Each and every day that you report to your job in the multi-family housing industry you set the stage to make an impact. Sure you are going to impact your community by leasing apartments. You will impact your family (and yourself) by the money that you are able to earn. You may even impact co-workers and friends in many different ways. But these are all minor and not the center of the groundswell of importance that you bring to other every day.
Mardi Gras time was this past Tuesday and once again, the crowd gathered to enjoy celebrations in The Big Easy and beyond. However, even as large as these parties are, it is the small things that drive the crowds who attend. They are there for the beads, the doubloons and even…a little piece of king cake. In fact, it is often the small things that make the biggest impact. Do you know the little things that are important to your apartment residents?
Valentine Day is back and the celebrations are in effect. With love in the air, the time has never been better to set yourself apart and show your residents how much you care. Here are some tips you can use the show your residents how much you love them on Valentine’s Day and every day.
The 57 Annual Grammy Awards are this Sunday and the world will pause for an evening to celebrate the best and brightest in music entertainment. The stylish red carpet filled with tuxes, gowns, and assorted other states of evening wear will lead into an awards show filled with musical acts that will discussed in offices across America for the following few days. But these are not the acts that cause a buzz in your apartment community office. Your residents often leave you wondering if they should receive the awards for Strangest Performance of All Time.
Today is Groundhog Day. It is the most epic of days that celebrates meteorological prognosticating rodents. The same experience that Bill Murray’s character in the movie centered around this are felt by the majority of apartment shoppers in today’s market. Once they decide the area of town in which they will reside, they are doomed to relive the same apartment tour at nearly each and every community they select for potential homes. But you do not have to have your prospective residents suffer the same fate and PackageLog is just one of the many tools you can use to be remarkable and remembered.
Let’s face it. The most important thing for the vast majority of your apartment residents is lifestyle. It is the lifestyle of living there that differentiates you from your competitors. Sure you may one or two unique amenities or the price may be just a touch lower, but people will always prefer to live where they are happiest. This means apartment community teams need to invest time and energy in providing residents the most memorable environment. Here is what that mean for the Super Bowl and other unique events.
The growing needs, wants, and desires of today's apartment residents lead to new and ever evolving needs for property managements. These are three examples and how one piece of technology was able to solve these needs as well as help their apartment community take their marketing and resident retention to the next level. All thanks to TrackitLog.
Let’s face it. We work in a “people” business. Whether those people are coworkers, customers, or prospects, most of us deal with people as one of the main functions of our business. We may spend money on business growth, operational support, marketing / advertising and other key components of the business. But very little money (beyond normal salaries) is spent on the people portion of it. So, if people are so important, why do they get such a limited focus? Maybe it is time that you invest in some Relationship Capital.
You would think that people who are spending an average of over 30 percent of their income with you would be more engaged. There are lots of reasons why many residents remain hidden in the shadows. The time has come to shine on light on the things that are important to them and how PackageLog can help.
The 3rd Largest (Private) Student Housing Company selects PackageLog® software to manage the skyrocketing influx of residents’ package deliveries at all communities.
Orlando, Florida, January 13, 2015 – Student housing operator The Preiss Company, in response to the ongoing increase of online shopping and inbound resident packages, has selected the Logware™ Software-as-a-Service product PackageLog® at all communities. PackageLog® is a best-in-class web-based application designed to manage high-volume package deliveries while building relationships with residents through automated alerts about their packages and for property announcements via email and SMS.
Welcome to the New Year. As you look around your established apartment community, are you asking yourself the same questions as in 2014? How are you going to compete with the newly-constructed apartments popping up in your area? Maybe your apartments are a little dated or need some love in the New Year. But looks are not everything. So, to defeat your young upstart competitors, you just need to use the tools available to you in 2015.
The Holiday Season is in full effect and probably has taken your apartment community by storm. Residents coming in to pick up their packages have donned their ugly sweaters. Christmas lights dangle precariously from balcony railings. Holiday cheer fills that air and holiday music fills your office. Yes, the season is full of joy, but not every resident is so eager for the holiday to arrive. And some will leave you wondering if it will take a Miracle on 34thStreet for you to survive the holiday. Of course we are talking about residents like these:
Thanksgiving is a special time to share with family and friends, celebrating our traditions and building new ones – as well as creating lasting memories. It is more than just an annual feast commemorating the pilgrims and Native Americans. It is more than post-turkey football. It is more than preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. It is about togetherness. I recently had the great privilege of interviewing the staff at US Postal Solution and PackageLog to learn about their views on this joyous holiday. Let’s pull the curtain back and discover how this group of energetic entrepreneurs celebrates Thanksgiving.
Happy Veteran's Day from PackageLog. Every day thousands of families celebrate their family members that have served in the US Armed Forces. Even thought the following story is fiction, it represents the heart felt pride we all have for the sacrifices made by our Nation's heroes. PackageLog is proud that our services can help touch lives. But most importantly, we say "Thank You" to the men and women that have fought to keep our country "The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave."
Pets are a valued part of our lives. Many pets love living the apartment lifestyle. But can a Package Management System help make pets even happier in their multi-family homes. Yes! PackageLog can show you how receiving a notice that your package has been delivered not only make your pets happier, they make their owners happier too..
It is Halloween once again: A time for trick or treats, costume parties, and spooky decorations. Also, it is a great time to take a moment and examine some of the creepy creatures that may inhabit your apartment community. So grab your pitchforks and torches as we step into the mist and face your worst nightmares.
Apartment communities across the nation are still logging packages into a three-ring binder when the delivery person arrives. Delivery companies are still putting sticky notes on doors when the apartment community office does not accept packages. Leasing agents still stuff mailboxes with notices and drop flyers at doors. These are the same processes that have been around for 40 years. It seems kind of outdated to us.
Everyone loves a great deal. I have never met anyone who just prefers to pay more. But cost is not the only determining factors of whether something is a “value” or not. Value is attached to happiness and PackageLog knows a lot about the happiness items that people value most.
Very few people have ever uttered the phrase, “I love generic, boring stuff”. For everyone else, finding something unique and special is a big deal. That is why we made PackageLog. Because you need a unique solution that helps you stand out in the marketplace.
Are you connected to your customer? Do they feel that you care? If you are engaged with them, your answer is most likely yes. It is important to communicate to your customer in a meaningful way. This is why we made PackageLog's messages customizable. That way you send more than just a package notification, you send something personal.
The old adage that “time is money” has never been truer. In today’s inter-connected world, the fine line between work-life balance in getting ever thinner. PackageLog has a core mission to help you get back your productivity.
From the large to the small; from the mundane to the strange and unusual; apartment residents order a lot of stuff. In fact, the number of thing that they can order it on the rise as is the number of things that they are acutally ordering. Are you ready for the increase of deliveries to show up at your office. What the heck did they order anyway?
It has begun. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations in nearly every store remind us that holiday shipping season has begun. Since online shopping for everything from clothes to groceries is such a part of most people’s daily lives, many have already started ordering gifts, clothing, décor and other items for this winter. Get ready, the packages are coming
It is time for the race to the World Series and just like baseball, our leasing teams work the apartment market to make sure that, when the time is right; they can hit a home run with their apartment customers.
When you look around you at the team you work with, don’t you start to feel a little bit like Alice, after falling down the rabbit hole. Each team member is unique and each one of them brings their own special spin on what makes your office its own little Wonderland. Learn the people and the things that may be driving you mad in your office.
With rent in many cases taking up 30 percent (sometimes even more) of a renter’s earnings, it is important for apartment communities to provide a great multi-family product in order to earn the business (or repeat business) of today’s multi-family consumer. Here are some ways you can help sell the value of your apartment community.
“The packages are coming, the packages are coming!” you scream to yourself as you survey your apartment community’s mailroom. Yes, you are right. Your residents are receiving more packages than ever before!
Sometimes in marketing it seems that you are fighting in an epic saga, in which forces of good and evil are trying to defeat each other. On one side, you have your product. You are passionate about your product and are driven to get information about it into the right hands. However, there are dark forces against you: the evils of distractions, road blocks, and competition hover like a sinister space station about to attack. But your marketing efforts can succeed! All you need to do is to summon the force within and team up with your marketing allies.
Budget season is upon us and, across the nation, business executives are hard at work crunching numbers and forecasting for 2015. As this year’s numbers are scrutinized, a common thread keeps popping up. Why was so much money allocated to the replacement of assets and how do we prevent this from ever happening again?
It has once again become necessary to market to the different generations of apartment renters independently so that highest rents and the highest levels of resident satisfaction can be created for Baby Boomers, Gen-X, the Millennials, and for Gen-Z.
After a long hiatus, football has returned and, with it, a renewed sense of competition in many of our personal and professional lives. Fans convinced of the superiority of their team proudly display their tokens of support for the team they love. Workers are sneaking time during the day to update the status of their fantasy football teams. On game day, we cheer, we cry, and we watch hopefully as our teams enter the field of battle. Much can be said about the similarities of our apartment communities to the football season. Just as our favorite teams take to the field each week, so do our apartment community teams trying to win the day against their competitors.
If you thought it was difficult to upgrade yourself, imagine the challenge of taking the same task on for a multiillion dollar apartment community. Sure these are most likely some glaring problems that you can immediately address, such as painting buildings and new A/C units. But there are lifestyle upgrades that are important too. Changes that make residents happier are just as important to address as the large capital improvement items. You can’t change your apartment community’s location, so you might as well invest in its future.
Communication has been an obsession of humanity since the days we were still living in caves and hunting mammoths. Think about how far we have come since the early cave drawing. Most of us now carry a computer in our pockets or purses that has more power than the Apollo moon missions. Much of communication came about in an attempt to help the movement of packages from one destination to another. PackageLog is proud to be an integral part of this growth in communications.
In the high speed, high tech world that dominates our daily lives, we often lose sight of the simple things, and the humble beginnings that tie us all together. We get caught up in the ding of the email and the chime of text. The soft glow of the iPad, or Droid, or laptop screen becomes the light that our eyes are most accustomed to. It is easy to forget that the experiences we encounter everyday had to start small. For our customers, these opportunities for engagement begin very small indeed. It is as though our customers are the seeds, and we are the farmers challenged to cultivate a fresh crop of relationships so that we can harvest the bounty of future business.
We are friggin' busy, and having the right tech in place to help your team work well together and keep you in tune with your consumer will makes a world of difference. At the end of the day, business apps should be easy to use, productive, and have a great cost-to-value ratio.
It has become more important than ever before to do whatever it takes to maintain a great image for your community and PackageLog can be your new weapon to stay one step ahead of the competition.
It is a classic tale in the folklore of every community on the planet. A band of misfits, drawn together by circumstance, must save the day from some evil force. Guardians of the Galaxy, which is sure to be a mega blockbuster, is built on this same premise. And it is not only this movie. Countless tales of this kind appear in movies as well as in TV, video games, and books. The other place these tales occur is in apartment community offices across the nation. For oftentimes, it feels like you are in a constant struggle to keep your apartment safe from the evil forces that are threatening it prosperity.
Great customer services may be more important today than at any time before. As a business the most important sales tool that you have is your reputation. In today’s high tech world the focal point for these opinions is the online review. The more people like you, the more likely new customers will be approaching your doors. It occurs in property management the same as in every other business.
You do not have to be Sherlock Holmes to find a solution to missing items in your office. Many of these were loaned and never returned. We asked offices across the country to tell us what it was that they regularly found missing. These are the five items that were most often loaned out never to be seen again:
Just like each soccer team brings its talents to the field for each and every game, apartment communities bring their unique customer service skills to each and every resident. Each position on a soccer team specializes in certain tasks to create the best competitive advantage during a soccer match. So too, the property management teams at each community leverage their skills to help score a goal with customer service to each and every resident.
There are lots of things that drive leasing teams nuts, packages for residents being one of them. Most of these tie back to residents. Every day a variety of situations occur that can make even the most season apartment industry veteran feel like they should be shipped out to the funny farm. Prospective residents, current resident, managers, team members, and suppliers all combine to contribute to the madness. All of these challenges create roadblocks the costs time, energy, and sometimes even money. But there are solutions to these challenges so you can get back to leasing and get back to making money. Here are a few examples and our recommended solutions.
As the dust settles from the 2014 NAA Education Conference and Expo, we are reflecting on all of the amazing moments that occurred during our time in Denver. From start to finish, this was an epic conference. A record number of attendees covered the halls of the Colorado Convention Center. Scrambling from educational seminars, to the expo floor, to the various events held throughout, each and every attendee left with something amazing.
Here are the top things that the PackageLog team learned during the NAA Education Conference and Expo
As part of the NAA Learning Zones during the NAA Education Conference and Expo, USPSIonline presents “Technology, Resident Retention and NOI”. We sat down with USPSI Learning Zone Facilitator Gustavo Ortiz to get a preview of the session and learn about how technology is changing the face of property management today. Make sure to attend this session Friday June 20th, on Stage 3,
This Father's Day tens of thousands of dads living in apartment communities across the country will receive packages from their children. Let them know their packages have arrived and send them a personalized Father's Day message using the premier package tracking software, PackageLog.
Whether you are an apartment manager, a leasing agent, a maintenance tech, or an apartment executive, knowing your customer is one of the most impactful ways to control your business. Here are three area to consider the evolution on who your apartment communities customer really is.
Asset Tracking Software gives your apartment community the ability to loan anything to your customers. These items are monitored in the TrackItLog system which automatically sends a notification when the item is due to be returned. This is a story of how an apartment community made a little girl and her grandpa very happy using this system.
Packages are both a major hindrance and a massive opportunity for apartment communities. Enter the package management system - PackageLog. Now with increased efficiency and the opportunity to offer a unique amenity, apartment communities can rise above their competitors with package tracking software.
Another item has been loaned to a resident only to never be seen or heard from again. The problem of residents not returning items they have borrowed can even reach epidemic proportions. It is like some mysterious force possesses your apartment residents. But those days are now over thanks to TrackitLog.
The men and women who serve here work tirelessly to better themselves and our military to ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy the same freedoms we value today. When done with their daily jobs, many return to their families in apartments - both on base and outside of its boundaries.
Summer is finally here. As the kids finish their last few days of school, their thoughts turn to summer camps, swimming pools, and summer vacation. College students are returning from a busy semester. Adults are spending their work days daydreaming of the places they wish they could spend their summer. Every day this summer, your apartment community can provide residents with a sense of vacation. They don’t even need to leave home, because summer vacation is right there on their doorstep.
Ants are some of the most efficient and effective creatures in the animal kingdom. They work tirelessly to grow their community and provide for the betterment of all the colony’s residents. Ants have evolved to have specialized individuals working to perform the tasks that make their communities succeed. Only by being the best at their individual task and by working as a cohesive team, can the community succeed. Isn’t this same fact true when it comes to our apartment communities?
This weekend is all about celebrating moms. At apartment communities across the nation, parties will be had, gifts will be delivered, and hugs will be shared as we pause for a moment to celebrate Mother’s Day. What is that your community is doing to make this yearly event special for your residents who are moms? PackageLog is here to help you make this Mother’s Day the most memorable one ever.
This week, many of the most brilliant minds in our industry are descending on Hunting Beach, CA for the annual AIM (Apartment Internet Marketing) Conference. They will be discussing all of the latest and greatest marketing trends for the multi-family industry. They will talk about websites, social media, mobile technology, and advertising. All of these items are important to the growth of our industry. But one of the most power ways to promote your apartment community is much lower tech and may be the most vital item to achieve success. It is all about the power of conversation.
One of the most rewarding things about working in the multi-family housing industry is our ability to help people have a home. Not to many years ago, it was only people who could not afford – or could not qualify – for a house that sought the apartment lifestyle. However, over time, apartments have blossomed into a desirable place for many people to live. Where else can you have the amenities, benefits of location, and since of community that apartment living offers?
Shopping for an apartment sucks. Any way you look at it, whether you are moving across town or across country, the process of finding an apartment and moving in takes a lot of time, effort, and energy.
To help sign prospective residents, take a moment and look at the process that the potential resident you are touring is going through...
PackageLog - Online Inbound Package Logging Software with Automated Alerts via SMS & Email - Announces Successful Deployment of Automated Electronic Data Interface with Property Solutions' Entrata
Orlando, FL, March 20, 2014 – PackageLog LLC, a US Postal Solutions Company and the most comprehensive package management and resident retention tool on the market, today announced successful deployment of automated electronic data interface with Property Solutions' Entrata, the industry's first single, open property management software platform. This interface provides an automated exchange of resident information to facilitate accurate and consistent package management and resident communications.
We live in a fast paced world where everything needs to be done yesterday. Its all very exciting, but can make for a frustrating and seemingly unproductive day when there is so much to be done. We all have a ton of work on our desks and managing that workload can be daunting at times. There are a few things that can be done to ensure you keep pace with the work itself while keeping your sanity. Let go of the stress, forgive yourself for falling behind, and try these suggestions.
We all know that retaining good residents is much more valuable than spending the time and money required to attract new residents. As a result, it is important for you to show your residents you truly appreciate their business every day and especially on special holidays, like Valentine's Day.
What we normally do...
Its that time of year when we all reflect on our experiences of the last year and look forward to what may come. In this moment most of us take a hard look at ourselves and resolve to make a resolution to improve in one way or another in our personal lives. This is a great practice and helps each of us to aspire to be better in our future...
During the holidays its important to remember that no matter how challenging things are at the office, regardless of the workload you have at your desk, the only thing that really matters is... Family. Family is this new millennia comes in all shapes and sizes... There's your work family, your close friends family, your community family, but none are quite as
The nightmare before Christmas!
UPS, FedEx, and the Post Office all agree that December 16th - December 20th is going to have the highest volume of packages ever seen. Packages have been on the rise for the last 5 years at a steady pace of around 13% and its only going to continue to get worse as online purchasing continues its momentum. The question is, what can you do? Packages in general are a pain in the neck throughout the rest of the year, let alone during the holidays.
Remember your roots
When you have been in the industry as long as we have, its important to remember your roots. Often times companies grow to heights they never expected, having started from a small team of passionate individuals to an army of employees. This kind of growth is great and leads to opportunities to work with big companies and big ideas... Just don't forget where you came from.
Not another conference...
There are all manner of conferences and trade shows that exist in the multifamily industry from regional shows, national shows, to international ones as well; each with their unique industry focus and approach. As of late, it seems as though most follow a pretty standard format with a networking mixer, education sessions throughout the conference, and a trade show component mixed in for exhibitors to share their wares and service options.
Fun conference, serious difference...
Last week, however, we had the pleasure of attending the MultifamilyPro Brainstorming Session in Las Vegas, NV.
With Halloween just days away, the scariest part of your month has nothing to do with monsters or the boogie man... Its the influx of packages coming in as your residents prepare for trick-or-treating, Halloween parties, and costume contests. What's even scarier? This is just the beginning... We are looking square down the barrel of the holiday season with packages going from a lot to "OH, MY...!"
Staff Retention is Cheaper
According to a February 2012 Dun and Bradstreet Business Research article, staff turnover can be quite costly – in the realm of 150% of the salary to replace that employee. When one of your staff leaves, they take with them all of the knowledge they learned while in the company, the ins and outs of the day-to-day workload, the nuance that comes with understanding each individual property and residents, and the opportunity to grow someone from within that understands company culture and furthers its objectives. This intimate knowledge and understanding will need to be retaught and require time to institute with a new staff member.
Company Culture RulesInvesting in your staff develops a culture that shares the common practices of the company. Company culture is important to morale, which translates directly to a happy team and higher staff retention. There is a direct correlation between the …
Your Technology Budget
How are you using your technology budget? For those that have a budget line item for technology you are ahead of the curve, but don’t get too comfortable because its always catching up with you. Technology is an ever evolving industry both on the hardware and software side of things, and its important to keep a pulse on what is going to make a real impact in the office and on property. We can easily assume that most, if not all property managers use some kind of management software for their property. There are a number of options out there like Yardi, OneSit, Property Solutions, MRI, and many more, each with their respective strengths. What is not always known is that there are software solutions that address specific needs like collections, resident screenings, inbound package tracking, utility billing, and many more. Why should …
Looney about budgeting strategies
Its rabbit season… Its duck season… Rabbit season… Duck season… And as you look down the barrel of the proverbial shotgun, reality settles in and its even worse than Bugs or Daffy could have imagined! ITS BUDGET SEASON!!! Typically one of the most hectic times of the year, because not only are you ensuring that your property is stellar, residents are happy, expenses are down, NOI is up, and your staff is productive, you will need to dedicate a decent amount time to project your budget for next year. Its not like that too difficult, right? You just need to increase NOI, find savings where none exist, identify the line items for improvement (and actually get the money approved for them), and this is all after you already did an amazing job of doing that last year. So, how do you develop your amazing budgeting strategies …
Amazing amenities will only go so far to retain residents
If you want to retain residents you’re going to need more than a nice pool. My good friend Sarah was unhappy living in her apartment community and decided that she was not going to renew her lease. My first thought was that she was trying to down-size, because she lives is a gorgeous apartment community with lots of amenities. However, when I asked why she would leave such a nice place her answer was surprising, “I don’t feel at home here…” she said. Every time she called or passed by the front office for something, she felt like she was imposing or creating an inconvenience on the staff. They were not specifically rude, they just didn’t seem happy to be there, “It was depressing” she mentioned. My first reaction was to say that it seemed a bit extreme to leave …
The Big Difference Lies in Fraud Losses
The debate between signature verification and PIN verification has been ongoing for some time. Debit card providers have been split about which is more secure, but that debate is beginning to lean heavily on the side of the Personal Identification Number or PIN verification. According to digitaltransactions.net, “the big difference lies in fraud losses. These losses were more than eight times greater in 2011 on signature-debit volume than on PIN debit, according to Pulse studies, or 8.06 basis points of volume compared to 0.99. Also, signature-debit fraud rose from 7.5 basis points in 2010, while PIN fraud declined from 1.26 basis points. ‘There’s a better risk profile [with PIN debit],’ says Sievert. ‘Issuers don’t experience as much fraud.’”
3000 Year Old Tradition
This is a pretty big deal considering that signatures have been traced back 3000 years to the Sumerians as a …
Managing Your Inventory
Keeping track of your inventory and property assets can be a highly time-consuming and tedious task for you and your team, especially without a management tool. Inaccurate inventory can be problematic and costly. Not only because of unanticipated expenses for repair and replacement, but also the time spent doing the inventory count in the first place. If you are like most businesses, inaccuracy and loss of assets translates to delays and customer dissatisfaction. Between the loss of business and annual write-offs for inventory losses, it only makes sense to find a better way.
Accessing Asset Data
Access to your inventory data like its condition, its status, and who has possession of it at a glance offers the opportunity for your entire team to be on the same page. Knowing when an asset needs to be serviced lengthens the life of that asset and saves you money over …
Your Green Space is Expensive
Landscaping is one of the most impactful elements to your property. This is because its the first thing prospects see when they arrive, so if you have the ability to integrate a beautiful landscape, you do it. All of these plants, trees, and bushes make your property look inviting and organically compliment the lines of your building’s architecture. The only caveat is the expense of maintaining this lush green beautifully manicured green space. There is the amount of water needed to keep everything from dying. How often do pour gallons water into the ground through those sprinklers? Sprinklers typically range from 3-5 gallons per hour, times the number of sprinklers, and the weekly watering schedule, which makes for a pretty hefty water bill. In addition, this landscape needs to be trimmed, weeded, pruned, treated, and cut on a regular basis. The cost to maintain your …
Is there money in your utilities budget?
Did you know utility costs can vary from year to year based on a number of factors including rates, usage, regulations, and more. It is not uncommon for the utility expenses of a property to be inaccurate based on the current circumstances. Many properties have saved tens of thousands, and in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars after using a utility auditor. What makes pursuing this option really sweet is that there are many utility auditors that work on a contingency fee basis. Exactly… they only get paid if they find you savings! How is that for motivation to find you extra money in your utilities line item? “Wow” is what I say.
Theoretically, you could do this yourself, but its actually quite complicated and as a property manager you probably don’t have the time it would take to go through the …
Package Tracking Software for Corporate Offices
Tracking packages is pretty common in student housing and multifamily, but it also can be useful in a corporate office. Often organizations will receive a high volume of packages for employees and not have a package tracking software to log and manage those inbound packages. Packages get lost, misplaced, given to the wrong person, or given to an assistant without any record of the transaction.
Package History Rules
Having inbound package tracking software in place will provide accountability for all staff handling packages and confirmation of all transaction that occur in relation to that package. PackageLog, for example, keeps a full history of all packages that have been logged in at your corporate office. This capability allows you to easily access any information relating to a package or employees who have received packages.…
Ever lend out a hand-truck to a resident or an access key to a vendor? With USPSI Online’s introduction of TrackItLog you can keep a tally of who has what and it will let them know to return it when it’s due. Using the technology developed for PackageLog, an innovation in inbound package management, USPSI Online has created a “track anything” software for anyone who gives the responsibility of a thing to someone else.
How is this useful?
Due to TrackItLog’s ability to keep track of anything for any period of time, this can be specifically useful in managing keys that go out vendors, appliances assigned to apartments, movies or books loaned to residents, or anything else that you own that is placed in the care of another person.
Like PackageLog, TrackItLog is online and responsive which means it works on any device (desktop, tablet, mobile, etc.) that
ACUHO-i and NAA
And we’re back… after our Cross-Country Tour including trade shows in Minneapolis, MN and San Diego, CA and visits to Los Angeles and surrounding cities, we are just now settling back into the swing of things. Just in time as we prepare for new move-ins in the Student Housing sector and introduceTrackItLog™, the “Track Anything Software” to the multifamily market. Our experience at ACUHO-i in Minneapolis was as expected with inquiries about our full-service options and software solutions for on-campus. The city is quite a site to see in June and we are happy to have made our way to the Twin Cities.
Competition is Good for Business
Which tool do I choose?
There are hundreds, even thousands of software tools to make life easier managing a property, but none have integrated a strong resident retention component the way PackageLog has. PackageLog is an amazing tool developed to significantly cut the amount of time spent managing packages for residents. A US Postal Solutionstudy shows that Millennials aka “Echo Boomers” (defined as individuals between the ages of 16 – 35) receive an average of 21 packages per year. Assuming a small portfolio of 5 properties, each with 250 units, and an average of 1 Millennial per unit can see a savings of over $19,000 in staff time every year. By speeding the logging and delivery process, automating alerts and notifications, andresponsive design (having flexibility across multiple devices), PackageLog makes efficiency its business.
How does this work toward resident retention?
Remember the example of the 5
Are SaaS security protocols enough?
Security is major concern when considering a SaaS efficiency tools likePackageLog, an inbound package management software. There are a few misconceptions that make decision makers nervous whenever there is a discussion about off-site technology solutions. Following conventional wisdom will unfortunately leave businesses behind the curve when it comes to technology solutions since the progression of technology continues to defy convention faster and faster every day. That said, lets discuss a some misconceptions that should be addressed before deciding on a software solution.
On-site is more secure: It may seem like this is the case, but this is based on a natural tendency to believe its more secure because you can see it. However, SaaS solutions like PackageLog typically have more strict security protocols than on-site systems. Why? Because of its very nature, SaaS is intrinsically concerned about security for the
Create loyalty and community
Developing loyalty from residents can be challenging to say the least. There are a number of elements that come into play when trying to foster great relations with your residents. Finding creative ways to build community amongst residents is key to establishing loyalty and long lasting relationships. Multifamily homes are epicenters of community and economic development if managed well. Think about it, its where everyone who might spend money to build the community lives, so why not take advantage of that position by fostering the community those residents are seeking.
Create a discount card in partnership with local business – This is a great way to create an amenity out of nothing, and its so easy to manage. Now, it will take a little leg work at the beginning, but will be worth your while in the long run.
- Go out and talk to
What about the good ones?
Showing appreciation is the best resident retention tool you have in your arsenal. We all know that every property has there share of bad residents, and this sometimes becomes the focus of how many property manager deal with their residents. However, because the good residents that pay on-time, are considerate of their neighbors, and take good care of their space do not create problems, they are often neglected. Its important for properties to show appreciation for those residents that do good by them, since keeping good residents are worth their weight in gold. No troubles, on-time payments, and they take care if the place… Why not do something to keep them?
Appreciation is easy
Most of it breaks down to just being great at what you already do best.
- Promptly attend to resident concerns – This is kind of a big deal. If residents feel like
Keeping up with the latest technology can be a challenge with new tech coming out as soon as the latest and greatest was just released. For gadgets and gizmos like phones, tablets, and other hardware its not likely to get any better any time soon. However, how we manage information technology is a slightly different animal. The most common form of information management today uses either your computer, a server, or both, but cloud computing is completely changing the landscape. Why?
<a href=”http://packagelog.com/what-is-the-cloud-and-how-can-it-improve-my-business/”>Cloud computing</a> allows for information to be saved on a server, or rather multiple servers that exist online. The advantages to this model are revolutionizing our use of information, by:
- Allowing access to information from any device with an internet connection, which offers information access from mobile devices as well as typical computer stations.
- Giving businesses the opportunity to remove location limitations, allowing for
Generating additional revenue is nice
Ancillary income is quickly becoming the Midas Touch for many multifamily and student housing properties. The economy has made it increasingly difficult to raise rents for many properties and tax increases have outweighed reasonable rent increases in others. In a stroke of brilliance ancillary income makes its debut as the star of the show.
5 Ancillary Income Options
There are some standards all property managers should use including:
- Late Rent Fee – while this should be a flat rate, some suggest that the rate should be calculated at around 8-10% of the average rent.
- Trash Fee – $5 – $9 per month seems to be the threshold for most multifamily properties and is one of the additional charges that have the least resistance from residents
- NSF Fee – This is standard practice across most industries yielding $35 – $50 per incident. Following this up with
Concierge service in multifamily and student housing is on the rise, making service one of the top priorities for properties across the board. Creating reasons for residents to stay and recommend others to move-in can be challenging. Your property may not have the built-in amenities of other properties or perhaps your budget limits your capability to provide those big ticket upgrades like stainless steel appliances or ceramic tile. While these elements are appealing to many residents and prospects, at the end of the day most don’t remember the amenities over time, they remember their experience.
Round 1: Amenities
High-end and newly built properties have the distinct advantage of being built to accommodate the latest trends. Water features in the lobby or entryway to inspire a sense of calm as residents and prospects enter, fitness center, and recreation spaces for those active residents, and other trendy amenities that are in-vogue make a very
Are you seeing the trend?
If you haven’t already noticed, inbound package management from UPS, FedEx, and other delivery services is quickly become the bane of every property manager’s existence. Its time consuming, requires lots of staff involvement, makes properties liable for delivered packages, etc., but of course, if you are reading this blog, you already knew that. What you may not know is that as of 2012 the average college student receives 21 packages per year, according to a US Postal Solutions study. Forrester Research predicts that online shopping will increase by 62% by 2016 – UPS, FedEx, and USPS all project an increase in package deliveries by over 13% every year through 2016. All of which translates to a nightmare scenario, if you’re not prepared for that influx of packages.
Inbound package management options:
- Improve the manual process – evaluate your current system and look for ways to
Easier, faster, better… in an efficient future
Technology’s primary purpose is to make life easier, faster, better… Whether that’s through communication, organization, documentation, process, or all of the above we have used technology to change the way the world works from the micro to the macro level. The Cloudhas transformed the way we see everything, allowing for seamless communication from anywhere on earth to the social media revolution and now cloud-based software that improve efficiency and reach. Short of flying cars, this is the future and if you’re going to stay relevant you will have to make use of the latest technology.
Cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service(SaaS) are the latest in the world of technology and the Multifamily and Student Housing industries are no stranger to this shift. Property management tools are quickly adopting the SaaS model in favor of the traditional on-site enterprise model because of the advantages
Easier, faster, better…
Technology’s primary purpose is to make life easier, faster, better… Whether that’s throughcommunication, organization, documentation, process, or all of the above we have used technology to change the way the world works from the macro to the micro. The cloud has transformed the way we see everything, allowing for seamless communication from anywhere on earth, to the social media revolution, and now responsive, cloud-based software that improves efficiency and reach.
Out with the old, in with the new
Short of flying cars, this is the future we’ve been talking about for decades and if you’re going to stay relevant you will have to make use of the latest technology. Cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service(SaaS) are the latest in the world of technology and the Multifamily and Student Housing industries are no stranger to this shift. Property management tools are quickly adopting the SaaS model
Interactions… Attendance is not enough
Developing strategic interactions with colleagues and vendors will open up a waterfall of opportunities. After attending both the National Association of Apartments (NAA) Student Housing Conference in Las Vegas, NV and South Eastern Association of Housing Officers (SEAHO) Conference in Atlanta, GA, it was clear that simply attending these conferences is not enough. Each brings a plethora of workshops, discussion panels, and of course, vendors on the trade show floor.
I don’t want to be sold to…
It’s easy to see why the workshops and panels are worth attending, by why waste your time visiting the trade show floor? All you’re going t see is a bunch of vendors trying to sell you something, right? Perhaps, but to put things into perspective, these vendors are the most specific to our industry with some of the latest technology and service options you
ystems make for great efficiency
Create a management system for those packages coming into your office. Dealing with the ever increasing number of packages that arrive for your residents continues to be a thorn in ResLife and Property Managers everywhere. Its not surprising considering that UPS, FedEx, and the Postal Service are all reporting an increase in package delivery volume of 12%-14% and projected to exponentially increase moving forward. That said, what can be done to ensure your office is not completely overwhelmed with managing this task? We would imagine you have things like actually managing your property and resident activities that are a bit more pressing.
An easy to follow system will save you time, effort, and frustration. Our first suggestion is to find a great package management software like PackageLog to digitize and automate as much of the process as possible, like maintaining a log, package history, and
Unique amenities are the name of the game for both traditional multifamily and student housing for resident retention. Some properties have the luxury of being built with a plethora of amenities, leaving those without trying to find other ways to compete. Fortunately, there’s hope because there are some creative ways to develop your properties with amenities you didn’t realize we’re possible.
There are a couple of things are already accessible, it’s just a question of finding the best use for those resources. Two things every property has is one, their physical property and two, the infinite space of the Cloud (you know, that “new” thing that everyone used to call the Internet). That said, these two basic elements will be our focus for today.
As an example, just because you don’t have a fitness center built into your property, doesn’t mean you can’t have fitness
Balancing Property Management Efficiency
Is your property running efficiently? Efficiency makes the difference between running a property and being a slave to it. The current economic climate has property management firms across the globe reviewing how to increase productivity and cut costs. Unfortunately, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Its important to remember that some costs have long-term benefit and in some cases can be expenditures that will produce an immediate visible return.
Be cautious not to cut the very resources that can improve efficiency for your management infrastructure.
- Make sure the systems you have in place are the most effective for your circumstances. An audit of your process (like you audit of your finances) can make a substantial difference. You could be shoveling money out the front door and not even realize it.
- Capitalize on your star personnel. Understanding which employees have
Package delivery volume up 14%
Package delivery volume is on the rise and not expected to slow through 2016. As part of an announcement to change their mail delivery schedule, the Postal Service reported a 14% increase in package volume since 2010. As a matter of fact, while the Postal Service is cutting its mail service from six days to five, they have opted to keep a six-day delivery schedule for packages due to the current and anticipated package delivery volume. UPS and FedEx recently released similar figures showing a 14% increase across the board in package volume both internationally and across the United States. Projections through 2016 from multiple sources are expected to rise by 7% per year, so the shear volume of packages that will translate to is staggering.
How to contend with packages
US Postal Solutions has already begun to implement PackageLog, a cloud-hosted package management
Communication is critical in developing your resident retention strategy, but can be a daunting task as residents can be difficult to reach, unwilling to share best modes of communication, or just generally ignore attempts at such efforts. Including a regiment of techniques to interact with residents combined with innovation and creativity will ensure the best possible results for clear lines of communication for both resident retention as well as feedback. This article will discuss some basic techniques and tools that can assist with your resident retention strategy.
Creating social gatherings can be a great tool to cultivate resident relations, so consider things like barbecues, pool parties, and other similar gatherings. These will offer you direct positive interaction with residents that will open the door to relationship building and feedback about property operations. This is also a great time to introduce new developments on property that will positively impact
I’m Agent 007. Here to pick up a package.
Someone comes into the office claiming to be “agent” of one of your Recipients, only there are no notes and this person is picking up for a Recipient who you know has done this before. To make things even more challenging, the Recipient has been difficult in the past and the last thing your already busy office needs is more drama. The dilemma ensues… If you give this person the package, you risk the Recipient coming in and advising the office that they never authorized this person and they should not have been allowed to pick up their package. On the other hand, if you refuse to give up the package, then you risk the Recipient coming into the office complaining about why their friend/roommate was refused a package they desperately needed. Most properties just make it a policy to
Electronic Proof of Delivery
As consumers, we sign for things all of the time on electronic proof of delivery style devices used by many package tracking software systems. As a matter of fact, I just signed for a few FedEx packages yesterday on an electronic signature pad. Electronic signatures are used to identify that a person who claims to have written a message is the one who wrote it , not to be confused with digital signatures, which are encrypted for security purposes and typically used for conducting business in this age of technology. A digital signature is great for securely confirming a general business transaction and an electronic signature is great for confirming that someone at sometime received goods or services. However, neither are designed nor can confirm that the individual signing is who they say they are (unlike an ink signature on paper), as far as the law is
Package Tracking System Terminology Basics
There are a few terms that can be confusing when searching for the right inbound package tracking system, namely Databases (we like to call them Facilities), Recipients, and Users. In a package tracking system like PackageLog, these 3 basic componentsare elements that will allow the software to function properly. To make it easy to understand, we will discuss each separately across multiple posts and then tie them together at the end.
Facilities are the locations where packages are received. If you only have one receiving location like the front desk, then you would simply put “Front Desk” or “Your Business” as the name of the Facility. However, this term is a bit flexible – for example, the front desk at the main entrance of the building and the loading dock at the back of the building could represent two separate Facilities.
What exactly is responsive design?
Responsive design relates to the visual appearance of software or websites regardless of platform or device. The basic principle is that a website or software with a responsive design is developed once to intelligently adapt to all devices and platforms. This design concept optimizes things like screen space, device capability, touch-screen, and other varying features found on various devices. PackageLog is a package management software (integratedpackage tracking system) that has a responsive design.
Why is this important?
According to Google, 90% of people use multiple screens sequentially, whether for browsing the internet, shopping online, managing finances, or planning vacations. Businesses, like PackageLog are capitalizing on this technology to make working mobile a reality. Using apackage management software to track packages via any device including mobile increases efficiency and improves the user experience.
PackageLog’s Responsive Design
Our software development team works diligently
UPS just left a package with their package tracking system information in your central receiving office, but it still needs to travel three blocks to the other side of campus to a specific department on the 4th floor. According to UPS, its delivered… but its really only mostly delivered. How can you track it for the rest of those 3 blocks, 4 floors, and specific department it needs to be delivered to? Unfortunately, with an outbound package tracking system, you can’t.
The Outbound Package Tracking System
UPS and other shippers like FedEx and DHL use an outbound package tracking systems that are designed more for the sender than receiver (especially as it relates to large single-point delivery properties). Of course, the system is useful for both sender and receiver, and as far as package tracking systems go, what they use is pretty sophisticated. Anyone who has sent or
Flexibility Makes A Difference
99% Uptime Should Be Normal
Many organizations have multiple locations, but require file sharing to be able to access the same data. Working on the cloud allows for this capability without having to setup your own file server, which can be costly. Working on the cloud, allows you the advantages of an IT department, without the headache. Now George from Dallas can access the software Mary-Ann from operations uses in Atlanta, seamlessly. Any quality cloud-hosted service will only use highly secure cloud servers with 99% uptime or better to ensure peak productivity. Having to ensure that kind of security and uptime internally can get expensive, fast.…
Streamlining the work environment is one of the essential elements in increasing productivity. Using a cloud computing model in your business will increase productivity, by allowing you to focus on the development of your business. This option can bog down development with technology and compatibility issues as they relate to individual workstations. It makes it easier to transition to newer platforms like the next new Microsoft or Apple operating systems. You can also allow for more creative use of staff by allowing them to work remotely or use mobile devices to give them more flexibility, all of which translates to higher productivity.
Say No to Downloads and Installs
One of the biggest issues with traditional software is the need to download and install it on all company devices. Using the Microsoft Office suite as an example as we did in “Cost-Benefit of Cloud Computing (SaaS) and Why …
Convention Has a Diminishing Return
The cost-benefit to purchasing software continues to diminish as cloud computing becomes more prevalent. If you have ever purchased software to download and install onto your computer, you know that the upfront cost for even a small business can be quite hefty. Microsoft Office is a great example of traditional software that is installed onto a single or multiple machines (computers). Cloud-based versions of their software does exist, but most are familiar with their traditional model of paying per machine (or license) in order to use the software. If you have a lot of machines, this can get quite expensive quickly and you will need to handle updates and upgrades on your own. This is not much of an issue if you don’t mind the expense of keeping your own hardware and professional IT staff, but when you need to trim down and minimize your
Do to the important nature of this topic, I have decided to make this a 4-part series. Each part will focus on a different element of “Cloud Computing,” which will include this introduction, cost-benefits, implementation, and flexibility.
What is the “Cloud”?
If you spend anytime at all online you have probably heard of the “Cloud” or “Cloud-Computing” or “Cloud-Based” software similar to PackageLog (a package tracking software), but what does all of that mean. Colleagues discuss how great it is and articles tout its many benefits including cost reduction and increased efficiency, but what are they all talking about? Is it some mystical place in the sky where all of our treasures are stored? Where we can get access to our magical tools, like Thor’s Hammer or Zeus’s Lightning Bolt? Well… That’s exactly what it is, only our treasures are files and our magical tools, software. …
Managing Mail and Package Delivery
Mail management is a challenge to say the least, and anything that can be done to assist with the processing of mail will inevitably make life for those responsible for this daunting task a whole lot easier. Obviously, creating an effective package management system helps to streamline tasks and speed up the process, but in the age of information technology the main question that pops to mind is… “Is there an App for that?” and the answer is a resounding YES! …but not many choices. Due to the nature of our business, we decided to make use of the existing products out there. I have to say that we were very disappointed with the lack of capability and sophistication, as well as a general complexity in the use of the products we tested. 20 hours of training and I’m still trying to figure this thing …
Did you know that the average student receives 21 packages per year? A typical facility will average 800 beds, so now you’re dealing with 16,800 packages per year with just one facility. Day in, day out, you find yourself or your department (if your lucky) manually logging in packages for hours. A time consuming task, and in todays economy time = money, so the more time your lose… you get the picture.
What Are The Options?
A few exist out there, but they each have their limitations both in scope and capability. Enter PackageLog – a fully cloud-based package management solution, developed by the mail management experts at US Postal Solutions. Just for clarity, US Postal Solutions has decades of experience in mail management with clients nationwide and has used their knowledge and research to create the most powerful package …