Why Smart Lockers Are a More Secure Solution for Your Residents

In today’s digital age, online shopping has become an integral part of our daily lives. The convenience of purchasing items with just a few clicks and having them delivered directly to your door is unparalleled. However, this rapid growth in e-commerce presents a significant challenge for multifamily property managers: effective package management.

Industry projections indicate that parcel shipping volumes will hit 200 billion by 2025.1 And experts estimate that in 2024 there will be an 8.2% increase in e-commerce sales year-over-year in the United States, reaching $1.217 trillion.2 Consequently, investing in efficient package management solutions, like smart lockers, is essential for enhancing long-term value in multifamily communities. These smart lockers can significantly reduce the manual workload of handling packages while boosting overall community security and resident satisfaction.

Surging Package Deliveries Aren’t Going Away

A recent study found that 90% of apartment residents receive at least one package per week, with some receiving as many as seven to ten packages weekly. To meet this escalating need for secure, on-demand package management, multifamily communities must step up their game. By integrating smart lockers, property managers can not only address this mounting challenge but also enhance the appeal of their communities to potential residents, thereby increasing occupancy rates and property value.

Millennials and Gen Z: Fueling the Package Explosion

Millennials have surpassed baby boomers to become the largest generational group in the United States, numbering over 70 million and wielding a spending power of $2.5 trillion.3 Despite being in their prime home-buying years, millennials’ homeownership rates lag nearly 20% behind those of Generation X. Preliminary data from 2022 suggests that one in four millennials considers themselves “always renters.”

Millennials’ preference for connectivity and convenience extends to their shopping habits and amenity expectations. During the pandemic, 56% of millennials transitioned from in-store shopping to online shopping, and by 2022, four out of five were predominantly shopping online.4 The typical consumer now places four to five online orders monthly, resulting in daily deliveries to multifamily communities.5 It should come as no surprise, then, that this demographic seeks amenity-rich communities that offer a similar level of flexibility and convenience.

Multifamily property owners and managers must adapt to this tech-savvy, online shopping cohort, which increasingly chooses renting over homeownership. By aligning with the preferences of millennials and Gen Z residents, property managers can stay ahead of industry trends, feel proactive, and ensure the sustained success of their communities.

The Need for Secure Solutions

Over 75% of Americans have experienced package theft within the past year, with an estimated 110 million packages stolen in 2023 alone, a 5% increase from the previous year.6 Apartment communities are particularly vulnerable, with delivery drivers often leaving packages on doorsteps, making them easy targets for thieves. With 65% of Americans now more worried about package theft than a year ago and 35% feeling the need to arrange for safer delivery options, the demand for secure package management solutions has never been higher.7

Why Off-Site Delivery Services Fail to Deliver a Secure Solution

Off-site delivery services, such as Fetch Package, are supposed to work in 4 easy steps:

  1. The off-site delivery company receives the package at its facility from any carrier.
  2. The company notifies residents that a package has been received at its facility.
  3. Residents schedule a convenient delivery window time through the app.
  4. Fetch Package or other services deliver packages directly to residents’ doors.

The harsh reality of the system is significantly different, with several crucial drawbacks:

  • Inconvenient – An off-site delivery service forces residents to return to yesteryear with a “scheduling window” ranging from 2 to 4 hours. Experts estimate that residents spend 8-10 hours per month waiting for package deliveries from off-site delivery services.
  • Higher Rate of Lost Packages – Residents report higher incidences of “lost” packages with this package management system than with others.
  • More Porch Pirating – Scheduled delivery windows are often ignored. When delivery is attempted, and the resident isn’t home, the package is either left at the door (where it’s susceptible to porch pirates) or it’s returned to the warehouse, necessitating scheduling a new delivery time!
  • Virtually Zero Customer Service – Most off-site delivery services can only be contacted through their apps; no direct customer service phone number, chat, email, or other communication systems exist.
  • Lower Lease Renewals – Residents forced to use an off-site delivery company are vocal and unhappy. In fact, an entire Reddit thread is devoted to users’ complaints.

But don’t just take our word for it. Winther Investment, Inc., an upscale multifamily lifestyle development company operating 12 communities across several states, initially selected an off-site delivery service to handle its increased delivery volumes. However, residents’ repeated complaints about late, lost, and stolen packages quickly led to searching for a more secure and reliable package delivery solution.

After three years of resident frustration, Winther turned to Parcel Pending by Quadient, installing locker systems at 11 properties. These lockers transformed the package delivery experience by providing a secure and reliable solution, eliminating resident complaints, and allowing community managers to focus on other responsibilities. Winther now highlights this amenity in their marketing materials, showcasing its package lockers’ value to potential residents.

How Smart Lockers Deliver More Security for Your Residents

Smart lockers offer a secure, on-demand solution for package management and are quickly becoming a must-have amenity in multifamily communities. According to the National Apartment Association, “secure package receiving options” are the most important amenity for residents.8 And a recent NBRI study of apartment residents showed that parcel lockers jumped from third to second place as the most crucial amenity, just after secure parking, with residents citing security, accessibility, and speed as their top reasons for ranking lockers so highly.

Smart lockers have helped property management companies across the country provide a more secure solution to resident package management. For instance, FirstService Residential, North America’s leading property management company, wanted to do more for its Kansas City, Missouri residents. The community experienced a significant package theft problem, leading to property damage and resident dissatisfaction.

FirstService implemented a Parcel Pending locker solution, installing two outdoor locker towers with 25 parcel lockers of various sizes. This strategic placement, adjacent to the USPS mail kiosk, provided easy access for residents. It resolved the package theft issue, enhancing resident satisfaction and eliminating unexpected expenses related to property damage.

The key advantages of smart lockers include:

  • Security and Convenience – Smart lockers provide a robust solution for secure package storage, markedly reducing the risk of theft or damage. With their 24/7 availability, residents can pick up their parcels any time using unique access codes or mobile applications. This around-the-clock accessibility means residents no longer need to alter their schedules or rush home to retrieve their packages, ensuring parcels are never left unattended. This level of convenience is fast becoming a standard expectation in modern living environments.
  • Boosting Resident Satisfaction – Smart lockers greatly enhance resident satisfaction by simplifying and securing package delivery and retrieval. Efficiently meeting residents’ needs improves their overall perception of the property and encourages positive feedback and referrals.
  • Higher Lease Renewal Rates – One of the most compelling advantages of smart parcel lockers is their impact on lease renewal rates. Satisfied residents are more inclined to renew their leases and recommend the property to others. The well-documented connection between resident satisfaction and lease renewals highlights that smart lockers’ added convenience and security can significantly improve retention rates. Some communities have reported renewal rate increases of up to 40% post-installation, making smart lockers a strategic investment for property managers aiming to enhance their community’s appeal and retention.

The surge in e-commerce deliveries and the increasing prevalence of package theft have made secure package management necessary for multifamily communities. Smart lockers solve these challenges and enhance the resident experience, making properties more attractive to potential residents. As the demand for technology-based amenities continues to grow, investing in smart lockers and other secure package management solutions will be crucial for property managers looking to stay ahead of the curve.

Ready to lock in your property’s package management solution? Contact a Parcel Pending representative today.


  1. Von Szczepanski, K., Wagener, C., Mooney, T., et al. Only an Ecosystem Can Solve Last-Mile Gridlock in Package Delivery. June 24, 2021.
  2. Feger, Arielle. Retail marketers name ecommerce, TikTok, generative AI as the most important trends of 2024. May 22, 2024.
  3. CouponFollow. CouponFollow Millennial Shopping Habits Report Finds 73% Changed Shopping Habits Due to Pandemic. September 15, 2022.
  4. Ibid.
  5. NMHC/Grace Hill. 2022 Renter Preferences Survey Report. January 18, 2022.
  6. Capital One Shopping. Package Theft Statistics. February 18, 2024.
  7. Edwards, Rebecca. Worst Metro Cities for Package Theft for 2023. November 15, 2023.
  8. National Apartment Association. 5 Key Consumer Preferences of Renters. April 26, 2023.