The benefits and ease of receiving so many of life’s essentials through the mail have been great for society and also a big headache for residential property management teams. Developers and property managers have made many notable missteps in handling the increasing amount of packages being delivered to their buildings. These missteps can lead to resident frustration, lost packages, unsightly piles of boxes, lost productivity for on-site teams and more. One company that made major headlines was Camden Property Trust, which stopped allowing packages to be delivered at their buildings. In 2019, it would be a mistake to spend a large amount of capital at a property to have package delivery and storage be an afterthought. Package delivery demands for renters are still increasing, and value-add investors need realistic solutions, systems and amenities geared towards package delivery management to appeal to current and prospective renters.

 

Fortunately, there are many ways to tackle the ever-increasing amount of packages at a building of any size. Let’s explore package lockers, package rooms, off-site storage with scheduled delivery, off-site resident pick up and in-unit delivery.

 

Package Lockers

Package lockers were the first real solution for commercial real estate properties post having a designated floor space or on-site dry cleaners receiving deliveries. They offered the promise of an organized and clean appearance for packages to reside.  

Pros: Clean appearance, individually secured packages, detailed history/tracking 

Cons:  Consistency with “in-locker” delivery, oversized/unusually sized packages

Operators: Hub by Amazon, Package Concierge, Luxor One

 

Package Room

Many buildings have a mailroom that can accommodate some packages as well. Value-add investors should consider expanding their mailrooms or dedicating a new, sizable space for packages. These rooms should have controlled access. I suggest that the entry path for both residents and delivery drivers must first be evaluated before beginning any renovations or construction. 

Pros: More consistent buy-in from delivery drivers than package lockers, secured room, resident ease of use

Cons: Room maintenance

Operators: Hub by Amazon, Package Concierge, Luxor One

 

Off-site Storage and Scheduled Delivery

A new option for Landlords to consider is having their residents’ packages sent to a nearby off-site facility. The resident can then schedule a two-hour window when the package can be sent to the building when the resident will be home.

Pros:  Does not occupy onsite real estate, virtually no maintenance from the on-site team

Cons: Outsourced function, another step in delivery logistics, time-sensitive package could be an issue

Operator: Fetch

 

Off-site Resident Pick Up 

Another new twist in the package delivery game is for residents to have their package sent to a nearby, off-site location. DropSpot is a service where a resident can have a package sent to a retailer that would receive the packages for free. The benefit to the retailer is additional foot traffic to their business and extended hours of service for the residents to pick up their packages. Amazon is also operating pick-up locations in many cities. 

Pros: Local community synergies, does not occupy onsite real estate, virtually no maintenance from the on-site team

Cons: Outsourced function, another step in delivery logistics, time-sensitive package could be an issue

Operators:  DropSpot, Hub by Amazon

 

In-unit Delivery

As smart access, common area access control and building specific apps evolve, it’s not hard to see in-unit delivery gaining more traction. Whether it’s the doorman or a building staff member taking the package into the unit via a separate code on a smart lock or a robot such as Alfred bringing a package to the resident’s door, the technology exists today that make in-unit delivery a viable option tomorrow. Security of each resident’s unit is a top concern for renters and the kinks are still being worked out by early adopters. But look for names such as Latch, Schlage, Rise Buildings, Mobile Doorman and others to continue to make prudent strides to make this a reality.

 

“Delivering” on resident package solutions will help multifamily owners retain residents, increase their experience with the property and take headaches away from the property management team.

 

Sam Boye - Kiser Group

 

 

 

Sam Boye
sboye@kisergroup.com
773.293.5080

Bitnami