By Debbie Willis (MultiFamilyExecutive.com Article) —
As the holiday season is in full swing, residents are actively online shopping to find the perfect presents for their family and friends. As joyous as this time of the year can be, this season can also create serious obstacles for property management teams aiming to ensure that all packages get into the right hands both safely and efficiently. Property management teams have to be diligent in providing innovative solutions to this holiday package chaos in order to ensure residents receive the best treatment and level of care. However, these solutions are not one size fits all, and it’s crucial to consider what is both realistic and cost-effective for your specific community.
Maintaining strong and consistent communication with residents helps to set expectations, especially during this busy season, as well as boost overall organization throughout the community. It’s crucial to send out email and text blasts to remind residents of best practices when it comes to getting packages during the holidays. This can consist of reminding them where on the property the packages get delivered, the kinds of items the office can and cannot accept, how long the office can hold a package, as well as what to do if a package says it was delivered but wasn’t. Residents appreciate reminders that keep them up to date and informed, which help to manage the craziness that comes with the holiday season.
Another solution to the holiday package mayhem, as well as for year-round package organization, is investing in package delivery services or parcel lockers. These services offer a beneficial alternative that saves time, money, and resources, as well as reduces liability to the community. Package services add safety and convenience for residents, while also providing property managers with a more efficient option for receiving, sorting and distributing packages. Package services leave less room for human error and allows the added convenience for residents to get their packages at any time of the day, not just during normal business hours.
Companies like these have apps that will notify the residents of their delivery and even allow them to schedule a specific delivery time based on their availability, which in turn takes the responsibility off the shoulders of the leasing staff. Plus, the service companies will handle any package issues internally making it less of a headache for the leasing staff. This then gives the on-site team more time to handle their own day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. Several P.B. Bell communities utilize package delivery services and parcel lockers and have found the service invaluable.
If a community does not have the capacity to utilize package services, it’s important to perfect the basics in order to maintain strong organization and distribution of packages during this busy holiday season. For communities that accept and hold packages in the office, having a detailed and coordinated package system is imperative to remain successful year-round. Offices need to have a designated package area with shelving that is labeled in numerical order so packages can be organized by apartment number. Then, a package log is essential to keep track of the packages that come in and out of the leasing offices from the carriers. This log needs to be thorough and include details like the date, resident’s name, apartment number, as well as have a line for a resident’s signature when they pick up the package.
To keep residents in the loop and to make sure they pick up their packages in a timely manner, regular texts and email alerts need to be sent to remind them to pick up their packages. With a resident’s approval, office staff can also deliver packages to their apartment. This can help ease the flow of traffic coming in and out of the office, as well as be a helpful option for those who are out of town during the holidays.
When it comes to handling the chaos of the influx of holiday package deliveries, property management teams must work effectively to provide a creative solution to handle the season. As the popularity of online shopping continues to grow, residents and prospective residents are actively seeking communities that offer innovative package solutions. Providing amenities that give residents peace of mind during the holiday season, as well as all year-round, is a must.