Package Management Solutions for Texas Associations
Whether it's a special holiday or just another Tuesday, online shopping is the go-to method for finding the perfect present or simply making everyday purchases. Saving time, money, and stress, who wouldn't opt for a package conveniently showing up at home rather than braving the crowds at the store? This is especially the case with residents in your Texas high-rise condominium building, so it requires the most efficient package management.
“A package isn’t a package,” says FirstService Residential CEO David Diestel in a recent interview with Shep Hyken of Amazing Business Radio. “It’s somebody’s medication. It’s the engagement ring. It’s a gift you forgot to buy last week that’s just showing up. Just understanding that and appreciating we’re in people’s lives and homes, and the importance of that, that’s the quest we’re on.”
This is something we know too well - the ever-increasing number of packages we receive at our high-rise buildings. Since 40% of the U.S. population now shops online (especially through Amazon Prime), the number of daily packages coming through our front desks has skyrocketed. Jeff Edelstein, our expert on residential hospitality at FirstService Residential, tells us that buildings that used to receive 20 packages a day now receive 70 to 80. Package management during the holiday season is even more daunting - deliveries can jump to a staggering 150 to 200 packages a day!
Package management has become a full-time job for our front desk staff members. They do an excellent job of logging in packages, ensuring they're stored securely and ultimately delivered to the intended recipient. For us, it’s beyond just standard practice – it's something that requires extra precaution. With so many packages coming through, the potential for misplaced deliveries is higher than ever.
With numerous companies involved, managing package deliveries for a high-rise means working with several moving parts. You've got the United States Postal Service, which usually sticks to delivering packages exclusively to mailrooms. Then there's Amazon, which relies on UPS, while other companies might use DHL or FedEx. The result? Multiple deliveries at different times and locations within your building. It can feel like a never-ending stream of boxes and envelopes flooding in every day.
Your Texas association's solution to package overload.
Fear not – there is a solution to package management. According to expert Edelstein, one way to ease the burden is by enlisting a concierge to help log in packages. This way, you'll have an extra set of hands to ensure that your front desk can remain vigilant and engage with guests without being bogged down by endless package entries.
Calling on a concierge.
Think about it – a concierge is already trained to provide exceptional service, so why not also put their skills to use for package management? It's a win-win for both your staff and your condo association residents.
Bring in a temp.
Since hiring a new full-time team member (or enlisting a current team member) might not always be feasible, one solution may be bringing in a temporary employee.
We recommend a swing shift worker who can overlap the shifts:
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
4 p.m. to midnight.
This overlapping schedule means he/she will typically work these shifts:
11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
His/her primary role will be managing package login and pick-up during that extra busy period.
Of course, a temp can also help with other front desk functions, like answering the phone. But package management can be an undertaking on its own, and that's where a swing shift worker can really make a difference.
You might be wondering where to find such a person. We recommend working with an experienced property management company that can help you find the right fit for your needs. With their expertise, you can rest assured that you'll have a trained and reliable person helping you manage your packages and providing excellent service to your residents.
Package storage solutions.
Now that we have the management process in place, let’s talk about another challenge that comes with package management for any condo association: storing all those parcels. You have your staff all set to handle the package overload, but what about the actual storage space? It can be a challenge, especially when dealing with any extra holiday traffic (beyond just Christmas; think Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, summer wedding months, etc.). But don't worry - we have four useful tips to help with this.
Tip 1 - Get creative with package holding areas.
First, most buildings have secure package rooms, but these can fill up quickly, even on regular days. That's why our team always comes up with new and creative ways to handle the overflow. For example, one of our teams recently constructed a handy wooden box with a padlock on wheels to make deliveries a breeze.
Tip 2 - Carefully arrange drop-offs and pick-ups.
In smaller, higher-end buildings, we can even drop off packages securely in the lobbies or via private elevators, as long as residents have signed a waiver stating that there's no liability on the part of the association or management. It's estimated that 90% of high-rises require people to come to the front desk to pick up packages, where they'll need to provide an ID and signature.
Tip 3 - Notify residents when packages arrive.
To ensure a smooth package delivery system, it's essential to have an effective communication plan in place. With FirstService Residential Connect, your front desk staff can easily send alerts to residents via email or text (for those who opt-in). They'll receive a friendly message informing them that their beloved package has arrived and is waiting for pick-up.
Let's face it: leaving voicemails or notices in mailboxes just doesn't cut it anymore. And knocking on doors to deliver the news can be time-consuming and intrusive. However, with our innovative system, residents can relax knowing they'll be notified promptly and conveniently.
Tip 4 - What’s your package workflow?
When it comes to managing packages, there's a crucial element that cannot be overlooked - organization. Sure, having a reliable team, secure storage, and clear communication channels are essential, but things can quickly become manageable with a streamlined and efficient process.
Our package management expert, Edelstein, stresses the importance of taking a step back and asking the right questions:
Are the right team members responsible for logging packages?
Are they detail-oriented and accurately recording tracking numbers?
Do they follow up with recipients to inform them their package is waiting?
At FirstService Residential Texas, we understand how to maximize the right technology for exceptional package management. Utilizing software that provides accountability and tracking at every step of the process, we can oversee every package from start to finish. Just like cashiers conducting drawer reconciliations, we perform package reconciliations at the beginning and end of every shift to maintain an accurate inventory and ensure everything is accounted for.
Consider package management signed, sealed, and delivered.
With the rise of two-day delivery for just about everything these days, managing packages in your high-rise building is becoming increasingly important. Well beyond the hectic holiday season, you'll want to ensure that your package management process is top-notch.
Remember, it's not just about delivering packages. It's about providing peace of mind to your residents while keeping everything organized and running smoothly. So, take a closer look at your process and implement the right tools and strategies that will keep your package management on point all year long.
What’s the best package management solution for your association?Download this cheat sheet of options and get your package management finally under control today!
FirstService Residential is simplifying property management.Our FirstService Residential Texas family enjoys peace of mind knowing they’re in good hands. They can count on our 24/7 customer service for tailored solutions that take the balancing act out of property management. And our service-first philosophy means we don’t stop until what’s complicated becomes uncomplicated. To make life, simplified.
If your association is not currently managed by FirstService Residential Texas, we would love to learn more about your community. Just click Contact Us below. We look forward to meeting you!