Cyber Monday is just over a month away, which means consumers are already planning out their holiday purchases and property package problems are about to get a lot worse. The 2019 Consumer Holiday Shopping Report from OpenX and Harris Insights & Analytics indicates that half of holiday shoppers have already planned out their shopping lists, and these same shoppers are expected to spend 5% more this year (averaging roughly $862 per shopper)1.
Last year, FedEx expected a “record [peak season]”2 and UPS expected to deliver 800 million packages3. This year, USPS expects to deliver 28 million packages per day between December 16-21, and an average of 20.5 million packages per day for the remainder of the year4. Even 5% in extra spending this year means a significant increase in the number of packages arriving at every community.
A report from the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) shows that the average apartment community typically receives 150 packages per week, and that number jumps to 270 packages per week during the holidays – an 81% increase5.
So how can community managers successfully prepare for and manage the holiday package influx? Any successful holiday package management strategy starts with managing resident expectations.
Manage Resident Expectations
More than one-third of property managers report that their community’s package storage solution is not adequate during high volume periods like the holiday season5. As such, it is crucial that community managers share how the package pick-up process will work during the holiday season.
Some likely resident concerns to address:
- Where will packages be delivered? (e.g., the leasing office, a self-service package room, doorstep delivery, university lockers etc.)
- If packages are being delivered to the leasing office, will the office be open earlier/later to accommodate the increase in deliveries?
- What is the timeframe in which residents must retrieve their packages?
- What do residents need to bring with them in order to pick up a package?
Any of these changes should be clearly communicated to residents via email, newsletter, door notice, or all of the above to ensure that residents are sufficiently notified of and prepared for the change. If a community manager successfully communicates these changes in advance, residents are more likely to remain level-headed in the face of holiday package stress.
Personalize the Package Pick-Up Experience
Once the holiday season starts, make the package pick-up experience as positive, painless, and personalized for residents as possible. After all, developers, investors, architects, interior designers, and community managers agree that residents prefer carefully curated and highly personalized services and experiences6.
One simple method is sending customized delivery notifications. Communities can modify existing email or door notices to create a special pick-up experience without reinventing the wheel. For example, letting a resident with an oversize package know that they may need a friend or two to safely bring the package to their residence.
Paired with a trip to a common area that includes seasonal treats or holiday decorations, the package retrieval process can be seen as a special, personalized experience rather than a chore.
These experiences are a great way to help community managers foster positive resident relationships without being too labor- or time-intensive.
Make Package Lockers a Priority for 2020
As the holiday season winds down, community managers should evaluate the success of their package management strategies and make adjustments (budget permitting) for 2020.
When considering how to optimize package management, consider the addition of more automated or convenience-driven services like package pick-up from smart lockers or outdoor package drop boxes. A study conducted by the NMHC found that 57% of community managers believe that package lockers are the best way to deliver to their residents7. Parcel Pending smart package lockers are the perfect solution to property package pileups.
Parcel Pending package lockers provide a number of crucial benefits for property managers:
- Reduced Operational Costs: Package lockers eliminate time wasted each week accepting, sorting, and distributing packages to residents.
- Increased Resident Satisfaction: By making package retrieval quick, convenient, and secure, residents are 40% more likely to renew their leases.
- Personalized Package Solutions: We collaborate with property managers to create a solution that fits each property and its unique package management needs.
- Added Property Security: Package lockers solve missing and stolen package issues, ensuring a safe and secure community living experience.
Parcel Pending smart lockers were created to provide a truly comprehensive solution to package management challenges, but our job doesn’t end at locker installation. We act as a strategic partner to ensure that each property’s unique needs are met, whether it’s by customizing configurations and workflows or providing marketing support and collateral to ensure successful resident adoption.
Find out how we can make a difference for your property and your residents. Reach out to a member of our team here.
- (2019, September 23). 2019 Holiday Shopping Report [Report]. Retrieved from https://www.openx.com/
- Cosgrove, Emma. Supply Chain Dive. FedEx leans on automation to handle record-breaking peak season. (2018, September 18). https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/fedex-automation-record-breaking-peak-season-holidays/532600/.
- Rocco, Matthew. FOXBusiness. UPS preparing to deliver 800 million holiday packages. (2018, October 24). https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/ups-preparing-to-deliver-800-million-holiday-packages.
- United States Postal Service. (2019, November 7). Hundreds of Millions of Holiday Packages Expected Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day [Press release]. Retrieved from https://about.usps.com/newsroom/.
- National Multifamily Housing Council. (2018, November 14). Special Delivery: 2018 NHMC/Kingsley Package Delivery Report [Press release]. Retrieved from https://www.nmhc.org/news/
- Lambros, Colleen. Rising Consumer Expectations: Creating New Challenges & Opportunities for Multifamily Communities. (2019, October 4). https://www.parcelpending.com/blog/rising-consumer-expectations-creating-new-challenges-opportunities-for-multifamily-communities/.
- 2018 NMHC/Kingsley Package Delivery Survey. “Infographic: Package Primer,” by the National Multifamily Housing Council, 1 November 2018. National Multifamily Housing Council, https://www.nmhc.org/research-insight/research-report/nmhc-package-delivery-report/.