According to a recent National Multi-Housing Council study on renter preferences package management ranks second in importance after fitness centers and before WiFi, according to Barry Hume, president of Package Concierge.
Hume moderated the Package Management, From Courtesy to Competitive Necessity: Why It Matters session at the 2016 NAA Education Conference & Exposition.
“NMHC has done study after study on the topic and package management comes up as one of the most important amenities to residents every time,” Hume says. “There’s going to come a point in the not to distant future that it will become the most important amenity.”
The panel shared that Amazon Prime now offers fee memberships to college students while its general membership has more than doubled in the last two years. The service now boasts 64 million paid memberships. Further ramping up the package delivery game, the ecommerce juggernaut has launched same day delivery in 27 regions across the country.
“Residents are ordering packages, and their expectation is that the packages are delivered to their homes,” Hume says. “Furthermore, residents believe it is our problem to deal with, not them. We need to figure out how.”
Fellow panelists Dean Holmes, COO, Madison Apartments and Craig Meddin, COO, The Postal Solutions Companies echoed Hume’s sentiments that now is the time for apartment owners and operators to shift their view of package management from one of a resident courtesy to being a competitive necessity.
“A proactive and well-evolved package management policy can be a competitive differentiator,” Holmes says. “Most of us are choosing to find solutions to manage packages for our residents.”
But why should an apartment community justify the shift from courtesy to competitive necessity? The answer, according to the panel, is two-fold. First, it improves resident satisfaction and, second, the return on investment can be profound.
Although the direct impact of package management varies, 30-60 percent of residents indicated that package management solutions/effectiveness have a positive impact on their decision to renew.
“A planned package management solution is definitely impactful,” Hume says. “There’s a real business case for having something in place that will affect the resident.”
If resident satisfaction isn’t enough of a reason to make package management a must-have amenity, the numbers are intriguing.
It is estimated that the time it takes on-site personnel to deal with a single package is five to six minutes, according to the panel. That is roughly one hour for every 10 packages. Data shows that a 250-unit property averages 30 package deliveries per day, which equates to three hours of package management. When processed manually, the average cost to accept and deliver a package is $2.08 per package.
“Package management is an expectation now, an expectation that most of our residents and prospects take for granted,” Holmes says. “It’s not an optional amenity anymore.”
For more coverage on package delivery solutions, see the June issue of UNITS magazine. Get more insights on current trends in the apartment industry via our REWIND program, which recaps every session from the 2016 NAA Education Conference.