, another debate is quietly taking place in the package rooms and closets that dot our county’s landscape. That debate centers around whether or not to accept package deliveries or to find other means for your apartment residents to receive packages. And, although the debate will continue for weeks and months to come, we would like to declare our support of the Pro-Package Party.
The Crux of the Debate
As recently as five year ago, accepting packages at your apartment community was a no-brainer. But today, the sheer volume of parcels arriving to property management offices has caused many to rethink the entire process. The growth in popularity of online shopping has created a world of new convenience to our residents. However, the same convenience for them has created new headaches for multi-family professionals. Today’s average apartment resident receives 30 packages a year. If you have three hundred residents and the average time of manually managing the packages using pen and paper is six minutes per package, then your staff will spend nearly the sum of 38 days.
If the time management issue was not enough, then there is the issue of liability. Property management teams do not wish to be held liable for the package deliveries that are intended for their residents. However, residents have an expectation that, as part of the multi-family living experience, they are able to successfully receive their package deliveries the same as if they were living in a single-family home. So who really is responsible?
For both residents and multi-family professionals to succeed, a solution must be used that fulfills the needs of both. Property management that denies deliveries is ignoring the opportunity to provide an added layer of customer service to their residents. Packages that are left in front of the door are subject to the damage from the environment or even theft. By not allowing deliveries, you help the community team but not its residents.
The Pro-Package Platform
For communities willing to go the extra mile for their residents, there are solutions that meet both goals. One solution is to purchase a package locker storage system. This solution calls for the installation of lockers that the delivery driver places the package into, rather than leaving them in the office. This resolution is not without its challenges. Such systems are inherently expensive and can fill up quickly in times of high package delivery volume. When this happens, property management teams will need to be prepared to once again accept packages for a temporary time. This is also true of items that are too large for the lockers or are of a timely nature, such as medicines and flowers.
Another solution is a package notification system such as PackageLog® featuring ScanCam™. The cloud-based system allows you to simply take a photo of the package’s label to enter the parcel into the system. It then automatically sets forth a series of automated emails and text messages designed to inspire timely pickup from the residents. It can also double as a resident communication and retention tool. This solution is more budget-friendly and less cumbersome on space than lockers. It does mean your staff still has to deal with packages, but it lessen their time output to less than one minute per package.
Whichever solution is best for your community, we hope that you will stand up for a resident’s right to safely receive packages. Stand up for the belief of better customer services. Join the Pro-Package Party and say “Yes” to packages.