FirstService Residential: Plaza Hills
Plaza Hills maximizes package security for owners and renters with Parcel Pending by Quadient lockers
FirstService Residential is North America’s property management leader, partnering with over 8,500 communities in the U.S. and Canada. Homeowners’ Associations (HOAs), community associations, condos, and strata corporations rely on their extensive experience, resources, and local expertise to maximize their property values and enhance their residents’ lifestyles. One of the communities that they manage is Plaza Hills in Kansas City, Missouri.
|Package theft was on the rise at Plaza Hills, a residential community managed by FirstService Residential. The property was also being damaged when perpetrators were trying to gain access to the packages – an untenable situation for both residents and management.
|FirstService Residential installed a smart locker solution from Parcel Pending by Quadient. The system comprises two outdoor locker towers which include a total of 25 parcel lockers of varying sizes. The lockers are conveniently situated next to the USPS mail kiosk.
|Package deliveries are now made to a safe, secure, easy-to-use set of parcel lockers. Residents are getting the packages they expect and FirstService Residential no longer needs to incur unexpected expenses due to property damage caused by those trying to steal packages.
Plaza Hills is an HOA with 66 units that are either owner-occupied or rented out by the owner. Situated in close proximity to local universities, restaurants, and shopping, the neighborhood is active, convenient, and affordable. However, as with any urban neighborhood, it also has some crime. As package deliveries are proliferated in recent years (Plaza Hills has an average of 160 packages delivered a month), so too has package theft.
Package theft, property damage unwelcomed
Marissa Greene, a Property and Portfolio Manager at FirstService Residential, visits the property a minimum of once a week for a walk-through. Unlike other types of multifamily residences, HOAs are largely self-sufficient. However, FirstService Residential stepped in when residents reported the uptick in package theft and management became aware of the resulting property damage.
Greene said, “People don’t always report package theft to me because I’m not on-site, so when they do, I pay attention. When I began getting multiple reports of missing packages, I realized there was a real problem. The thefts were also coinciding with property damage.”
The Plaza Hills property is surrounded by a fence with four electronic gates. Couriers would often toss packages over the fence and wherever they landed was where they would remain, or couriers would leave packages at an unattended mail station. Those deliveries, sitting out in the open, were too tempting for thieves to pass up. “People actually bent the bars of the gates back to reach around and press the button to gain entry. They did that repeatedly, to all the gates. Or some of them just jumped over the gate,” Greene reported. FirstService Residential spent thousands of dollars that the board had to approve on gate repair in one year, expenses that were not in the budget.
Parcel lockers for peace of mind
Marissa Greene, Property and Portfolio Manager at FirstService Residential, explored various parcel locker solutions but was won over by Parcel Pending’s offering and presentation: “Our representative was so knowledgeable, and she understood exactly what we needed, unlike other vendors. Her detailed explanations and the long-term services and warranties, tailor-made for us, made it easy to present a compelling case to the board of Plaza Hills for Parcel Pending lockers.”
FirstService Residential chose the subscription option for the parcel lockers, so there’s no upfront cost for purchasing the lockers. Greene explained that a subscription model gives HOAs time to prepare owners for any changes in dues and the cost can be broken down per owner for an easy chargeback setup. “Most owners feel that this is a worthwhile amenity that they would pay for, so it’s not a hard sell to them. However, the Plaza Hills board is absorbing these fees as an operating cost, so residents there are enjoying this benefit at no cost to them. We already have 67 residents registered to use the lockers.”
Easy to Use and Secure
The parcel lockers have been a great addition to Plaza Hills. When a package is delivered, the carrier scans it, selects the appropriate locker size, and a locker door opens automatically and locks securely when it is closed. A notice is then sent via email, text message, or mobile app to the resident to inform them of their package delivery.
The recipient goes to the locker at their convenience, enters a PIN or scans a unique barcode, and the door pops open. Once the resident has retrieved their package, the locker space becomes available for a new delivery.
The lockers are also equipped with a complete tracking and camera system. “Once a courier delivered something to the wrong address,” Greene said. “We were able to go into the system to view timestamps and pictures and track it down very easily. Honestly, it’s very little work for us.”
A win for all, except thieves…
|“This was a very meaningful success for us, being able to solve such a significant package theft issue. And the experience with Parcel Pending has been great. The board is happy we’re not incurring unexpected expenses for repairs and the residents are relieved and thrilled with the new package system. Everyone wins…except the thieves.”
|Marissa Greene, Property and Portfolio Manager, FirstService Residential
For the future, FirstService Residential is considering using the parcel lockers for other services, like delivering pool keys when the season rolls around. Greene is an avid proponent of the Parcel Pending lockers and enthusiastically presents their benefits during team meetings with other FirstService Residential property managers. So far, another single-family HOA is also considering the lockers.
“The boards of HOAs are generally very passionate about how they want their community to be run,” Greene remarked. “The people who live there own their properties or rent them out. Either way, they’re invested in their space. Parcel lockers are seen as a valuable amenity. When selling a property, I imagine it would be worth noting that they have parcel lockers onsite as it increases the value of their homes.”
Quadient, the leading provider of innovative package management solutions for multifamily communities, was founded with a simple goal in mind: to make package delivery easy and intuitive for everyone. With over 70 million packages delivered annually.
Parcel Pending by Quadient offers a wide range of solutions that ensure safe, secure, and on-demand resident package retrieval. For more information about Parcel Pending by Quadient, visit: parcelpending.com/markets/multifamily-parcel-lockers/.
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