Page 28 — Multifamily Properties Quarterly — November 2020 Amenities C urrently, around 20% of resi- dents at a multifamily property receive at least one package per day; depending on the size of a property, that could mean staff already are spending, on average, five hours a day processing and sorting packages, instead of assisting residents. This sustained level of package volume is about to be compounded by a much more drawn out holiday season, with retailers starting Black Friday-esque deals this month. Amazon,Target and Walmart are all planning huge sales in October – including a rescheduled Prime Day – which will mean more packages for a much longer period this holiday season. Properties have to be prepared for their busiest season ever. n What is the role of proptech, spe- cifically in package management? As we all know, the proptech category has exploded in recent years, and multifamily residents have benefited tremendously from it. Prior to the pan- demic, for instance, effective package management solutions already were transitioning from being a nice-to-have amenity to simply an expectation; but now, providing a contactless package management solution has become a definitive must have for multifamily and student housing. Residents expect a seamless delivery process with con- venient access for package retrieval when it fits their schedule. Automated package management solutions ensure the delivered package remains securely stored until the resident is able to retrieve it. n What should property managers look out for when considering new types of proptech? It seems like there is a new innovation in proptech nearly every day, and while many of them are extremely helpful for residents and staff, it’s important to know that just because something is the newest, latest tech, it might not necessarily be right for your property. It’s easy to get dis- tracted by shiny new innovations, but as a property manager, you know your property better than anyone. Listen to your residents; what are their pain points?What is on the market that can help with that pain point? Chances are, if you don’t already have an automated package management solution in place, it will be toward the top of their lists. n Tips for implementing newproptech. As you evaluate the various proptech solutions for your property, make sure that it works with your existing sys- tems and processes you already have in place. Find a supplier that either is from the multifamily industry or has worked with it for an extended period of time, which helps ensure they understand your needs and chal- lenges. And finally, put together strong resident/staff training and continued communication around the new prop- tech and its use. For example, if you are implementing a new automated pack- age management system, ensure resi- dents know they will begin receiving email and/or text messages from the system.This will help ensure they don’t flag the newmessages as spam and miss a package they were expecting. n What can multifamily properties do to prepare for the package influx for the holiday season, which is likely to be unprecedented? Property managers can do many things right now to prepare for the anticipated package volume, but should start by reaching out to the carriers that frequent their property and discuss expectations of temporary delivery drivers as it relates to their property. Delivery carriers who are unfamiliar with a property’s process, on tight timeline expectations and over- whelmed by the sheer volume of deliv- eries, can unknowingly cause major headaches for the property.The addi- tion of parking and directional signage for those drivers who are not as famil- iar with the layout of the community also will help reduce parking conges- tion. Properties should be expanding or adding to their package management solution to help relieve the burden from their staff as well. By designating a specific package delivery location, which can often use existing, underutilized common space, properties can easily be ready for the holiday package influx. If added secu- rity is a consideration, there also still is time to quickly pivot to an access- controlled package room, which will easily handle the increase in both package volume and sizes to reduce lobby clutter, while improving property staff efficiency and providing a secure, contactless solution for residents. s Predictions for handling a very busy package season Donna Logback Marketing director, Package Concierge Prior to the pandemic, effective package management solutions already were transi- tioning from being a nice-to-have amenity to simply an expectation; but now, provid- ing a contactless package management solution has become a definitive must have for multifamily communities.