In between grabbing essentials on Amazon Prime, ordering your weekly Blue Apron fix, and scoring those shoes you just had to have on Zappos, online shopping and delivery is taking over the lives of apartment dwellers – and presenting complex problems to residential managers.
The US Department of Commerce announced that online retail sales in Q4 were estimated at $102.7 billion, 1.9% over the previous quarter. E-commerce sales increased 14.3% from the previous year in total, compared to a 4% overall increase for retail sales.
The increase in sales undoubtedly leads to an increase in package deliveries – USPS alone saw a 15% increase alone in package volume compared to the same period on 2016.
The increased volume is leading to a lack of storage space.
According to DNAinfo, many package rooms are overstuffed with outsized items (think furniture and mattresses), and some are even being redesigned or retrofitted to deal with increasing inventory. Some firms, like Related Management, are standardizing even larger storage spaces depending on the number of units in a building. In some cases, management teams are removing themselves from the package process entirely.
At least one national landlord is no longer accepting or storing packages for residents – all deliveries will be left directly at residents’ doors.
So how much do residents care? According to Multifamily Executive’s Concept Community statistics, over 28% of renters list package lockers as “very important,” or near the top on a scale of 1 – 10. In fact, “a clear majority [indicated] a preference for onsite storage services.” On top of that, nearly 70% of renters said they expect this service to be free.
Several package and concierge-type services have popped up for both managers and residents looking for solutions to the package pile-up:
- Hello Alfred: A high-end concierge service where your “Alfred” – a hospitality professional – cleans house, runs errands, and does much more than ship and receive packages.
- GoLocker: A centralized location to receive and ship packages via multiple carriers.
- Amazon Locker: A similar service to GoLocker, but only for Amazon packages.
- Doorman: An intermediary service that receives packages and re-delivers them at times convenient to the resident. Multifamily properties also use Doorman as a service in lieu of onsite package rooms and storage.
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