Parcel Pending by Quadient is North America’s leading smart locker company, providing industry-trusted solutions for multifamily, commercial, retail, and university properties. With our connection to multiple community types, we’ve had the unique opportunity to see how the past year has affected multifamily communities of all shapes and sizes across the United States and Canada. This is especially true for challenges related to community amenities and their impact on resident satisfaction.

Given the continued impact of COVID-19, Parcel Pending expects that 2021 will accelerate innovation for many properties, so they can continue to successfully attract and retain residents. Here are a few of our most important predictions:

Proptech as a Significant Competitive Advantage

From virtual property tours to smart key entry and property-wide Wi-Fi, many communities turned to proptech as a temporary fix for in-person interactions early in the pandemic. Now, many property managers view these solutions as necessities and even as lasting competitive advantages.

Many communities are still dealing with ongoing operational interruptions associated with limited resident access to both leasing offices and amenities. Enter solutions like amenity schedulers and smart package lockers. These innovations have helped properties support social distancing guidelines without having to compromise on convenience or community experience.

For example, amenity reservation apps have helped property managers provide safe, continued access to communal amenities like the gym, business center, and pool area. In addition, smart package lockers provide 24/7 access to deliveries while reducing face-to-face interactions between residents and delivery drivers or leasing staff.

As we look ahead to 2021 and beyond, expect to see proptech become even more prominent as properties seek to create greater convenience for residents and to increase operational benefits for on-site staff.

The Best Amenities are Contact-Free

The “amenity wars” of years past focused on luxury gyms, resort-style pools, and spacious common areas. However, in light of the pandemic, many of these premium amenities have been closed to the public. This presents a challenge for properties that are looking to attract new residents or retain current residents.

Expect to see properties invest in premium contact-free amenities to provide added value for current and prospective residents. Multi-Housing News, for instance, argues that the need for a package management system – including refrigerated solutions – will continue to be a valuable asset, even as residents begin to venture out1.

With the growth in grocery and pharmaceutical deliveries expected to continue, package management systems, such as smart lockers, will play a key role in ensuring the safety and security of all resident deliveries – not just packages.

The Package Problem Isn’t Going Away

As consumers grow even more accustomed to the convenience and security of doing all their shopping online, increased delivery volume isn’t going away any time soon. In fact, experts estimate that online shopping will amount to $7 trillion (or 25%) of global retail sales by 20242.

While delivery volume was already steadily increasing prior to COVID, Parcel Pending saw a 67% increase in package volume at multifamily communities in 2020 alone3. And community managers are feeling the effects – a December 2020 J Turner survey reports that property teams believe package management is one of their biggest challenges right now4.

For the foreseeable future, every resident’s apartment will continue to do double duty as some combination of home, office, school, gym, and restaurant, not to mention a staycation destination. Since everything a resident receives right now is important, this makes safe deliveries one of the most valuable services a community can provide to its residents.

In 2021, expect to see more multifamily communities investing in contactless package management solutions to support greater convenience and security for residents, while also managing the continued influx of daily deliveries.


Many properties already have a lot on their plates providing much-needed services for residents. Managing even more packages could take up valuable time that could be better spent elsewhere.

Parcel Pending lockers can help make receiving residents’ special deliveries safer and more secure without sacrificing convenience. Reach out to a member of our team today to find the best solution for your property’s needs and budget.

Sources:

  1. Fiur, Jessica. Multi-Housing News. 6 Things from 2020 that Will Stick Around for Multifamily (And That’s Actually a Good Thing). (2020, December 31). https://www.multihousingnews.com/post/6-things-from-2020-that-will-stick-around-for-multifamily-and-thats-actually-a-good-thing/.
  2. Bruell, Alexandra. The Wall Street Journal. E-Commerce to Total a Quarter of Global Retail by 2024, GroupM Forecasts. (2020, December 16). https://www.wsj.com/articles/e-commerce-to-total-a-quarter-of-global-retail-by-2024-groupm-forecasts-11608116401.
  3. Parcel Pending. (2021, January 21). Parcel Pending by Quadient Finishes 2020 with Record-Breaking Number of Installations [Press release]. Retrieved from: https://www.parcelpending.com/blog/parcel-pending-by-quadient-finishes-2020-with-record-breaking-number-of-installations/
  4. J Turner Research. (2020, December). Multifamily Industry Leaders Survey: Attitudes and Outlook About the Multifamily Industry from Industry Leaders [Report]. Retrieved from: https://www.jturnerresearch.com/multifamily-industry-leaders-survey-2020