Packages are a problem for many multifamily buildings—and one that is only growing. While many buildings already struggle to accommodate the current volume of deliveries, eCommerce is booming. As a result, by 2023, online sales are expected to account for 22% of all global retail sales, up from 12% in 2017.
As the number of deliveries continues to rise, many multifamily buildings are nearing a tipping point—if they haven’t reached one already. Lobbies are overflowing, boxes are stacked several feet high, and many properties have hit maximum capacity for packages.
To keep up with the surging demand in eCommerce, multifamily must find a better, flexible solution to keep them ahead of the curve. Discover five common ways that multifamily buildings are streamlining their package management.
Package lockers are a free-standing solution for multifamily buildings designed to securely store packages. The lockers can be used in many areas, including lobbies, package rooms, or mailrooms. Package lockers don’t take up as much space as a dedicated package room, adding flexibility for buildings that are tight on space but still want a more convenient package management solution. Package lockers also allow buildings to forgo renovating or sacrificing office space, offering a modern solution for smaller or more mature buildings.
Package lockers provide added security for packages by storing them in individual locked compartments, but there is one major downside: capacity. Though package lockers come in a variety of different sizes, each locker typically stores only one package at a time. Buildings with dozens of packages arriving per day quickly run out of both normal and oversized locker space, making the locker inefficient because of sheer volume. Instead of being stored in the locker, overflow packages often end up stacked on the floor or in nearby bins, eliminating the security benefits of the locker in the first place.
New developments often have dedicated package rooms, thanks to their ability to anticipate the growing package problem as it has evolved over the past decade. Along with new developments, more mature multifamily buildings have also adapted and have begun to dedicate specific package rooms for storage. Now, nearly 75% of buildings store packages either in a mail room or separate storage area.
Having a designated space gives residents added peace of mind, ensuring they always know where to pick up their deliveries. Package rooms, however, aren’t an easy and fast option for delivery providers. Every time a delivery provider arrives at the building, property managers must grant them access or give them a unique credential for their intercom or access system.
As package volume grows, the package problem becomes even more difficult. In addition to access, building staff become responsible for organizing daily deliveries—which can be a challenge without pulling resources from other operational areas, like building maintenance or doorman and concierge responsibilities. But without this building staff oversight, it’s often a headache for residents to locate their packages, especially if they aren’t notified of their arrival.
Some multifamily buildings completely outsource their package management to third-party providers to avoid dealing with it on-site. Fetch and other similar providers offer off-site package management, ensuring that building staff don’t need to deal with receiving and distributing resident deliveries.
By partnering with a network of package storage facilities, companies like Fetch securely receive resident packages. After the packages arrive, they then coordinate directly with residents to schedule their package delivery. This removes the property manager from the equation and helps to minimize operational oversight required by building staff.
Off-site storage solutions, however, also add an extra step for residents. Instead of walking down to their package room or opening a package locker, they have to coordinate a delivery time with a third-party provider, which can cause delays in deliveries.
Many multifamily buildings can’t dedicate a separate package room or to add a locker system to their lobby because of size constraints. In this situation, packages often end up in lobbies or management offices.
While this makes it easy for delivery providers to drop the packages and go, it presents added opportunity for package theft. Package theft has become such a growing problem that 35% of people ship packages to other addresses and 53% wait at home to limit the risk that their package goes missing. Their concerns are very real; in New York City alone, 90,000 packages a day are stolen or disappear without explanation.
When packages are left unattended in building common areas, there is little oversight of who is coming and going. As a result, many people—residents and guests alike—have access to the package storage areas, making it an easy to manage, yet insecure, solution.
As a single system that integrates access, package management, and pick-up notifications, the Latch Delivery Assistant helps to eliminate the package problem. By making it easier for multifamily buildings to manage incoming packages, for delivery providers to drop them off, and for residents to receive them, the Latch Delivery Assistant streamlines operations and increases resident happiness, for a single solution that’s better for everyone.
After the Latch Delivery Assistant has been installed, delivery providers dial “package room” on the intercom when they arrive. Their call then goes to a 24/7 remote operator who grants them access to both the front door and the package room, if needed.
During low-volume delivery periods, the driver gives the remote operator the name of the package recipient, and the resident automatically receives a notification that their package has arrived. During high volume periods, the Latch Delivery Assistant has an easy-to-use package scanner tool for property managers. Using Latch’s enterprise management software, the Latch Manager App, property managers can scan the packages, and residents immediately receive a text and email alert that it has arrived. They’ll also receive reminders to pick it up, helping to increase package turnover and clear additional space for incoming deliveries.
Interested in learning more about the Latch Delivery Assistant for your property? Contact our Sales team today.
Smart building technology delivers a wide range of financial benefits for multifamily owners and operators. From cost efficiencies to improved customer experience, a strategic investment in the right technology solution can positively impact both the cost and revenue sides of the ledger.
There are several different ways to estimate how smart communities achieve ROI. Learn more about the four most popular approaches in our easy-to-read guides.