3 Ways to Prepare for the Hurricane of Holiday Packages

Online purchases and increased package deliveries are typical of the holiday season, but this is no ordinary year. The United States Postal Service (USPS) has seen mail volume increase steadily annually, and volume has drastically increased due to COVID-19. With more residents choosing to do their Black Friday and other holiday shopping online, in the comfort of their units, you’ll want to be prepared for this year’s avalanche of packages.

According to Fetch, package volume per unit at multifamily communities from June 2019 to June 2020 increased by 59%. Their data from May shows that properties averaged more than 10 deliveries per apartment. But this isn’t surprising. Just from January 1st to March 31st, 2020, USPS saw an increase in revenue of $348 million compared to the same period last year. In anticipation of a spike in package deliveries over the next two months, USPS has temporarily increased their prices and experts have stressed that Christmas presents must be ordered way in advance (before December 1st to the 18th) to arrive on time.

Online purchases and increased package deliveries are typical of the holiday season, but this is no ordinary year. The United States Postal Service (USPS) has seen mail volume increase steadily annually, and volume has drastically increased due to COVID-19. With more residents choosing to do their Black Friday and other holiday shopping online, in the comfort of their units, you’ll want to be prepared for this year’s avalanche of packages.

According to Fetch, package volume per unit at multifamily communities from June 2019 to June 2020 increased by 59%. Their data from May shows that properties averaged more than 10 deliveries per apartment. But this isn’t surprising. Just from January 1st to March 31st, 2020, USPS saw an increase in revenue of $348 million compared to the same period last year. In anticipation of a spike in package deliveries over the next two months, USPS has temporarily increased their prices and experts have stressed that Christmas presents must be ordered way in advance (before December 1st to the 18th) to arrive on time.

What You Can Do: Establish your System Now

By now, you’ve probably already established a package system. With the unexpected surge of deliveries early into COVID-19, you’ve worked out the bugs and kinks in distributing packages or directing delivery personnel where to go. Now with the holidays on the way, you’ll want to scale your procedures like so:

What You Can Do: Establish your System Now

By now, you’ve probably already established a package system. With the unexpected surge of deliveries early into COVID-19, you’ve worked out the bugs and kinks in distributing packages or directing delivery personnel where to go. Now with the holidays on the way, you’ll want to scale your procedures like so:

1. Utilize Unused Space

If you hold packages for your residents, you’ll need to allocate additional storage space. Got a (lockable) common room not being used? A gym that’s shut down due to COVID restrictions? An office left untouched by a work-from-home leasing agent? Take advantage of that secure space. After all, it takes just a few large packages to max out your existing package storage.

1. Utilize Unused Space

If you hold packages for your residents, you’ll need to allocate additional storage space. Got a (lockable) common room not being used? A gym that’s shut down due to COVID restrictions? An office left untouched by a work-from-home leasing agent? Take advantage of that secure space. After all, it takes just a few large packages to max out your existing package storage.

2. Provide Additional Notifications

If you manually write up slips notifying your residents to pick up their packages, you might want to consider some alternatives. Think about the tools you have with your existing property management software (like email or text messaging). If you have the capabilities to send an email or text message to a single resident, consider creating an email/text message template notifying the resident of packages. While it’s up to you as to how soon after the delivery you want to send out a digital notification (immediately vs. a few days after it’s been delivered), providing an additional notification beyond a written slip can create some urgency for your renters.

3. Increase Package Pick Up Hours

While this might not be necessary if you have normal office hours, if you have a limited staff working due to COVID-19, it might be a good idea to plan to increase package pickup hours closer to the holidays. Or, alternatively, provide an additional staff member to facilitate safe package pickup. Just make sure to make your hours clear to your residents.

2. Provide Additional Notifications

If you manually write up slips notifying your residents to pick up their packages, you might want to consider some alternatives. Think about the tools you have with your existing property management software (like email or text messaging). If you have the capabilities to send an email or text message to a single resident, consider creating an email/text message template notifying the resident of packages. While it’s up to you as to how soon after the delivery you want to send out a digital notification (immediately vs. a few days after it’s been delivered), providing an additional notification beyond a written slip can create some urgency for your renters.

3. Increase Package Pick Up Hours

While this might not be necessary if you have normal office hours, if you have a limited staff working due to COVID-19, it might be a good idea to plan to increase package pickup hours closer to the holidays. Or, alternatively, provide an additional staff member to facilitate safe package pickup. Just make sure to make your hours clear to your residents.

Ordering online has become the crutch of many Americans quarantining and/or working from home during the pandemic. It helps vulnerable residents have safe access to necessary goods. It helps working parents get supplies their children would usually have at school. And it helps far away loved ones show their family and friends they’re thinking of them on their birthday or during the holidays. While the avalanche of packages in your leasing office is not ideal, it might be in your community’s best interest to look into more permanent package options if the spike in e-commerce continues next year.

Ordering online has become the crutch of many Americans quarantining and/or working from home during the pandemic. It helps vulnerable residents have safe access to necessary goods. It helps working parents get supplies their children would usually have at school. And it helps far away loved ones show their family and friends they’re thinking of them on their birthday or during the holidays. While the avalanche of packages in your leasing office is not ideal, it might be in your community’s best interest to look into more permanent package options if the spike in e-commerce continues next year.

Any Tips on on Your Properties? We're All Ears in the Comment Section

Spread the word. Share this post!

Avatar

Becky Bower is the Content Strategist here at the CIC Blog. She holds a degree in English, with a focus in creative writing, from CSU Channel Islands. Her biggest weakness is cake and favorite superhero is Batman.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.