The Importance of Package Management

Packages. They’re not something we normally think about, until we’re waiting to get one. (And, since it’s the holiday season now, it seems like all the time.) It doesn’t seem like that sexy of an amenity. I mean, give me a virtual golf simulator, a concierge that can get me restaurant reservations, hell, even a standard pool sounds sexier than “package storage area,” amiright, folks?

But, no. Packages are the thing. This was a huge topic at the recent NMHC OpTech conference (read the transcript from our recent Twitter chat that addressed some of these topics).

Rick Haughey, vice president, industry technology initiatives, NMHC, laid out the popularity of package pickup during this chat:

Rick Haughey ‏‪@rhaugheyNMHC Dec 4 2013 Resident Preference Survey cited “Package Holding Area” as 2nd most desired amenity behind the fitness center.  ‪#NMHCOpTech

That’s just craziness! Seriously, packages are number two? But…it makes sense. In one of my previous apartments, the delivery guy left one of my packages with one of my neighbors. I had no idea who they were! It ended up fine, but what if that neighbor was less than scrupulous? He could totally have absconded with some fancy napkins off of my wedding registry that someone sent me. Can you imagine? And, now that I’m a homeowner instead of a renter, I miss having a safe package-holding area even more. Do you know what happens when delivery people leave packages on your front stoop? The packages get wet. Every. Single. Time. How does that even happen? It wasn’t even raining some of those times!

It is clearly important to your residents for the community to have a system in place for managing packages. Whether it be an electronic notification system, a concierge or a simple locker, do whatever works the best for your residents. But have something in place!

The importance of package management highlights the fact that it isn’t always the flashy, “hey, look at me, we have the shiniest gadgets!”-type amenities that really interest people. It’s the things that people need, that could make their lives easier. So make sure to highlight what you have: a covered parking garage with assigned spots, free Wi-Fi in common areas, free pizza for residents named Jessica, whatever you got. It might be something subtle that gets that prospective resident to sign a lease, rather than the caviar-tasting room, which, honestly, residents will only use about twice.

What do you use for package management at your community? How do residents respond to it?  What are some other not-as-flashy amenities that are a huge draw for residents?

-Jessica Fiur, Senior Editor