Managing Packages at Your Strata Corporation During the Holiday Season
The necessity of managing packages at your strata corporation
Over the past decade, managing packages at your strata corporation has become a necessary part of management due to the increasing popularity of online shopping for clothes, furniture, toiletries, and holiday gifts. Shopping online is accessible, convenient, and fast, and has only become more so in the last few years due to retailers increasing their online presence and online user experience. After placing an order online, residents keep a watchful eye and track their packages along the way. Still, since they live in a strata corporation, they depend on the concierge and strata manager to keep their package safe until it can be picked up at the front desk with minimal effort.
In Deloitte’s 2022 holiday retail outlook where more than 1,000 Canadians were surveyed, it has been determined that the majority of respondents’ holiday budget will be spent on Amazon. Shopping in brick-and-mortar stores is up over last year, with 51% opting to shop in store so they can interact with products, take advantage of better pricing and promotions, as well as avoid shipping costs. Despite the increase in in-store shopping, online shopping remains popular which means your strata corporation will still be faced with dealing with a high volume of packages. This might cause more pressure for the concierge as they need to manage all the packages for quick and easy pick-up while continuing to conduct other day-to-day tasks.
1. Storage needs have evolved.
It is important to recognize that a small locker room in a condominium building is most likely no longer sufficient for the number of package deliveries brought in every day. "The space set aside is not often large enough," says Linh Doyle, regional director at FirstService Residential. "The area needed to accommodate them needs to be close to the front desk, so that concierge doesn’t have to abandon their station to obtain packages continuously."
2. Constant interactions with residents can lead to burnout.
Front desk associates are already on the front lines but at this time of year they will need to consistently interact with residents when they are asked to obtain a package, or in some cases, multiple packages. This can be an overwhelming and time consuming process, especially when managing crowd control and pick-up times, much to the resident's frustration. This causes much stress for the concierge and may ultimately lead to burnout, where they may not work as efficiently as before.
Here’s a look at how FirstService Residential is taking the necessary steps to ensure the management of deliveries runs smoothly.
1. Making room for the package deliveries.
As mentioned, package deliveries are coming in at a high rate, with the majority of them coming to the concierge desk. Our solution to help with managing packages at your strata corporation is to dedicate locker rooms for these packages or, if available, a large storage room to provide ample space for concierges to move around.
Further, we instruct the concierge to write out essential details as a delivery comes in, to make pick-up more efficient as they will not have to scramble through numerous packages to find the right one.
Concierges can log these details as soon as they come in and throughout the pick-up process. These details include the date, the carrier, the recipient's name, the package placement, the time picked up, and a signature from the resident signaling the package has been picked up.
2. Streamline the pick-up process.
Establish hours where pick ups will be made possible and ensure your residents are aware of those hours. Our strata managers can determine these times and have them posted throughout the strata corporation or emailed to the residents for notice. For example, strata managers can notify residents that hours of pick-up are between the hours of 9 AM and 10 PM.
Further, we have provided time slots for residents to come to pick their delivery from the front desk. Emailing or texting residents with their specific time slot for pick-up makes the process more streamlined.
This process benefits concierges as they will know which residents will be coming down at which times, checking their list beforehand to know what packages to bring out for a quicker exchange.
At FirstService Residential, we are always on the lookout for best practices from other industries that can be applied to efficient strata management. When it comes to managing packages at your strata corporation, our proprietary Connect portal lets you accomplish this task the same way professional carriers do. As packages come in, they can be scanned and uploaded at the front desk by the concierge, reducing the probability of error. Find out more about Connect here.
Observe the golden rule
Ensuring residents understand the delivery pick up process can help the front desk from being overrun with package requests. This will help keep the wait times low for residents, which in turn keeps conflicts between residents and front desk associates from occurring.
It's a busy time of year for everyone and patience can start to run thin. Now more than ever it’s important to remember the golden rule and be courteous with those that you interact with, including those that manage and work in your strata corporation.