The Ultimate Holiday Gift For Your Properties? Package Delivery Lockers

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This holiday season, as happens each year, package delivery will rocket to double its normal volume. And the burden on site staff of dealing with all these packages will double right along with it.

It’s only going to get busier, not just during the holiday season but year round as more people choose to shop from home and Amazon Prime, eBay and other shippers steadily increase the number of packages they send to your properties via USPS, UPS, FedEx and others. Free shipping is playing its own role in the boom.

Last year, UPS delivered 10 percent more packages during the holiday season than during the same time the prior year. That’s a huge increase for a single year representing tens of millions more deliveries – and that’s just UPS.

When these deliveries are to apartment complexes, there are headaches for everyone involved. Site staff shoulders the responsibilities of signing for packages, notifying residents of their arrival and storing them until pickup. Residents rush to get their packages during office hours. And the delivery services are forced to interface with busy staff in order to get their jobs done.

To complicate matters even further, if a package is damaged, does the responsibility lie with the delivery service or the property? There’s a liability issue, as well.

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The Egg Package Locker System:  a “win, win, win” proposition

There are “win-wins,” and then there are the rare “win-win-wins.” The Egg Package Locker System has been one of the latter, with residents, site staff and even delivery services all raving about it. It’s a popular new component of the RealPage ActiveBuilding.

That’s because it solves all the problems at once. Delivery services simply leave packages in secure package delivery lockers rather than having to interact with site staff or wait for a signature. Residents immediately receive a pickup PIN by text, email or voicemail – no need for staff to contact them. And they can pick up packages at their convenience, 24/7/365, instead of being limited to office hours. Management is completely relieved of a time-consuming chore and liability.

A recent one-month trial at a single property clearly proved the benefits. During this month, 268 packages were placed by delivery services in The Egg lockers. The property documented time staff saved at 11 hours, this alone more than paying for the system even without all the other benefits being considered. But of course, there were many other payoffs.

Residents loved being able to get their packages immediately, many upon getting home from work after office hours. In fact, 43 percent of the packages were picked up when the leasing office was closed. Packages spent an average of only 6.5 hours in The Egg lockers before pickup, more evidence of the residents’ eagerness to get their hands on them.

The quick window for pickup has an added benefit: it means fewer package delivery lockers are needed, occupying less space, since they’re emptied and ready to receive new packages very quickly.

Delivery services greatly appreciated being able to get in and out without a fuss. (At some properties the services actually leave packages at the residents’ doors, a time-consuming chore that is eliminated by The Egg.)

Why other locker systems can’t compete

Some delivery services have begun to install package delivery lockers at various locations around the country, sometimes even in apartment complexes. But they don’t take the place of The Egg.

These proprietary lockers are specific to the delivery company that installs them. So an Amazon locker won’t accept packages from another company, resulting in the need for multiple banks of lockers. This is far from an ideal solution to the delivery problem, particularly when residents have to walk or drive to get their packages from different locations because they’re at area retail stores rather than the property itself.

As we move into this holiday season, be aware of the packages arriving at your properties, and perhaps talk to one or two front office people tasked with handling them. Sooner or later, you’ll probably find yourself taking a close look at The Egg.

 


Author and Contributor

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Based in New Orleans, Guy Lyman is a professional writer with over 25 years’ experience writing about multifamily and commercial real estate. Lyman is a frequent contributor and writer for the Property Management Insider blog.

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