P ackage Management is definitely on the mind of residential communities everywhere — properties across the country are experiencing a shift from a few packages a day to dozens, if not hundreds! The question is no longer if you need a solution, but when and which one?
The old pen and paper method of package intake is typically not enough anymore — not only is it extremely time consuming, but it also doesn’t protect your property and employees from lost or damaged packages, a roommate or spouse picking up the package, and any other incidental that pops up. If your team is ready to save time and manage packages more effectively, it’s time to think about what solution best fits your unique needs! There are many factors to consider when it comes to finding the perfect solution for your community. If you’ve been thinking about what solution is best for your needs, we’re here to help!
Manual Package Logging:
This is where it all started — logging in a package, writing down the unit number and contacting the resident to let them know their package has arrived. This system used to work just fine — back when mailrooms and leasing offices were only handling a few packages each day.
Now, it’s estimated that an apartment complex can receive more than 40 packages a day — that equates to hours spent logging them in, contacting residents, and processing them out. If you manage a multi-family property, student housing building or corporate building that only receives a couple packages a day, this process is still possible — but with ecommerce expected to nearly double year over year, it’s likely only a matter of time until this method is simply not sustainable.
Now, the vast majority of complexes are handling dozens, if not hundreds, of packages every single day. With that many packages, managing and organizing them can be nearly impossible. After all, the process of checking in a package, calling the resident (a few times, probably) and then helping them find and check out the package upon arrival definitely isn’t quick — but it can be done!
Package Management Software:
If your complex receives tons of packages and wants a way to scan them in and notify the residents automatically, then a package management software is the perfect fit for your community! Package management software doesn’t only save tons of time compared to the manual package logging approach, but also adds complete transparency to the entire process.
A software like Notifii Track allows you to have an unlimited amount of users so all of your employees can have unique accounts and offers you the ability to take a picture of a package that’s damaged, leave notes about the pickup or even take a picture of a residents ID if they’re picking up the package for a roommate or spouse! This type of transparency allows you to track and take notes on the package every step of the way — from the intake until it’s handed directly to the resident. No more questions about who picked up the package or issues tracking down a missing package!
The process of checking in packages using a barcode scanner or iPad surely will save your team tons of time, but typically the most time is actually spent notifying the residents that a package has arrived and is at the office waiting for them. If your community is still trying to call residents or send a manual email every time a package arrives, you’re likely spending hours and hours each week trying to get residents to pick up their packages. At automatic notification sent upon intake alleviates that issue — residents will know a package is waiting for them immediately.
A package tracking software allows your team to save tons of time, but still remain connected with their residents and see them on a regular basis. This route is ideal if resident retention and open lines of communication are a few of your property’s top priorities because it allows your team to stay connected to the residents.
Package lockers are popping up across the country — this method of managing packages at your property is hands off and allows the mail carrier themselves to handle the packages and place them into the lockers. Most package lockers offer 24/7 access, a great option for residents who work late or are not readily able to grab packages during normal business hours.
The initial investment for a package locker system is steep — usually between $10,000 and $30,000 for the initial installation and a monthly retainer in addition. You also need to be on a property that has the space to build a room that can fit the amount of lockers that you need to handle all sizes of packages — from small to oversized. One of the biggest risks in lockers being completely hands off is the package overflow — during the holidays or times of heavy package intake, it’s possible that your staff will be back to managing packages… and dealing with the customer service side of it, which can be difficult to manage since the carrier is actually who the resident would need to contact in case something goes wrong.
All in all, package lockers are a great choice for managing your packages if you have the ability for a large initial investment and are looking to take the management completely off of the plate of your property managers!
Hiring Specific Talent:
If you’re looking to take the work off of your property management team completely but don’t want to spend the money on a locker system’s initial investment, hiring a specific person or assigning this task to one agent can be an effective way to alleviate the added stress on your property management team!
Since the time spent on package management can be dozens of hours per week, that can directly correlate to time lost from your leasing agents — more time managing packages means that they’re spending less time showing properties or helping current residents! By having one designated individual to handle this task, it can help your other agents streamline their day and be uninterrupted by residents coming to retrieve their packages.
It can be difficult to determine which solution is the best fit for your community, and it’s important to consider what your individual priorities are when it comes to managing packages. There’s a perfect solution for every community, and if you’re not sure which solution is the best fit for you, we’d love to help!
If you’d like to learn more about how Notifii Track can save your community tons of time and stress, please visit us at www.notifii.com or give us a call at (888) 506-8536 and one of our experts will be happy to answer any questions you might have. Happy package tracking!