One of the most prevalent issues in multifamily buildings is how to manage packages securely. This is especially critical during the holiday season when the volume of packages and deliveries greatly increases. Recently, proptech solutions have received a lot of attention for their ability to easily and effectively enhance building experiences and overall improve processes.
One such proptech solution is package management.
Ecommerce and online shopping has grown exponentially to the point that it is now a necessity in many homes. With package volumes increasing, so has package theft with an estimated $6 billion in packages reported stolen in 2020 alone. One of the main contributors to this problem is the lack of ability for apartment buildings to manage the package volumes from their tenants.
There are a few different solutions that apartment buildings can use for package management. Below are the best package management solutions that property owners and managers can use to immediately improve their tenants experience and create some relief from the burden of massive package volumes.
What are package lockers? Package lockers are a collection of secure lockers with various sizes designed to handle large package volumes. This makes for a great solution for apartment and other multifamily buildings who want to securely receive packages for their tenants.
Package Locker Benefits for Tenants
Package lockers have several benefits for tenants, including:
- Secure package delivery, even when tenants aren’t at home or available to receive them
- Ability to retrieve their package at anytime using a secure access code
- Real-time delivery alerts
The majority of tenant’s want their building to have some secure package management system. So, package lockers are going to be particularly important if an apartment building doesn’t have a system for receiving tenant’s incoming packages already.
Package Locker Benefits for Property Managers and Building Staff
Property managers and building staff also benefit from having a package locker in their building by:
- Reducing or eliminating overhead required to manually manage packages and delivery alerts
- Detering incidents of package theft
- Maintaining an organized common area
- Improving their tenant’s experience
The Best Package Lockers for Multifamily Buildings
While package locker is a generic term, there are several companies that manufacture these solutions who stand out in the multifamily industry.
Founded in 2013, Parcel Pending is one of the leading indoor and outdoor package lockers for the multifamily industry. Their focus is on markets that suffer package management issues, and the product aims at creating a better experience. This includes decreasing overhead for property staff and making package retrieval easier for tenants.
Their product line consists of indoor, outdoor, and refrigerated lockers. Locker Lite is their package locker solution for smaller communities of 100 units or less. The Parcel Pending mobile app issues delivery alerts and allows tenants to retrieve deliveries via smartphone.
Parcel Pending’s open API will easily integrate with existing property management software. They also feature custom wraps to match apartment building aesthetics, and come built with various locker sizes to maximize on space.
Formerly Laundry Locker, Luxer One has over 15 years of experience in the locker business. Their mission is to constantly improve how the world receives their goods, which is reflected in their 100% package acceptance rate.
Luxer Lockers come in various sizes and colors, each with different numbers of compartments to fit any space. In addition to Luxer Lockers, Luxer One also offers the Luxer Fridge for perishable deliveries and Luxer Room, which is a simple solution for controlled access to package rooms.
Luxer One package lockers conveniently offer solutions to oversized packages and package overflow. They also have a patented feature that allows carriers to deliver packages even if the tenant’s name isn’t listed. Most distinctly, Luxer Lockers come with 24/7 video surveillance for an additional layer of package management security.
Package Concierge offers a highly customizable package locker solution. Their Element Series is a line of outdoor package lockers, while their Premier Series features indoor lockers. The Express Series is modularized, and therefore highly customizable to any building. Like Luxer One, Package Concierge also offers a package room solution in the form of a touchscreen kiosk. Their package room management solution, however, acts only as overflow space for packages that do not fit in a package locker. So, it’s only available when paired with either the Premier or Express locker series.
Package locker size, shape, and color vary, as is standard across the industry. Uniquely, Package Concierge also offers dry cleaning locker modules. Their software is designed to easily integrate, monitor, track, and report each delivery. Also notable are the extensive reporting and tracking options which are great for property managers and owners looking for insight into delivery trends.
Smiota package lockers are fit for any type of delivery. They offer indoor and outdoor lockers for dry cleaning, oversized packages, and refrigerated or frozen deliveries. Smiota’s software automatically notifies tenant’s via text or through the mobile app when they have a package.
Smiota also offers a mailroom management software solution that building staff can use to manage and track incoming packages for residents. This differs from package room solutions like Luxer Room and Package Concierge’s package room solution because it does not physically secure a package room. It’s simply a software that requires an individual to receive and manually input the package information into the system that will then notify the tenant of their delivery.
The Package Locker System by SpaceSaver recognizes the rapid growth of ecommerce and has built a package management solution for property managers to keep track of their tenant’s deliveries. Once the package is received by building staff, it is issued a locker and a notification is sent to the tenant to come pick the package up at any time.
Amazon Hub Apartment Locker
Similar to it’s enterprise solution, Amazon Key for Business, the Amazon Hub Apartment Locker is a multifamily solution for managing package deliveries. Amazon Hub automates deliveries for both Amazon and non-Amazon packages. Mail couriers drop packages off in any one of the empty lockers and an automated message is sent to the tenant with a PIN or QR code. The tenant’s package is secure until they are available to come pick it up using their unique one-time access code.
Package Room Management
What is package room management? Package rooms exist in apartment buildings and condo complexes of all sizes. Package room management solutions improve the security and function of those rooms by integrating a unique access control solution with package management software.
How is package room management different from a package locker? Package lockers are large units that have to be integrated into a building’s common room or other communal area that tenants and couriers always have access to. Package room management solutions create a secure area within an existing package room in the building. Typically, this includes a fusion of an access control system with package management software. Some package room management solutions are taking it one step further by pinpointing the exact location of the package within the room.
Benefits of Package Room Management for Tenants
Package room management offers similar benefits to tenants that package lockers do: they keep packages secure, allow tenants to pick up their packages at any time, and provide real-time updates and alerts.
Beyond that, package room management also guarantees package security regardless of available space or size. Package lockers risk running out of locker space or not being big enough to fit a package within the locker.
Benefits of Package Room Management for Property Managers
Package room management also offers the same basic advantages to property managers and building staff that package lockers do: overall they improve resident experience and package security, as well as reducing the overhead required by staff to manage incoming deliveries.
Package room management is uniquely beneficial to multifamily buildings that already have a designated package room. By creating a better way to manage security and organization, property managers can continue to utilize their package rooms. This allows them to maximize their space and resources, which is always beneficial.
It should also be noted that some package lockers require staff to organize packages in the lockers and manually send out notifications and access codes to tenants. Package room management effectively eliminates any need for staff intervention.
The Best Multifamily Package Room Management Solutions
As mentioned in the Luxer One package locker overview, the company also has a package room management solution. Luxer Room can convert pre-existing package rooms into secure delivery hubs with an intuitive touchscreen interface and Luxer One’s package management software. It’s compatible with most existing door strike, mag lock, or electronic access control hardware. And, just like Luxer Locker, Luxer Room comes equipped with 24/7 video surveillance for the highest level of security.
Smart Package Room by Position Imaging
Smart Package Room by Position Imaging is a truly unique solution. It combines access control, package management, and alarm systems for the highest level of package security paired with the minimum amount of staff overhead.
Smart Package Room grants couriers unique access to the package room while simultaneously keeping track of the package and sending notification to the tenant. This is done by scanning the shipping code upon entry.
The Smart Package Room solution includes sensors inside the package room. So, when a tenant comes to pick up their package, they are shown a map upon entering their unique access code which indicates the exact location of their package. The sensors nearest the package will flash and a laser pointer will be shown on the package as well. If the wrong package is taken (either on accident or maliciously) an alarm will sound.
HelloPackage by Package Solutions, Inc. is going beyond a package storage solution and creating a delivery logistics solution. It uses custom designed hardware, sensors, computer vision, machine learning, and AI to manage package deliveries.
Couriers use their unique code to access the package room, and then use the HelloPackage touchscreen interface to log the package. The package is placed on the HelloPackage shelving unit where it is then weighed and its location is tracked. Tenants are then sent a notification that their package has been delivered. They use their own unique code to access the package room to find their package. The weight sensors in the shelving then track when the package was picked up and log that it was received.
Video Intercom for Package Management
Package lockers and package room management solutions have countless benefits for apartment buildings and multifamily communities. For property managers and owners who need just one solution, both are an excellent option to increase package security and improve delivery flow.
However, while apartment buildings are trying to keep up with the “smart home” trend, more and more technology continues to pile on for property managers and building owners. Building technology, for the most part, is already siloed from one another. This makes it hard to gain complete, comprehensive insight into actionable building data. And without this, decisions cannot be made that will confidently generate ROI.
Video intercom for apartment buildings effectively acts as an all-in-one solution for smart building technology and common area security. Under one platform, apartments have secure package management as well as integrated access control, visitor management, contactless touring, and more.
Benefits of Video Intercom for Package Management
A video intercom system has the ability to:
- Generate single-use PIN codes that can be input into delivery instructions. PIN codes can be generated by tenant or admin, and can be used to get into the apartment building and the package room.
- Generate multi-use PIN codes for recurring deliveries and mail couriers. PIN codes can be generated by tenant or admin, and can be used to get into the apartment building and the package room.
- Let delivery personnel interface with tenants via video intercom. Tenants can receive video calls even when they are not home as well as remotely grant access to the delivery person.
- Schedule access so that delivery PIN codes can only grant access during certain hours of the day
- Program access to several common area doors — including the front door, package, and mail rooms — for a seamless flow for delivery personnel
- Manage access permissions and grant access from anywhere with a cloud-based platform
- Ensure packages are left on the secure side of the building, rather than outside
- Provide security not just for package deliveries but also for food and other deliveries in addition to doubling as a mobile unlock system for common areas
Expanding package management to include a complete common area security solution benefits property managers and their tenants by:
- Creating a completely secure delivery management strategy that starts at the front door, not just at the package room or from the package locker
- Improving the flow of deliveries while maximizing security
- Reducing staff overhead even further by completely managing physical security as it pertains to deliveries
- Creating a comprehensive, all-in-one solution to gain both a deep and high level understanding of building access activity
- Granting tenants a high level of discretion over their deliveries
- Offering a more cost effective solution to package room management solutions and package lockers
- Creating a more time efficient solution for delivery drivers
Start Improving Package Management
Get in touch with a Swiftlane Specialist to see how video intercom can improve the package management in your multifamily building