On the surface, package delivery may not seem like the most exciting topic, but it serves as a tangible representation of the ongoing revolution in how people shop. With the rise of e-commerce and the blurring of lines between retail and industrial real estate, package and parcel management has become a critical aspect for apartment property managers and multifamily residences.

    However, it also introduces a new set of challenges that require careful attention to ensure efficient operations and resident satisfaction.

    Inefficient Delivery and Retrieval Processes

    Inefficient delivery and retrieval processes can create bottlenecks and frustrations for both property managers and residents. The lack of clear procedures and communication channels can result in confusion and delays. Property managers must establish streamlined processes for package distribution, ensuring efficient and organized systems that allow for quick and accurate delivery to residents. Effective communication channels are vital to keep residents informed about the status of their packages and minimize misunderstandings.

    Lost or delayed packages can lead to dissatisfied residents. The expectation of timely and reliable package delivery is higher than ever, and property managers must address resident concerns promptly. Open and transparent communication about package handling, including any delays or issues, can help manage expectations and build trust with residents. Proactive measures to address residents' concerns and provide satisfactory solutions can improve overall resident satisfaction and retention rates.

    The Impact of COVID-19 on Package Management

    The COVID-19 pandemic further compounded the challenges of package management. With lockdowns and social distancing measures, online shopping has surged, leading to a substantial increase in package deliveries to apartments and shared living housing. Property managers had to adapt their operations to ensure the health and safety of staff and residents. Contactless delivery and sanitation protocols became necessary, and limited staff availability has added strain to package management processes. Even now, four years out, we are still seeing the effects.

    Areas of Opportunity for Package Management

    While the challenges are significant, there are also areas of opportunity for property managers to enhance their package management strategies.

    Technology Integration

    Implementing package tracking and notification systems can streamline the package management process. By utilizing digital platforms, property managers can enhance communication with residents, providing real-time updates on package status and delivery. Technology integration also enables automation, reducing manual effort and potential errors.

    Operational Efficiency

    Optimizing package storage and organization is crucial to efficient package management. Property managers can explore solutions such as improved storage systems or inventory management software to enhance operational efficiency. By implementing organized systems, managers can reduce the time spent searching for packages and improve overall workflow.

    Security Enhancement

    Installing surveillance cameras and access controls can deter package theft and provide evidence in case of security incidents. Property managers can also collaborate with local law enforcement to create a safer community environment. Enhanced security measures not only protect residents' packages but also contribute to a sense of safety within the property.

    Best Practices for Effective Package Management

    To overcome the challenges and leverage the areas of opportunity, property managers should consider implementing the following best practices:

    Clear Policies and Expectations: Communicate package management policies to both residents and staff. Establish guidelines for proper package labeling and tracking to ensure smooth handling.

    Efficient Delivery and Retrieval Processes: Establish streamlined procedures for package distribution and create effective communication channels with residents. Clear instructions and timely notifications can improve resident satisfaction.

    Technology Integration and Automation: Leverage technology solutions for package tracking, notifications, collection, and automation. Embrace digital platforms to enhance communication and reduce manual effort.

    Security Measures and Risk Mitigation: Implement robust security measures, including surveillance cameras and access controls, to prevent theft and unauthorized access. Ensure compliance with legal requirements and manage liability effectively.

    Performance Evaluation and Continuous Improvement: Regularly monitor package management metrics, collect resident feedback, and adapt strategies accordingly. Continuous evaluation and improvement can lead to more efficient and satisfactory package management operations.

    Managing package management challenges in apartment properties and multifamily residences is crucial for resident satisfaction and operational efficiency. By addressing the pain points of increasing package volume, security concerns, inefficient processes, resident dissatisfaction, and the unique impact of COVID-19, property managers can enhance their management strategies.

    Proactive adoption of technology solutions, implementation of best practices, and consideration of legal implications can help property managers navigate the evolving landscape of package management effectively. With effective package management, property managers can improve resident experiences, streamline operations, and meet the changing demands of the e-commerce-driven world.

    Josh Middlebrooks is president, Luxer One. Visit www.luxerone.com for more information.